ZANNACHAN's SparkPeople Blog ZANNACHAN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community BLC 34 Registration NOW OPEN The BLC is one of the best things I ever did for myself. <BR> <BR> I almost didn't join. I don't loose weight very easily and between my husband's extensive food allergies and my having a number of joint injuries to deal with, I haven't had good luck with other challenge-type teams, but a friend of mine who has similar struggles talked me into trying it. <BR> <BR> The BLC is made up of a lot of sub teams. Some are really driven and strict about things like diet, exercise, and challenges; ... Mon, 1 May 2017 12:53:47 EST Self-care Isn't a Bad Thing I read an article online last week that has been bothering me ever since, and since I can't sleep I decided to write out the thoughts spinning in my head. <BR> <BR> The full article can be found here: <link><BR>5/05/your-anxiety-isnt-an-excuse-to-be<BR>-an-asshole/ </link> , but essentially Chelsea Fagan is writing in concern with a number of memes floating around social media sites like Tumblr and Facebook in regards to dealing with psychological dis... Mon, 18 Jan 2016 05:34:54 EST Spark Fraud I work really hard to stay positive and not put myself down, but that doesn't mean I don't have insecurities. I had a conversation with a spark friend that got me thinking, and I decided to write about it because I am probably not the only one who struggles with self-doubt. <BR> <BR> There are times on sparks where I feel like such a fraud--a fraud because I project a positive face even when I'm struggling, a fraud because I give people encouragement and advice when I feel mired in the swam... Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:07:39 EST CAMO 27 Wow, I can't believe that it's already the end of this round. This has been a kind of crazy round for me. My husband joined me on CAMO, and a good friend of mine joined the BLC on another team, both for the first time. My husband is working on the basement, which means that we *still* haven't finished unpacking... it feels like we've barely started (though I know we have) because every room is full of boxes we can't deal with until the basement is done. I went to Georgia for 3 weeks (with... Wed, 8 Apr 2015 00:32:13 EST Plan for the Break Once again, we are reaching the end of a round of the BLC and it's time to think about how I'm not going to lose all the ground I've gained during the round, especially since this is a long break (5 weeks) over the Christmas and New Years holidays. We are supposed to be detailed and discuss potential obstacles and how we are going to deal with them. <BR> <BR> First, I want to say that it's hard for me to come up with detailed plans because, frankly, the core of my success so far has been an... Tue, 9 Dec 2014 22:32:58 EST BIBO BIBO Contrary to what it may seem, I am still around... but I have not had a lot of time to be on line (and sometimes did not have an internet connection even if I had the time) so I have not had a chance to respond to all the wonderful comments I got on my earlier posts. I did however read them all--and the comments on my spark page!--and appreciate all the wonderful support. <BR> <BR> It's been a crazy month. Those of you who have bought houses probably aren't surprised, but nothing seems to b... Thu, 6 Nov 2014 00:22:34 EST My expectations for BLC 26 To be honest, I'm expecting a kind of crazy, rough round. We just closed on our first house, where hopefully we will live for a very long time, and we will be gaining possession of the house next month. Then we will not only be moving in, but also finishing the basement. So for the next 12 weeks I will be packing (in a different city than the one where I am really living now), moving from 2 apartments into 1 house, painting the house, painting the apartment, cleaning the apartments, contra... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 01:21:58 EST Fitness test result This weekend, being the first weekend of the new BLC round, we had a fitness test to measure a baseline we are working to improve over the course of the round. I had a rough time with this in part because I had a root canal last Monday that is really bothering me, plus dealing with a migraine on top of it. But I got it done, and if the numbers aren't the best that's okay because the point is to get better from here, right? <BR> <BR> Plank (full): 30 seconds <BR> Jumping Jacks: 69 <BR> Sit/... Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:37:46 EST Goals for BLC 26 I realized that I'm still struggling with a lot of the same things I was dealing with last round as far as goals.... too much stress, too tired, and still figuring out this life after grad school thing since I basically graduated and then moving took over. It's been just one thing after another and being split between two residences while buying a house has us both... of balance. Simple things like keeping healthy food and my normal workout routines are suddenly huge and overwhelming challe... Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:35:04 EST BLC 26 This is a bit late as I usually post this as soon as registration starts, but life has been *really* crazy for me lately (and for some reason my internet access annoyingly less than reliable... grr!). <BR> <BR> BLC 26 will be starting very soon--the doors open it sounds like on Sept. 10th though the actual challenge won't start until the 17th. <BR> <BR> For those of you are not familiar with the BLC on sparks, it's inspired by the TV show the Biggest Loser but it's quite different from it, ... Wed, 3 Sep 2014 17:12:35 EST Plan for the Break We are supposed to create a plan for our break, and I just wrote a post earlier today about how, much as I am a planner in most of my life (to a fault sometimes, LOL. Just ask my husband!) it hasn't worked well for me on the healthy lifestyle front. Instead, I have focused on a combination of goals, flexibility, and strategies. <BR> <BR> For example... my goal for the last few rounds has been to maintain an exercise streak of at least 20 minutes a day 5 days a week of exercise. But that a... Mon, 21 Jul 2014 22:44:13 EST The ending of BLC 25 Wow, I can't believe that it's already the end of the round. This was supposed to be my relax and focus on myself round... and it couldn't have been farther from the truth. I've been running from one thing to next--moving to a new apartment, finding a small secondary, temporary apartment closer to my husband's new job, moving there, turning around and immediately going out to buy a new van... just in time for our old one to basically up and die on us.... which turned into one big crisis aft... Mon, 21 Jul 2014 22:33:30 EST What's Your Fitness Personality? I took this quiz on what my fitness personality because, well, I am a bit of a geek when it comes to personality quizes and I was curious, LOL. <BR> <BR> <link> ry/blfitnesspersonalityqui z.htm </link> <BR> <BR> My results: <BR> <BR> As someone who loves to have fun, you may think it's a total waste of time to engage in any exercise that isn't fun. As a result, you may enjoy a variety of activities, which is great in many respects. Having so many interests may ... Wed, 7 May 2014 14:02:47 EST Goals for BLC 25 I am really struggling with my goals this round, in part because I graduated on Friday so am still figuring out this whole life-after-school thing. I've been working 12-19 hours 7 days a week pretty much non stop except for the holiday break since... well, January 2013. And I was working a lot before then, just not quite so intensely (not 7 days a week, for one thing). So to go from that to suddenly no longer being a student is... a bit of a transition, to say the least. <BR> <BR> I have... Mon, 5 May 2014 19:44:48 EST Fitness test for beginning of BLC 25 Thursday I took a simple fitness test to provide a baseline for my level of fitness. The idea is that this will provide a baseline by which to see my progress over the next 12 weeks. <BR> <BR> My results: <BR> <BR> Push up test: 18 (Average for a woman my age) <BR> Crunch test: 30 (Excellent for a woman my age) <BR> 1 mile walk/jog/run: 15.04 minutes (Average for a woman my age) <BR> 3 minute step test: 124 bpm (heart rate) (Poor for a woman my age) <BR> <BR> I actually did this test about... Sun, 4 May 2014 18:25:21 EST Goals Tomorrow is the start of the next round of the BLC and that got me thinking about goals. Not just healthy lifestyle goals, which I'm currently wrangling with, but goals in general. <BR> <BR> I just graduated. I've been working toward this degree, in a very real sense, since I was 14. I'm serious. I have been interested in anthropology since I was 10, and decided when I was a freshman in high school that I wanted to be an anthropologist, which meant I had to get a PhD in anthropology, an... Wed, 30 Apr 2014 00:35:01 EST It's OFFICIAL "From: DEGREE and CERTIFICATION <BR> <BR> Subject: Conferred Degree <BR> <BR> Congratulations! <BR> <BR> With the approval of the College of Social Science, XXX University has conferred your Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology degree. Effective immediately, your official transcript will include your degree title and date. It will take approximately four to six weeks for your diploma to be printed and mailed to you." <BR> <BR> Yup. It's OFFICIAL. I have confirmation that I have indeed me... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 19:50:34 EST Love Letter to myself Like many of my sparks friends doing this challenge, I really struggled with writing this but then I went to write to someone else "It's because it's hard that it's important to do" and realized that I should be saying this to myself. <BR> <BR> So here's mine. <BR> <BR> Dear Zannachan, <BR> <BR> I know it's sometimes hard to see, but you are strong, stubborn, smart, capable and nice. I know right now you are feeling overwhelmed--anyone would feel overwhelmed with what you are juggling! Yo... Mon, 17 Feb 2014 12:45:46 EST Food Suggestions It was suggested that I post ideas of foods that I like/that work for me to help people get ideas. <BR> <BR> Some reminders of things I am looking for: <BR> <BR> VERY easy and quick HOT meals that are suitable for lunch, mostly. I'm overwhelmed right now with school and struggling to even remember to eat, and the more work that goes into preparing lunch frankly the less likely I am to eat. This is also true for weekends--if I take a weekend day off from work, that almost always means I ha... Mon, 3 Feb 2014 14:50:06 EST Stuck I took a silly quiz today in the Azure thread that said, among other things, that I viewed my body as a temple and take care of it. And I realize that while I suppose in some part I do view my body as something to take care of, when it comes to food, I'm doing a less than ideal job these days. Oh, calorie wise if anything I'm under eating (bad, I know, but stress is killing my stomach) and I'm remembering to eat fruits and veggies when I can, and trying to get enough protein (probably faili... Fri, 31 Jan 2014 18:53:55 EST New Years Resolutions/BLC 24 goals I always think about new years resolutions this time of year--or rather, as I prefer to think about it, to reassess what I what from life, what I'm doing, and whether the later leads to the former. If not, try to figure out what needs to change so that they do, and then focus on those changes. <BR> <BR> This is also the start of a new BLC round, which is another good time to rethink what I want, what I'm doing, and what I need to do differently. <BR> <BR> But this year/round, I'm really st... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:05:16 EST BLC 24 Registration is NOW OPEN! If anyone has been thinking about joining the BLC, now is the time to do it! Don't wait, however; this time we have a very short window for registering before the next round starts. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ndividual.asp?gid=61715 </link> <BR> <BR> This will be my 9th round of the BLC, and it is one of the best things I've ever done for myself. It is a 12 week challenge, and there are a number of subteams that compete with each other. While it is a w... Fri, 27 Dec 2013 11:49:23 EST Thinking back on BLC 23 Well, the 23rd round of the BLC is almost over. It has been, for me, a really really hard round--not because of anything that my team (Azure Destinations) did, but because I was both retaking my comprehensive exams (I had timed out from when I had taken them the first time, so I had to redo them) AND massively revise my dissertation into a (hopefully, knock on wood) defensible draft, which I had to submit at the end of this past semester. <BR> <BR> As a result, I've been working 10 hours a ... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 15:45:38 EST Happiness Kal posted a link to a great article about 10 things you can do to make yourself happier: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>oper/10-simple-things-to-be-happy_b_42<BR>41824.html?utm_hp_ref=tw </link> <BR> <BR> (it's not very long, but well worth the read.) <BR> <BR> So I read it before I went on my walk today and it got me thinking about the things that I do that myself happier. Some of them are on the list of the article, but not all of them. <BR> <BR> 1) EXERCI... Thu, 14 Nov 2013 16:49:06 EST Demotivational Fitness Memes I've had a blog going in my head (I can't be the only person who does this, right? Reads something, experiences something, sees something, whatever, and starts mentally writing a blog that I never seem to find the time to actually sit down and write?) for a few months now... I even started writing it awhile back but it