Your Chance to Be an 'Expert,' Help a New Member

By , SparkPeople Blogger
One morning, Saunya woke up, readied herself and her young daughter, and headed off to work. She was tired, and she was frustrated.

She was overweight and tired of being tired and unhappy. She searched for diet and workout ideas for busy people and found SparkPeople. She immediately joined.

So far, she has been a member for less than two months, and she's already making changes. She's walking during her lunch breaks and trying to say no to food when she's not hungry.

Still, she says she needs help. She saw a call for tips and ideas on the dailySpark, and while she didn't have one to share, she was desperately in need of one. She wrote:

"I honestly really don’t have a tip or idea. I need some help. I’m a 30-year-old mother of a 2-year-old little girl. I have trouble making time and I don’t have a lot of money to afford to buy things. I work from 7-5 Monday-Friday and once I’m home, my child wants all of my attention. We live with my fiancé and his mother in a 3-bedroom cluttered house with absolutely no room to work out even if I had the time. They also like to eat late at night (which I know is part of my problem). Oh, by the way I’m 5’2” and I weigh about 215 lbs. I hate my body, I have ZERO self esteem because I feel like I look horrible! I want to get back down, I really feel like I should lose about 90 lbs. So many of my co-workers (about 5) have done the weight loss surgeries. Once girl has lost a total of 100 lbs in a year. I would love to do that, but I don’t want to do the surgery. Do you have any ideas or pointers for me? I’m tired of being considered obese and not feeling good about myself."

While we are each in a unique situation, we can all relate to how she's feeling. That day, I sent her an email asking if I could share her story with the dailySpark.

We're not doctors, dietitians or trainers, but we've all been there, done that. We've lost weight and kept it off. We've done it on a budget and a tight schedule.

Saunya's looking for tips to help her get started, and she wants to be more active on SparkPeople, too. She says she's already found inspiration here.

What advice would you offer to Saunya?

What tips do you have to share?

Here's a chance to preach what you practice, share what you've learned, inspire a new member to stick with it.

