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Day 880 - Nobody's Perfect

Friday, April 28, 2017

I am just 3 days away from my 2-year maintenance anniversary. April 30, 2015, was the day I hit my first goal weight, the one that Spark had assigned to me when I joined the previous November. I went on to lose another few pounds after that, reaching my lowest weight the end of July. But April 30 will always be my anniversary date because achieving that goal was HUGE for me.

These two years have not been easy. The biggest challenge has been the past year when I decided to get another Master's degree on top of working a full-time, very demanding job. Don't get me wrong, I am really enjoying being back in school, but both work and education are sedentary activities, and my body needs to be active if I'm going to really maintain my goal weight successfully. Finding the time for exercise without sacrificing either sleep, work, or my studies is just not that easy. I'm getting fitness minutes, but not the kind of intensity that I know I need.

So here is what I've learned over the past two years:

The best exercise gets your heart racing and the sweat glands working. Yes, you can get 10,000 steps tracked on your fitness tracker, but if you never got out of breath, you simply will not get the results you hope for.

We absolutely must watch, track, and measure every bite of food we eat. We also need to make sure that we're eating the right kinds of food. There are absolutely no excuses for eating copious amounts of sugar or refined flour or almost anything else that is white. Focus on fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and food that is close to the way it is grown and harvested as possible.

Drink water. Lots of it. Nothing makes me crazy like hearing someone say "I just don't care for the taste of water." Yeah, well, there was a time when I didn't much care for wine. But I learned to appreciate it. And anyone who says they don't like water but can drink coffee? Come closer, so I can smack you. You know, sometimes I'm not crazy about the smell of air and yet I still breathe it.

Learn to love yourself. That should actually be #1 because the other things are a lot easier when you accomplish this one thing. I have developed some amazing friendships while being on SparkPeople, and that's mostly because I tried to be a good friend in return. I wasn't always successful, and there are a few people here whom I didn't treat as kindly as I should have. But I've learned valuable lessons by being here, and I still strive to be the best SparkFriend that I can be. And know that when you post a negative status update or a downer blog post, my heart aches for you, because I know that there is a bright, shiny world just waiting to love you. Or, as Cher said in "Moonstruck" - SNAP OUT OF IT!

Getting healthy isn't easy - whether you want to lose weight, get in better shape, run a marathon, or improve your health statistics like cholesterol or blood sugar - but you can do it if you pick a program and stick with it. SP has a ton of great plans. Find one that you like and give it a go. You WILL start feeling better, I promise.

Let's do it together, shall we?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great advice!
    1338 days ago
    Steve...you are the BESTEST...of the BEST friends here in Sparkland. Sometimes we offer advise that is taken out of context or sometimes it may come out a little snarky in the written word...I've seen it myself on several mutual sparklers pages. The written word is a tricky little communicator. I often find the friends that are 'heavy handed' with their advise sometimes have the thinnest skins when things come back their way. We all mean well..I just KNOW we do. But seriously...I reread every comment I make on someone's page and ponder it and the person sitting on the other side of the screen before I hit 'send'...sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don't...but we don't spend the time writing if we don't put the time into 'caring'...love you gorgeous humanoid! emoticon emoticon
    1391 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/8/2017 8:58:22 AM
  • JUNEAU2010
    emoticon AS ALWAYS!
    1393 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15118206
    Lol!!! Preach! Too bad you couldn't insert a Chef GIF from Moonstruck!
    Have you tried sitting on a stability ball in your home office while doing homework? Now I need one. Spend a lot of time on my a@@!
    1399 days ago
    Good thoughts for a challenging life
    1399 days ago
    emoticon on your upcoming 2 year maintenance anniversary! emoticon

    Juggling work, life and ones studies is a lot. Keep loving yourself. emoticon emoticon
    1400 days ago
    I want do bookmark this posting of yours! Love you and thank you for consolidating your lessons learned here!
    1400 days ago
  • THOMS1
    emoticon emoticon
    1400 days ago
    emoticon on your upcoming anniversary. This was a great blog. emoticon
    1400 days ago
    CONGRATS! Very Impressive!! emoticon
    1400 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon fr reminding us if we really want t o reach our goal we have to put in the work and just not talk about doing it.
    1401 days ago
    Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary!

