Friday, July 19, 2013
I totally forgot that my SparkFriend PARASELENIC's page is private! So I have taken the liberty of quoting sections of her blog post below:
Okay, so for the last half a year or so, I've been involved with a program here on sparks: BLC. It's a 12 week gig, which reapeats 3 times a year (with a 5-6 week break in between each session, generally) where you get assigned to a team of approximately 25 people (give or take), and it works similarly to the Biggest loser challenge on tv-- your team works to support each other, you work on challenges together, and there's an element of friendly competition with other teams. It's thread based, and requires frequent, regular check ins on sparks-- every day is encouraged. There's no crappy eliminations or anything like that, but there is super support, super motivation, and lots of good ideas to keep you sparking.
It's a really fabulous way to get inspired, stay motivated, and keep yourself on track. I don't know why it is, but if I'm challenged to work out every day for 20 minutes with a team, vs. challenging myself to work out 20 minutes every day-- I will sweat hard for my team and eat cheesy poofs in front of the tv if it's just myself.
Some other cool things about BLC:
*You are put on a team with a variety of other folks, from all disciplines/walks of life/ and dietary-nutritional beliefs. This permits you to get new ideas on how to zest up your own diets, to try new exercises, and, in some cases, reaffirm your own dietary/activity assertions when your plan doesn't jive with someone else's. With that being said, I've formed some very meaningful relationships with folks, some of whom come from backgrounds and who follow diets that make me spitting mad with how unscientific they are-- but that only makes the relationship that much more rewarding, as I'm learning how these things that won't work for me work for others.
*Anyone can join. It's open to all sparkfolks, you just have to be willing to commit to 12 weeks of regular activity.
*You will be supported. As many of you know, I'm a staunch atheist zealot, and I'm danm opinionated. I have folks from the opposite side of the spectrum cheering me on in my goals to health-- which is a weird and nice thing.
*You will be called out on your sh*t. If you fall off the face of the earth for 3 days, you will get a sparkmail box full of emails of concern wondering how you are doing. Walking away from your BLC team is difficult-- they track you down and make you accountable-- which is especially useful in those valley times that we all go through, waking up one morning, feeling like everything we're doing is pointless, like we'll never get this danm weight off any why not just throw in the towel...
I have a few people on sparkfriends specifically that I think would LOVE the BLC, and really make a great member of my team, Azure Destinations.
For those that are curious, there's an informational team and mailing list so that you can get informed and learn when to register if you decide to join: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
Thing 1: It is a commitment, and some work. Expect to put in some time for this-- but it's worth it.
Thing 2: It's NOT THAT MUCH extra work. I know that when I first started, I was very nervous because it seemed like a major major commitment and that I was going to fail before I started. THIS IS NOT TRUE. It seems overwhelming, but once you start, it's actually very easy-- think a once a day check in, incorporated in your regular fitness and diet routine. Every once in a while there will be a special challenge, like: find a new cardio video or activity you like, try it out, and post a review here" but that's only a little more time from your regular duties, and it's not critical to your success with your team. (Note, if you want, you can totally devote yourself to it, checking in every hour, taking part in every single element, going over and above on all the things-- but that's a personal choice, not required.... ) I have days where I spend beaucoup time, and days where I don't even check it-- THERE IS FLEXIBILITY, even within your expected commitment.
Thing 3: YOU WILL FEEL ACCEPTED AND SUPPORTED. Y'all know me-- I'm rather prickly and rage-ful and very much not your SAHM christian homeschool individual, and I fit in just fine. If I can be a part of this, feel supported and accepted, well, any one of you would be perfect!
I'm full of answers, and even if you're just a little curious, please join the mailing list. It's a really good program that has helped me immensely to keep sparking, even in the down times.
It's seriously awesome.
Friday, July 19, 2013
My BLC teammate, friend and fellow Sparker, PARASELENIC, posted a great blog about why you should think about signing up for the BLC (Biggest Loser Challenge) when the next round starts.