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You've got to get moving! If you can stand, you can walk in place. That's what I do. I'm not having dramatic results, but it's helping me not gain a lot and I am on my way down on the scale. You can do it! You just have to believe in yourself a little more. Report
Everything you need is here, all the tools. I to am a mother on a tight budget raising a college student and a teenager. I have a 1 hour commute one way, so I am limited on time. I spend my lunch hour on SP planning meals and blogging for help. If you can't find ways to do your own menu and stay within the SP goals let them do it for you. Their dinner recipes are great and my kids have eaten it all without complaints. If you stay within the goals, you will lose weight. As for exercise, find what you like to do. I started out with an elliptical to be my exercise. I did it in the mornings or right after dinner. Then my daughter and son started walking with me. This is a great family thing to do together. Kids need exercise too. You can fit it in while they are at practice or with them around the neighborhood or at the bicycle path. I happen to take a liking to running. This was mostly because of my lack of time to exercise. It is cheap exercise. I also have some home dvd's to do in the mornings or when it rains. Remember SP has a library of fitness videos and so does utube. Report
You have many great ideas here. Almost to the point of being overwhelming. My thought it to pick one at a time and do it. If you change one thing in your life each week or month, slowly over time you will get there. My journey has taken 2 years and I still don't have it all going but I slowly worked towards my goal. So this week it might be to start tracking what you eat. Next week it you work on getting the 5 veggies and fruit. The next week you start drinking the 8 cups of water. The next week you start packing your lunch to work so you can walk for 20 minutes during your lunch hour. Etc. So to keep from being overwhelmed with all the changes, start adding them one at a time and keep Sparking. One of the last changes I added was to start blogging about my day and my small victories. I wish I had started that earlier because it's great to receive the positive comments of support. Good luck, I know you can do it! Report
Others have mentioned just about everything that I could offer, but here is my two cents.
1) A two year old is the best piece of exercise equipment ever invented. She will love to do active things with you. You can build a morning walk in with her, or make a daily play-time after work. If her little legs slow you down, let her ride on your back. Walk to the park, or just around the block. Talk to her and point out things of interest (different colors, birds, the shapes of leaves on different kinds of trees, the shapes of different signs, whatever you see). You will help your daughter be both healthy and curious about the world around her. Build it into the daily routine, and she will remind you and motivate you when you have trouble motivating yourself, and it will be good for both of you in mind, body and spirit.
2) Track your food. That includes weighing and measuring portions. The thing about tracking isn't just hitting a particular goal for calorie intake. Tracking makes you aware. We can only make conscious decisions about what we do when we are aware. Pretending that it is too hard to measure and track our food is a way to feed our denial about our eating habits. It is a way that we resist and undermine our efforts to change. When you know, you have power. If you want to increase your power, get a good scale and measuring cups, and track your food.
3) Remember the long term goal, and that the short term decisions are the only way to get there. You can be fit and fabulous, but it won't happen over night. You have thousands of decision points between here and your goal. Every one of them is an opportunity to either move toward or away from where you want to be. You won't make the best possible decision every time, but each decision counts. Don't get too focused on results. Get focused on the decision making. Celebrate good decisions, and results will eventually follow.
Best wishes for your journey to your best self! Report
Take one day at a time. Drink plenty of water. Don't forget to eat a hi-protein breakfast to keep you going through the morning. Exercise, exercise, and get plenty of it. Enjoy your food. Don't give up. Report
Hi Saunya, follow just two principles and I'm sure it will help u a lot--
1- eat right- not less.
2- keep yourself physically active as much as possible.
Deciding you want to change is the biggest part of the battle. Start small so you don't feel overwhelmed. I understand eating after work - I have the same problem. Feel free to eat, but do it mindfully and be careful how you prepare your food. I often cook fish in parchment paper (you can use tin foil) in the oven along with vegetables and/or herbs. I drizzle a LITTLE olive oil on top before cooking and it is DELICIOUS and very nutritious. It also requires no supervision or stirring so you can stick it in the oven and spend some time with your kids. A slow cooker might be a good option for you too. I also keep a bowl of fruit on the table at all times. Seek out little ethnic markets - they are often cheaper and if you buy stuff in season, it's not expensive at all. You also will eat what you see and an apple can't do that much damage!!

Walking is wonderful and if it's cold, there are lots of exercise DVDs that don't require a lot of room. There are also several by Coach Nicole on this site that you could do in a very limited space if you need to and they're FREE.

As for the clutter and everything else, remember to put YOURSELF first. When you are feeling better, you will have the energy to tackle these things and do it efficiently. After all, how can you take care of anyone else if you haven't met your needs first? You will feel great by taking control of your choices. Good luck and know that we are all there with you!

Take a walk after work with your daughter and family. It will all of you a chance to connect and introduce them to exercise. Report
Think you and see the Theme from all the responses. Find ways to walk more, like stairs at work, parking further away from store when shopping and making small goals and taking little steps. Getting your family involved or at least your daughter whom will also learn something as valuable as taking her of herself when she gets older, plus has she gets older she will then motivate you to continue your exercising has this will be an enjoyable time for you both. It has been that way for myself and my Three Girls whom Love working out with me. As stated before what ever you do, Don't give up and Use Sparks as a guide and tool to assist in your lifestyle changes. The motivation you will receive is like nothing I have ever seen.

Many Blessings and Much Success in 2011 and beyond!!!!

J. Patrick Report
Most importantly don't give up. Just keep trying. If you daughter wants attention try to make double use of that time by playing with her and exercising -- such as putting on some music and dancing around, going for a walk or playing tag or something. My daughter loves to do that. She doesnt like me to exercise but if I get her involved she is happy because to her it is play time.

Hang in there you will get there!! Report
The most important thing is not to give up! Walking during lunch is great. When the weather gets better, you might want to start walking with your daughter,or taking her in the stroller while you walk. Even 10 minutes will make a difference.

When you get home, maybe you can play with your daughter in ways involves movement. March in place, hop in place, tell active stories (Bear hunt is one I can think of, but there are more)

Because of my schedule i eat late at night sometimes too. Sometimes I don't eat dinner until 7 or 9, or even later. If you've already eaten dinner when everyone starts eating, you might want to save some calories so you can have something with them. The good thing is it doesn't matter how late you eat, all calories are the same.