    New perspective: you don't like the air but you still breathe-- time for me to lose my water excuses!

    1401 days ago
    Congrats on your 2 year anniversary :)
    1401 days ago
    congrats to you on 2 years MAINtaining: always the MAIN thing! You know what it takes and you're doing it! Wishing you continued success . . . this is a terrific supportive community!
    1401 days ago
    LOVED LOVED LOVED this blog (and you !!!). Have read it a few times, and just marked it keep as new cause I am not done with it yet.

    Congratulation on your anniversary here. You have been such a wonderful friend, you make me happy happy happy.

    HUGS, Pat
    1401 days ago
    Here's to a successful emoticon on maintenance!! Best of wishes handling all the work you're confronting.
    1401 days ago
  • WBERRY57
    emoticon on your 2 year maintenance anniversary. This is by no means a small feat. All your hard work and persistence has paid off. Good luck on completing your Master's. emoticon
    1401 days ago
  • BLUEJAY1969
    emoticon on your maintenance anniversary!! I too think it starts with loving yourself. You may have to do your fitness in 10 minute increments - like Sparkguy says, it all adds up and 10 minutes is long enough to do your body good!
    1401 days ago
  • no profile photo JEANNETTE59
    May your emoticon continue to burn bright! Never forget that you are emoticon and that sometimes you just have to reflect on the fact that our imperfections keep us humble.

    Love ya,
    1401 days ago
  • MARTHA324
    emoticon on emoticon

    Sounds like you have got it figured out. And you are so right....this is for life and that is emoticon
    1401 days ago
    emoticon on two years of maintenance! emoticon

    And you're my hero for going back to school, while working full time! emoticon

    emoticon , challenging ourselves make us stronger. emoticon
    1401 days ago
    Love your sense of humor while delivering serious messages! Yup . .. . sometimes it's all about just snapping out of it!
    1401 days ago
    emoticon on the two years way to go any way you could take your notes or class work to the gym and read while you are cycling or on treadmill or elliptical or would some of your teachers mind if you tape the classes and then play them while you run or do weights just a thought . It is very hard going to school and working you are incredible
    1401 days ago
    I'm drinking my water right now! And my coffee too. Don't hurt me.......
    1401 days ago
  • 52BINCE
    emoticon on your two year Anniversary and with such great health results! ... emoticon
    1401 days ago
    emoticon I love your positive attitude and the way you look at things! emoticon for your motivational blog! I always say if you think about the positive things in your life instead of the negative it always makes me feel better! Have a blessed day! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1401 days ago
    Congratulations on your SPARKAVERSARY! You do have a lot going on, and I love your perspective! Great advice.

    Snap out of it is a good one. Buck up Buttercup! Making the daily choices can be frustrating at times, but each meal is another chance to do it right. Staying in the game is 99% of getting where you need to be.

    HUGS and good to hear from you!

    1401 days ago
    I think I fell in love and this time it's for real! :) You are a breath of fresh air and I so agree with you. In case I miss your Apr 30 anniversary Woo Hoo you and keep up the great job! (I will be traveling in the car for 3 days so may only get the opportunity to do a check in with spark that day.

    1401 days ago
    Congrats on your Spark and maintenance anniversary. I really love this blog.

    Our water does taste nasty. We live right up against the mountain where Kennecott Copper Mine is and there refinery is just up on the hill. The mine is about 14 miles south. There are so many minerals in our water that the standing joke is "If you go to Magna. You have to chew your water." This why we have a Brita filter and by jugs of spring water for when I filter can't keep up with the demand. Our water is a lot better than it was 37 years ago when I was dating Duane.. I needed to take Tylenol at his Grandpa's house whom I just met. And that first drink of water I spit in the sink. I was not prepared for such "chewy" water. I ended up taking the Tylenol with Cold Turkey whiskey? Not sure if it was whiskey, bourbon or what? I just know that nasty whiskey? was a toss up to the water.. so reading about the water made me chuckle.

