*AMBER512   205,203
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*AMBER512's Recent Blog Entries

Lay offs are tough

Friday, September 26, 2008

So my husband, Aubrey was laid off this week. They let his entire department go.

So what now? Well, we stress out, Aubrey sends out his resume like a mad man, and I attempt to not eat everything that comes into my sight. Sounds good?

Before all of this crappiness happened, I signed up for a research study for GAD. I've gone to the first appointment, where I got to sit around for about four hours!! Whoo hoo! They did a physical, took about a gallon of blood, and I talked with a therapist. He determined that I probably do have GAD, as well as social anxiety. Um, can I say duh? We didn't get into the OCD or the agoraphobia, but they didn't have anything to do with the study. But anyway, I'll find out on Tuesday if anything in my blood disqualifies me and then I'll be taking the study medication and meeting with the doctor for the next couple of months.

Oh, they also realized that I have incredibly low blood pressure. Like way below normal. The doctor said that it should be fine and is probably due to the fact that I exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. But then, that could also explain some of my health issues. They are all symptoms of having low blood pressure, and could possibly be helped by taking in more sodium and caffeine.

I hope you all are having a much more fabulous week.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Amber, I'm so sorry about your husband. Layoffs are suddenly becoming a frightening reality for many couples and families. Keep your chin up and take it day by day. You're in my thoughts.

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JSMLIVE 9/27/2008 1:16AM

    Hang in there Amber, I know change is hard, but opportunities usually do arise from seemingly bad or negative situations.
I'll keep you in my meditations and prayers.

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JIBBIE49 9/26/2008 4:15PM

    You LOW BP is probably so much lower than "normal" since we are mostly WAY over with HBP. But, do take care of yourself. I went to nursing school with a girl whose bp was 90/60 as we had to check each other in class to learn. She was really tall and SKINNY, but healthy.

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QUEMBEL1 9/26/2008 3:05PM

    It is tough all around right now and scary. My husband is a mechanic and gets paid by the job. We have been having a gas shortage here which has everyone scared and he has made less that $400 for the last 2 weeks.
I have heard of people getting laid off and it pushed them to find something better than they had before. I hope that happens with your husband but I know it will be rough in the mean time.

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MDTWEETY 9/26/2008 2:36PM

    Oh no. Sorry to hear about your hubby's job. emoticon
I hope he finds another job very soon. Sending my best wishes your way... emoticon

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DEBBIEANNE1124 9/26/2008 2:27PM

    Amber, I am so sorry about your husband being alid off work. These things are supposed to happen to everyone else but not to your family. In the end it might be for the best. He may find a better job. hugs

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Protein Problems

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So I usually update my blog more often, but I have been pretty busy. Also, I get frustrated with my routine easily. I've been completely switching things up again. I'm trying to eat less calories, while still getting in enough protein. This is a gargantuan feat for me! I added up the calories for a particular day and only was going to have 38 grams of protein! So I added a protein smoothie, which brought me to 55. So I had to add a few more things to get above 60, which is my goal.

I feel like there are many days where I could cut calories easily, but I need to keep them in order to reach my protein goal.

My problem with protein? I don't like the taste of meat. YUCK, I can't even think about it. The only way I can eat it, is if it's disguised. Like breaded chicken or shrimp, I can't eat it if I tell that I'm chewing on meat. However, I try to stay away from popcorn chicken and shrimp, because the deep fried-ness of it all really does a number on my stomach now!

My stomach can only handle limited dairy and soy. I LOVE various kinds of beans, but when I eat them too often I get constipated.

I also love high protein cereals and bars from Kashi. But I also love other cereals that don't come with the protein punch.

Ok, so I've been whining about protein, so what's the solution? Get off my butt and stop complaining! So because I'm so darn picky, I need to remain active to make up for those extra calories. In fact, eating a little extra allows me to do more activities. I don't have to worry about my body going into starvation mode when I exercise extra hard one day, because I'm sure i'll be eating enough to cover it!

So I've realized I'm bad about getting enough protein in my day. What's been the hardest thing about this process for you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 9/25/2008 6:51PM

    I noticed in the "diet section" of the grocery the other day a "favored drink" that was $2.79 a bottle that said it had 40 grams of protein. I couldn't figure what the protein source was from, but it had only 160, which meant it was just protein calories. I can't recall what the name of it was now, but it came in Grape, Lime and Strawberry.

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HOFMAE 9/25/2008 5:23PM

    Cottage Cheese packs in 12-13g protein per half-cup, and low-fat versions are 80-90 calories.

Southbeach living high protein cereal bars are good. They have 10g protein, and have 140 calories.