Just remember - little changes add up, you can do this!

You don't have to do everything at once.
Track everything you eat. You will learn so much by doing just that.
Drink water, even when you don't feel like it. It will help you feel better.
Come back here, you will have support and help at every stage.
You can do it!
for me its been walking walking walking - my weight did not really start coming off until we got a dog who in turn made me walk - it can be done sans pooch although he makes it a little more fun... 4 times a day, 20 minutes or more at a time.. also water drinking which helps with the flushing out and making one full.. eat low cal snacks (fruits, veggies, hummus, nuts, small piece of cheese) often throughout the day to keep things percolating within.. can in this case fill the void between work and waiting until that late dinner and hopefully less food eaten then... and use the 2 year old as a weight and just play! Report
I can relate. It is really hard living with people who eat at night. But you have to be determined and focused on what your goals are. First, you have to set small goals, for example, try to drink eight glasses of water a day. Then, incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet and find time for exercise even if it is 15mins. This way, you can gradually increase your exercise time and it won't be too much.
It might seem like a lot but getting up earlier before the kids works for me and it is the only way for busy moms like me.
Just take small steps and don't give up. We all are in the same boat and it is okay if you fall off a couple of times but the plan is to get up and try once again. Good luck and I'm rooting for you Report
Track everything that you eat! Hold yourself accountable for those calories and it will make all the difference in the world! Even if you have missteps, you can learn them because you become more aware of them through your daily tracking. Also- if you have little time for activity, simply make mommy and daughter time more active! Try dancing with her in the living room or taking a stroll around the block with her. By moving your body at all will make a difference-trust me! Report
great blog thank you Report
Okay I think you may see the same advice being given and that means its so important!!!

1. Eat breakfast.... you can not leave your home with out it or start to work with out having at least a fruit, or a sandwich.

2. Drink lots of water.... yes most don't like it but that is the difference between those who are losing the weight and those who are not. Dehydration
is not your friend.

3. I have a friend who has a 4 year old... What you must accept is that you must make time for your self. If you don't you are no use to your little girl because she wants some one to play tag and to dance with, not some one who is tired. Talk to your family and request if they can help you watch your daughter for two evenings per week, may be for an hour and you go exercise. If they are against it, your fiancé may be, place a bet on the table and tell him to give you a month or two and in that month... if they don't see a difference in you then you go back being home in the evenings. I guarantee - they will see a big difference though!!

4. Learn to love exercise, even if not running maybe its swimming or walking. You can put your girl in a stroller and walk with her. Any thing, you must move your body!!

5. Track every where that you walk too. I do that, maybe you take the same routes every day or on the week end. That is how I make my 1000 minutes of exercise last month. Exercise is not only around a track or a trail. Its everyday life.

6. Understand that it takes time to track food, exercise and all things that you need to make this journey a success. In the beginning, on Spark people, I found it time consuming to be on the computer every day and traking my food and exercise minutes. NOW who can love this more than I do!!! Hey you need to plan before to make it easier on you in the long run.

7. Understand that mistakes will be made and you will need to start over a million and one times..... It took me a long long time to understand this but I know it is true and as much as you want to one day be 50 pounds lighter or what ever your goal is... IT WILL TAKE A LOT OF TIME. Yes I know there are people how lost 75 pounds in 6 months. I read their blogs all the time and stuff. I am totally proud of them BUT..... Their Journey is not My journey. AND you should not feel lesser than because you don't have their successes (yes I admit it.. I feel like something is wrong with me at times)

8. Be active on Spark people. You can answer a message post or read a blog and "like it". You can encourage some one else. Just don't think that no body understands you.... We all have the same problems that you do, some more than others. I know I am an emotional eater. I am a member of the "Clean Plate Crew" and I will eat every thing that passes across and then some. But I know too that I can not continue to live like that or I will be sick soon.... So you can join a team of like minds or blog all day long, just let others know you are happy or hurting and you'll feel better soon.

