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The Last Piece of the Puzzle – on my Table AND in my Spark Journey

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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

I’ve been working on a 1000 piece puzzle of our lake (A huge lake and a huge puzzle)
I blogged about it on October 19th so I’ve been working on it for about a month.
Sometimes consistently, sometimes I left it alone for days at a time.
Little by little, step by step – does this piece work here? No? Try something else.

I’ve been on this Spark Journey for nearly 12 years.
Little by little, step by step, put the pieces of a healthy lifestyle together.
I have had daily login streaks that have lasted for years. I have also been MIA for years.
Does this method or activity work for me? No? Try something else.

The basic Spark principles have produced success, but I needed help beyond the basics
Give up sugar? Good idea! Go cold turkey? I do not have that much will power.
Forget about it? No way.

What if I reduce the amount of sugar gradually, by ¼ teaspoon in my coffee and continue over time?
What if I mix a little plain Greek yogurt into my flavored variety and increase the proportion over time?
What if I increase my strength training 5 minutes at a time?

During my years here I’ve learned what works for me, but one piece of the puzzle eluded me.

We know that we can measure success not only in pounds and level of fitness but also in INCHES.
Muscle weighs the same as fat but takes up less space, so as we replace fat with muscle we look and feel better.

As I lost the weight, I also lost inches everywhere except not much on my thighs. Even when I was 118 pounds with a 24 inch waist, I had trouble buying pants that didn’t make me look like a stuffed sausage.
Over time I learned not to care. At least the fat on my thighs was not detrimental to my health.

Still, for over 50 years I have searched for the answer to that puzzle.
Is my body saving that particular fat for some future famine?

I returned to Spark 2 months ago and just yesterday was trying on some old clothes.
My thighs looked smaller. Is it my imagination? No, the tape measure confirms that today at 134.6 pounds the widest part of my thigh is exactly the same as it was when I weighed 118 pounds in college.

I have FOUND IT the final piece of the puzzle FOR ME!

The only difference in the last 2 months is that I have added a new exercise.
Something I never considered before – PILATES!

I began with a 10 minute video and was shocked to discover that although I am quite fit, I could not even complete that. Forget it? No way.
I just did as much as I could of each movement.
When I could do the whole video, I added a 2nd one, also 10 minutes long.

When doing an experiment, you want to change one variable at a time and observe the result.
The only new variable in my routine has been the addition of Pilates.

OK, I'm convinced. Pilates is the last piece of my Spark puzzle.

By the way, here’s the completed puzzle on my table. I added the last piece last night

And my happy, surprised self after confirming the measurements.

Note that I did measure while only in my underwear, but didn’t think anyone really wanted to see a picture of that.

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