You can check out a couple of the vegetarian teams. They have some good discussions about protein sources. Here is a link o one of my favorites. http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/

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LINDOKAS 9/25/2008 8:50AM

    I have the perfect solution for you! It does have soy, but it's low in calories and packs in 20 grams of protein! Above all, it's tasty! I'm talking about Instone High Protein Pudding. The chocolate flavor is the best one!

Here's the site for more info:


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JSMLIVE 9/24/2008 11:09PM

    Congrats on your weight loss. I'm inspired and impressed. I have been trying a whey protein powder called body fortress. Its pretty reasonable on price and if you use water you can get 52 grams of protein, with 210 calories-of course milk is more calories and tastes better emoticon

Thanks for the welcome and good luck as you move forward.


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DNJEN471 9/24/2008 7:55PM

    I am a vegetarian... so protein can be hard for me to get in. I usually am able to do it with a protein shake in the morning and eat nuts for a snack. I also do a lot of the soy products as 'meat' substitutes.

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JIBBIE49 9/24/2008 3:57PM

    You are doing great, Hon.

Since I've gotten off of sugar, processed food and HFCS, I don't have the horrible cravings for junk food like I use to so I don't have much of a problem about protein in-take. emoticon

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GRALLEN 9/24/2008 2:17PM

    I'm like you. I don't like meat. I will eat chicken and turkey but that doens't happen everyday so I make up for it with the protein bars. Some have chocolate in them and that covers my chocolate craving too.

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MDTWEETY 9/24/2008 2:12PM

    For me, it's getting enough calcium and drinking enough water. When I look at the results of my eating for the day, the calcium column is always lacking. And I have all but given up trying to drink 8 cups of water a day. And finally, ice cream is a big problem for me. If I have it in the house, I have a hard time resisting it. It is my favorite food. *sigh* And try as I might, I usually fail at eating just a 1/2 cup serving.

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Healthy Reflections

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The healthy reflections e-mail today really hit home to me. I'd been annoyed at the amount of people in my life who seem to want to run it for me. So, I just thought I'd share it here again :

"Lending a helping hand

It is easy to get down on someone when you aren't in their shoes. Often we throw in our two cents when it is not only unwanted, but also unhelpful and useless. Resist the temptation to waste your breath on pointless criticism at someone else's expense. Don't give advice to people unless it is asked for, lest you belittle them and come off looking like a know-it-all. Instead, examine ways you could help that person. Rather than continuously feeling irked by a coworker's mistakes, could you lend a hand or explain a task to her in a respectful way? You never know when the shoe will be on the other proverbial foot. Help others and one day it might come back to you. "

I like to use my blogs (this one and a couple more) to vent and get out my frustrations. But a lot of times I find myself simply fielding comments explaining myself or convincing people why I disagree with their advice. Thank you to everyone who actually takes the time to read the random thoughts from my head. And I hope you excuse my whining, at least every now and then. =P

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBBIEANNE1124 9/24/2008 12:35PM

    Your blogs are healthy educational ones. Keep them coming in. I like reading em.

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READY4LIVE 8/28/2008 1:40AM

    Yes, it extremely frustrating to have people try to run your life, I want to run from them!

Thanks for that "Lending a Helping Hand", it can be easy to forget sometimes, that you don't know what it's like in another shoes. I try my damndest not to and remember everyone has their own perspective/filters too.

And hey I don't think I've heard any whining, just merely expressing how you feel ;)

Comment edited on: 8/28/2008 1:52:37 AM

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DNJEN471 8/27/2008 12:07PM

    I think it's healthy to have a place to voice your opinion. Keep voicing it girl!

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JIBBIE49 8/27/2008 11:08AM

    Oh, I love your vents and whining. emoticon

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Down another pound

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hello fellow Sparkies. I hope everyone had a good weekend! It was incredibly too hot. I thought with the 100+ degree days I was going to die! But it was also a learning experience for me. The entire weekend I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. And as you can tell from my blog title, I'm down a pound.

To explain, I did not eat a pile of junk food with abandon. Basically, I refused to let myself overly obsess about each and every calorie I was eating. I still tracked my food, but I tracked it AFTER the day was over. Instead of planning it the day before (like I usually do). All week long I've had cravings for doughnuts and Toblerone. Which is strange to me because I have never had a Toblerone in my life. I even went to the website to learn more about it. I was tired of just hearing "oh my gosh, it's like heaven in your mouth!" from people.

I didn't have a doughnut or a Toblerone this weekend. Once I gave myself the option, I just....really didn't feel like it. We went to my husband's family reunion on Saturday and I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted there. That happened to include two big chocolate chip cookies and a brownie, in addition to the other food. They tasted pretty good! I still told myself if I wanted something later, i would have it and not obsess about the fact that I had already had some sweets. Later on, I really wasn't thinking about it.