9. You will have to cook the late night meals. Begin to incorporate vegs and fruits. Begin to cut out the amount of salt and sugar used. If they need to eat late.. make them eat healthy at least.

10. Prayer is key. Most people may not like to deal with that side of life but it is quite important. I've tried to lose weight on my one for a long time but then I now understand that He is interested in the little things that are important to me. Sparkpeople already gives me a tremendous amount of support and I am totally grateful. But sometimes you need even more and He will give that to you!!! Pray when you feel you can't go one or you need to eat another bowl of pasta. Any thing. He is there.

So here is my list of what I actually do on a daily basis and so far I've lost 4.1 pounds. I am not looking at the big picture (i.e. how many more to lose!!) but daily I am getting better at this. I've even added you as a friend so Spark success to you!!!
I didn't realize this site was for weight loss. I think I was on here looking up low carb recipes, so signed up to be able to save them. I'm a low carb person. I believe the "diet" is actually more important for weight loss than exercise. Exercise is important for health...both important, but if weight loss is the goal, I would concentrate more on what you're eating and still try to get some exercise in to tone up. Report
Drink water
Walk as much as you can- put your daughter in the stroller and try to walk at least 3 miles.
Declutter your house. I believe that clutter in our surroundings is a symptom of not loving yourself- join and follow the emails. As your home gets into better order you will feel more peace and that will lower your stress.
Be kind to yourself. Take it one day at a time and give yourself credit when you make healthy choices. Forgive yourself when you backslide. Report
One easy way to get exercise is walk the stairs instead taking elevator. If your work place is in tenth floor or higher just walk so far than you can and after that pick up the elevator. With that you can also see the results when you see that you can climb higher than what you use to. Report
Hi, I only read through a few comments, so sorry if my ideas are repeats. But, if your daughter requires all of your attention once you get home... then include her in your exercise! You could go for walks, take her to the park, bike rides, jump rope, hula hoop, all of the millions of silly things kids like to do. You could even include your fiance. Then everyone is spending quality time together and your daughter is learning positive healthy habits. Also, on weekends you could do adventure hikes/walks or some other outdoor family oriented activities. If you have a lunch hour you could go for a walk or do something physical then as well. Hope you find some great tips that work for you!! Report
Your 2year old is a good start.
Fly her like an airplane, lay on you back put her on your feet, raise and lower her.
Pick her up, put her down, raise her as high as you can.
You get play time and strength.
Take her to the park, push her in the swing, chase her, take a walk with her in the stroller.
And Love Her Most of All. Report
Hi!!! I hope by the time you are reading this - that you are well on your way in your weight-loss journey.
My advice would be:
First of all I didn't see any mention of eating breakfast. This is VERY important for weight-loss. Not only does it fuel your body after "fasting" all night - but it keeps hunger at bay throughout the day. I suggest a carb and a protein. (egg whites and an orange or greek yogurt with fresh fruit if you are in a hurry).

I see that you are walking at lunch - that's a great start!!!

One thing I learned from reading "The Spark" is that negative self-talk is not a good thing. While I understand (better than you know) just where you are coming from, try to refrain from saying things like "I look horrible" and try to see beyond what you "hate" and look for the good things in yourself. Instead of saying things like "I look horrible!!!" try saying things like "I am a great mother!!!" works.

As for the cluttered house and demanding toddler. Have you considered "organizing the house" as exercise??? You could include your daughter...have her help you. Sometimes your surroundings effect the way you feel. If you are living in clutter and won't feel good. I know for a fact - as much as I dislike cleaning - after it's done, after the dust is cleared, the blankets are folded, the carpet is vaccumed and the dishwasher is loaded...I feel GREAT!!! Sometimes I can even manage to work up a sweat!!!
And best of doesn't cost a dime.

Your mindset is a powerful thing.
Good luck to you in your journey.
First allow me to preface my comments by saying that I never had to deal with chronic obesity. It was only after each of my three pregnancies that I had to deal with losing 50-60 lbs. I preface because it is important to understand everyone’s weight loss process has different meanings and will require different treatments. In other words, weight is very personal and personal dynamics need to be taken into consideration.