    Next time someone tells me about not liking the taste of water. I am going to tell them about the air. I love all your writings. They are really knowledgeable.

    Thanks Steve.
    1401 days ago
    Excellent blog and emoticon on your two years of successful maintenance.
    You have much to say and hope to be reading more of your blogs in the future! ... emoticon
    1401 days ago
    Well done, Steve! Hope the next two years are really good too!
    1401 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    I am laughing about your water statement. Water has no taste, so that excuse is so lame!! Are people swilling vodka to take vitamins or to cook their food?
    I love the stuff and with all of the after falling around me here and the lakes, I should hate it.
    Spark on, Steve!!!
    1401 days ago
    Congratulations on your anniversary. Maintenance is the MAIN thing,
    1401 days ago
    I love what you said about water, I'm guilty of saying I don't like the taste. which doesn't make sense since usually there is no taste associated with water! Duh! I'm a great excuse master. Thanks for the call to rally, I needed that. Have a great weekend.
    1401 days ago
    Congrats on a wonderful anniversary to celebrate! I like your tone of "gentle tough love" in this blog. And it is so true. You have to want it enough to work for it. You have to make yourself more important than all that other stuff that can use up all your time if you let it. Yes, sometimes we aren't as kind, gentle, supportive as we know we ought to be, just like sometimes we eat stuff we know we shouldn't, or don't move as much as we know we need to. At these times, I tell myself, "Gotta let it go, move on, learn from it and do better the next time". Like so many, many other things in life, our health and our behavior hinges on 90% of what is between our ears, and only 10% from the chin down. If you want it badly enough, you will always find a way.
    1401 days ago
    congratulations! Let's go eat some cake to celebrate...NOT.

    Actually, I'm liking my 'no added sugar' lifestyle. I allow myself those 'special treats' once a week...or maybe stretch that to every 10 days.

    The 10,000 steps? Had I really researched it, and asked the right questions, I probably wouldn't have bought one. Why? Many of the exercises that I do (cycling/spinning, Pilates, even kettle bell classes) don't track. It's frustrating to have sweat POURING off of me, and see that red line on my Garmin!
    But it does have a heart rate monitor. When I wear the chest strap, even though it cannot track steps on some activities, it does estimate calorie burn.
    And it does give me an estimate of my mileage on my daily dog walks.

    Great perspective on drinking water. I do not 'get' the coffee thing. Coffee smells wonderful! But the taste (without a lot of added stuff)...UGH! I've had maybe half a dozen cups of coffee in my life. DH would bring me coffee (with enough milk, etc. that I could actually drink it!) when I couldn't get my eyes open in the morning. And I've had those 'fancy' coffee shop drinks a time or two. Way too many calories to make it worth my while.

    emoticon for being an awesome Spark Friend!!!

    1401 days ago
    Just the blog I needed to read this morning! Congrats on the upcoming Sparkiversary! and for writing down all the tips and tricks....literally LOL'd at "come closer, so I can smack you" line! OMG! emoticon
    1401 days ago
    Congrats on your anniversary! You are a great example for the rest of us. And thank you for the smile first thing in the morning. I just love "Moonlight".
    1402 days ago
    Congrats to your 2 years of successful maintenance, Steve,
    and thank you for this wonderful blog, and for being a good Spark Friend to many of us.


    I especially loved what you said about water and air - so true!
    I'm grateful every day for the excellent tap water in our city, and I honor it by drinking this pure tap water at all time. And you now, I really enjoy its taste : )

    1402 days ago
    Congratulations on all of your hard work
    1402 days ago
  • JOANN25
    Your blog is fantastic. Loving yourself is hard to do sometimes ... but if you think about it, think of all the good things you have going for you and write them down ... you may find that you have more good than bad going for you.

    Keep up the good work and keep the positive blogs coming.

    1402 days ago
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