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another favorite lard ad, this time from the U.K.

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Sometimes there is no such thing as a natural enemy, just oddly paired friends.

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taken 10.18.09 with nate (left) and jimmy (right)...down 42 pounds. watch those ta-tas!

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High Five
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Fruit Salad
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KEEPITMOVING is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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INTRO/GREETING: Hi! My name is Nancy, and I'm a Sparkaholic (no offense intended). Thanks for stopping by my Sparkpage. I enjoy a good laugh, meeting new people, and sharing insights. SP has some of the best resources and coaches (GO COACH DEAN! ROCK IT, COACH NICOLE!) ) available and everything is free! This is a perfect spot to help me achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle and end dieting for good. "Once a weight problem, always a weight problem" and mastering the daily balancing act is my challenge. People who have lost it, gained some, lost it again, and finally KEPT it off are my idols. The key is always in the head. My motto is the 3ms: MINDFULNESS, MOTIVATION, MODERATION. I am pleased to say that on May 4, 2009, I became a SparkMotivator for "postive attitude." Yeah, I'm one of those annoying "the glass is half-full," mostly optimistic kinda people.

FITNESS ROUTINE: I am a firm believer in flexibility and doing change-ups to keep moving and active because I come from a very long line of exercise-haters, die-hard avoiders, couch-potato-record-holders, and always-last-picked-for-gym-team-sports-pla
yers. Due to there being less daylight and it's cooler (yes, there are seasons in Florida), this time of the year, I'm: weeding and gardening for 2-4 hours a week; walking up steps at work instead of taking the elevator and then some which adds up to about 23 double-flights, up and down, a day, or about 1,012 steps; different calisthenics for strength training; getting up at 4 a.m. and sweating bullets on the treadmill 4 times a week and gladly incorporating pilates and yoga moves into my after-cardio-stretch-routine (my FAVORITE part of any exercise routine I could ever do). Hey, it may not be a slick, sexy DVD or organized classes in a gym or fancy fitness center or studio, but it's working for me! 43 pounds down as of today, 10.26.09, and that's halfway to my goal.....GO ME!

PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Some of my personal thoughts? I AM WORTH THE EFFORT! Thoughts affect behavior, and by changing thinking, we can change behavior. Consistency, time, and patience will get you where you where you want and need to be. Make a decision to take small steps, knowing full well that you will not see results overnight. Overnight results will evaporate just as quickly. Get rid of unrealistic expectations; they only frustrate. The scale is only one measuring tool. Time and perspective prove that it's never as hard as you think it is. Living can be a daily struggle AND a blessing. Remain mindful. Strength comes from within, so seek your own truth and reach inwards.

LOSING WEIGHT IS NOT HARD: Losing weight, staying well, making the right food choices, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a habit are NOT HARD things to do. Dealing with some incurable, terminal illness IS HARD. Losing your job, finding yourself homeless, and without a safety net IS HARD. Developing amnesia and wandering around, trying to figure out what happened and where you belong, IS HARD. Being the best you can be is NOT HARD in comparison to some of the other struggles we humans have. Perspective, perspective, perspective.

LAUGH A LOT TO KEEP THEM GUESSING: Never lose your sense of humor. Think creatively about how to maximize the sweet times and minimize the sour ones. Bad things pass, so do your best to wait things out. Don't act too hastily or regret will be your friend too frequently.

BUT FOR MY SPARKFRIENDS: Thanks to my Spark friends, whom I've met so far along this journey, my 4 a.m. hour-long walks help keep my head balanced, my heart young, and my spirit strong. Every day, I choose to make it the best day I can. Stay positive! Life's too short, so you might as well enjoy each day as it comes and make the best of it. I'm not Shirley Maclaine, I don't know if I'm coming back, so this is it for me!



Some quotes, inspiration, and pilfered thoughts from others that help me with daily mindfulness:

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go. I try to be the former and not the latter.
Tomorrow is not a promise. Seize the opportunities today while you still can!
Positive Self-Talk Leads to Success: Good Things Come to Those Who Believe - Leanne Beattie, Health and Motivation Writer

Try to be more aware of your thoughts at all times. Be mindful of thoughts that come and go, and those that linger. Consciously decide to think more positively. When you notice negative self-talk in action, nip it in the bud, don't convince yourself that your actions are pointless, that your goals aren't attainable, or that you don't deserve to be successful. Whether you think you'll succeed or fail, your thoughts will become your reality. Be a success. Boost yourself up whenever you can. Be your own best friend. Have faith in yourself and the results will come! The important thing is to feel that you're worth the effort. You deserve to be healthy and confident and strong. It's been said that our minds can only hold one thought at a time, which means we have a choice: We can focus on a thought that makes us feel badly or we can focus on something that makes us feel good. Every second that passes is a chance to turn things around. Even if you didn't eat well at lunch, you can do better at dinner. You're not a failure if you didn't go to the gym last week. You can go today. The only thing holding you back is your thinking.
This is thanks to SP's very own Coach Nancy Howard:

...None of us is destined to be overweight for the rest of our lives. It may take some of us longer to reach our destination, but that is not failure. Failure is falling off the wagon and never having the courage to get back on now matter how many times we fall off.