Having said that, let us first start with redefining “not liking yourself”. Understand there is a difference between not liking yourself and not liking your weight. I am sure there are beautiful and positive things about you that people admire. Weight is not the totality of who we are.
Second, and again I say this with caution, any time that you take on accomplishing a major goal in your life, you must be a little selfish with your time. As a wife and mom of three young boys, I need and will get time to myself to work on myself. Remember if momma ain't happy... If I do not make myself a priority no one else will.
Third, make a goal to track your food. Even after I print off my meal plan in the morning, if I sneak a handful of this or a pinch of that, I will go in at the end of day or next morning and track the calories. I do it to show myself how easy it is to pile up the calories. I make a point to plan for the lowest end of calorie intake so if I do nibble here and there, I usually will not go over my maximum.
Fourth, you must do cardio and strength training. My husband has been trying to get me to weight-lift for years and I just did not see the benefits. Well now that I am in my 40’s, I see that it has helped me to lose the weight efficiently and I feel energized and good about doing it.
Last, external support is great. Sparkpeople is a testament to the power of community support. However, the operative word in self-esteem is Self. Connect with a Self greater than your reasoning mind to lean on when there is no one in the world you can turn to. Read motivational books that teach you how to develop inner strength. You are worth every effort you make!

Best wishes,
I am new to sparkpeople and just joining this community of caring people has helped me. Keeping a blog of my progress and sharing it with others motivates me.
It is hard to exercise sometimes with children. I have a three year old and I put her in the stroller on nice days and walk to the park, a health food store or a friends house. At the park, sometimes I get bored so I wear headphones with my favorite music and I avoid sitting on the benches and follow my child around as she is playing with others. I also have wii fit and that is an amazing tool. It makes workouts fun. I am working on setting small weight loss goals and rewarding myself with non-food items when I succeed, items that make me feel beautiful. I also try to shop in the side aisles of the grocery store and purchase more variety of fresh fruit and veggies. I loooooooooooove ice cream, but I keep frozen berries and yogurt on hand for delicious smoothies and my children love them too. Try to figure out what your food weaknesses are and find subsitutes. I had the munchies last night and I munched on pea pods. First I rinsed them and let them sit in cold water and this made them extra crispy and sweet. Try different health food at your local health food store. AVOID fast food. Find a buddy to exercise with. I am new to spark and if you want to be buddies, I am here. Remember you are worth the effort and congratulations on taking the first step and joining spark:) Report
I would suggest increasing your water intake, focusing on fruits and vegitables and healthy protiens.

Then start the exercise, start with walking on your breaks and lunch.

Also work on preparing dinners on the weekend or using a crock pot so dinner can be ready to go when you and your daughter get home to redude late night eating.

I have been a single mom for 19 yrs and when the weather permitted I would come home from gathering my 2 children and I'd change clothes and then we'd throw a loaf of bread, peanut butter, honey, jelly, a knife, juice boxes or therma's of milk into a bag w/chips/fruit and head to the park for a picnic and play.

Just take one day at a time, also make one change at a time, it takes 6 wks for form a new habit and you don't want to overwhelm yourself as that only leads to discouragement.

Good luck, you can do it!!! Report
Take one day at a time. Drink plenty of water to detoxic yur body. Don't forget to eat a hi-protein breakfast to keep you going through the morning. Exercise, exercise, and get plenty of it. Enjoy your food, eat slowly and chew it thoroughly and most of all do positive things, keep positive people in your life. Don't give up. Congratulations for taking this giant step. Sparkpeople will be with you thru thick and thin.
Go to the local library and get the "BECK Diet Solution" and read it cover to cover, since Dr. Elaine Beck teaches you how to THINK like a THIN person. Her book isn't a "diet" but a way to deal with "food pusher " people, and people who discourage you. Report
My advise would be go to bed defore everyone else to avoid eating late. Also, walk during your lunch breaks to get your workouts in. eat at your desk then go fo ra walk. If the house is to cluttered to workout, take a walk around the neighborhood. Report
I have to eat late at night because of a health condition. If I don't I will wake up sick the next day and will be sick most of the day. I found that if you eat a late night snack, make it fruit or the 100 calorie popcorn packs. They contain the perfect amount for a personal bowl of it for you and popcorn actually helps you sleep better. So it's a win-win.

