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TJANGIE SparkPoints: (7,837)
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10/2/12 7:18 A have to pick your's hard to lose weight and exercise AND it's hard being unhealthy...pick one...I say lose weight and get healthy. Baby steps all the way and enjoy it. Find what works for you...good luck!

PROUDNERD SparkPoints: (0)
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10/1/12 11:17 A

Thank you, Yojulez, that was actually helpful. emoticon

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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10/1/12 1:01 A

Actually, I do think the changes you've made so far are good ones... you know what you need to do, it's just figuring out how to do it. When I first started I didn't go from eating 3000 calories one day and then dropping to 1200 the next and sticking with it. The first month or two was all about learning. I learned stuff I thought was healthy actually wasn't. I learned how to change my cooking (in my case I didn't need to learn how), to be more healthy, even though I never thought it was that bad to begin with. I still don't exercise, although I don't advocate that, I know it's bad that I don't. Even just getting out there and talking a 20 minute walk after work is something... maybe you can even get your mom to go with you? I know walking is boring but hey, what's 20 minutes in the grand scheme of things? I also think using Kinect is a great way to exercise, especially when you're starting out and just need to get used to moving.

You've gotten some good suggestions about meals. I will also add, do you have access to a George Foreman Grill? Those things are great for quick and easy cooking. One of my old standby meals used to be taking a boneless skinless chicken breast, sprinkling cajun seasoning on it (salt-free), and throwing it on the foreman grill. The seasoning is available in the supermarket, and adds tons of flavor. Fish works great on a foreman grill too. If no foreman grill, you can throw the chicken in the oven at like 400-425 for about 15-20 minutes. Just cut a slit in it to make sure it's not pink anymore. You can then either steam some veggies in the microwave, or, my preferred method, is to roast them in the oven at around 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes (for stuff like broccoli and asparagus). Dense veggies like squash take longer (like 45 minutes). You just toss them in a bit of olive oil (Usually 1tbsp is plenty for 2 servings, I cook for 2) along with some pepper or whatever other seasonings you want to use. You can use salt but I really watch my sodium levels so I usually leave that off. Another idea for chicken is to roast it in the oven, but after 10 minutes or so, throw some marinara sauce on it (I use jarred) and a bit of shredded mozzarella on it, and put it back in for the last 5 minutes or so. It's almost like chicken parmesan, and since you're a pizza lover, you will appreciate the flavors. I'm also a big fan of english muffin pizzas. I buy 100 calorie whole grain fiber added english muffins, put a spoonful of marinara or whatever red sauce I have around onto each muffin half, then top with shredded mozzarella cheese, and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes. Pop in the oven at 375 for like 10 min and you have little mini pizzas, and it's around 250 calories.

Also, baked potatoes are super easy. Take a potato, wash it, poke some holes in it with a fork, put a tiny bit of olive oil on it and rub it around on the potato, then season it with pepper and/or salt. Put in a 425 oven for like 45 min to an hour (you can do it faster in the microwave but I've never actually done it that way, whenever a fork will easily pierce through. Then, once it's done, cut a slit in the top and open it up. You can top it with a little bit of butter (1tbsp or less, I'm not big on using fake butter), some pepper, and even some bacon bits that they sell in a jar at the store.

If you like buffalo chicken, try this... mix some hot sauce with some olive oil (taste it until you like how it tastes) and then cut up a chicken breast into cubes. Throw the chicken in the sauce mixture, then onto a cookie sheet and roast it in the oven for like 15 min. Boom, healthier buffalo chicken :) You can also buy Frank's wing sauce from the store, I believe it doesn't have too many calories but don't quote me on that since I've never bought it myself.

At work, getting salads is great! But as you noticed, many dressings are pretty high in calories. Generally, ones with "vinaigrette" in the names, will be a better option. Also, get the dressing in a little cup on the side, and then dip your fork in it before forking the salad instead of putting the dressing direct on the salad. You'll still get the dressing flavor but you're not dousing your lettuce in dressing.

Having access to your dad's meal plans will be great too. It's a little different for me, but when I find a recipe that looks good but doesn't have the nutrition value, I'll actually use the recipe builder on the tracker (hit the "recipes" tab), and will build the recipe there and see what the numbers are. If it's too high, I won't make it. You can do the same thing for your parents plans ahead of time. Also you can figure out what you can sub in and out with the meal to make it healthier for you... like subbing out a side dish for a veggie, stuff like that. I was living with my folks when I started up so I that's what I did when I did decide to eat with them.

For the grocery shopping, I would keep a running list on your phone, since you said you can't think of things when your folks ask you. For me, I think of random stuff throughout the day ("Hmm I could use some broccoli from the store") but if it doesn't get written down, I'll forget about it. I keep a list on my phone of the random stuff I think of, until I'm at a place where I can actually write it down. I even do this in the middle of the night if I'm awake and thinking! Then, once your folks are ready for your list, you can just read off your phone list.

You can definitely do this. I think you and I are a lot alike, I hate failing and I hate making changes to my ways :) Folks like us just have to make little changes a bit at a time. I also LOVED the idea of writing a list of what changes you need to make, and then writing next to them what you need to do to make those changes, even if it's not something you can or are willing to do right now.