Then yesterday I was nervous because family wanted us to go out to eat with them at a restaurant that should basically just be called "Don't come here unless you want a burger the size of your head, filled with lard." But then, I don't think that'd be a good marketing strategy for them! I ended up getting a side salad. That's it. They had some, I guess you call them, "meal-type salads." But none of them sounded good. I'd have to ask them to remove about 50 items before they would resemble something I would eat. What's wrong with adding more veggies to a salad? Nope, I had the options of bacon, ham, turkey, chicken, croutons...yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, and not worth it (I'm a fan of soft bread, not crunchy). The only other options all made my stomach turn. I just can't handle the fat and the grease like I used to! I can't believe we used to eat out like 4-7 times a week!

The only hard part of the day was everyone mentioning how little I was eating. I don't really like my eating habits being a discussion topic! Has anyone else had to deal with this? I'm sure others have stories about the constant comments about their food, so I won't bore you with mine! It left me a little down, but even still I didn't feel like any of the sweets I'd been craving all week. Instead I came home, relaxed for a bit and tried a Healthy Choice frozen dinner.

It tasted good, but was soooo not enough food for the amount of calories it was! I usually eat the Weight Watcher frozen dinners and I pair them with a decent size salad. But I wanted a frozen dinner where I could eat just that. (That's the lazy part of me talking. You can lose almost 100 pounds and still be incredibly lazy, trust me!)

I thought the Healthy Choice would be a good...choice. Considering you get a main dish, a side dish, and a dessert. The only problem is that there is about 3 bites of each thing. I usually take 20-30 minutes to eat my meals. This frozen dinner? Took me about 7 minutes. I bought another one to try, but now I'm a little nervous that I'll be just as hungry after that one. But that's what I like about life, you can try new things. I'm so much more open to it now that I'm not being FORCED to, but that's an entirely different story.

Basically I just think it's funny that I lost a pound over the weekend. I didn't jump into a big pile of junk, but I ate more both days than I usually do and I didn't find time to hit the gym either day. Oh, and the other thing I did was I didn't measure anything. I KNOW! I can't believe I did it. But I've been on this road awhile so I was sort of able to eyeball the things I usually grab measuring cups for! I actually scooped ice cream directly from the carton into my dish instead of the measuring cup. Say WHAT? emoticon

I know I'm happier when I'm not obsessive. I already deal with OCD with other things, I don't need to be obsessed with my food! I'll be much happier in my healthy lifestyle, instead of the watch every single bite and don't allow yourself anything "bad" diet.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VBCLOWN 8/19/2008 12:55AM

    Hey congrats. I know you're basically already at your goal weight, but with your healthy habits I suspect you're not far away from losing the 4 more pounds that will put you at 100!

I would have never thought I'd say this, but I've become addicted to the Amy's frozen dinners. They are all around 340 - 410 calories, they usually fill me up (sometimes I'll augment with a salad), and they are all vegetarian and organic. I'm not vegetarian, but I've been surprised how satisfying most of these have been for me. So now lunch ends up being the only meal for me that regularly includes meat.

I sometimes feel guilty for eating this semi-expensive and lazy frozen dinners so often, but then I realize I used to have a pizza or Chinese delivered several times a week, and I stop feeling bad about the frozen dinner :)

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*AMBER512 8/18/2008 7:07PM

    There are a lot of things that won't hurt you, but if you don't want it...why should you be forced to eat it? I don't make comments on what other people are eating, why do they care so much about me?? They are going to give me a big ego...lol!

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DNJEN471 8/18/2008 6:12PM

    Yeah. Just today I had 10 different people tell me that 'one ice cream will not hurt you'. I turned it down every time. They don't understand... and I don't know if they ever will!

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JIBBIE49 8/18/2008 4:51PM

    When I first started SP, I bought a lot of the WW and Lean Cruisine dinners, because I could control the portions with them, and log the right calorie content. I found that having a SALAD or an apple with them, helped on amount. I like celery, cucumbers and sliced tomatoes with a LITTLE bit of dressing (low fat) and you can "MUNCH" a lot for a little. emoticon

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I have not met my goals

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I don't know if I can really say I've reached my goals, when I'm still technically overweight. I also don't really like the fact that I'm still a size 14/16. But I can tell that if I'm not already at my body's set point, I'm getting there.

I know there are "tricks" that I can do to keep getting the weight off. Cutting out dairy, eat even fewer carbs, blah blah blah. I want to be at the weight I can maintain, while still eating the foods I want!

If I had a different body type I wouldn't give a second thought to my weight. If my extra weight was in my hips or butt instead of my stomach, I would be totally fine with the weight I'm at now! Mostly because I'd be a smaller size and I'd have the extra weight in the "correct" AKA healthier places.

But even if my body is not perfect, it can do so much more for me now that I am healthier! So why am I not at my goal? Because I want to keep setting new goals! I want to continue making healthier choices. Increase the amount of weight I'm lifting. I guess my goals are just different now. Maybe more weight will come off, but I don't know if I'm going to watch it as closely as I used to.