So, here's to all us who have fallen off the wagon and found the inner courage to get back on, knowing that this is not a life sentence. Others are here to support you and encourage you even when you feel you do not have it within yourself to do so.
This is from our very own Coach Dean Anderson:

Permanent weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are the types of goals that depend heavily on intrinsic motivation. If you frequently experience motivational problems, you are probably relying on external rewards or consequences too much, and not doing enough to increase your internal motivation....Paying attention to what's going on inside when you act is the first step towards uncovering your own intrinsic motivation to accomplish your goals.
This is from our very own SP Coach Stepfanie Romine:

Getting motivated--and staying motivated--can be difficult, and when temptations abound, it seems like the world is conspiring to keep you indoors, on the couch and stuck in your unhealthy life. Instead of viewing temptations as roadblocks, think of them as motivators--the devil on your shoulder, if you will. Their presence in your life should be just what you need to keep you from losing momentum, standing still or taking a break from your healthy journey. If you stop, they'll get you; if you stay one step ahead, you'll always come out on top. Temptations are like misunderstood Muses. They give you the chance to be creative while reaching your goals.

Temptation No. 1: Sleeping in or hitting the snooze alarm.
Inspiration: Taking care of your body.

Temptation No. 2: Grabbing takeout or stopping at a drive-thru.
Inspiration: Making smart choices.

Temptation No. 3: Grazing on junk food all night long.
Inspiration: Getting to the root of a problem. Are you stressed or upset about something? Instead of reaching for the chocolate bar or the chips, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Eating your feelings leaves you feeling worse than when you started. Go for a walk, get out of the kitchen, remove trigger foods from the house--whatever it takes.

Temptation No. 4: Vegging out on the couch.
Inspiration: Taking time for you.

Temptation No. 5: Skipping your workout.
Inspiration: Changing up your workout.

When temptations step in your path, don't cower. Confront them and enlist them as your allies. Soon you'll be stronger and more determined and will have traveled a little farther in your healthy living journey.
A fragment of a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson is telling:

"Finish each day
And be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and
Absurdities have crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can."

Look to this day,
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.

The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu:
Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart, and my life.
Remove the have nots
the can nots and the do nots
that I have in my mind.

Erase the will nots,
may nots,
might nots that may find
a home in my heart.

Release me from the could nots,
would nots, and
should nots that obstruct
my life, happiness,
good health, desires, and goals.

And, most of all,
I ask that, if I cannot do it myself,
you remove from my mind,
my heart, and my life all of the
'am nots' that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought
that I am not good enough.
David Hawkins' book Power Versus Force: Here are a few definitions from the book that help explain the idea of power versus force:

