CANNONSMC's SparkPeople Blog CANNONSMC's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Starting January Jumpstart in May! I just finished the SparkPeople Spring into Shape Bootcamp and finished the 28-day Bootcamp before that one. It's not January, but I'm looking for the next challenge--so for the upcoming month I'll be in the January Jumpstart challenge. You may have to use your search engine to find these 28-day challenges on Sparkpeople. They help keep me focused on exercising goals. Fri, 6 May 2016 08:05:54 EST Try the SparkPeople Bootcamps I don't think they advertise them much anymore, but I've always like the SparkPeople bootcamps. You might have to use a search engine on SparkPeople to find them. The bootcamps are essentially 28-day exercise programs that encourage you to get in at least five days of 30-minute aerobic activity sessions each week and 7 days each week of short SparkPeople strength-training videos. At the end of 28 days, you earn a SparkPeople trophy. Participating in these bootcamps helps me get in more exerci... Sun, 10 Apr 2016 10:36:05 EST Exercising at least 10 minutes every day: Such a good strategy! Most of us live such busy lives that we tell ourselves we don't have time to exercise. I fall back on that excuse myself. So when I realize the needle on the scale is going in the wrong direction, I find the best way to get back into the habit of exercising is do it the SparkPeople way and exercise at least 10 minutes per day. <BR> <BR> This strategy has worked very well for me this year--I've been taking this approach for about a month and a half now. Most mornings before showering and hea... Tue, 8 Mar 2016 07:22:11 EST Could your thyroid be behind your trouble losing weight? For a long time, I've known that weight does not come off easily for me. In December, a blood test showed my thyroid to be underactive. Now I have an explanation for cold extremities and why it takes a lot of time for me to lose even a half pound. My doctor is going to check my tests in another five months, and I've been wondering if proper nutrition might help. I've learned that it could help. Here's the video post I came across today:<BR>/ <BR> <... Sat, 13 Feb 2016 08:47:52 EST Never quite got back on track...until now Once I got off crutches, I never quite got back on track with exercising. Somewhere back around June I did lose a few more pounds. However, when the fall hit, I got off track with stress-eating and by January 1, I had gained 10 pounds. So in January, I began to get exercise again--almost made it to 500 minutes of exercise in January. I'm back! And I've lost two of those ten pounds I gained last fall. <BR> <BR> Regarding eating, my daughter decided to eat vegan on January 1 and has stuck with... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 07:32:35 EST Back again--off of crutches It's been four weeks today since the fall that put me on crutches. Two weeks ago I began walking slowly without crutches. One week ago, I noticed that I can walk pretty close to my old pace. I'm careful on stairs and not great about squatting low and getting up again. However, I'm much better! They say it takes about six weeks for a sprained muscle to heal. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, my daughter and I joined a health club that's really reasonable. $29 annual fee and $10 per month. What a fantastic... Sun, 26 Apr 2015 12:36:09 EST On crutches--doing seated exercises The good news is that although the fall I had on this past Sunday hurt my right knee, I can get by with one crutch and put weight on that leg. I just walk very slowly. After resting quite a bit this week, I realized I hadn't exercised since Sunday--I had simply been walking up and down the hallway from my office to my classroom using that crutch. So today, I exercised to two different Coach Nicole seated videos--one for arms and one for abs. <BR> <BR> I figure this type exercise is better t... Fri, 3 Apr 2015 14:00:53 EST New Challenge: On Crutches This morning I completed my two SparkPeople challenges: Spring Into Shape and the 10 minutes of Exercise a Day. It's crazy, but I indicated my completion of these challenges from the emergency room on my iPhone while I was waiting and waiting for X-ray results. <BR> <BR> Here's what happened: I tripped while literally finishing up an outdoor 45-minute walk this morning. Anyway, the short of it is that the X-rays show no fracture or serious damage; however, I can't put weight on my right leg... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:37:23 EST Back on track One of the cool things about coming back to SparkPeople is that I have a record of my exercise for the past several years. January 2011 is when I joined, and I did great. Starting that month I logged about 1000 hours of exercise almost every month through January 2012. In February 2012, I was off to a good start--and then we decided to sell the house and move across the country. At first, it wasn't too bad because I was busy cleaning, painting, and getting rid of stuff. I wasn't logging exer... Fri, 27 Mar 2015 20:23:44 EST Walk the dogs at your local animal shelter Even when I'm not doing as well with exercise, one thing keeps me walking once a week. I'm a volunteer who walks dogs at my local animal shelter. My daughter and I go every Saturday morning. A number of people I know had no idea that animal shelters often have volunteers to help keep the animals active and socialized. So even if you don't have a dog, consider volunteering. You and these animals will benefit from the exercise. Some people are afraid they'll be too sad helping these homeless a... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 08:34:52 EST Spring in my step The weather is great--hope the cold winter is over. I've been consistently exercising since mid-January and now am into 10-day streak of exercising at least 10 minutes a day. <BR> <BR> I've joined a couple of SparkPeople challenges and am eating really healthy. <BR> <BR> Today, I feel more energetic than I have in a while. I don't think it's just the weather--it's also how good I feel about sticking to my goals! And maybe my body just feels better, too! Wed, 11 Mar 2015 13:27:03 EST Taking the green fruit and veggie challenge I liked the blog that invited us to take the St. Patrick's Day 5 green fruits and veggies a day challenge. Off to the grocery store to buy: <BR> Broccoli, Spinach, Avocado, asparagus, peas, kale, zucchini, green apples, lettuce, brussel sprouts, pears, kiwi, grapes, and limes. <BR> <BR> Take the five-day challenge with me, and we can give each other Spark Goodies for each day we complete the challenge! Sun, 8 Mar 2015 11:06:26 EST Tigger is bouncing Glad to report I've been exercising regularly for the past six weeks. Bounce! <BR> <BR> In the fall, I attended a weekly nutrition session at work--that weekly reminder helped keep me from getting back into bad eating habits and from gaining back weight that I lost late last summer. I just didn't do much with exercise and only lost a couple of pounds that I regained during the holidays. <BR> <BR> Since mid-January, I've been going to a center where I work out for an hour in a small group (... Tue, 3 Mar 2015 19:53:28 EST Maintaining and back to lose more I lost 12 pounds last summer by early September. By the end of the fall, I lost three more pounds, but gained those three pounds back. Still, I can say that I haven't gained back the original 12 pounds lost in the summer. I was in a bit of a "maintenance" period during the fall. My main goal was to avoid gaining those 12 pounds back. I attended a weekly "Eat Smart, Move Less" program at work in the fall, which helped me at least stay in a maintenance mode. In mid-January, I joined a fitness p... Sat, 7 Feb 2015 10:13:32 EST Eat less and move more Happy to be down 11 pounds since I began weight loss on July 7. I suppose today is my two-month anniversary for changing my eating habits. <BR> <BR> As I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm getting excited about clothes again. And I find that as I pay more attention to dressing in an attractive way that I'm more motivated to lose more. I can now wear some of my pants from a year ago without a muffin top! Losing 11 pounds has made a difference! Also, I read online that my "apple" tummy w... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 08:53:45 EST Slow and steady wins the race Another pound came off this week. That means I've met my first ten pound of weight loss. <BR> <BR> I still need to do better with incorporating exercise into my routine; however, I'm doing better with being active in general--taking stairs instead of elevators... <BR> <BR> I'm moving in the right direction. Next goal--keep up my will power so that I can take off another ten! Mon, 1 Sep 2014 09:02:26 EST Doing better with exercise I got back into SparkPeople last Monday. I've been working to take some weight off (notice that I didn't say "dieting") for about a month and a half. I didn't lose any additional weight this week, but I did improve my exercising. It's not particularly rigorous, but I did join the "10-minute challenge" to make sure I'm exercising at least 10 minutes every day. Some days I did some of Coach Nicole's strength-training; three other days I walked dogs at our local animal shelter as a volunteer. <... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 08:19:20 EST Time to shape up I made a not so successful try at getting back in shape in January of this year. Once my classes began again I stopped eating well and exercising. I gained back the four pounds I lost that month and even gained two more. Five weeks ago, I convinced my husband to lose weight with me. He needs to take off weight more than I do. I've lost eight pounds, and he's lost 27. I didn't blog about it because I hate saying I'll do something and then not follow through. It really helps that we're losing ... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 08:23:51 EST Half Empty or Half Full I'm doing the 28-day Bootcamp Challenge that I've successfully completed in the past. First two weeks went great; last week was marginal. I continued to track food and I did exercise but did fall short of the Challenge goals for the week. I didn't actually exercise at all on three days last week. I tried to make up for some of the loss yesterday and am caught up and back on track with the videos. I'm still behind on what I wanted to do with cardio. No weight loss--but also no weight gain... Mon, 27 Jan 2014 10:00:40 EST Halfway to my challenge trophy When I tried SparkPeople the first time, the exercise challenges were one of the biggest things that helped me. Usually, it's hard for me not to finish something I begin publicly. The goals and videos make completion so concrete; therefore, it's harder for me to talk myself out of exercising. <BR> <BR> I'm 15 days into this exercise challenge, and I've exercised a minimum of 30 minutes per day and an average of 40 minutes per day. I have a 30-minute indoor walking routine that I'm doing ... Sun, 19 Jan 2014 13:04:40 EST Lost another pound--putting it into perspective Last night I was thinking: "Well, I'm exercising and eating better--I'm surprised I haven't lost another pound by now." Well, the good news is that when I got on the scale this morning I had lost another pound. <BR> <BR> However, my next thought last night was: "I gained about a pound per month over the past two years--maybe I should be happy to lose a pound per month over the next two years." <BR> <BR> Happy to say I'm losing and not gaining! Thu, 16 Jan 2014 07:39:40 EST Love those trophies I completed week one of the bootcamp challenge. Having done these SparkPeople challenges to lose weight and get in shape a couple of years ago, I felt like I was reconnecting with an old friend. And I got one of those email trophies for exceeding 250 minutes of exercise. When you're at the beginning of losing weight, like I am again this time, those little trophies can keep you motivated until you begin to see actual results. That's why I came back to SparkPeople: the videos, the recipes, ... Sat, 11 Jan 2014 16:27:05 EST Almost fell off the wagon today--thanks for the support! This morning I didn't exercise because I needed to spend the early part of the morning preparing a training presentation for some colleagues. I figured I'd exercise after work instead. So how did they thank me? A gift bag of three kinds of chocolate from a really good gourmet store: truffles, homemade dark chocolate toffee, dark chocolate covered fruit. So there was the temptation before me. I did eat some. One truffle--the best I've ever had--and some of the chocolate covered dried fru... Thu, 9 Jan 2014 21:02:13 EST Moving in the right direction So I've tracked my food and eaten healthy (lots of fruits and veggies) for four days, and I've exercised at least 30 minutes every day. I've stayed away from sweet treats. Result: I lost 1.5 lbs in four days. Hurray! Thu, 9 Jan 2014 07:43:05 EST Taming my sweet tooth When I was pregnant with our daughter 16 years ago, I actually gave up sugar starting with the second trimester. I had had terrible morning sickness during the first trimester, and given that I was older having my first (and only) child, I wanted her to be a healthy baby, so I approached the rest of my pregnancy with a very healthy diet. I probably ate healthier during those six months than I ever have. Sweet treats can be my downfall--so yesterday I grazed on blueberries instead of sweet t... Mon, 6 Jan 2014 08:44:46 EST Food So many of us have a difficult relationship with food. I'm not sure that I eat all that much--but being short means I don't have a lot of room for extra calories. I can gain weight so easily. Exercise and monitoring what I eat has always helped me get back on track.I eat for comfort when I'm bored or stressed. Today I completed two workout challenges. And so far--my eating is on track today! Sun, 5 Jan 2014 11:41:52 EST I'm back We moved. I got detrailed. I'm back to January 2011 weight. I'm back. Looking forward to progress in 2014. Tue, 31 Dec 2013 12:53:44 EST Back on Track I got a bit derailed a week ago. Had a business trip, lots of grading, etc. I exercised a little but really wasn't watching my eating (consumed more Valentines temptations than I should have). And I gained a couple of pounds. For me maintenance is really going to involve this continued monitoring of food and exercise. So I guess I took a week off, paid the price, and am now back on track. Fri, 17 Feb 2012 08:58:16 EST Success Model I love the book "Made to Stick" by Chip and Dan Heath as well as their more recent book "Switch." Both books essentially give ideas for how to get people to remember your ideas and to get people to change. <BR> <BR> The first book uses the SUCCESs model: <BR> S = Simple <BR> U = Unexpected <BR> C = Concrete <BR> C = Credible <BR> E = Emotion <BR> S = Stories <BR> s = no entry for this "S" so I think of this one as "So what?" <BR> <BR> I think this model can be used to help people lose weig... Sun, 29 Jan 2012 12:26:08 EST Varying the exercise routine I've enjoyed the January Jumpstart Challenge. Using the new challenge videos and checking out new cardio videos at the library have helped me mix up my exercise routine. As a result I've lost another pound. While I'm in maintenance I wouldn't mind losing a few more pounds. It would be amazing to get closer to what I weighed before our daughter was born! Sat, 14 Jan 2012 04:29:46 EST Weigh-ins: good or bad? I see lots of advice on SparkPeople about the pros and cons of weighing. And I know weight can fluctuate. I had been discouraged about a couple of pounds that I had put on about a week ago--and those pounds remained until yesterday when they were gone. <BR> <BR> I realize that I sometimes put too much emphasis on the scale. The