So I'm not necessarily celebrating just yet! =P


Edit : Ok, so maybe I'll do just a little celebrating anyway! I've reached one of my goals, now I'll just keep working on the others. I also wanted to edit the blog and add this comment that I left for someone :

I'm definitely thinking a fitness approach is what I want to switch to instead of just focusing so much on the scale. I can probably lose weight even if I'm not being as obsessed about it. Plus I'd be willing to try more foods instead of constantly switching the bag/box around to see how many calories it is. I want to become more consistent with my exercise and not JUST do it as a means to burn calories, but as something that is fun!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOPOGAL 9/3/2008 3:53PM

  It's funny that you write this because I think THE EXACT SAME THING almost every day. I hate to obsess, but it annoys me that since I carry so much of my excess weight on my stomach, I will constantly have to struggle to get or stay thin. I have been in the best shape of my life the past few years and managed to get down to a 10/12, but am still at higher risk than my friend who has a tiny waist and a big butt. I also feel massively out of proportion.

I recently gained back about 10 lbs of the weight I lost and I'm very disappointed, but I realize it's going to be a lifelong challenge for me. I can't just forget that I'm doing this for my health, not just my looks.

I think you look amazing and you're an inspiration to me. Good luck with your future fitness goals!

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WHATEVERHOBB 8/16/2008 5:43AM

    That sounds like a great plan. It is want I want to do when I reach my goal so I can actually mantain my wieght loss this time.

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DNJEN471 8/12/2008 10:45AM

    Good for you girl. Don't focus so much on the scale. You have accomplished so much don't forget to celebrate your victories!

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READY4LIVE 8/9/2008 7:42AM

    Hi hun,

Just saw your blog, after the message I sent you. It does seem that most are not truly happy with their body, there is usually something that you would change. If only we had our pick! lol.. But you have done a amazing job and inspire many! And sounds like you have a good next goal in mind, too cardiovascular/fitness health :)

"want to be at the weight I can maintain, while still eating the foods I want!" - I'm with you, that is why I'm shooting for a size 14 and knowing my body type will never be a size 6. You've worked so hard to, you should be able to have some reward of eating some of the foods you want and still maintain.

I must say you look GREAT, I would've never guess you in a 14/16, you look like your a size 10-12! emoticon emoticon I'm proud of you!

Have a great weekend!


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JIBBIE49 8/7/2008 8:38PM

    Oh, Hon, this is an on-going process and like the saying "If you aren't dead, then you aren't finished yet!" I keep telling myself that, because I'm 58 and I refuse to think of myself as "old." emoticon

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PAGGYJ 8/7/2008 2:36PM

    Honey u done great.You must be very short?gee,look what u have done...hoping for u new clothes to go with the new Amber! PJ emoticon

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SIMPLYTHAT 8/6/2008 11:00PM

    I know exactly what you mean. I'm teeter tottering on the edge of a healthy BMI...like a healthy BMI for me is 152 and I keep fluctuating between 151-154. A big part of me wants to give up the "diet" aspect of this whole situation. I've been trying to lose weight for over a year now...and I've lost 80 lbs. I've done a great job. I'm a million times healthier. I can lift weights...I can (sort of..ha..) run. I can bolt up stairs without losing my breath. I feel great. However, I know that I'd feel better with how I look if I lost another 20lbs or so. It'd put me in a better place on the BMI scale, plus, maybe I might actually lose my belly and ab fat! It drives me nuts! How can I still have so much of a belly when I weigh 80lbs less?!

I've seriously been considering changing my goals to fitness and health ones vs. weight goals. Get myself to where I have more endurance when I run. Build up more muscle. Get my exercise routine to be more consistent. Learn how to swim and ride a bike (I'm 26 and don't know how to do either...it's sad!) and do things outside. I think it'd be a better approach...but I'm still having a hard time letting go of the weight loss frame of mind.

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JILLYB2 8/6/2008 10:44PM

  you need to celebrate now, you deserve !!! dont wait, you can always celebrate again later!!!! lol

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LESS_IS_MO 8/6/2008 4:38PM

    Well first of all I have to say how wonderful you look. Absolutely amazing - you don't look anything like the girl who once weighed 245. The only thing that's the same is the hair. Which you should cut -into a layered look - ha ha - I can't believe I just said that. (check out my blog earlier on haircuts if you want to know why I'm laughing)
But anyway, whenever things get stale for me, I always look for something to change. So....you're lifting great! But what about trying a new sport that you haven't tried much before - what about running...it burns so many calories - you improve quickly - and it motivates us to "lose the jiggle". Or maybe swimming? Anyway - change something to keep it moving forward for you. But meanwhile you look wonderful!

Comment edited on: 8/6/2008 4:36:41 PM

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