LARISSA_NY Posts: 200
9/30/12 9:05 A

What's more important to you - feeling happy and positive and comfortable at all times, or not being obese anymore? If the answer to that is "Feeling happy and positive and comfortable at all times" - congratulations, you weigh 240 pounds. The best advice I or anyone else can give you at this point is to learn to love yourself at that weight. Then you'll feel better.

Here's the bottom line: people are giving you good advice that you don't want to hear because you want someone to tell you that drinking water loaded with artificial sweeteners and eating Healthy Choice dinners will melt 90 pounds off you. It won't, and it won't help you to be healthy in any other way either.

Losing weight is not going to be impossible for you by any means, but it will be very, very difficult, because it's going to require you to take a good long look at yourself and set aside a whole lot of excuses and illusions, like "I know there must be some way for me to lose weight that doesn't require me to put in the scary work of taking control of my life and my body and the things that go into my body. It's not my fault that no one will tell me what it is."

The problem is that before you can take any of that advice you have a whole lot of issues that you're going to have to work through that have nothing to do with weight, and none of us can help you do that. My advice is to find someone - in the real world, not on a message board - who can help you with those things.

When you're ready to put in the work, you'll see the results.

PROUDNERD SparkPoints: (0)
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9/30/12 12:29 A

I don't want to feel angry at myself or guilty about anything, especially when I fail... If I'm going to do this I want it to be a positive experience. Instead I feel like it's a chore, an obligation, a big ugly trial by fire and if I screw it up I won't ever succeed.

I do want to lose weight, I just want the experience to be a lot more positive (and possibly easier or at the very least more fun) than it has been. Responses along the lines of "tough crap, do what we say anyway" don't help. I need to find something that works for ME.

I came here for positive encouragement. I do greatly appreciate those of you who WERE positive or encouraging. But the posts that were tough didn't make me feel any better about the situation.

Edited by: PROUDNERD at: 9/30/2012 (00:33)
EMMACORY Posts: 20,643
9/30/12 12:29 A

When you log on to your start page you should see a SparkCoach icon on the right hand side of the page. If it isn't there, I would ask on the message boards where to find it. Hope you can get the book. Most libraries have it.

PROUDNERD SparkPoints: (0)
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9/30/12 12:20 A

No, I haven't read it...

What exactly is SparkCoach?

HAPPENINGFISH SparkPoints: (0)
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9/29/12 11:52 P

I think peeps are tough on you because they've been there, ProudNerd. I think most of us have been there, done that, and know what ultimately works and what doesn't.

It may frustrate you to no end when we're here saying "there is no way AROUND that stuff, you have to go through it" but please trust that a lot of us know what we're talking about.

Obviously you want this change to happen on some level or you wouldn't be here. Look, I used to be 220 pounds myself. There are many people, myself included, who had to bottom out, feel very sorry for myself, feel angry, feel trapped, cry self to sleep, not know what to do and be so absolutely frustrated to clearly be a smart person who didn't have a clue how to fix the situation, feel angry again, then ugly, hopeless, pathetic, and feeling at 23 like the rest of my life was going to be a lonely failure at the rate I was going.

Nothing, NOTHING changed until I wanted it. Not dreamed after it, hoped, or wished. When you get it it's like a lovely bomb of fantastic going off in your head. The changes you need to make become so much easier when your desire to do it is bigger than your fear of failure. Why, really, why would you continue as you have done. Why NOT change your life? What is there really to lose?

The post where you talk about having to be healthy rather than wanting to - that's very telling. And it doesn't bode well for instant success. However, I think it's good you said it. Get some honesty out there and confront some of these feelings. You are where you are right now; just keep working, right?

EMMACORY Posts: 20,643
9/29/12 11:41 P

Can I ask if you have read the Spark book? If not, that might be a good place to start. And if you have read it, maybe you would benefit from re-reading it. SparkGuy started out with just "10 minutes" a day. Can you start a streak (of your own choosing) and see how far you can go? Also I would encourage you to check out SparkCoach. You can try it free for two weeks and then you need to pay. I think the daily info and reinforcement might be more encouraging and helpful for you. They break it down into steps and it seems manageable.

There have been some good suggestions made by others...but you need to find the answers within yourself. Yes, you have been told over and over again that you need to do this or that but only you can make the journey for yourself. All of us struggle to live a healthy life style. It isn't something we do in one day. It is a process...a does get easier. I'll be rooting for you. emoticon

PROUDNERD SparkPoints: (0)
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9/29/12 8:11 P

Read my first post. I listed the things I've done to change my diet since starting work, compared to eating random crap like I did in college. Were ANY of those choices good ones?

Want a new change to hear about? I bought some Mio at the store today, to add to water so I can drink that instead of diet soda (which I don't drink obscene amounts of either so in my particular case "cut back" would mean "cease entirely"). In fact, I learned Walmart has a generic brand version (cheaper) and they make a blue raspberry flavor (my favorite flavor!) and it is amazing!

Excuses not to exercise? I did say in one post that some of those weren't meant to be excuses, but rather explanations of why things are difficult at this time, and I would LOVE to hear ways to get around that.

And I never said I didn't want to eat veggies. I like veggies. The only anti-veggie thing I said was that I hate peppers, onions, olives, and mushrooms, and therefore I won't even consider a recipe that uses them if I were to try finding things to learn how to cook.

I know this entire thing will be far easier once I move out of the house and absolutely have to do everything on my own, but in the meanwhile, this is hard and I'm struggling and I don't feel very encouraged or confident.

