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Born in a barn....

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The best things I've learned from a whole sparking year....

January 29th will be my one year Sparkaversary (sp?). Until then, the following quote pretty well summed up my health and wellness plan;

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".
- Albert Einstein

Because of SP, I got different results this year by making very specific changes.

Here are some of the biggies...

Experience : I stuck with my work out DVD.

Denise Austin's 12 minute work out DVD with different work outs for each day had sat on my shelf for over one year, unused.. Well, last year, having never been very coordinated, and certainly very out of shape, it took me two months to master ONE of the 12 min. segments. I about keeled over the first week, every time I went through it. Today, I still use that same DVD as part of my fitness regimen, it can still work up a good sweat in 12 minutes. From sticking with that one DVD, we have branched out to biking, swimming, walking and hiking. Of course I have also incorporated coach Nicole's online videos and exercises.

Realization: Fitness and weight loss is a lot like a savings account. You can only "bank" so much healthy eating (or lack thereof) and exercise in one day, month and year. It is the quietly going about your business day after day that adds up.

Experience: I tracked everything I ate all but six weeks of the year. I just kept track. After a few weeks tracking, I began to run nutrition reports and started tweaking my diet in attempt to stay in the nutritional ranges of the nutrients I chose. I watched all the basics and also, sodium, cholesterol and sugar. Today, because of continual tracking and tweaking, I eat a beautiful, healthy diet.

Realization: I would have never done this without the Spark People website and I bow down in gratitude - Thank you.

Experience: My husband has been my biggest supporter in my fitness efforts. Because of his heart attack November 2011, he has been very willing to try new healthy foods. This has been a huge part of our successful lifestyle change. He has fended for himself many a meal this past year when our calorie and or food choices did not match up. We were shocked into changing what we ate. Truth is, planning and preparing new foods and recipes takes just about as long as fixing and woofing down all the bad food we used to never track!

Realization: My husband Dave, my best friend, would love me as a size 6 or 16, even if I ate Pizza and donuts all day. What I deeply appreciate is that we are now giving ourselves the best chance at the longest, best quality life possible. All my rewards are so much bigger than any number on the scale it doesn't really need more mention. I will say however, life is a lot more fun as a size 6, can't lie about that. Biking to the marina at sunset, walking our dogs down to the river in summer, are just a few of the other joys we get because we are fit! Woo Hoo!

Experience: My self talk one year ago was very negative about much of what I did on a daily basis. Really crabbing to myself about how hard it was to do laundry, stoop to the lower cupboards, reach to the higher shelves, load the dishwasher, was all normal blahblahblah. I update my status on SP often about "swabbing the decks'. It just sounds sexier and a lot more fun than mopping. The truth is, a mere one year ago, I was so weak, I could barely vacuum and mop my floors without just about passing out with exhaustion. My DH was a commercial tile setter for 40+ years and after we moved into our barn, he tiled our new spaces with a beautiful tile floor. My biggest desire was to keep it looking great. I now look forward to working up a sweat twice a week. I log in my power vacuum and mop as fitness minutes! I get “happy” when I have to squat and reach now. Climbing ladders and moving boxes,(my nemesis for years), both now enjoyable.

Realization: Your self talk will gradually follow your positive steps. You can talk yourself into or out of just about anything. Try to see things from a different perspective. Use your voice to force yourself to get up, get moving, eat less, whatever. Listen to what you are telling yourself, work on making it more positive and ACT ON IT!

Experience: During the past year, I've had plenty of reasons to complain. But I haven't. I have simply gone about my new business of taking care of me first, and striving to best return any talents I have back into something useful and good. Last summer, I had a successful garden. We checked off some big to-do projects off our five year plan, and, personal pat on the back here, logged in 11,000 fitness minutes in 11 months.

Realization: Last but most important. I am grateful. To my God, first and foremost, for every day. Thank you for my mind, body and spirit. Thank you for the willpower to put my mind over matter. I'm so grateful to my DH who motivates me every day - Thank you. I am grateful to my friend Frank, one of my biggest mentors and personally one of the healthiest people I know - Thanks for being such a good friend. "Look back on that bike of yours once in a while , we are there somewhere!"
I am so thankful to all of my Spark Friends. We are so blessed to share the most positive environment I have ever encountered. Amazing that we all come together as we do. Love to you all!

Experience: What we focus on improves.

Realization: My focus for year two will be on added fitness challenges and spreading the spark through sharing our healthy recipes and food.

Have a big enough dream to hold your whole life! Happy 2013 and beyond!

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