I wear ankle weights about once a week all day long, this way I get a small work out while doing my daily routine. It's kind of fun to do on days I train my dog cuz then I do some sprints with them. It's adding little things. If you have a kid, go for walks to the park or walk the dog if you have one. Every little bit help. Report
I know how you feel also. I am also struggling with weight gain. I get sooo discouraged, but, I have to keep trying. I feel the same way you do,because I have been there, many times and that is when I joined Sparkpeople, I am also hoping, this time, to reach my goals. I also need help and someone to work with me, so I can be accountable. I would like to work with you and have you work with me. I will leave the decision up to you. Good luck to you, You can contact me on sparkpeople or at my email address. Together we can do it. LoreJae Report
As far as excercising on a tight schedule, spend a Saturday morning at the local library and check out some exercise tapes/DVDs. Get your 2-year-old to do the routines with you. Neither one of you will do it perfectly, but you will be moving, and that's what's important.

Eat as soon as you get home and then exercise. Just because your "roomies" eat late, doesn't mean you have to. Find out what you want your routine to be and get to it. They may fall in line. You and the 2 year old can eat together; then you can get her to bed and spend your time decluttering if you want to. Fifteen minutes decluttering a day will help you clear enough room for you to exercise.

Also ... a good friend of mine turned me on to casseroles. They are fast to cook, you have meals for a couple of days, and are good for heat-and-eat, when you don't have time to cook a whole meal. I usually make one or two on Saturdays and Sundays, so I can have lunch and dinner for the week.

Those are a few things. I hope they help you.
Good job walking during lunch! I do the same. I have 2 boys and they do take all of your time after work. My tip is to find out if your health insurance plan offers gym reimbursement. If they do, find a local gym that offers babysitting or has activities for you to do together. Good luck and remember you are beautiful!!! Report
Walking on your lunch hour is a GREAT start. Eat smaller portions, even if you can't buy all the healthier foods, ( which can be expensive) if you eat smaller portions it will show on the scales. It takes time to loose weight, just like it took time to gain it. Slow weight lost is better than drastic dieting and your rate of keeping it off is better when you loose it slowly. Just don't give up and keep trying, nothing is accomplished if you don't try. When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on... Report
Find something to feel good about yourself and build on are a great mother .you are a compassionate have beautiful eyes, etc etc..God loves you,just as you are..Self esteem is the key thing for all of us..Love yourself and you will change your mind and that will change your life...good luck. Report
I just started SP this week and just read your blog. I am working on the Protein power plan program. It is easy . You are allowed so many grams of protein and carbs a meal . You don't have to worry about what you CAN NOT have. You can have almost anything you want except white carbs and sugar. ( that is mostly bread , potatoes, and sweets) If you can do without them a while you can loose the pounds. The protein helps you stay full and you don't get hungry. It is also good to keep you healthy. Check out the protein power plan book at your book store. It is by Dr's Eades. (Mr. & Mrs.) They have been counceling their patients with this program for over 20 years. I started it 3 days ago and so far have lost 3 pounds. I eat lots of protein from fish, beef, chicken, peanut butter, cottage cheese, cheese . These are all leagle foods on this program. The thing to learn is portion size. I am 62 years old and need to loose about 30 pound. I am allowed
58 grams of protein a day and 28 - 40 ( or about 30) grams of carbs a day. With this plan your body balances out itself and controls the insulin it needs to feed itself. I have learned a low fat high carb diet is NOT good for us. Carbs turn to fat and are stored in the body. Protein and fat are good because they are burned for energy. Check the book out for yourself. I think you will be surprised at all the food you can have and the kinds of food.
I wish you the best and DON'T GIVE UP. IT IS POSSIBLE. You are a skinny person in a large body just waiting to get out. It is up to you to find the right key. I know you can do it. Just believe in yourself and trust the Lord to help give you the strength to do it. He will if you just ask.
If you have questions or will let me know how you are doing you can do so by sending me a email at . I would love to know how well you do and if you go on the protein power plan . I know a young man of one of my friends who went on this program and has lost over 100 pounds. He has kept it off and said it was the easiest plan he had ever tried because he could eat almost anything he wanted as long as it was low carbs.
If you email me put the subject as Spark People reply so I will not deleate it. I don't read mail I don't know . But if you subject it I will know to open it. Report
Saunya, I understand what it's like to be busy, yet wanting to do something to make a change in your life. When I'm up and running, I'm on the go from 4:30 a.m. to 7:30 or 9:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with about an hour to have dinner with my hubby of 31 years. I've lost 21 pounds since 12/31/2009 just by tracking the food I eat on a daily basis on SparkPeople. It was tough at first, like anything new might be, but now it has become more streamlined. I have an injury that won't permit me to exercise, but when I did exercise I would go out for a short walk. Your daughter may enjoy that as well. Hang in there and you WILL see results; it's guaranteed. Do you have faith? That is what keeps me going when all else fails. Report
I can certainly understand your problem in coming home to a two-year-old who wants your attention. i was wondering if, now that the weather is getting so pretty, that you could find a way to make the time you spend with her into exercise? I'm telling my age, but my kids loved to be pushed in a "stroller." Don't know what they call them now, or even if they still make them. But pushing the weight of my kids sure helped a workout! Also, I had one son who used to like it if I turned on the radio & danced him to sleep instead of rocking. Yoga is great & doesn't take a lot of space--there is also yoga for kids. It won't be too long before she can skate & biking will be here before you know it. Report
Good for you making a start. It sounds like you have the determination to make it and we're here to support you! I would recommend turning your daughter's need for attention into your workout time. Find fun ways to play with her and get some exercise as well. Exercise doesn't have to be a structured task with all kinds of equipment. Some of the best exercise I get is chasing my dog around the house or the park on the weekends. It's fun and it takes the "work" out of working out. All the best to you!!! Report
Write down your goals. Keep a food and workout journal and also a life journal. That's what I do. It's good to write down your daily food intake and workout routine so that you can look back at what you have been doing and see if you are watching what you eat so that you burn calories according to your program. We also have to remember that there is another part of our lives and we can find a lot of insight when we keep a personal journal which can help in the weight loss efforts.