Edited by: PROUDNERD at: 9/29/2012 (23:15)
ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (191,765)
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9/29/12 8:00 P

1) What I want to hear is whether or not the changes I have put in place are good steps.
What changes? You don't want to cook, you don't want to eat veggies, and you make every excuse in the book not to exercise.

2) . I want advice on how to make dealing with my parents' bad choices easier.
Buy your own healthy food, learn to cook, and eat that when your parents bring in "bad" food you're not sucked into eating it.

Sorry, I do not know how to sugar coat things. Is that gentle enough for you?

PROUDNERD SparkPoints: (0)
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9/29/12 7:49 P

What I want to hear is whether or not the changes I have put in place are good steps. I want advice on how to make dealing with my parents' bad choices easier. Everytime someone basically tells me to suck it up and be an adult and not rely on my parents makes me go "Gee, thanks a LOT for reminding me of how pathetic I am" and I get depressed. I seriously went to my room and cried last night feeling like I was going to fail at this whole thing and for a very brief moment I considered going straight up anorexic to just avoid it all.

I do not like the all-or-nothing, "go hard or go home," "suck it up and DO IT," mentality that some others have. The first two, I have, and I need to find a way to get rid of that mentality because it makes me so friggin upset with myself when I screw up.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (191,765)
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9/29/12 7:38 P

I came here to say what Larissa_NY said already.


LARISSA_NY Posts: 200
9/29/12 6:48 P

Well, what do you want people here to tell you?

No, that's a serious question. What is it you want to hear? You don't want to cook. You don't want to go to the gym. You don't want to hear anything that might suggest that the way you're approaching this isn't going to be successful. You don't want to do anything that bores you or makes you uncomfortable or requires sustained effort. You don't want to take responsibility for your health and do what needs to be done to improve it. You don't even want to HEAR what needs to be done to improve it because, I don't know, people aren't sugar-coating the very simple and specific answers they're giving you or something. And you wonder why people have resorted to being very, very blunt with you? It's because you're not hearing them when they talk to you nicely.

You clearly are very resistant to anything that might require you to step outside your comfort zone. Well, your comfort zone is the place where you weigh 240 pounds. You can "not react well" to that particular piece of tough love all you want, but it's not me who has to live with the results of your unwillingness to step up to the plate, it's you.

PROUDNERD SparkPoints: (0)
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9/29/12 4:08 P

To be honest, no. I don't. I don't like this plan, I don't like being uncomfortable, and if I could live a healthy life at this current weight I would. But I HAVE to because I am scared about my health. The only "encouragement" I've heard in the past towards losing weight is "If you do not lose weight you will have problems and YOU WILL DIE." I was inspired to try again when I stepped on the scale and saw 240, and my belly felt truly uncomfortably large for the first time.

I just want to be happy. This plan, from day one, has made me unhappy. Not to mention the "tough love" I'm getting from the majority of the posts in this thread have made me feel even worse (I don't respond well to tough love). It's like I'm being thrown into a pool and being told at gunpoint to beat Michael Phelps at 100m freestyle when I don't even know how to do that stroke!

The only time I felt like I was doing alright in the face of adversity was when I managed only 1220 calories for the day despite having tacos with my bosses, and that was because I skipped lunch.

I feel like I HAVE to do this whether I want it or not. I'm being scared into it. And it makes me VERY upset. It would be much easier if my parents, who both NEED to lose weight as well (dad weighs more than me), did this along with me. Dad attempted Weight Watchers once but recently fell off that wagon. Mom used to exercise with her friends but stopped, and has gained all of that back. The health problems associated with obesity could hit them harder than it hits me simply because they're twice my age. Both have been diagnosed with type-2 diabetes at some point.

I talked to them about this just now, and mom suggested that dad forward me an e-mail of the week's dinner plans (he's started planning it each week ahead of time so we know what groceries to buy, because we used to eat out every night and that was costing us a lot of money.) This could potentially help in that if I research each thing ahead I know how careful to be at work.

Edited by: PROUDNERD at: 9/29/2012 (16:16)
CHESAPEAKE60 SparkPoints: (7,707)
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9/29/12 10:04 A

And there was nothing in the house to eat besides the wings and pizza??? Sorry, I was trying to be sympathetic and helpful at first. But I can't believe you couldn't have found a piece of cheese, a piece of fruit, a bag of frozen veggies in the frig to eat.

Tough love time. It really sounds like you want the weight to simply disappear or you want your parents to take responsibility for your weight loss and do the work for you - along with joining you on this path so you don't have to "suffer" alone.

You are an ADULT. And along with the benefits (of adulthood) come the responsibilities. The buck stops with you - period. The Spark system works if you make the commitment to follow it. You can choose to follow it and get to a healthy weight. Or you can continue to find reasons to not follow the plan. And stay exactly as you are now or even continue to gain as you age. Because there will always be reasons to not follow the plan.......

Edited by: CHESAPEAKE60 at: 9/29/2012 (10:50)
HAPPENINGFISH SparkPoints: (0)
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9/29/12 7:51 A

That does suck, I'm sorry to hear about that.

Did you, by any chance, say any of this to your parents?