ended up being such an angry messy thing that I scrapped it as, well, too demoralizing and whiny. <BR> <BR> But essentially, it was a rant of frustration at some of the mes... Tue, 15 Oct 2013 22:33:24 EST Goals for BLC 23 Well, the next round of the BLC start next week, and we were asked to give some thought as to our goals for the round. <BR> <BR> I know that this is going to be another really stressful round for me--I turned in my bibs (yay!) but now I have revisions to make on my dissertation and a lot of studying to do. I need to take my comps in November and turn in my final (or mostly final, anyway) draft in to my committee by the beginning of December. I also have a lot of bureaucratic stuff to deal ... Fri, 20 Sep 2013 23:39:23 EST BLC 23... Registration NOW OPEN I just wanted to post a quick blog that the registration for BLC 23 is NOW OPEN. <BR> <BR> <link> ndividual.asp?gid=60817 </link> <BR> <BR> If you have been thinking about joining, or have been looking for something to challenge you or to help you keep your weight loss and healthy lifestyle goals in focus, NOW is the time. Apply right away--space is limited and it's first come, first serve. BLC 23 starts Sept. 25 and runs until Dec. 18. <BR> <BR> T... Wed, 28 Aug 2013 16:03:48 EST Struggling Update As I mentioned in the previous blog, I know I've gained weight in the last year or so--basically started gaining at about the time when I knew that my grad schedule was stepping up the pace and the stress grew exponentially. I also know that at least some of that weight is probably fat, since I've gained a couple of inches or so in the gut. <BR> <BR> I didn't write the previous blog because I was expecting solutions; really the only solution at this point is to lose the stress and that won'... Mon, 15 Jul 2013 01:21:15 EST Struggling To put my weight loss struggles in perspective... I started trying to lose weight and regain control over my life/body (changing my diet, beginning to exercise, etc.) in 2005.. I lost a little weight in 2006, but gained it back and another 40- pounds in 2007 and 2008 (net gain of over 60 pounds in 3-4 years). In 2009, I seriously stepped up the exercise and was recommended sparks, which I joined in the spring (so 4 years ago last April). I started working out 5 days a week and tracked my f... Thu, 11 Jul 2013 11:41:22 EST Goals for BLC 22 I know I haven't been posting a lot recently--since last summer grad school has pretty much taken over my life. I'm still around and still holding in there as far as the healthy lifestyle--but often it seems like by the skin of my teeth. Still, I'm doing another round of the BLC because it's good for me. Hard as it is sometimes juggling sparks sometimes with my current workout load, I know that without it my healthy lifestyle wouldn't even make it to the back burner. They'd be forgotten in... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 11:57:39 EST BLC 22 Registration NOW OPEN!!! I just received notification that the next round of the BLC (Biggest Loser Challenge) is now open for registering. <BR> <BR> The BLC has been a huge part of my healthy lifestyle journey since I first joined two (!) years ago, for the BLC round 16. I had heard about the BLC before that, but I was hesitant because I lose weight--if at all--very, very slowly. I'm doing *really* well if I lose a half pound in a week. I also still, even 2 years later, have limits to what I can do physically a... Wed, 15 May 2013 15:22:17 EST BLC Week 2 goals This is a little late... I'm running behind this week, but here are the goals for this week: <BR> <BR> Nutrition Goal 1: Drink tea in the morning instead of pop <BR> Nutrition Goal 2: Eat (or drink) something for breakfast every day. <BR> Exercise Goal 1: Exercise at least 20 minutes 5 days a week <BR> Relaxation Goal 1: 3 meditation tutorials; meditate at least 5 minutes on the days not doing the tutorials <BR> Relaxation Goal 2: get at least 15 minutes a day of "me" time. <BR> Fri, 25 Jan 2013 12:23:08 EST Thoughts on Meditation For this weekend's challenge, we had to come up with something we have been wanting to do or feel like we should be doing but for some reason we AREN'T doing. Perhaps we are putting it off because it's too daunting, or we feel we are too old, too out of shape, too fat, whatever. The idea was quit putting it off and Just Do It. <BR> <BR> I decided that I was going to experiment again with meditation. I have been wanting to learn to meditate for YEARS. Seriously, at least 20 years, probabl... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 17:41:13 EST DVD Review: Misty Tripoli's Body Groove Delicious Dance A spark friend on one of my teams asked me about this dvd so I thought I would write a short review of it here. <BR> <BR> I first heard about this DVD based on a daily spark blog (which, sadly, I can't find now) and it sounded like something that would interest me, and I was right. <BR> <BR> I like the Body Groove because: <BR> <BR> 1) the exercise workouts are relatively short, ranging from 23 minutes to 39 minutes. These workouts are made up of 6-7 songs, and you also have the option of... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 16:18:25 EST BLC Week 1 goals Nutrition Goal 1: drink tea in the morning instead of a soft drink <BR> Nutrition Goal 2: Eat 5 servings of fruits/veggies a day <BR> Exercise Goal: 20 minutes of exercise 5 days a week <BR> Relaxation/Pamper/social goal: meditate 5 minutes a day this weekend <BR> Relaxation/pamper/social goal 2: at least 15 minutes of true "me" time (such as reading, taking a bath, etc.) <BR> <BR> Monthly club: streaker (goal of getting a minimum of 12 week streak of 20 minutes of exercise 5 days a week). <... Thu, 17 Jan 2013 17:52:42 EST BLC 21 I just found out that the registration for BLC is now open! I hope that my sparkfriends who participated in round 20 are returning (I'm sorry I haven't been around much.... school is really kicking my tail) and that those who didn't participate in the last round consider registering this round. Registration is first come first serve, so if you are interested, register quickly--kick off the new year with a strong commitment to a healthier, thinner, fitter new you! <BR> <BR> It's a 12 week ... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 19:29:23 EST Sleep and Stress Relief Every weekend that Azure Destinations, my team for the BLC, is not participating in a BLC-wide challenge or traveling, we have a weekend focus that helps us concentrate on an aspect of healthy living that we may be struggling with. This weekend's challenge I swear was tailor made for me, especially as we come into the holiday season (I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week! Eeep!), the end of my semester, and that deadline for my dissertation draft ticking louder and louder. This weekend... Fri, 16 Nov 2012 13:13:51 EST Evaluating the Goals for the BLC Challenge My original goal for the BLC challenge was mostly survived the 12 weeks of the challenge without putting my health on the back burner. To do this, I had focused on four main categories: school, fitness, nutrition and taking care of myself. <BR> <BR> SCHOOL: <BR> <BR> My goal for school was the simplest and in many ways the hardest I need to have a draft of my dissertation done by the end of November. This is a really hard deadline for me because there's so much that I need to get done in o... Mon, 22 Oct 2012 12:46:09 EST Cougar Challenge Cont. As the last day of the challenge, another list of three things I love about myself: <BR> <BR> 1) I love that I like to know things--that I like to learn, and that I can remember things I learn. <BR> <BR> 2) I love that I can focus on living my life NOW--not 10 years from now, not after I have children (or my children, when I do have them, are grown), not when I graduate, or 50 pounds from now, or whatever. NOW. Maybe I can't do everything I want to do now (because I want to do a great m... Mon, 15 Oct 2012 17:58:44 EST Cougar's Challenge: Three things I love about myself: <BR> <BR> 1) I love that I am open to trying new things <BR> <BR> 2) I love that I have a sense of humor--and a sense of fun <BR> <BR> 3) I love that I have diverse interests--I may be swamped, but I'm never bored. Sat, 13 Oct 2012 23:27:50 EST Super Powers Back in September, FITNHEALTHYKAL posted a blog about finding your own, real super powers. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5072926 </link> <BR> <BR> (It's a really, really good blog! Do yourself a favor and check it out). <BR> <BR> In it, she talks about feeling that she had no gift, no real purpose in life.... and then coming to the realization is that her super power was in how she gave to others--the little things like giving ri... Tue, 9 Oct 2012 15:44:31 EST Personal Challenge Update: week 3 As for the strength challenge component of the two personal challenges I've taken on, I've decided to cut back to just two strength training challenges--the push ups and squats. That works most of the major muscle groups of my body without 1) over doing it and 2) spending way more time than I currently