Force is associated with the partial, power with the whole.
Force must always be justified, power requires no justification.
Force always creates counter-force and its effect is limited by definition.
Force is a movement, power is a skill.
Force always moves against something, power doesn't move against anything at all.
Force is incomplete and therefore has to be fed energy constantly.
Power is total and complete in itself and requires nothing from outside.
Force constantly consumes while power energizes, supplies, and supports.
Power gives life and energy, force takes these away.
Power is associated with compassion, force is associated with judgment.
Force requires proof and support, power is inarguable and not subject to proof.
We live in the fourth dimension, so time is one of the elements that will alter our perspective. The secret is not to look too hard until an extended period of time has passed. This is because we very often view the worst before it occurs; even when it will never happen. Perspective will alter your acceptance of yourself, as well as your life. Life is good, if you choose to see it that way. Here's looking at you. Try to see yourself as I see you. I think you are great, don't you? Aaron R. Fodiman
There seems to be no reliable way to predict change. Yet, behind every revolution, there is a deep-seated feeling that change is necessary and will result in improvement or at least in a different outcome. We each have different experiences that will resonate with this last statement. Yet, we continue to seek change in ourselves, our family, our government, and in our world. Unfortunately we have little or no control over many of these changes, which are not without our power to execute. However, when it comes to many of the changes we wish to foster in ourselves, we are the only ones who can make them. Change may be the answer, or preserving the status quo may be the solution. Either way, change is usually seen, whereas, we often overlook that which is unchanged. The conundrum continues, as we observe that the only thing that exists without change is change. Everything is new while everything remains the same. What are you going to change? Aaron R. Fodiman
Endurance and setting a healthy pace are keys to long-term success.
Be grateful for your life and over time, maybe you will see that your plot in life is someone else's "greener grass."
Associating with positive people is among the most important things we can do in our lives. As long as you share in the energy of positive actions and thoughts, and surround yourself with people who have a positive energy, there are few limits to what you can accomplish in your life. Your attitude - how you feel about your life - is among the most important concepts governing your existence on this earth. The more positive your attitude is, the better off you will be in your life.
I come before you today to give you permission to start letting go. Someone smarter than me once said, "You can have everything. You just can't have everything right now!" To reach your goals and live the life you want, it takes priorities and patience, the ability to choose between two competing wishes, and the willingness to set one aside for now and wait. You can build the path that you want to walk on, and decide which steps to take. It's important to you, to your health, your goals and your family, that you take some time to exercise and plan healthy meals. You should treat it that way and give yourself permission to take that time without feeling guilty. The irony is that by being healthy and taking time from your schedule, you'll be able to take care of more of that "other" stuff in the long run. Besides, is anything on your to-do list really more important than your health? When it comes down to it, those choices may not be so tough after all.
For permanent change, habits need to stick around for the long run. With repetition and time, a single action will seem habitual. Once it becomes a habit, it becomes part of who you are, and the transformation is complete.
See your circumstances as empowering and they will be because you will be empowered by your own positive perspective.
Your Dreams - The Source Of Infinite Power by Thomas Herold
If you love what you do, you can never fail! Why? Because you will never run out of juice. You will always be motivated. During the inevitable times when you are discouraged, you will find a way to simply acknowledge the state you find yourself in, take a break, and the juice will be back in no time. If you live your talents you will be empowered by the universal source - a source that is beyond your wildest imagination, and it is of infinite supply.

No argument can make you stop doing what you love to do. Many people have wonderful reasons for what they do and for what they want to accomplish. These reasons are as varied and personal as anything in the universe. If you take away these reasons and ideas, people fall into a black hole because there is then no longer any substance behind their reality - their dreams have been cut off at the source.

If there is only one important thing in your life, then surely it must be this: to find and live your dreams. Don't waste any more time doing things you don't like. Yes, you are taking a risk, but you will never want to go back once you have make this choice.
Fretting over the future doesn't solve any impending problems. It only paralyzes your actions of the present. It stresses you out, makes you mentally and physically tired, and saps all the fun out of what could have been another great day. Next time you start to worry about what might happen, think of this: You can prepare, but you cannot predict. So, do what you can and forget what you cannot. Memory can be used for good or for evil. If you use your past as a source of learning, it's worth remembering. If, however, all you do is mull over your mistakes and punish yourself for your failures, it's a waste of time. Rehashing failure can paralyze you in mortal fear of making another mistake, which, of course, just makes the feeling worse and practically guarantees future letdowns. The key to making meaningful changes is to pay more attention to the future than to the past. If you mess up, even in an epic, life-altering way, work hard to leave it behind and concentrate on the possibilities yet to come. Tomorrow is much brighter when it's not smeared with a fixation on yesterday.
The most important thing you can remember is that all of your fitness goals and strategies are at the mercy of your own personal mindset; if you are able to wrap your mind around every workout before you even do it, you will find that the results you are seeking from the investment you are making into a healthy lifestyle will become much more easily and quickly accessible to you as you continue to maintain your consistency and commitment to your health and well-being.
Concentrate on how great it will feel after it is finally done, after you have put your all into it. Instead of focusing on a possible unsatisfactory performance one single time, take a moment to sit back and reward yourself for all that you have accomplished.
Stop fighting against what you have to do. Turn it into what you want to do. For any given task, you can be miserable and plodding or you can be enthusiastic and highly effective. It all depends on your attitude. Instead of dreading and avoiding something that you must get done, choose to look forward to it. Then jump in, make it happen, and get it finished once and for all. It's really very easy to make a change in your attitude. You can do it without lifting a finger.
From where you are, with what you have, live this moment fully. Wishing for things to be perfect, or worrying that things will get worse, will rob you of the great value that already is.
Live now, without holding back and without hesitation. Go ahead, do what you've been meaning to do, and discover new ways to bring great value to life. The past is already decided and the future is not yet available. Now is when you can savor the boundless richness in which you are immersed. All is well, all is now, and all is open for you to experience. Your moment is now. Live the profound treasure that is.
There is no reason for you to feel sorry for yourself, and there is no point in acting in such a way that others feel sorry for you. For a world full of positive possibilities awaits you, if you will simply lift your head and open your eyes. You have no cause to be ashamed of who you are or where you come from. For there is so much you have to offer. Don't let the silly little dramas of each day get you down.
Above all, don't live with regrets. Approach life with perseverance and dedication to the things that matter most to you. Success is never easy. It remains up to you whether you will give up, or fight through the tough battles to earn whatever it is you want.
************ never fully knows if they have truly conquered the beast. Time will tell, but I am in it for the fight of my life.
Wake up, open your eyes and look around you. Opportunity is everywhere. There is plenty of work to be done. And there are all sorts of effective, fulfilling ways to do it. The world is alive with all kinds of challenges. Pick a particularly difficult and meaningful one, creatively work your way through it, and bring new prosperity to yourself and others. Jump into the real-life adventure that sparkles beneath the rising sun each morning. A new day filled with richness is ready to be lived. Fortune favors those who choose to see it coming. Prosperity belongs to those who work to bring it to life. Report for duty in the service of your highest vision. This is when life gets good.
May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.
When you think you lack something, that blocks it from your awareness, your experience and your life. Instead of filling your thoughts with what is missing, focus on what is possible.
Go ahead and switch on the power to your life. Look back just long enough to remember what you treasure most, then go ahead and expand upon those treasures.
When you feel an excuse coming on, crush it under the weight of your desire to move forward. When you meet up with a challenge, delight in your ability to improve your way through it.
Every opportunity you act upon creates even more and bigger and better opportunities. The more focus, diligence, persistence, and commitment you put into life, the more outstanding it becomes. The best-paying job you can ever have is the job of being the real you.
Take an active role in the wonder of your own life. Shape it, build it, and enjoy the process of fine-tuning every aspect of it, so that you're living precisely the life that's right for you. Take full responsibility for all that you experience. And what you experience will be truly meaningful.
Know what you must do and do it, and life is rich, indeed. Move on with your life. Keep reaching for your goals and you will achieve them. One minor setback is nothing if you really want something and are willing to work for it.
Go ahead and move beyond the frustration, begin to work toward the dream, and make the most of your best possibilities. Go ahead right now and do something positive and effective about it.
The Sweetness of Reflecting on a Dream--Healthy Reflections from SparkPeople