reason I weigh most days is because in the past when I've gained back weight it's because I've stopped getting on the scale. I've let myself lose track and let th... Sat, 7 Jan 2012 11:28:48 EST Ringing in a Healthy New Year! A year ago today I went to my brother's New Year's Eve party. The next day we flew home; I stepped on the scale and had added a couple of pounds of holiday weight. Given that I was already at my all-time high weight, I knew I had to do something and went with the old-fashioned New Year's resolution. <BR> <BR> So on January 2, I began watching what I ate and exercising. An email reminded me that I had joined SparkPeople months earlier (doing nothing with it but reading an occasional arti... Sat, 31 Dec 2011 08:57:15 EST Anyone up for 10-minute exercise tag for the rest of December? I've almost reached a year with consistent use of SparkPeople. I lost the weight I intended to lose and am now into maintenance, which means that I'm trying to maintain this weight loss. Now I'm fighting a bit of boredom with my routines. <BR> <BR> I was thinking today about how to make exercise more interesting. I do it at home because I have no time to go to a gym and find that exercise first thing in the morning before my shower is the best way to get my exercise in. <BR> <BR> I've li... Fri, 23 Dec 2011 12:03:45 EST Maintenance means shifting your perspective At different times in my past, I've set a goal to lose weight and reached the goal. And I've always eventually put the weight back on. I'm very tired of going through this pattern, so this time I'm really trying hard to keep off the weight that I've lost. <BR> <BR> So far so good. <BR> <BR> Since this time is the first that I've taken maintenance as seriously as weight loss itself, here are some insights that I've had. <BR> <BR> --You have to figure out how to make maintenance feel rewar... Sun, 18 Dec 2011 08:18:30 EST Returning to routine We all have unexpected events that can derail our healthy habits. Ours was the sudden hospitalization of my father-in-law two and a half weeks ago. We lost him a week ago. <BR> <BR> Life has been about being there for family, grieving, and finishing up the college classes that I teach. I've certainly had hectic days where exercise was the least of my priorities. However, other days I did exercise, and I managed to make pretty sensible eating choices on all of those days when we ate out w... Sun, 11 Dec 2011 10:37:12 EST Grieving We lost my father-in-law yesterday morning--he was much loved and will be missed deeply by all of us. I could not have asked for a better father-in-law or grandfather to our daughter. We are born into a family but then some of us are lucky enough to marry and add other wonderful people to our family. I feel honored to have had Jack in my life. <BR> <BR> You are loved just as deeply by people in your lives so continue to work to safeguard your health with exercise and healthy eating so tha... Sun, 4 Dec 2011 08:22:32 EST 11 Months Down At the end of December, I'll have completed a year of tracking food and exercise on SparkPeople. I've learned that tracking not only helps you lose weight but it also helps you maintain that loss. It helps you maintain an exercise routine. And it can become somewhat addictive--I find that I don't want to miss a day of earning Sparkpoints. <BR> <BR> The challenge going into the second year will be how to keep exercise fresh. I can see how I could become bored. Tue, 29 Nov 2011 06:31:49 EST Gratitude One of the SparkPeople articles I read this week was about living one's life with gratitude--quite appropriate for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. <BR> <BR> If gratitude was a bigger focus than the food, many of us would be less nervous about trying to get through that day with little damage to our eating goals. That first Thanksgiving was about gratitude for not starving and dying during a very difficult transition into a new world. We have reality TV shows where producers spend money t... Sun, 20 Nov 2011 09:14:05 EST Hey I'm at 129.5! 130 was my goal and the number I'm determined to maintain, but it's been exciting to get on the scale for a few days and see 129.5. Hey it's just a number, but I do find it satisfying to visualize myself in the 120s. Haven't been there for over a decade. <BR> <BR> Like this quote that I found: "It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise." <BR> Johann Wolfgang von Goethe <BR> <BR> Every day that I've exercised and... Sun, 13 Nov 2011 06:53:47 EST Dearly Departed DVD Player Dear DVD Player, <BR> <BR> Thank you for giving your life so that I might live a healthier life. Yesterday you sputtered a bit, and I had to accept that you had played your last DVD. <BR> <BR> I reflect back on our last 10 months together. On January 1, I stepped on the scale and made a New Year's resolution that you helped me achieve. I knew I needed to get back to exercise and had to acknowledge all of my excuses and barriers. I knew that my best strategy was to exercise first thing in... Sun, 6 Nov 2011 07:03:38 EST Maintenance support I'm sure many on SparkPeople are like me--folks who have lost weight only to put it back on again. I've been taking off and putting back on anywhere from five to twenty pounds for a very long