have right now doing strength training. I can always come back and revisit the others after I've mastered the first two. Also, I don't really have a good space to properly do the tricep dip... Wed, 3 Oct 2012 16:22:01 EST Personal Challenge Update: week 2 As for the strength challenge component of the two personal challenges I've taken on, I'm still on target but I decided today that I'm cutting down to just two--the push ups and the squats. While I can do the others, they are taking up way more time than I can spare right now and push ups and squats challenge the entire body pretty well. I will probably tackle the others-either when I'm done with this challenge or later, after I graduated when I will hopefully have more time. <BR> <BR> As... Thu, 27 Sep 2012 12:57:12 EST Consistency Last weekend, FITNHEALTHYKAL wrote this on my spark's page: <BR> <BR> "Zanna, I am so excited with and for you about the leaps and bounds that you have grown in your quest for fitness and being able to exercise. You walked FIVE MILES! You just got a 1,000 minutes for September and the month is FAR from over! " <BR> <BR> Her post touched me--her entire post, actually, of which this is just a part, was such a supportive, caring, encouraging comment that it couldn't help but touch me. But it ... Mon, 24 Sep 2012 11:36:41 EST Personal Challenges In addition to the BLC, I have two personal fitness challenges over the next 12 weeks. <BR> <BR> 4_1healthycyndi has challenged me to a consistency challenge with steps. My goal is to get at least 5000 steps a day on my "active" days (I get two rest days a week, and those really need to be REST days, no walking). I'll be modifying those steps to incorporate non-walking activities (such as fencing or swimming) using a compatibility table I received last round. (I don't know if this past we... Wed, 19 Sep 2012 12:00:54 EST Back to School Weekend Challenge This weekend for the BLC we have a Back to School Challenge, and part of that challenge is writing our 12 week plan for success and posting before pictures. <BR> <BR> I already wrote my 12 week goals/plan here <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5054732 </link> <BR> <BR> I don't see any need to rewrite it. I probably should brainstorm some rewards for myself--I'm not very good at rewarding myself. But at this point if I can get throug... Sat, 15 Sep 2012 16:53:35 EST Goals for BLC 20 For this (past) weekend, we were supposed to focus our STRONG end (because while for many of us the weekend is a WEAK end--times when our healthy lifestyle tends to come apart--the Azure Destinations team makes it a point to have a plan in place before the weekend so that we finish STRONG--not weak) on coming up with a plan for the next 12 weeks. I know this is a bit late--but while my blog is late, it is because I spent a good portion of this past weekend thinking about what I really wante... Tue, 11 Sep 2012 16:18:23 EST Mackinac Bridge Walk Last spring, a good friend of mine said she needed a goal to work toward to get her exercising and had decided she was going to walk across the Mackinac Bridge, the bridge that connects the lower Peninsula of Michigan to the Upper. She wanted to know if any of her friends or family wanted to join her because she didn't want to walk alone. So I agreed to walk with her. <BR> <BR> I had my concerns... especially since at that point I was just finishing up with PT and could barely walk at all... Tue, 4 Sep 2012 12:16:08 EST Pedometer update Well, I tried drying my pedometer out in rice but it's still as bad as ever, so I I took the plunge and got a fit bit... not cheap, not by any means, but it has great reviews and is TINY. Most of the pedometers I've seen were significantly bigger and since I wear it all the time, pretty much, that's a definite bonus. Plus, it updates automatically if I'm within 15 feet of the docking station and since I spend half of my day it seems at my desk--often before going to bed as well--then that... Sat, 25 Aug 2012 16:51:41 EST Pedometer recommendations? My last Pedometer is dead. Which is the second time I have bought a Sportline Pedometer and had it die--admittedly, to be fair, the first one died because I forgot I had it on and through my pants in the washing machine. But the second one died... not sure why, but at a guess it was because I got caught outside in the rain. It still seems to be *working* but the interface is all messed up--if I tip it just right I can just make out enough information--most of the time--to figure out my st... Fri, 24 Aug 2012 13:20:24 EST