In my classroom at my heaviest weight ever.

I love penguins, but I live in the desert.

Having fun with Diamond.





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My name is Sharon. I have been married for 29 years, and I am the mother of 4 children (2 grown up and 2 teenagers) I started Spark People in March of 2009 with the hope of losing weight and reducing my cholesterol. I was definitely not happy with how I looked
or felt about myself. I'll have to say that my mind was messing me up the most. I didn't think that I could lose weight and I kept feeling sorry for myself. I am enjoying the Spark People motivational pages and learning to speak nicely to myself.

Started in March
Walked to Penguin Island in April 97 miles (met)
Walked to Golden Gate Bridge in May 97 miles (met)
Hiked the Alps in June 98 miles (met)
Walked in Canada and Peru in July 90 miles (met)
Walked to Mt. Fuji in August 103 miles

How Self-Talk Can Help (or Hinder) Your Progress
-- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert
Here's how you can to turn your self-talk into a powerful tool that will help you reach your goals:

1. Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else.
It’s pretty amazing how we think it’s appropriate to treat ourselves in ways that we wouldn’t dream of treating a friend, or even a stranger. Whenever you find that you are verbally beating yourself up or telling yourself things are hopeless, stop and ask yourself if you’d say this to someone who came to you for help with the same problem. Recognize that what you say to yourself has the same emotional effect that it would have on another person. If you wouldn’t say this to others, don’t say it to yourself.
2. Look at the whole picture.
No matter how persistent a problem seems to be, it is never the whole story. There will be times when you avoid a negative behavior and accomplish what you set out to do. Often, you can find the keys to successful behavior change by asking yourself what went right when you were successful (instead of asking what went wrong when you failed). Don't spend a lot of time thinking about what went wrong, and avoid using words like always and never when you are talking about your behaviors or their results. Think back to the last time things went the way you wanted, figure out what was different then, and ask yourself how you can make that happen more often.
3. Ditch the drama.
If you are upset about something you ate, or the exercise you didn’t do, ask yourself how much this really matters, in the grand scheme of things. In the course of your lifetime, you’ll probably eat about 50 million calories. How much does it really matter that you ate a few hundred of them a little sooner than scheduled? Is it really going to ruin your life if it takes you an extra day or two to reach your goal weight? The one thing that can really cause problems is blowing things so out of proportion that you regularly turn small problems into major crises. The more often you do that, the more power you give to those problems, which will become reasons for giving up on yourself. You don’t have to let that happen if you don’t want to.
4. Reward yourself for right thinking.
Most people reward themselves for things that are far less important than changing how they think and talk to themselves. You reward yourself when the scale hits a certain number, or when you maintain a healthy habit for a certain number of days. There’s nothing wrong with this. It works—which is why you should also reward yourself for changes in your attitude and thinking. Establish goals (streaks) for verbally treating yourself with the same respect and care you offer to other people; for staying focused on positive solutions; for keeping things in perspective; and for acknowledging your successes. Come up with some meaningful rewards for meeting these goals. You can even reward yourself for cutting a negative rant short, or for recognizing that your last slip was just that, or for taking the time today to find one thing you did well.

The important thing is to start where you are right now, and keep moving in the direction you want to go. When you take responsibility for becoming your own best friend, supporter, and coach, a whole new world of possibilities will open up for you.

From someone else's blog.
Our church service this morning included testimonies of thanks. I wanted to share with you what I had to say:

This has been an exciting year for me. As most of you know, I stand before you with only nine toes. I lost the little toe of my left foot in a treadmill accident in February. As Laurie said, I should have given that little piggy roast beef because he really DID go wee wee wee all the way home. [Laurie is one of our youth leaders and a good friend.]

I’ve lost some other things this year, too. I’ve lost my slave status. Romans 6:6-7 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

I discovered that I am not bound by the appetites of my flesh. Because I was crucified with Christ, when the taskmasters of gluttony and slothfulness call my name, demanding to be obeyed, their commands fall upon deaf ears. Dead men can’t hear. When the sluggard spirit cries out, a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands (Proverbs 6:9-10), instructing my feet to stray to that comfortable chair or to my bed, my feet don’t have to obey because they have been nailed to the cross with Jesus. When taste instead of hunger prompts my hands to reach for more food than my body needs as fuel, my hands don’t have to obey because they, too, have been nailed to the cross with Jesus. When the voice of destruction overwhelms my heart with accusations of failure, it does not have to be impacted because my heart burst along with Jesus’ on Calvary and it is dead to those sinful ways.

I don’t have to make Egyptian bricks anymore. I don’t have to pick Southern cotton anymore. Dead slaves are free from the control of slavery, bondage, captivity, prison. Because I am no longer a slave, I am FREE. I am free to choose what I will or will not eat, free to choose to move instead of being immobile, free to be healthy and comfortable and energetic in accomplishing all the Father has planned for me.

If I bury the freedoms Jesus bought for me with His blood, knowing they’re there, but hiding them, not experiencing them, they are not really mine. The Lord will give them, instead, to someone who WILL use them wisely. If I expend them, utilize them, put them into action, not only are they mine but He then bestows even more freedoms upon me in ever-widening areas of my life, overflowing in abundance to spill out upon the lives of others around me.

The fruit of investing those freedoms in my life is that, in addition to losing my toe, I’ve lost 65 pounds and continue to achieve my goals for nutrition and fitness. I’ve lost the need for diabetic and insulin resistance medication. I’ve lost the need for blood pressure medication. I’ve lost the inability to walk from my van to a building without being winded and in pain. I’ve lost the shame of destroying the body God has given me. I’ve lost feelings of hopelessness and despair concerning my appearance and my health. Through losing all these things, I’ve gained more than I can ever express. And it’s only the beginning.

Member Since: 3/12/2009

Fitness Minutes: 15,331

My Goals:
I want to lose 50 pounds so that my BMI will be in the normal range and my cholesterol levels will be normal. I want to fit into my clothes again.

My Program:
I am walking early in the morning with my husband and drinking lots of water.

Personal Information:
I am from Arizona.

Other Information:
5/22/09 Lost 25 lbs.
5/30/09 walked another 100 miles
6/30 walked another 100 miles
7/28 walked another 100 miles

Read More About DESERTPENGUIN - Profile Information moved here. (Updated November 30)

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