--KREN   31,740
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I lost about 20 pounds before I found Sparks. Here are some of the things I’ve learned about losing weight:

We are all here to feel better about ourselves.

This happens when we are healthier and not overweight. These things just go together and one promotes the other. Sharing this journey with others inspires and motivates us and reminds us we aren’t the only ones struggling.

Make one or two small changes first.

Start with what you consider your biggest problem, your most obvious weakness. Change that one thing for two weeks. Example - No Sweets; More Veggies; or Add Exercise.

Once you have felt the thrill of victory over that weakness - add more challenges.

Here is how it worked for ME.

I stopped eating sweets for two weeks. The first week was really hard. Second week I didn’t think about it too much. By the third week I had forgotten about sweets. I made sure there were none in my house to tempt me.

Then I had lunch with some really thin friends. We were in a cafeteria setting where you choose each food. I ate what I felt was reasonable for someone trying to lose weight but when we sat down together, each of them had about 1/3 of the food I had chosen! That opened my eyes to portions.

I started really watching every bite I took, really logging in my journal.

Once I reduced the portion size, I began looking for ways to continue to eat, satisfy my “chewing addiction”, my hand-to-mouth habit that wasn’t getting the workout it wanted. So I found all the low calorie, healthy foods I could add to each meal.

I designed my meals around a “CORE” of delicious, hearty food, in small portions. Then I added lots of veggies and fruit and clear low calorie soups before, during and after my meal. I discovered that by spritzing all sorts of veggies with olive oil and roasting them in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, that veggies I didn’t even think I liked (cooked carrots) were wonderful!

I began looking for the small core meal that would go well with my veggies. First time in my life I ever planned meals around non-starchy vegetables!!!

Eating Out - Try to plan what you’re going to order before you arrive.

Many restaurants have menus on-line. Order first - before you are tempted by what everyone else is having. When you place your order, ask for a take-out box to be delivered with your order. Put half your food in there before you take a bite. Take it home for another day.

WATER - A category all its own.

I drink eleven 8 oz glasses of water a day. I don’t even need to measure anymore, it’s become such a habit.

If I overeat, or eat something sweet or high in fat or not good for me in some other way - when I’m done I drown it in water. I drink all the water I can. I keep drinking water until I go to bed. The result the next morning is always better than I thought it would be. Water is a magic agent, as far as I’m concerned.

I had never before lost more than 7 pounds on any diet. This plan works. There really aren’t any tricks or weird diets involved. It’s just using portion control and finding a way to make that easier to do by adding low calorie foods and lots of chewing!

I think the most important thing is - when I indulge too much, overeat, stuff myself mindlessly - the best thing to do is go right to the next meal like nothing ever happened.

If I try to compensate, I fall into the old feast and famine syndrome, which never does me any good. And I wonder if that "compensate" need isn't really some sort of guilt/punishment mindset, which NEVER does me any good.

Feeling good about myself is a more positive approach!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLEE1945 7/4/2010 9:57AM

    Thanks, this is clear, concise, and do-able!!!

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SANDYBEACH2U 5/28/2009 7:47AM

    I have read your blog and it may help me with all the ideas you have put in it! Thanks for this! emoticon

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LAINYE 5/27/2009 9:22PM

    Great Ideas. I do some of them already and will put the others to use as I go along.

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SMILINGEYES2 5/27/2009 12:45PM

    You have outlined an excellent strategy/plan. Best wishes on your journey to a new healthier you.

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LADYNLI 5/27/2009 11:04AM

    I love the ideas your used for success. I had never thought of doing it like that. I especially like the idea of designing meals around a core and adding veggies to that. It makes meal planning so much more effective. I had also never thought about checking restaurant sites for their menus before going there. We go out every Wednesday evening with a dinner group to various places around here and that will help me figure out what to order and not be so tempted by what others order. Thanks for the great ideas.

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WEEKEND LAUGH - Please read with tongue in cheek.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks
than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks
than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and
suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCOTMAMA 5/30/2009 11:31AM

    Hmmmmm. I'd say it's not the fact that we "speak" English, as most of those people can also, but I'd say it's because we LIVE in America -- land of "fast food" and plenty of it. I do think that our downfall has a lot to do with eating fast food, and also lack of exercise. In the other countries you mentioned (I've lived in Japan) people walk, walk, walk. I know that is true in some of the other countries also. Here we ride, ride, ride to eat, eat, eat!