What if you think about it like being a vegetarian - when I was like 15 I decided to go veggie, and my family said that's fine but we're not going vegetarian and neither will you unless you get your proteins and eat properly, so every night my parents would warn me if there was meat dish and I'd have to make a serving of something of my own.

You have to let them know you're serious, because they aren't taking you seriously. I'm really not going to get in to a whole "you have to turn your parents around to your lifestyle" thing because if you wanna go there, that can wait until you actually turn your own lifestyle around. Show them a plan, ask for help, set some food boundaries. It doesn't have to be an argument.

They say it takes three weeks to make something a habit; six months to make it a lifestyle. You can even say you're changing your eating habits for three weeks, to give it a proper chance and see how it goes, and can they just give you three weeks of support?

But I mean, you have to want to lose weight more than you want to avoid confrontation. You have to want to lose weight more than you want to avoid discomfort. You have to want to lose it more than you want to put it off. Do you?

PROUDNERD SparkPoints: (0)
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9/28/12 9:21 P

Yeah... new problem...

ARGH! My parents KNOW I'm trying to lose weight and what does dad do? He orders wings and pizza for our dinner tonight! And he got the wings for ME because I'm the only person in the family who likes them (and they are my most favorite food)! If I only eat the wings I'll be one calorie away from the upper limit of my range, but then I can't have any pizza or I'd blow it for today. And he ordered two pizzas, and neither of us likes to let things go to waste.

The only positive I see to this is leftovers for the weekend, but still!

This whole tracking thing is really starting to make me frustrated. I hate messing up and it's way too hard to simply "not mess up." I feel terrible when I fail...

Edited by: PROUDNERD at: 9/28/2012 (22:03)
CHESAPEAKE60 SparkPoints: (7,707)
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9/28/12 3:39 P

There are a number of things you can do with minimal cooking. There are tilapia recipes that only have you mix a handful of ingredients to make a Parmesan topping. You put the fish on a pan and set it under the oven broiler of a couple of minutes each side and then finish cooking with the topping on the fish. I think I got the recipe from this site. Super simple and quick. You can have your mom pick up one of the rotisserie chickens that many grocery stores have already cooked and just remove the skin. You can take wheat pita bread and put healthy pizza toppings on it and stick it in the oven to brown and melt low fat cheese.

Just plan ahead and have a list when you mom asks what she can pick up when she goes to the store.

There is whole wheat pasta you can boil - add a little olive oil, fresh tomatoes, spinach, some left over chicken and a little Parmesan cheese on top.

So many easy options....

As far as the exercise, start slow. I started walking at the high school track. Only one lap to start. Did that for a couple of weeks. Then increased by a lap every 2 weeks. Eventually I was up to 4 miles in an hour. I only walked. Never ran. And didn't worry about how long it took me. Speed just naturally picked up after a couple of months. But the key is to do what you CAN succeed at. So make sure you set realistic goals.

Edited by: CHESAPEAKE60 at: 9/28/2012 (15:48)
HAPPENINGFISH SparkPoints: (0)
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9/28/12 2:56 P

I feel you with the team sports - I played fastball and hockey competitively as a kid and teenager, and I really, really miss team sports. Mind you, I could get up off my bum and find a team to play with NOW, but I'm also trying out a number of new things so there's not that much time. (My latest love is actually boxing... holy crap. If you want to get fit and like competition, holy and crap, is what I say. If you find a good gym with a trainer who's good with beginners, it totally doesn't matter what shape you're in to begin with... they will change it.)

That SUCKS that you can't go to the same gym as your parents. Absolute rubbish red tape! I guess what you could do is even put a shout out on facebook to see if any of your peeps back home are also thinking about getting a membership to the Y. You never know.

I really remember it being a challenge when coming out of the university setting, too, because all my life I'd have sports organised for me, I had a gym on campus, I was where my friends were. Then I upped and moved to Europe after graduating and pretty much the only reason I haven't joined a team sport yet is because I've been shy and just afraid to get out there. Which I can obviously fix. :) But it does take a little extra push when you're first out of school to figure out who the heck is even organising local teams and leagues and stuff, and it's nerve-wracking to show up because you want to find a team where you're more or less at the same level. But it might be a really good idea to at least look into it, 'cause that would give you people to train with. (Seriously though, think about boxing. Great comraderie there, too. Plus heavy people hit HARD! :)

You might be a bit lonely at the moment, but you're not pathetic and not a loser. You are where you are at the moment. Also, today you even inspired me to get off my butt and go for a bike ride - I was really ready to blow it off, you should have HEARD the excuses my head was coming up with - and then I realised that if I just gave five hundred words of tough advice to someone else and then didn't follow it myself, I might as well never give advice again. So thanks. ;)

PROUDNERD SparkPoints: (0)
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9/28/12 2:38 P

Just because I suck at a sport doesn't mean I won't try, in most cases. Some sports I just have fun doing anyway regardless of how bad I suck (like bowling, LOL!) My competitiveness means I'll play to win, and if I'm failing I might complain ("grr I'm losing"), act frustrated ("oh COME ON!"), or do some light bashing of my opponents (all in jest, no serious insults), but still have fun anyway. Unfortunately most sports that I enjoy are team sports or are otherwise done with or against people. That's why I like them, the social aspect, but since graduating and moving back home (and therefore away from all of my friends) I've had no one to do anything with. That's a big discouragement at the moment. The few local friends I have are all still in college too, so they're off and doing things with their own friends on their respective campuses.

