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A football analogy....Dream big, and start now.

Saturday, January 02, 2016



Every pro was once an amateur, every expert was once a beginner. So, dream big, and start now.

I watched about a half of the Iowa Hawkeyes Rose Bowl debacle yesterday. Their opponent, the Stanford Cardinals, came in with a gritty determination, and from the first play, dominated the game. Stanford won big. Christian McCaffrey, the Cardinals back, a Sophmore, had more yards than anyone who has ever played in the Rose Bowl. He was on fire, and it was really fun to watch for everyone but the Hawkeyes.

It is a good analogy for our journey here. Those of us who came in, like both the Cardinals and Hawkeyes, determined and with the goal to stay strong, work hard and finish the game, have succeeded. There are those who looked at the finish line, never thought of the daily grind, having to make those first downs to get to the end zone, didn't succeed. Those are the people that I root for the hardest here.

Goals have got to be realistic to be attainable. When you start on the Spark journey, determine that you will be successful TODAY. Determine that you will track food, that you will do some exercise. Understand that you have to move down the field, every single down, every single day, to reach that end zone of your goals.

One of the biggest things that people forget to do, before they start this journey, is to clean out their kitchens. Call it putting the best players on the field. It is imperative that you get rid of ANYTHING that isn't good for you, that might call your name, that can become a problem. It should be your defensive strategy. You want to keep food from running through your defenses, from having things in the kitchen to eat that are maybe good, but certainly not good for you, and can blow your day wide open.

Over this journey, I have replaced many things with healthy choices, that I now would really prefer to eat. I have found my open field in some beautiful long runs. One of them is fruit. I eat a lot of fruit, five or more servings a day. Fruit has it's own sweetness, and when you find favorite fruits, buy them as an indulgence. Call it my touchdown secret.

The other thing that we all have to remember, is that IF you allow your defense to let down, and you have a food breakdown, you need to get right back up, re-set your defenses, and start blocking those infernal food longings. After time, they do ease. Don't let emotions tear down your defenses, and let them take a run to the end-zone. You are in charge of your emotions, and sometimes, just a 30 minute pause, saying to yourself, if, after 30 minutes, I still have to have this, will stop that run.

Iowa lost big yesterday, BUT they had a magnificent season, and it is no reason to stop being a fan, to stop the team from having pride in all they have accomplished this season, and above all, to quit at anything. I know they won't. I know I won't.

Football, like life, is a team sport. If you are having a tough day, there is no better place to go then Spark. The people here UNDERSTAND your tough days, because we have all had them ourselves. Injuries have prevented us from exercise, and we have had to find ways to work around it. We have had days where we ate something we regretted, but getting back up, getting right back in the game is our team strategy.

Our own penalties can set us back a bit. If we all continue to move forward towards our goals, we call can dream big, and we can win. All we have to do is start now.

Head for the end zone today -- yard by yard, down by down, play by play. It's a great place to be.

Spark on.
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