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It's nice to be back at the Circus....

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hello fellow Sparkies!

I’m back, refreshed and ready to keep on keeping on with my adventures and keeping on keeping up with yours.

I spent a significant amount of very quality “me” time over the last 10 days that included reading, writing, meditating, going to the gym on my own, taking fitness classes with friends, walking my doggies, and enjoying every one of the healthy food choices that I made.

In addition to working on taxes and filing away, burning or shredding all of 2013’s paper dross and ephemera (I don’t know why keeping my paid utility bills makes me feel “safe” until the year ends), I did a lot of fund raising for my daughter’s dance troop, shoveled a significant amount of snow only to watch my efforts melt away the next day (welcome life where the temperature can swing 30 degrees in a day!), cranked out and rough edited another 20,000 words of a story I’m developing, sealed the grout in my shower and had a blast helping to organize and execute a yearly dance recital/gala reception at my daughter’s school.


So I did a lot.

Or did I?

Are we the sum total of what we do? Or does what we do have nothing to do with it?

I'm coming to understand that we the sum total of what we LOVE to do. Is it really about how we FEEL about what we do....

Even getting my tax stuff organized made me feel better. Got the monkey off my back so to speak.

But lucky for me…the circus continues….

I know that was comment was meant in a sarcastic sense...but I'm just gonna ignore that and say "Thank goodness!"

On my hiatus, I read an essay by Albert Einstein. It was written in 1936 and titled “Self-Portrait” and in it he wisely observed,

"The bitter and the sweet come from the outside, the hard from within, from one's own efforts. For the most part I do the thing which my own nature drives me to do."

I’ve come to an awakening and greater understanding and respect of this perspective as I continue to sample all that my life/circus offers and then “for the most part” do things which my own nature drives me to do. Looking at life (and weight loss!) this way makes me a happier, more balanced person. More authentically me and the benefits of this can be felt not only by myself, but by those around me.

Life offers a lot to us.

It offers a near endless array of options and contrasting images and ideas and we have the fun task of finding what works for us and rejecting what does not based on our personal experience and feelings.

Do what your nature drives you to do and seek what makes you happiest.

From my perch in this universe, on this planet, in this country and in my home, in this body, at this time these are the things that are working for me in-so-far as my health and fitness are concerned (because let’s face it, most of us are “here” at Spark to explore the contrasts that exist in this area and to find the things that work for us!)

Here is what is working for me:

First on my list: Power posing. Of course. Still.

The reception after the Dance recital at my daughter’s school was wonderful and I managed to chat up several ladies and sell them on the idea of power posing. It’s amazing how many people feel powerless in so many situations. It crops up over and over again in so many aspects of our lives, not just weight loss and I always manage to steer the conversation over to Amy Cuddy and recommend her wonderful TED Talk.

Yeah me!

In case you are not one of the 15 million + people who have NOT see it, here is the link:

I do a lot of walking around the track at the gym holding weights or medicine balls above my head which does good for my mood and my muscles. I’m doing lots of "tree poses" while standing on Bosu balls....

Something like this:

or this:

Crazy, yes?

My “gifts” are strength, balance and flexibility. It’s just what I LOVE to do. I am also regularly walking or hiking or walk/jogging with my 16 lbs weighted vest. I like to keep moving and nautilus machines bore me, although I use certain ones to hit chest muscles and things that are hard to get at while you are vertical.

Although this might be 100 year old me at the gym:

Next on list of what I love and what is working for me: my Spark Tracker.

It’s keeping my on track with my steps and my fitness minutes.

I’ve reset my goal from 11,000 steps a day to 10,000 steps a day. Adding more strength training and things like Yoga and Barre classes was just bringing my step numbers down and I did not want to feel like a failure on such a regular basis.

I still miss hitting 10,000 steps with some frequency on a daily basis, but if my overall average for the week is over 10,000 steps per day (and it usually is) I’m happy. I’ve been getting the “Gold Medals” for 60,000 plus steps nearly every week since I got my tracker back in early November, with the occasional “Silver” when I have fallen below that. 

I’m happy with that.

I also got a “2000 Fitness Minute” award for the first time in January and am gonna give it the college try for February despite the fewer days. I have nearly 1500 minutes so far, but with only 6 days left, it’s gonna be a challenge.

Next: drinking my water and tracking my food. Check and check.

Next on my list for what works for me: Sparking.

I took the break because I was overwhelmed in some other areas of my life, but I missed my Spark Peeps, so I know I enjoy this crazy Circus and so I will keep it in the mix.

Sparking is not “work” it’s a pleasure.

I feel somewhat guilty that I can't personally respond to every kind word or note left on my page or on my blogs, but I balance it with all the love and encouragement I do throw out there. If I don't get to your page or your comment specifically, please know that I'm NOT ignoring you. Every word you put out on every page, influences others and is a blessing!!

Feel my appreciation!

I have found that Spark has allowed me to see the contrasting ways that others do things not just with health and fitness, but with LIFE and it only solidifies my desire to keep pursuing those things that work for ME.

And that’s what this place is all about. Putting it all out there, one big crazy circus where we get to decide which area of the ring we focus on.

My eye is always draw to the high flying people at the top of the ring, but do you see the snails in the ring? I had to laugh when I finally focused on those. Helps me to realize that there is room here for everyone, even the slow pokes like me!

So Keep Sparking AKA

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