I actually do want to get a membership to the local Y. They don't have a pool (they manage the city pool which is outdoors) but they do have rowing machines... I would LIKE if I could get a friend or a parent to go with me just so I can have someone to talk to and not feel like the "lonely fat pathetic loser who has no friends" that I always feel like when I'm out in public, but dad says he won't let mom get a membership because she can go to the gym at the air force base... but I can't anymore because I lost my dependant status when I turned 23.

(The above were not an attempt to make excuses, it was an explanation of the difficulties behind not being able to do things at this current time. It'd be great if I found a way around it.)

HAPPENINGFISH SparkPoints: (0)
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9/28/12 2:09 P

Omg there's tonnes you can do - that's good news.

On the food front, I'd focus on seafood first. Fish is very easy to cook in a number of ways. Steak can be even easier, but those are the more expensive pieces. (I myself just discovered this week what happens when you don't tenderize a cheap cut, so yeah, it's a learning process.) I bet you can also find how to do home-cooked buffalo chicken, or similar flavours on chicken.

You *could* eat just fish and steak, but you're really going to need veggies for fiber and vitamins. The other thing about veggies is that I think most of us would go crazy with hunger without them - they make you feel like you've had a decent-sized meal even if the calorie value is low. Once you get used to eating meals that feature a lot of veggies, it won't feel like a good meal without them, so it's not a "hardship" for long! Apologies if half of this is stuff you've heard before, I'm just going to assume nothing. :)

Onions end up in tonnes of recipes for flavour and bulk, but I've never been a huge fan myself so I hear you. They go well with meat because they absorb the flavour and add texture to a dish, but pretty much any time you see onions on a menu, you can leave them out.

If you see veggies in a recipe you don't like, leave them out or add one you do like. Sorted. The easiest way to start is to buy frozen broccoli or mixed veggies. You can even steam them in the microwave in about five or six minutes - put 'em in a bowl, cover with a plate, add a bit of water in the bottom of the bowl, and cook them. Drain the water off and you have a bowl of steamed broccoli. This works with most frozen veggies.

Another thing that is ridiculously easy would be a stir-fry. Take small pieces of any meat or tofu if you like the stuff (chicken is one of the easiest). You can get a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies at the supermarket for cheap. In a big pan, with about a spoonful of oil in it, cook chicken pieces about 8 minutes or so. You can even cook without the oil, but you will sacrifice flavour big time. Then just add the frozen veggies. At this point it can be helpful to put a lid on the pan for a few minutes, to help thaw the veg. Stir-cook the whole mess until the water from the veggies has cooked away. Things that you can add for flavour are a wee bit of peanut oil, or sesame seeds, or some low-sodium soy sauce.

About the sports - sounds like you don't like to lose. Ha, join the club. That can be a tough thing to deal with because it *can* prevent you from trying. Especially when you have in your head that you're not only competitive, but you "suck at most of them" - because that's a recipe for not trying. I'm not saying you have to try and like everything, but just sayin', be aware of it. You may find that you'd like to join some classes later, as your fitness confidence is up a bit. Obviously you're not averse to trying hard stuff because you took fencing (which I also tried and loved in school)!

Running and jogging: boring, okay, I hear you. "Lack the stamina" you don't get to say, sorry! :) Of course you lack the stamina! You haven't been jogging yet! You have to do it consistently, and suck at it for a while, in order to get good at it. Whatever you choose, just allow yourself not to be a freakin' world champion at it for a while. I always hated jogging and running, ever since I was a kid. I sucked at it (and still do), but it's just so convenient to add to a workout regime (all you need is the shoes and a sports bra with you and you can do it anywhere) that I had to start including it. One day I was on a jog, miserable as usual, and something switched on in my brain. I realised I wasn't actually suffering, and I could go for longer, and longer, and longer. It was great. I even did a half marathon a couple of years ago - and that WAS suffering, but I did it. I used to feel crap when other runners passed me. Now I really don't mind if they do, because I'm just doing my own thing. It takes a while for running to be "enjoyable" for people like me, but there's no denying that it will make you lose weight faster. Ultimately that's what I cared about.

Swimming and rowing are both great. If you have a bit of money, it means you can afford to swim or hit the gym even at the Y or whatever. Can you do them 3-4 times a week, though? If so, that's totally going to work. You have to be getting your heart rate up, obviously. Archery and bowling are both great activities, although they don't much count as weight-loss exercises. Not that you should stop doing them though! Archery is awesome.

You should find 2 or 3 heart-rate-raisers that you can stick to consistently. I have friends who swim 5 times a week. I like to cycle, run, and dance, so I just try to make sure I do a good session of *something* a number of times a week. Some weeks that's just running, or even just doing the elliptical at the gym. Some people like a lot more consistency, but I like to mix it up a lot.

This is turning into an essay and there's not been any talk of pushups yet or weight training... but if you can get started with some consistency with cardio, and make some headway in learning to cook, you will be really kicking this off in a big way.

PROUDNERD SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 75
9/28/12 11:45 A

In response to HappeningFish

5 foods I like:
1. Buffalo wings (or buffalo chicken anything, like sandwiches)
2. Fetuccini alfredo
3. Steak
4. Seafood (I don't like salmon or oysters, but I like almost all other kinds of fish or shellfish)
5. Pizza

I've noticed a lot of healthy recipies focus on adding all sorts of crazy veggies. I don't mind most veggies but I absolutely HATE peppers, onions, olives, and mushrooms. And nearly every "healthy" recipe I've seen contains at least one of those things.

