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Look Where You Want to Go

Sunday, January 26, 2014

When I began to ride a motorcycle, I learned about something called "target fixation."



Fixating on something means not being able to take your attention away from it. When you look at something while riding, you tend to steer towards it. If you fixate on that pot hole or truck that you want to avoid, when you try to swerve away from it, you will very likely swerve right into it instead.

Since it is difficult to steer away from what you're looking at, and almost effortless to steer in the direction you are looking, it makes sense to look where you want to go. I was taught to figure out where I wanted to be and fixate on that instead - to look where I want to go. It helps to focus on the positive goal: the spot down the road where I want to end up, the escape route between the two trucks, the path around the pothole, or through to the end of the turn -rather than the negative: the obstacles and dangers I want to avoid. The motorcycle, almost like magic, goes where I look, even in situations when I fear I don't have the skill to get there!



This is also an excellent way to control skids - keep your head up and fixate on a point dead ahead on the horizon, and you increase your chances of automatically correcting a skid. Looking down in a skid drastically increases the chance that you will end up going down because by taking your eyes off the horizon, you do not steer the bike in such a way as to keep it upright and going forward.

What I learned on my motorcycle is also true of a bicycle, a car, a surfboard, a fighter jet, and our journey through life!

I think you all know where I am going with this. In my health and fitness ride, The last couple of months have found me either skidding and looking down or fixating on failure and steering right towards it. I've been colliding with self-doubt and failure and lack of motivation because that's just what I've been fixated on.

I am making a correction now.

I am now looking where I want to go. No longer will I look down at failure or at the obstacles that are keeping me from success. I am making a new commitment to look forward to the horizon of success- to health and fitness and weight loss.

Let's keep our heads up and our eyes on the horizon!

Blessings,

Kate

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBSZOO74 2/3/2014 1:59AM

    That makes a lot of sense! emoticon

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CHARLIECHARLIE2 1/27/2014 8:38PM

    That's amazing!!


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FITJANE6 1/27/2014 4:25PM

    Wow! Really cool concept! A good think to keep in mind! Thanks, Kate!

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SPARKLINGHOPE 1/27/2014 11:00AM

    emoticon

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TRAILRIDERKJ 1/27/2014 12:50AM

  Makes sense to me!

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LINDA! 1/26/2014 4:59PM

    emoticon

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DEEGIRL50 1/26/2014 4:40PM

    emoticon Focus on where we want to go! I love it

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THEVOW2013 1/26/2014 2:48PM

    YES! This what I believe "Focus on what you have , what you can do, and what you want...and you will succeed"

Well written and so true. I believe its the biblical principle of reaping and sowing at work ...you'll get what you sow(focus on) every time.

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COOP9002 1/26/2014 1:21PM

    Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

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BABYSTEPS123 1/26/2014 1:17PM

    Great analogy Kate! Very profound. Sounds like you have a realistic and positive plan! emoticon

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"New" Dress, New Smile & My Weekend

Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's been a terrific weekend. I have tomorrow off and plan to have a productive day with a little fun included. I will aim for cleaning out my car, working out, a pedicure, and see if I can get myself a last-minute haircut appointment. I have some paperwork and open enrollment stuff for my work benefits to do as well.

On Friday evening and a little yesterday, I went shopping in my closet. One of my organization projects this weekend was to explore and organize a closet that holds clothes that no longer fit me - the "wrong-size" or "think-positively" closet. I found a number of things that used to be too small that fit me nicely now! I demoted some of my larger items to that closet and will in the next few weeks continue that process, eventually giving away all my larger clothes. No more larger options for me! I will not go back! Today, I even tucked in my shirt and put on a belt for the first time in many many moons and a friend commented on my new waistline!

I have shied away from cameras so much in the last 5 years that it is a pleasure to be able to look at some photos and actually smile rather than cringe. I am pleased that my self-image is improving. This is such an issue for so many of us. We need to believe in ourselves in order to succeed and having low self-esteem sabotages our efforts. I have made an effort to find what is good rather than what is bad in my appearance and I think it is helping me to feel better about myself and also helping to motivate me to keep up the progress!



Since I developed facial paralysis 5 years ago, it has been difficult for me to look at photos of myself, and as I gained weight, it became even more difficult. I am so happy to be moving past that and to be accepting of who I am.



