It is hard to believe that I've been SParking for over five years, now. If you know me, or have read the bio information on my SPark Page, you know that I joined SP as a last ditch effort to lose the pounds that had been gained through the years of my adult life. SP gave me to tools to do that and for a long time, I didn't need a lot of additional support or encouragement to stay focused on healthy living.
But, as you know, over time most people become desensitized to the things that they were once vigilant in protecting (in my case, healthy choices.) Eventually, I found myself saying "yes" to sugar treats more often than I should and making excuses for fitness sessions more often than I should. I needed something and that is where the BLC came in. Since I was still working within my five pound maintenance range when I identified the "problem," I signed up to be a part of the inaugural season of the Biggest Loser Challenge's "Maintenance/Nearly there" team. What a blessing it has been to be a part of the "Powerful Prism Panther" team for three full years!
When asked to set my priorities for a BLC team -- support, "challenges," or nutritional help, it is hard for me to choose a number one priority because, in my experience with maintenance, it seems that each week brings a new priority. I need all three!
This "round" of the BLC was the 25th "edition." I'm not quite sure what it was about BLC25, but it was extra special. Our entire group of Panthers seemed to gel and be focused on helping each other succeed. Part of our final Weekend Challenge (WEC) for this round was to share on the team chat thread -- we affectionately call it, "The Panther Den") or write a blog entry about our experience this round and also share a non-scale victory (NSV). I'm choosing to blog as a way of sharing with all of SParkLand about the BLC.
I started this round with my professional life busier than ever (Instructional Technology Facilitator, Career Development Coordinator, Department Chair, Middle School Webmaster, Beginning Teacher Mentor, and Interim Media Specialist Supervisor), but knew that if I did not stay focused on healthy choices that I might enter summer helplessly outside of maintenance with a need to start the process over again, SO, I chose to stay in the BLC and also participate fully in team activities -- support via the "Panther Den," as well as participation in the Tuesday Last Chance Workout (LCW), Wednesday Weigh-in, Wednesday/Thursday Tighten n Tone (TNT), and Friday - Monday Weekend Challenges (WECs). The goal/plan was successful! Though I think I may have forgotten to post points one time for a TNT, I did every one of them, even on weeks that my calendar would say that I didn't have time. AND I'm ending this round with my sweet tooth under control and in the middle of my 5-pound maintenance range. My NSV is that I was able to end the school year successfully, too, and next year will return with full responsibility for the library as full-time media coordinator and with others taking some of the other jobs that I needed to juggle last year.
BLC friends, if you are pondering a break from the BLC, I encourage you to think about the support system you have in place that will replace the BLC. Some do have an external support system, but plenty of us need the accountability that this Spark Team offers. Remember that the deadline for returning members to sign-up for BLC26 is August 1. Check your SparkMail or ask your team leader if you need the link to the registration form.
If you have never participated in the BLC (or have taken a break from the BLC) but know that you need something else to help you get to, or maintain, a healthy lifestyle, I cannot recommend the BLC highly enough. BLC26 will start in mid-September. If you want to learn more, you should sign-up for the BLC Mailing List team. With this, you'll get a Spark Mail each time a new session starts. That web address is:
Whether you are at goal, a few pounds from goal, or in the earliest stages of losing, there are sub-teams within the larger BLC team that will meet your specific needs! Sign-ups for new and former BLCers will be in August. (If you sign-up for the mail list and don't receive information by August 20, feel free to SparkMail me and I'll get the info you need.