5 excercises/activities I like or want to do:
1. Swimming
2. Rowing (rowing machines are fun!)
3. Bowling
4. Archery
5. Does playing with the Kinect on my dad's Xbox 360 count? That Star Wars Kinect game was exhausting, lol!

I like sports in general but I suck at most of them. I'm very competitive. I just can't find much opportunity to participate in any sports aside from bowling these days though. College was good for that as I got to do fencing, archery, and whatever crazy sport the Chi Alpha Campus Ministry was playing (capture the flag, flamingo football, blind kickball, etc.)

Two that I REALLY don't like:
1. Walking/jogging/running. BOOOOOOORRRRRRRRING and I lack the stamina.
2. Anything that requires a class. I hate being told I'm doing something wrong or not doing enough, and if I'm gonna make a fool of myself I might as well be having fun at least.

Money, at the moment, isn't too much of an object. I have very few bills to pay as I still live with my parents. But once I move out I'll have to budget things more carefully because of rent and such...

Edited by: PROUDNERD at: 9/28/2012 (11:54)
PLANTAGO SparkPoints: (20,129)
Fitness Minutes: (27,578)
Posts: 2,211
9/28/12 9:38 A

I actually think you are on good road. You started exercising. You started making changes in your food habits. You think what to do to make it all work.
I would advice you not to run until you are very comfortable with brisk walking, as brisk, as to make you sweat. Then go ahead and start running program.
Try to learn how to cook, believe me-it's fun! And making nice, satisfying, healthy sandwich plus a bowl of salad takes so little time. I'm a good cook,want to ask something just send me a message.
Snack on vegs and relatively low carb fruit, like carrots, cukes, celery, apples.
Ditch diet sodas. They cheat your brain and your pancreas. Want something sweet-eat something with real sugar in it (if it isn't a trigger for binge eating for you). I love reeses so I always have one mini cup before treadmill.
Don't be afraid of failing, because you won't fail. Loosing weight is just one part of being healthier, and sooner or later you WILL get there.
Good luck,
Marta emoticon

HAPPENINGFISH SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (20,043)
Posts: 865
9/28/12 8:37 A

And actually, I think what you DO need right now is some toughness, from yourself to yourself.

For cooking: list up to 5 dishes you really like. I don't care if they're healthy or not; we'll go from there. We'll find the recipes you can start with.

For breathing: I've got asthma myself. For a long time this year I had to curb my workouts a bit because my lungs were going nuts. Slow and steady wins that race. Do what you can but DO it. Also, for me 90% of my "can't breathe" moments are mental. They arrive because I'm upset about exercising, I'm afraid of failing, and I don't want to deal with the feelings that made me get out of shape. Once I remember that they are primarily mental, I can usually calm down, and I just ask myself "are you really going to quit now?", and almost always the answer is no, so I just keep going. Almost all of us who have been overweight have had the "can't breathe" phase. It's a phase. Seriously. Ask anyone who's dropped the weight - I know it feels insane and horrible when it's happening to you, but it will pass.

List five exercises/activities you like doing (at least one has to be cardiovascular), and two that you really do not want to do.

How much of an object is money? How much are you willing to budget for this?

HAPPENINGFISH SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 865
9/28/12 8:30 A

Yeah, what they said!!!

Your profile says you're a web developer. Oh snap - I've done that for years and years, and I do know that it's not exactly the easiest hand to start with when your job has you in front of a screen for 8 hours. How many hours outside of that do you spend online? I'm just asking because from one nerd to another that stuff can get out of hand. :)

Learn to cook. Start with microwave cooking if you have to. You know how to code and build arrows; there is nothing stopping you from cooking aside from the fact that you don't WANT to. You don't have to become a master chef, but you can easily have five new recipes under your belt in two weeks. It's really, really not rocket science and there's no excuse. You're 24! You probably did crazier stuff in the high school chemistry lab!

I also have a suggestion for you if you're willing to try. Take a paper and pen and write down all the reasons why you find things difficult. No reason is too small. Then go over the list and write one or two changes you could make to change that difficulty - don't worry if they're changes that you believe you can actually make yet. Take a good HONEST look at your situation and pledge to ignore what is obviously to you just you trying to make an excuse, and to change what you can.

It sounds hard, but I promise you you didn't get to where you are now by accident. It really sounds to me like you won't make progress until you take the reins here. But I really, really wish you well and please keep posting back - you can be sure that you'll get some of the support you need here.

PROUDNERD SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 75
9/28/12 8:12 A

Ok I have made changes. This week I have eaten healthier in general than I have at other points in my life (especially college.) The only "can't" I used in my post when it came to excercise was about breathing and that wasn't an excuse that was a literal fact.

And many of these posts have sounded tough/negative/aggressive. That's not what I need right now. Instead of being told to just suck it up and DO it I need help figuring out HOW to do it... I hate failure and I'm scared I'll fail again, but I'm also the kind of person who would rather not try at all than risk failing.