Yesterday, had a workout date with my Sweetie, then it was off to a memorial service for our hospice patients who died in the past year. I was so glad I went. It helps put my work into perspective to see and hear the whole list of names and pause to honor each of their lives. Two sisters sang a song that was so moving - and uplifting! I had never heard it before. It's called "It's How You Live" by Point of Grace. Here is a You Tube link:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDRufwLKdgU

For the memorial service, I had planned on wearing a dress that I had not worn in years that now fits me, but I found another one in the closet on Friday and my husband liked it even better. I have not worn a dress in at least 5 years. I was not about to wear anything that displayed my unsightly lumps and rolls and elephant ankles, so the dresses stayed in the "wrong-size closet." Here is me yesterday!



It makes me smile :)



Later in the evening, DH & I resumed date day and went to see the Young Africans perform. They are former members of the African Children's Choir who are now between 18-22 and have graduated high school and will be going to college when the tour is completed. The show was very enjoyable!

I did some cardio this afternoon- a longish ride on the Expresso bike at the gym (my secret workout motivation weapon!) and am taking a Strength Training rest day. I really worked my shoulders overtime yesterday! Since I was short on time, I increased the weights knowing I'd do fewer reps and man, am I feeling it today!

I hope you all had a great weekend and will be focused and successful in the week to come!

Blessings,

Kate

30- Day Plank Challenge progress - Completed Day 17 - 120 seconds!

Next few days are:
Day 18 - 150 seconds
Day 19 - REST
Day 20 - 150 seconds
Day 21 - 150 seconds
Day 22 - 180 seconds
Day 23 - 180 seconds

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHARLIECHARLIE2 12/3/2013 7:35PM

    You are amazing and an inspiration. Thank you!

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BRADMILL2922 11/14/2013 1:02AM

    You look great! You should be smiling! Sounds like a pretty great weekend as well. Keep up the good work on the planking!

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LINDA! 11/11/2013 9:45PM

    I think you look beautiful in your dress. So happy that you are doing so well with the plank challenge.

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TURTLETALK 11/11/2013 11:52AM

    You look beautiful, those planks are paying off!

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DAS92687 11/11/2013 7:46AM

    emoticon LOVE the dress!! You look super :-)


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LJCANNON 11/11/2013 1:02AM

    emoticon Closet Shopping is DEFINITELY a Non Scale Victory, and wearing those clothes is Twice As Sweet as it was the First Time you wore them because you have Earned Them!!
emoticon Love Your Quotes!!

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HMJ5053 11/10/2013 11:09PM

    You look great in that dress! So nice to bring those smaller clothes back into the working wardrobe. Good for you to give away the too big clothes. No "what if" thinking. Keep up the great work you have been doing. emoticon

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WALKINGGRANDMA 11/10/2013 9:12PM

    Good for you. The dress looks great on you. I'm so glad you are doing well and staying the course.

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SIOBHANKNITS 11/10/2013 7:55PM

    Congratulations! You look fantastic! All your hard work is paying off.

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TIRED49 11/10/2013 7:53PM

    You look so pretty in your dress! I don't wear them either. Have some in my closet too. I plan on doing some shopping in mine soon. You have a beautiful smile!

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BABYSTEPS123 11/10/2013 6:39PM

    Beautiful! On all fronts!

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LILYGAL 11/10/2013 6:30PM

    OMG!! You look emoticon! emoticon shying away from a camera. You should be crowing!!! I'm so impressed!! emoticon emoticon

On another note: I'm working the plank challenge! I'm up to day 10 but I know I can do so much more. Will keep you updated!! THanks for the inspiration and the challenge!

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30 Day Plank Challenge

Thursday, November 07, 2013

I am on day 14 of this plank challenge and soon heading into uncharted waters for me! My longest plank ever was 2 minutes and that was just last week ( I jumped ahead a little!) I can't quite see how I will get to 4.5 minutes in 2 weeks, but I will be thrilled when I do! The best part of the challenge is this graphic: It really illustrates the point well!



"The 30 Day Plank Challenge will send your core strength through the roof!
Day 1 - 20 seconds
Day 2 - 20 seconds
Day 3 - 30 seconds
Day 4 - 30 seconds
Day 5 - 40 seconds
Day 6 - REST
Day 7 - 45 seconds
Day 8 - 45 seconds
Day 9 - 60 seconds
Day 10 - 60 seconds
Day 11 - 60 seconds
Day 12 - 90 seconds
Day 13 - REST
Day 14 - 90 seconds
Day 15 - 90 seconds
Day 16 - 120 seconds
Day 17 - 120 seconds
Day 18 - 150 seconds
Day 19 - REST
Day 20 - 150 seconds
Day 21 - 150 seconds
Day 22 - 180 seconds
Day 23 - 180 seconds
Day 24 - 210 seconds
Day 25 - 210 seconds
Day 26 - REST
Day 27 - 240 seconds
Day 28 - 240 seconds
Day 29 - 270 seconds
Day 30 - PLANK FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE!!"