She's WAY more articulate about these things than me, so I'm just going to post a link to her blog!
Friday, June 28, 2013
In short ... I hate it!
Well, not really. But when done the traditional way ... with every meal, every snack, every morsel planned a week in advance? Put on a calendar with every day's menu predetermined? Yes. I hate that. It triggers my Inner Rebel. I end up wasting food, which in turn alarms my Inner Pennypincher.
I have quite a committee in my head. (There's even an Inner Police Officer and Construction Worker, apparently.)
But I have found that planning in advance has been an important key to success. The weeks I make the effort, it usually pays off on the scale.
My meal planning is more general than the traditional method. Usually on Friday, I'll start thinking about the upcoming week. I'll look at my calendar to see if there is anything out-of-the-ordinary on my schedule (I've got an all-day workshop to attend on Tuesday and I'll be at home all day on the Fourth of July). I'll start thinking about what types of cuisine I have been craving (I've been wanting Asian food of all sorts recently). I'll start thinking about what "old favorite" dishes I haven't had a in a while (I haven't made my favorite vegetarian Pad Thai recipe in forever). And I'll start making a grocery list for Saturday's trip to the store.
I cook for one, so I only have ME to please! That makes planning a lot easier.
I like to do all of my major cooking on the weekend so that I don't have to think about it during the work week. I might roast a chicken, or cook a couple of entrees that serve four, prepare a couple of vegetable side dishes that can be reheated (cauliflower "fauxtatoes"+roasted green beans=YUM!). I might prepare a batch of chicken salad or egg salad for lunches. I might make a pot of soup or stew and freeze half of it for next week or next month.
Basically, what I try to do is make sure that each week I have a variety of options to select from each day. First thing each morning, I make my plan for the day - breakfast, lunch, dinner - and enter it into MyFitnessPal. But if I come home from a long day at work and the dinner I had planned just doesn't sound appetizing to me, I have other options available stashed in my fridge or freezer. It's a simple matter to change the entry in my tracker to see how it affects the overall totals for the day.
I've always got food on hand that is ready to eat that I know fits into my eating plan.
That's how I plan.
How about you? What works for you?
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Ratatouille - it's the easy way to "eat the rainbow."
The first time I ever tried ratatouille, I made it using Daniel Pinkwater's directions. Daniel is an author who has gained recognition as a frequent commenter on many National Public Radio programs, including All Things Considered and Car Talk. During one of those appearances, he mentioned something about his "Ratatouille Diet." He claimed that making and eating a lot of ratatouille helped him to lose 50 pounds. So I searched out his recipe.
I hesitate to call what he posted a "recipe" because it didn't give any specific quantities. He just described the way he made it and gave all of the various options. Here's a link so you can see for yourself: www.pinkwater.com/the-ratatouille-we
I remember making it and thinking to myself, "Self ... THIS IS F***ING DELICIOUS!!"
I get profane like that when I eat something amazing.
Ratatouille is amazing. You can eat it hot, you can eat it cold, you can eat it room temperature. You can eat it by itself, as a side dish, on top of rice, or scrambled with some eggs for breakfast. It's amazing.
Every time I make it, I tweak it a bit. The last time I made it, I posted it on SparkRecipes so I could calculate the nutrition data and add it to my tracker. Here's a link:
This weekend we're having a Freggie challenge on Azure Island and we get extra Sand Dollars if we "Eat the Rainbow." I like Sand Dollars and I want to move up to a classier island where I can break out a hunky bartender profile picture.
How about one of these?
So I'm cooking up a pot of ratatouille on Saturday. Who knows how I'll get the Rainbow covered tomorrow, but I know Saturday - Monday will be in the bag.
This weekend, though, I'm going to tweak my recipe yet again to make sure I've got some yellow bell peppers in there as well as red. And I think I'll throw in a couple of tomatoes. Oh, and while I'm at it, I'll add some Herbs de Provence as well.
Mmmmmm. Veggies. Nom. Nom. Nom.
Get An Email Alert Each Time MSPATOOTY Posts