LARISSA_NY Posts: 200
9/28/12 6:28 A

I'm going to agree with the previous posters - the biggest thing stopping you from losing weight is your excuses. You have them for every area in which losing weight would require you to make changes; and, to put it bluntly, they're not even very good excuses. (You literally cannot wait ten minutes to eat, really? Really? Are you diabetic or hypoglycemic? If so, you should be taking care of your health and planning your meals better.)

At this point the reason you're struggling is not that weight loss is all-or-nothing, because it isn't, but because you want to *see* changes without *making* changes. That is going to continue working out for you just as well as it has in the past. If you want to lose weight, let alone keep it off for the long haul, you're going to have to suck it up and do things like dropping the soda (yes, even diet), hot chocolate, and all the other little treats you think are fine because it's "just one," and learning to cook.

You're also going to need to educate yourself. Frozen dinners are only "good" if your alternative is twinkies and cupcakes. Muffins have good PR but you're still eating cake for breakfast. Eat real food, not as much of it as you think you need (seriously, being hungry will not kill you), and learn how to prepare it. Don't set yourself up for failure by trying exercise programs beyond your level. Just those four things will take you a very long way.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (191,765)
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Posts: 15,778
9/28/12 5:14 A

Despite its name, you cannot literally get off the couch and try C25K. You need to build a base of walking, which means gradually building up to walking 30-60 at a brisk pace, 3-5 days/week and be doing this consistently for several months before attempting to run. START SMALLER.

As for your mom criticizing your technique, didn't you say she's overweight? and presumably sedentary? Why don't you tell her to keep her comments to herself? or at least "I'm doing something about it, and you're not, so kindly STFU."

A previous poster said something about your excuses, and they are subtle, but until you can overcome them (I "can't" cook, I "can't" exercise) instead of seeing them as unchangeable, insurmoutable obstacles, you won't be very successful with weight loss.

PROUDNERD SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 75
9/28/12 12:05 A

I should probably have made it clear that I only drink like one soda a day. Maybe two. The diet Dr. Pepper I buy in the morning is a 20oz bottle that lasts me the whole work day. So, its not like I'm drinking a ridiculous amount (like my mom...)

I did not mention exercise because I've given up in shame. I attempted Couch to 5K. The first day went great! I felt great! But then I was told that if I had to make periodic stops (not just slow down but actually STOP) to catch my breath and take a drink then I wasn't ready to advance. The second day... I felt like complete crap. I actually felt weaker and worse on my second day than on my first... and I thought as you kept doing it you would get stronger... (Not to mention my mom watched me on the treadmill and criticized my technique. "You need to breathe deeper..." I CAN'T breathe deeper than that.) Excercise is another thing that feels like it should be all or nothing... "go hard or go home," etc. I know that light exercise doesn't burn much of anything, so I'd have to push HARD to get any result.... and I'm just not strong enough...

Edited by: PROUDNERD at: 9/28/2012 (00:07)
SH9719 SparkPoints: (40,217)
Fitness Minutes: (39,783)
Posts: 1,304
9/27/12 11:01 P

First, you are ahead of the game because you are trying to get healthier. Second, you have already made some good steps and learned some good lessons. Third, this is a long process do not get impatient, you have just started. There are people who have been doing this for years. Fourth, read as much on this site as you can, there is a lot of information here that will help you. Read the articles, the blogs and the message boards. Fifth, you made no mention of exercise. It is almost impossible to do this without some level of exercise. You do not have to invest in a gym or tons of equipment. Stretch bands and dumbbells alone will get you more than just started.

Whatever happens, keep on trying. It is better than heading in the direction you were headed.

That is the positive stuff. I have a son your age and I am used to the excuses you used in your posts. Your health is headed in the wrong direction at a very early age and yet you seem to already be setting limits on what you are willing to change. If getting up a half hour earlier will help you get healthier, who would you not want to do it. If learning to cook a little could help you eat healthier why would you not want to learn how to cook a little. I am a guy who is a self taught cook and I do fine. Most of the recipes here are real simple. Give up the soda. I know that is hard. I could drink a 6 pack or more of diet pepsi until I started this. Now it is 2 or 3 a week and 8 or more glasses of water a day. Water makes a huge difference. I do not miss the soda.

This journey is not easy. If it was, everyone would do it. If you are serious about this, put everything on the table that could change. You have taken some significant steps in the right direction. Do not hobble yourself with inflexibility. In the end it will be worth it. The best of luck.

PROUDNERD SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (302)
Posts: 75
9/27/12 9:35 P

The cafeteria does serve the same items every day. That's how I know the calorie content of the turkey burger and the sandwich and that's why I listed them in my usual lunch options. I looked up the eggs online. Those are also sold every day and they're convenient. I am NOT a morning person, so by the time I'm awake I need to be out the door, LOL!

Regarding soda... what if it's diet? I know, aspartame, but I honestly don't care as much about the chemicals or nutrients (or lack thereof) as I do about the calories. At least I'm not drinking Mountain Dew anymore. I would be drinking water with Mio instead if I could remember to pick some up from the store... :P

And I can't cook because it's a knowledge thing, and also a laziness thing. After work, the last thing I want to do is spend time making some complicated dish, when that time could be better spent having fun. Also, if I'm hungry, I'm hungry NOW, not 10 minutes from now. Also... my parents buy the groceries. They always ask me what I want them to get when they go, but when they're ready for a trip to the store I can't think of anything I want. These things will change, out of necessity, when I finally move out on my own... but that won't be for months at least. But until then the rule in the house has always been "If you can find it, and prepare it, you can eat it."