time. <BR> <BR> In the past, I've achieved a goal only to abandon my exercise and become less mindful of my eating. I have stopped weighing and the pounds have crept back often leading me to new all-time high weights. When I began SparkPeople in earnest last January, I had reached my all-time high.... Sun, 30 Oct 2011 08:14:34 EST Dare I Do More? When I got on the scale this morning, I was so happy to see "130" again. Part of me expected another number--I was hoping the 130 I reached on Friday and Saturday wasn't a mirage! So now that I'm at goal weight, I'm thinking I'll dare to do more. <BR> <BR> About 14 years ago, I was at what I'd call my ideal weight--120. At that time, I happily got pregnant with our daughter and the last time I saw 130 was when I was putting on my pregnancy pounds. When I made up my mind to lose weight and... Sun, 23 Oct 2011 10:26:12 EST Jokes vs. Candy My middle-school daughter is always coming home from school saying that this teacher or another gave her a piece of candy to reward her for some good behavior at school. I recall getting "star" stickers--I don't ever remember my teachers giving out candy as a reward. <BR> <BR> A woman with an office near me keeps a candy dish out for the students near our main desk. I used to dip into that candy dish--a lot--and those bits of candy eventually helped add to my weight. Because I created a c... Sun, 16 Oct 2011 08:13:19 EST New Strategy You know that plan I posted last week to do the 10-pound Slimdown videos. Ditched it for now. The exercises were too rigorous to keep me motivated. I was avoiding them. <BR> <BR> New plan: Back to basics. My goal is to achieve another month of 1000 hours of exercise. I'm back to Leslie Sansone walking videos and Coach Nicole videos. I'm just mixing it up. I'm exercising at least 10 minutes per day, following the "5K Your Way" walking plan, and bumping up the exercise time on the weekend.... Sun, 9 Oct 2011 13:48:58 EST Keeping that exercise streak alive I'll admit that curling up with a good book is far more interesting and desirable to me than exercising. I've never developed a passion for sports or exercise. And my life is hectic--I really don't have time to be going to a gym. <BR> <BR> So when it comes to exercise, which I need for health and maintaining a good weight, I have to be very strategic to keep myself motivated to keep going. I've been on a nine-month streak and have logged in 9250 minutes of exercise since the beginning of ... Sun, 2 Oct 2011 10:55:59 EST 131 for a morning I wonder if anyone else shares this feeling. You get on the scale and see a new low--but you are afraid to believe it because sometimes that new low weight only lasts for a morning. You know it's in sight--but not quite. My weight sometimes fluctuates a pound or two from day to day. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I glimpsed 131--today it's 132.5. Now you'd think that seeing 131 would just motivate me to exercise that much more or eat that much more carefully throughout the day. Well, not quite. ... Sun, 25 Sep 2011 07:42:45 EST Halloween candy challenge For me, the fall is like a food obstacle course. Halloween candy, Thanksgiving feast, Christmas goodies. At work, people already are putting out the dishes of candy for the students. I pass one of these dishes every time I go back to my office. Chocolate is the big temptation for me. I know that part of my weight gain last fall was a result of eating too much of that candy from that very candy dish. <BR> <BR> I need a strategy. Logging those calories on SparkPeople will help. Maybe tod... Sun, 18 Sep 2011 07:55:59 EST Still Flying Despite the Fast-paced Fall During the past two weeks, I've struggled to find time for my bootcamp workouts. But, by golly, I've succeeded. Now that I'm in the midst of another very hectic semester of teaching, I remember so clearly why it was so easy in the past to ditch my exercise routines every fall. <BR> <BR> I've also managed to keep a handle on the calories, but I'm eating on the run so much. I was much worse this past week about making sure I ate fruits and vegetables. And I still need to work on getting th... Sat, 10 Sep 2011 10:57:43 EST Surpassed my original goal! I learned about SparkPeople and joined in June 2010 but really didn't do anything with the site. On January 1, 2011, I got on the scale and was at my all-time high weight. So, yes, I did make a New Year's Resolution--and I've kept it. <BR> <BR> I originally wanted to lose 19 pounds and yesterday I reached a loss of 20 pounds from what I weighed on January 1. <BR> <BR> After being on a plateau for months, I gained a couple of pounds during vacation during the first week of August. Luckily... Sat, 3 Sep 2011 06:18:22 EST What Got You Here Won't Get You There The title of this blog is actually the title of Marshall Goldsmith's book--his subtitle is How Successful People Become Even More Successful. <BR> <BR> I learned about the book this week from one of my former students who is now a senior. I was thinking that the book might offer some insights for my students. Often college students start out thinking that the same things that got them into college will be the same things that get them a good job after college. But we all know that good in... Sat, 27 Aug 2011 22:52:16 EST