Setting goals is easy. The tough part is putting time and hard work into realizing those dreams. The energy you are willing to put forth to reach your dreams is directly related to the probability of achieving them. Above all, be patient with the situation and with yourself. Don't lose your way by being blinded by disappointment, frustrations, and failures. Ponder the goals in your life and the obstacles you might face. Make appropriate plans to overcome those roadblocks even before they occur. Think of the reward of reflecting on a goal you have reached, rather than one you failed to see through. Most big dreams involve big effort!Success is not built on envy or resentment or punishment or guilt. Success is built upon success, so let the building begin. Envision, create, and achieve in your unique way. Encourage and celebrate the work of others who seek to do the same.
Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds. If you do not take it personally, you are immune in the middle of hell. Man, I like that.
You CAN go on and you MUST. Anyone can carry her burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do her work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, until the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means.

Member Since: 11/18/2008

Fitness Minutes: 61,687

My Goals:
Have better health and feel good about myself again.

Can't control my genes, but I can control my jeans.

Eat better, move my body, and adopt healthy habits = my trifecta

My Program:
Walking on treadmill or outside for cardio; being careful about whatever I eat; remembering that when I sit down to a meal, it won't be my last; eat 2 apples a day or at least 2 fruits daily; drink at least 8 glasses of water daily; practice mindfulness in everything I do; exercise my body AND portion control.

Personal Information:
Retrain Yourself to Think Positive: A key element of changing your attitude is changing your self-talk, or internal monologue. Your self-talk is that chattering conversation you have with yourself all day long, whether you are aware of it or not. It's the voice in your head that says, "I'm too fat" or "I'm not good enough." You know what I'm talking about! This kind of useless negativity keeps you from being the best that you can be. Well, it's time to turn it around once and for all. You need to retrain yourself to think positive!

Imagine what would happen if you changed the dialogue, so that it sounded more like this: "I can lose weight and be healthy, exercise to the best of my ability, and get stronger and better at it every time I do it." Your self-talk can make the difference between happiness and despair, success and failure. I promise you that if you make your self-talk more positive and affirming - and less defeatist -- you'll be happier & healthier!

Other Information:
Somedays it's not even worth chewing through the restraints.

The most wasted day of all is that during which we have not laughed.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.

The basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behavior affect the rights and well being of others.

Being defeated is often temporary, giving up makes it permanent.

Don't be afraid to give your best at what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one, it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.

Read More About KEEPITMOVING - Profile Information moved here. (Updated December 19)

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