BARB0863 SparkPoints: (10,555)
Fitness Minutes: (3,778)
Posts: 108
9/27/12 9:27 P

First remember that this is a journey toward a healthier life and it starts with small steps and small changes.

I've only been here for a little over a month but it's been a great learning month. I've found that getting the 8 cups of water a day is a real help in keeping my eating in check. Sometimes when we think we are hungry we are actually thirsty.

I've made small changes in my diet. If I know I'll be getting a meal out I go online and check the restaurants website so I can decide what I'll eat before I get there. At fast food places I either don't eat the bun or get my sandwich on a wrap if they have one. I still enjoy french fries (if I want them) but order a small or value size (sometimes smaller than the small order) and water to drink.

I'm not big on breakfast yet so I usually start my day with a protein bar and water.

I've never been big on exercise but started taking walks around the block. I started walking 3 times a week and have added more distance over time but if I don't feel up to going farther it's okay as long as I'm trying to get some exercise in.

I understand living at home must be hard when you can't control what food you have for dinner but you've already started making changes when you had Panda Express for dinner.

You really shouldn't skip lunch, maybe try having a protein bar and some water. I've found the Market Pantry (Target) Chocolate Peanut Butter are good.

Don't beat yourself up and don't give up, lifestyle changes aren't an all or nothing deal. Some days will be good and some not so good but realize where you could have done better, track what you ate and get right back on your plan, you'll get there.

emoticon emoticon

HAPPENINGFISH SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (20,043)
Posts: 865
9/27/12 9:13 P

Congrats on tracking again!!!

I promise not to be aggressive :), but I might be a bit tough after looking at your list.

There are a few things that pop out at me.

#1. You don't seem to be in control of what you're going to eat until you find out what's being served that day. You can't plan ahead much with the cafeteria (although they get you the tools to make better choices, so that's a plus), and then you've got dinner, which seems to be a lottery every day. That's not going to work, period.

#2. Soda. You HAVE to be able to get rid of the soda. It will be hard but it just has to go.

#3. Why can't you cook, exactly? Is this a knowledge thing, or a "they've got the stove" thing? Because both of those can be solved.

I mean, there are a lot of other things I could look at, but to me these are the first three things that pop out. You have to be able to take control of what you're eating a bit more. I'm not saying you need to go crazy assertive overnight, but you need boundaries. You do not have to eat what your parents eat. You have a job; buy what you need to eat. Your boss invites you for a breakfast taco? Why not just say "I'm really watching my diet at the moment so just ignore me if I skip some of the food."

There's really not much stopping you at all! That's the really great thing. What may seem tough to you at the moment is what you gotta do, though!

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
9/27/12 9:05 P


Changing our lifestyle is going to take time. Unfortunately it's going to take more than a few days to do so. You want to allow yourself some time to replace unhealthy choices with healthy ones. Even if you are only making a few healthy choices you are moving toward embracing a life-long journey of healthy living.

Be strong!

Coach Nancy

PROUDNERD SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (302)
Posts: 75
9/27/12 8:49 P

So I learned that Sparkpeople has an app. This inspired me to try tracking again. I am 24 years old, 5' 1", and since graduating college I've gone up to 240lbs. I was 230 at graduation.
I thought I was eating better after I landed my first real job but apparently not. At least now I'm waking up before noon and actually eating three meals a day. Two of those meals are at the on-site cafeteria, where they have listed the calorie count of most things they sell. The third is at home and it's whatever my overweight parents decide we're having for dinner, because I still live with them and can't cook unless it uses a microwave.

Breakfast for me is usually two hard boiled eggs (155 total), a muffin (now fruit), and diet Dr. Pepper because it has zero calories whereas Fuze fruit juice has like 180. Lunch is either a turkey burger (240), salad (80 + dressing), turkey sandwich (340 with cheese), or if I run to Sonic I get the grilled chicken sandwich (340 or so if I remember, but then tots and a raspberry Sprite so yeah). Then dinner is up to my parents.

My first day of tracking I ate normally. I ended up with over 1800 calories. My second day I substituted the muffin for some fruit, had a slightly better lunch, but then blew dinner with half a pizza. I only managed 1600 calories though for the day.

Yesterday I was under 1500 for the first time, because I had salad for lunch (but I had no idea italian dressing had that many calories!) and when mom said we're having Panda Express I went online to look at the nutrition info. Orange chicken is BAD so I substituted one serving of the double order I usually get for some broccoli beef (150 calories ;) ) and ended the day under 1500.

This is hard. And working in an office makes it harder. Today my boss suggested I come to the staff meeting because it was actually her boss's birthday celebration and there would be breakfast tacos. Her boss later encouraged me to come as well. So I went, and had two tacos. The only thing that kept me from having my daily calories completely screwed over by that was the fact that I skipped lunch entirely because my workload was insane today... though I did celebrate the completion of a very large task with a grande hot chocolate from Starbucks. And tonight... to be good... I had a Healthy Choice meal for dinner. I am at 1220 for today. :)

But I'm very worried about keeping this up long term. What should I do? Is there anything else I should change? I've posted this on another site and they were a bit more... well... aggressive. I've kinda had it drilled into my head that losing weight is an all-or-nothing deal and that discourages me when I slip up.

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