Care to join me in this challenge? You can do it!!



Blessings,

Kate

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BABYSTEPS123 11/9/2013 11:01PM

    Wow! Great graphic! Keep up the great work! I'll be interested to know if that schedule works for you. It looks pretty tough to me!

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LINDA! 11/9/2013 2:26PM

    emoticon

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LJCANNON 11/8/2013 2:18PM

    emoticon Congratulations!! And Thank You for that Graphic!! I LOVE It!!
emoticon Whether you make it to 4.5 minutes in 2 weeks or not, You Are Killing It and You are a Winner!!

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TWNOMWE 11/8/2013 11:40AM

    emoticon

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SPARKLINGHOPE 11/8/2013 8:07AM

    emoticon

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LILYGAL 11/8/2013 6:50AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon I will join you in this challenge!! Is it a team that is doing it? Or did you just do it on your own? Let me know!!

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BRADMILL2922 11/8/2013 1:23AM

    Wow! Great job!

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DEBSZOO74 11/7/2013 11:23PM

    You're doing great! emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/7/2013 11:23:35 PM

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GINAC0 11/7/2013 10:41PM

    Sounds fun! Be sure to post your progress emoticon

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UMBILICAL 11/7/2013 10:14PM

  Walk the Plank!

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Ups and Downs

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

It has been a strange week or so. I have been spending less time on line due to a need to focus more on other aspects of my life. I am still seeking that elusive critter called balance! I was actually having a great week, I thought, with my exercise and nutrition, but the scale today is only down a half pound. Down is good, I know, but I expected more!



I had a great workout with my trainer on Monday. I was huffing and puffing and grunting and sweating the whole time and then smiling when it was over. Mountain climbers? Seriously? Another exercise I have not done since 1979 and I did it! 30 of 'em! I also rode a few miles on the bike to warm up before the workout and did my daily plank for a plank challenge I am doing. During my workout, the son of one of my patients came into the gym. The next morning, his mother said she was worried about how hard my trainer was pushing me and did I check with a doctor before starting that? I guess I DID have a good workout if her son characterized it that way to her!

emoticon

I had a terrific NSV yesterday. I went back to the fitness club to do my cardio ( A 10-mile bike ride) after work and found that I had been chosen as the "Monthly Star." Each month, the staff chooses a member who has really been motivated and working hard, and they honor them as the star of the month. I always find the stories motivating and look at the board often. For November, the star is me! This is now very motivating for me to stay focused all month because my name & picture and story is up for everyone to see when they come in the door-- so I can't slack off this month!

I must say I am disappointed in my weight loss this week. I'm glad I didn't gain and that the scale did go down, but I felt like I should have lost more than 1/2 pound! After looking over my week, I think I did good in activity and calories, and it was not likely water retention because I watched my salt. Although it could be my muscles holding onto some fluid after a couple hard ST workouts, I sort of doubt it. The thing I did that seems to be the culprit was that I added back too many carbs. I realized I had too much cereal - grape-nuts fit and steel cut oats and bread this week. I've been allowing myself some tortillas, flatbread, pita and some Ezekiel 9 bread this week.

It seems that my body will simply not release weight when I eat fast carbs-- an amount that for most people would be considered a small amount is enough to stall my progress. I'm feeling a little dejected about that. Every time I try to get around it or doubt and try something different, the evidence keeps coming back that I need to be brutal about keeping fast carbs to a bare minimum in my diet. That is depressing to someone who used to enjoy a meal for two of a 1 pound loaf of sourdough bread and some olive oil.



I made some wallowing-in-self-pity bad food choices today but that's enough. Tomorrow, tough-love and back on strict no fast-carbs for a week to get me reset. I learned something from it, I guess. I keep telling myself it's about living healthy--which I did--and not the number on the scale, but it's about both!!

I also keep telling myself that one cannot expect to lose the equivalent of an average sized adult woman without some ups and downs, but it's still a little frustrating! Back on track! Now!

Blessings,

Kate

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWNOMWE 11/8/2013 11:48AM

    emoticon on being the star of the month!! emoticon work.
Yes life is full of ups and down but it always balances out, emoticon emoticon

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BRADMILL2922 11/8/2013 1:25AM

    Congrats on the honor! That is very cool! There will be ups and downs and yes, you did mess up but moving on and learning is the best thing you can do!