Eat breakfast is the best food advice I can give and make it one high in fiber, low in bad fats and calories. Eat healthy snacks such as fruits. Make sure you eat your last meal of the day before 9pm so that your body has time to digest it before you go to sleep.

Get plenty of sleep is another great bit of advice I give to anyone. This is just as important as eating breakfast. Do something that moves your body and I suggest that you consult your health care provider and do something that you enjoy doing. Exercise does not have to be boring.

Love yourself now because even with the weight gone you have to love who you are. You are not the weight. Embrace yourself and know that it takes patience when embarking on such a journey and don't expect the weight to fall off quickly. The scale is not final authority. Use a tape measure and the way your clothes fit also.

Enjoy your journey and don't forget to include your family in this positive change in your life. This change will involve everyone that you have a close relationship with and even those you work with. Keep in touch with SparkPeople on a daily basis if possible. Rejoice in small victories. You can do it! Report
Im sorry about your sitaution, and know about living in a small house. I had to rearrange and get rid of stuff to do my wii fit plus when I want to. I started walking, and when I go to a store I park as far away as possible, if there is stairs I use them, forget elevators. Every step helps us. Your walking and watching your food thats a great start. Get out after dinner with your daughter and walk, play, run around outside with her. Every bit helps and you will start to notice a difference. Please dont give up. God bless, Joy Report
Every morning I find one thing to be greatful for, somedays its just the fact that I woke up and am still breathing! Next I tell myself one thing I will do for myself that day-I will read that magazine article I haven't got to yet or I'll look in my neighbors yards and enjoy all of their flowers. It doesn't have to cost any thing just something you enjoy. At first it can seem very overwhelming so if all you can do today is just get in the 8 glasses of water-good for you. Take small steps-thats how most journeys begin. Positive thoughts! YOU CAN DO THIS! Report
Find a buddy. Someone who is going through the weight loss journey. Someone you can share your challenges and successes with. Start out small and steady.......I stopped slathering my vegetables with butter and started experiencing with different no-salt spices I don't even miss the butter. Fill most of your plate with vegetables. Be as active as possible with your little her in the yard, dance. You have a huge support team here.........good luck to you!!!! Report
make small consistent changes. visit sparkpeople every day and log in your food, exercise, and progress. ask others for help [there are some great friends here on sparkpeople]. feel better about yourself, every life is a gift from God and precious to Him. show yourself love. Never give up. Report
Many of these ideas are great. I would also suggest being grateful for the home you have and the relationship you have. Walking with your child and maybe after dinner going for a walk with your fiancee and helping your future mom in law and he clean up and prepare for the next day's lunch You are doing great Best Wishes Report
Take your child for a walk each day, it will give you time together and help you walk off the weight. If you want to go faster put your child in a stroller and you'll be able to. Also if you have place to lay down on the floor you have room to do crunches - they can help you get in shape neither would cost money and your can have your child with you for both. Report
For me, it's not so much not eating late at night as it is WHAT I eat. Try to stay in your calorie range an just make healthy choices. Track your nutrition.

