Friday, March 21, 2014
This morning when I logged in to Spark, I was surprised to find that I had failed to log in yesterday. I was actually disappointed that I had broken the streak I had begun when I returned after an extended absence. Well, I told myself, it was your birthday, and other activities replaced
the usual time spent at the computer. Once this was brought to my attention, I began to look a bit deeper. After all, what difference does missing a day really make? After some reflection the only honest answer I could find was that it depends. It depends entirely on me, and the next choice I make.
To my credit, I will say that I did fairly well (not perfect) following my plan. However, I do know that without some type of accountability I will continue to stray further away until the components of my plan are completely ignored. I have chosen Spark as a means of achieving that accountability. Yes, even if that means just logging in. I also know that I am a creature of habit. I have the freedom to choose which habits I will adopt. I am opting for better health, Improved well being and a good quality of life. This means that maintaining accountability will remain an important part of each day.
Excuses abound for not sticking to a routine. Will missing a day make a difference? In the long run it is certainly not something to beat myself up over. Damage control is possible, and all I need to do is to make the next choice in accordance with my plan. Even if it is something as simple as logging in to Spark, and keeping the Streak going.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Ideal what? Is there such a thing as an "ideal" weight? These are a few of the thoughts which occurred to me recently when I was asked what I would consider an ideal weight for me. Now, I do know that weight is relative, it differs from individual to individual, and that it is only one of the many components which contribute to our health. Images of my teenage years immediately passed before my eyes. Yes, I will admit, that in an ideal world the scale would once again read the same, (and effortlessly stay there) I would wear a size five, and tuck in all of my shirts. Reality, however, is that I am now older, my metabolism is slower, and I no longer wear a size five. Oddly enough, when I did, something told me I was still too heavy.
I begin to ponder the duality inherent within the concept of an "ideal" weight. It has both a subjective and an objective component. I react to the subjective component first with what may be an unrealistic expectation and distorted image of myself. This is, of course on an emotional level. Secondly, there is the bottom line. Reality. This is the reality. This is what is-and what it takes to remain in optimum health. Much has been written on the scientific and physiological details.
Time has altered my perspective. For me, my "ideal" weight is the weight which results in and maintains my health and quality of life.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
It is always easy to look at the negative side of things. Research has proven that those who look at life and its challenges with a positive attitude are more likely to have good outcomes-in all areas of their lives.
The Spark Coach challenge of the day was to find three positive things accomplished today. My immediate response was What? Three things-impossible! Then, as I continued to listen to the encouragement to find more, and then perhaps to make this a daily practice my own negative voices began to grow louder and louder. I decided, after a tiring day that I had had enough. I was going to try something different. Surely I could come up with three positive things I have accomplished. Nothing was said about them being monumental,
Here are a few things which came to me as I began to allow my focus to shift.
(1) I cleaned the bathroom, (2) unloaded and put away the dishes, (3) Disinfected the counter-tops, and (swept the floor in preparation for running the steam mop). Nothing grand, simple every day tasks.
However, the exercise made me realize that I had accomplished something. Perhaps I will work on making this a habit. Somehow the day looks a bit brighter as I recognize that fact that good things have occurred, and it is all too often that the small things are overlooked.
I see this so often in my attempts at weight loss. Often, there is no outward sign of progress.
However, a closer look often reveals forward movement. Looking at the positive steps I have taken, and the changes made will help provide me with the motivation I need to continue.
Monday, June 10, 2013
I found Spark in 2007 as the result of health issues. A sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, and self-imposed isolation was destroying me. However, there remained a tiny piece of myself that wanted more. I did not like the future which lay ahead. I had no idea where the road would take me, but as I took that first step I knew it would only get better.
Admittedly, I was not very accountable in the beginning. It was mainly the recipes, and nutrition tracker I would use. A bit later I began to read more of the articles. I do not remember when I made my first post. However, I know it was at least three years before I began to interact on the site. This was a tremendous step for me, and I have been blessed to "meet" so many wonderful
and caring individuals. The courage and strength of each inspired, and continues to inspire me in so many ways. This is why I always try to encourage new members to interact as soon as possible.
With the help of Spark and my friends, my initial faltering steps became steadier. A few years later I was stronger and healthier than I had ever been. My life changed dramatically for the better. There are no words to express the gratitude I feel.
Throughout this time, the majority of my focus was on regaining and maintaining my health, and ultimately the quality of my life. Meal planning, cooking, exercise, and Sparking. It has been a road of twists and turns. Spark was there through it all.
I have learned many things, and have made many changes. One of the things I have learned is that it is necessary to re-evaluate your routines and determine whether or not they are working. Recently, as I was once again admonishing myself that I am not "Sparking" as much as I should, I am neglecting my friends (who are never forgotten and mean so much), I realized it was time once again to take inventory.
I believe that the intent is not to create stress, but to help ease the journey and stress of our challenges through encouragement, support, and education. I began to gradually open my eyes to what was nagging me. I, had, at some point, become overly invested. What a realization! For me, it is time to change the direction as I continue down the road.
Taking the principles I am learning and using them make it necessary to alter the manner in which I use my time. New avenues are opening and exciting things lie ahead. However, this means some things will need to change, and one is not to allow my spark to go out, but to carry it with me as I continue my journey. This may mean loosening my grip, but I will not be letting go.
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