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LINDA! 11/7/2013 10:03PM

    I think it is wonderful that you received the honor at the gym. Your motivation is showing. emoticon

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LOUIE-LILY 11/7/2013 8:44AM

    Great job! Keep it going - don't worry about being down 1/2. It will catch up to you if you're working that hard!
emoticon

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WALKINGGRANDMA 11/6/2013 10:12PM

    Congrats on being Star of the Month. You are certainly doing something right. Balance is a hard thing to do and BLC does take a bit of time. I know you will find the right fit.

I sometimes will set an alarm and give myself 30 minutes. That is enough to do most of what I need to do. I can do the rest later or not at all.

Tracking I do on my phone so that doesn't count.

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Our Struggles Connect Us

Sunday, October 27, 2013

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Success is sweet and sweeter if long delayed and gotten through many struggles and defeats.” Amos Bronson Alcott

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Frederick Douglas

“Life has meaning only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the Gods. So let us celebrate the struggle!” Swami Sivananda




I like these quotes. They remind me so much of what we are all doing here, and the fact that there is not a nice easy paved road to success. Each of us has to find our own way and blaze our own path to whatever we have defined as success.

Lately, I have been reading a number of posts from fellow Sparkers who have been identified as "motivators" and have a big following of folks who look to them for inspiration. These folks have been faltering --like we all do --on the path and they have had to really suck it up and publicly acknowledge their struggles. It seems as if they feel they are letting others down when they do this and the posts have such a tortured confessional feel to them. They feel that there is value in sharing their victories but seem ashamed to share their struggles. There seems to be an expectation that victories are public but struggles are private until a victory can be claimed. It breaks my heart a little to see that their goal of helping others has added to their burden and become something they use to beat themselves up with when they falter.



I want to say this to them: Your struggle inspires me. Yes, it is true that your success does also, but honestly, not nearly as much as your struggle. It is your struggle that makes me feel a kinship with you. Your struggle is what makes me cheer for you. Your struggle is what makes me appreciate my own. As Swami Sivananda syas, let us celebrate the struggle! Our struggles connect us.



Never be ashamed or disappointed in yourself when you are honestly talking about your struggle with us. We know it is not easy and if you never faltered, we would not feel as connected to you! Although we do look to you for inspiration and motivation, it is because we know we are all climbing the same mountain. The fact is, we want the opportunity to lend you a hand sometimes also.



Blessings,

Kate

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLINGHOPE 10/28/2013 4:28PM

    emoticon

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LINDA! 10/27/2013 11:14PM

    Great blog. I love the quotes!!

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TIRED49 10/27/2013 11:10PM

    Kate this has to be the best blog ever!

I follow a regular featured on here and she is struggling but all she can talk about is when she lost _____ weight. She mentions that weight in ever blog. I just want to say stop already--it's been lost a long time, admit you are struggling and sometimes it isn't easy and move on.

I had a Sparkfriend a few years ago that lost a lot and became so obsessive she couldn't remember her struggles and all her blogs were about what was wrong with everyone that they couldn't lose weight. She had no sympathy and forgot where she came from. She is no longer on spark-

I don't want to be either one of those people.

Like you it helps when I read about successes and struggles. That is what Spark is about.

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HMJ5053 10/27/2013 7:53PM

    Loved this Kate. One of the things that has helped me is reading the SP blogs and posts about the struggles. I too want to hear how those successful ones had to take a detour and still got to their destination.

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BABYSTEPS123 10/27/2013 5:42PM

    Kate--- LIKE, LIKE, LIKE!!!
This blog needs to be featured on everyone's Start page!
You said it perfectly!
Thanks.

Maybe one of the hardest things we need to learn from this whole process is, yup, we're not perfect. And we will have struggles, even when at times we feel invincible. Asking for help is a good thing.

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FITFULLIFE 10/27/2013 4:17PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing.

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LOUIE-LILY 10/27/2013 3:00PM

    emoticon
Einstein said “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
I say, I have not failed until or unless I say "I give up." We all struggle.
Great blog - I hope some of these people find encouragement in it.
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SALLYLEE84 10/27/2013 2:58PM

    What a profound blog and how true. I've seen some of the same blogs and while their successes motivate me, it's their attitude towards failures that drives me on. If they can do it, why can't I? I am so much more capable than I think I am and the connection I feel w/ my fellow Sparkers, both in their triumphs and their failures is what lets me know that I can succeed and there are others going through the same thing. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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