Drink water, This is your bestfriend! It keeps you feelng fuller and keeps you hydrated.

Prepare healthy snacks ( dried fruits, nuts with dark choco chips make a good healthy snack) Measure your foods. Portion control realy works!

Also on your days off try to make a menu for yourself and others. Involve your family doing this to make it fun.

Get outside and walk. Try to include your family in this also. They are your best resource in this because they are right there with you. If your fiance or his mother don't want to do it with you, I bet your daughter would love to! It would give you and her time together.

Don't be so hard on yourself. You are worth ever moment you try making healthier choices in your life. Remind yourself of everything you have already acheived (asking for help) Treat yourself as you would others! You wouldnt say anything to someone else that would hurt them. You need to treat yourself and body as you would your best friend! Because you are the only one that will always be there for yourself in the end.

As the house being cluttered, has great resources for this. there is also a Flylady:Peace of mine team here on spark. Its a wonderful team. Very helpful!

Get yourself involved with teams on Sparkpeople. This will great support in eveything going on in your life. There are teams fr almost everything that you can think of. The people here are WONDERFUL. All are very supportve and there to lend a hand when needed. They help to pick you back up when you are down and there to pat you on the back when ever you need it.

One last thing....... Welcome to Sparkpeople!!!! Report
First -
Be kind to yourself. The things you are saying to YOU, you would NEVER say to a friend or even an acquaintance - so don't you deserve the same courtesy?

Second, just start --
Drinking more water is a good way and non-threatening to everyone in the house.

Walking costs nothing (but some time). If you don't have time in the evening - what about during your lunch hour? Walk for part of it and bring a healthy lunch for afterwards.

Offer to help prepare the meal at least one day each week -- that way you can totally control what is being put on the table. Report
Self-care first thing in the morning, five minutes to tell yourself you are worth it, you are lovable, so that you are ready to take care of yourself during the day, making small choices that care for you, lovable you, a little bit each day. Xo!! Report
First and most important advice came to me from my husband and that is love yourself for who you are. Make the changes you need to be healthy. Whether or not you are obese or underweight, you have to love yourself first and everything else will fall to place.

This is true for me. I'm working on loving myself and stop the self negative talk.
I decided to change what I dont' like about myself and this reflects in what I eat, what I drink, how much I eat and drink, how much I work out and I push myself in this area without hurting myself, SP is a great place for ideas from the community who share the same feelings as you do.

Love yourself, Commit to being healthy for yourself first and your family secondly because you'll want to be there for your daughter and enjoy all the things she enjoys and you want to teach her a good healthy lifestyle/home so that she won't have to go through what you are.

You are not alone, you will find a friend in SP that can connect with your everday struggles and I'm pretty sure the changes you will see, will motivate you to do your best everyday, wherever you are.

Good luck and believe it or not you will see the results, just don't give up. If one day you didn't do too well, tomorrow is another day, just don't give up, look ahead and just learn from the past.

Big hug to you! Report
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