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BIBLESTUDY 5/25/2009 9:44AM

  Very cute!!! Thanks for sharing! Makes me wonder if it is not true!!! LOL

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JUDY1676 5/24/2009 2:48PM

    How true! What might kill you today will probably be proven to be good for you tomorrow!
Judy emoticon

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LAINYE 5/23/2009 1:37PM

    Ola! That is about it for my spanish! and I am not too good in other languages either!

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ROSILEIGH 5/23/2009 12:09PM

    I love that blog

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The Tummy Team

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm starting now to plan for the long weekend. My holiday weekend will be longer than most because Joe is off work for 5 days. Joe the wonderful cook, lol. Of course, I'm a pretty good cook, too, and I'll be doing the ribs.

Last night I made one of our favorite casseroles. I was worried about that but I've decided that I have to learn to live amidst real food and still be thin, so I figured out the calories as best I could, planned my food journal and served myself with a measuring cup.

I ate really slowly and drank lots of iced water with it. It worked, because I didn't eat more than I had planned and my scale was down this morning.

Now I really have to focus on planning and eating like that from now until Monday, with more vigilance than usual.

Now you might think I'm a little flaky, lol, and you might be right, but I often think of my body as composed of little teams that hopefully all work together to keep me well.

Sometimes I pity the poor guys in my tummy.

*Can you just hear the little guys working in your tummy? Watch-out! There’s a load of sugar coming down! What! Where does she think we’re gonna put that fat stuff? We’ve already stuffed her gut to the max. Guess we’ll have to start sending it to boys in the basement. They’re not gonna like it since they’re already having to shore up with cellulite cells. Can’t that woman find an apple?*

Seriously, our bodies are quite magnificent. If you find an illustrated anatomy book and really read how it all works, it just makes you realize that the human body is nothing short of miraculous. If we had to BUY one, it would cost millions!

Fortunately, we get one for free. Unfortunately, we don't pay much attention to it until it starts to creak and groan.

Here's another "flaky" thing I do - Every morning while I'm taking a shower, I talk to all the cells in my body and thank them for manifesting in perfect harmony, according to the divine plan of Our Creator.

So, the guys in my tummy are my friends and I'm hoping to learn to treat them with more respect. I want them to have a good holiday, too!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BELTONWALKER67 5/22/2009 9:44AM

    Thank you for the "laugh out loud" and what a great idea! From now on whenever I think about eating those Lay's Potato Chips, I'll remember to think about those guys in my tummy and try apple slices instead. No, I don't think you are Flaky! You have a very wise unique way of thinking healthy! emoticon

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FUN - with food on the side.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You know how you order your salad with dressing on the side? That's so you eat more veggies and less fattening dressing.

You know how Chinese food comes with mostly rice and veggies and the meat is used more as a condiment? That's how they stay thinner and have less heart disease - not much red meat.

Well now I need to know how to focus on the FUN and the PEOPLE - that's the main event. And the food is on the side.

I managed to do that last night. Once a month my Girlfriend Group has dinner at a local restaurant. We go to a different restaurant each month. This month was the Olive Garden.

I scoured the online menus and nutritional info at the Olive Garden and picked my meal and planned my day ahead of time.

I've eaten fresh fish all my life, Texas style- deep fried - and NEVER eat fish in restaurants. But last night I ordered the Parmesan Crusted Tilapia at the Olive Garden and it was delicious! I was very impressed!

I ate nothing else. Drank ice water. Pushed the breadsticks across the table and handed them out to others.

I filled my mouth with LAUGHTER and yakkin', lol. We talk a lot, you know. Long time girlfriends.

So my focus was on listening to them and talking to them and laughing with them. The food was just dressing.

This morning my scale did NOT go up!

Eating out and socializing a lot are difficult to manage when you're trying to lose weight.

It takes a PLAN and you have to really commit to it. But the reward comes later when you don't feel stuffed and when the scale doesn't go up.

Making FUN the main course, doesn't add any calories to my day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAINYE 5/20/2009 9:37AM

    What a great blog today! You have the right idea, and you carried it out with great rewards.
Keep up the good work.


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BIRDLEGS29 5/20/2009 8:28AM

    Wonderful idea! I love your decision to have food "on the side". After all, these social occasions are really about the PEOPLE we enjoy so the food really should be secondary.


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Was it a GOOD day? Or a BAD day??

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wow, yesterday I wanted to eat all day long.

I had visions of ice cream, blackberry cobbler, huge portions of Mexican food.

Came really close to cooking a huge portion of pasta.

You name it; I wanted it.

And somehow, SOMEHOW, I managed to stay withing my calorie goal for the day!

I kept resisting.

I kept visualizing getting on the scale in the morning and see those digital numbers show a little less.

I took a walk. (My back wasn't hurting - a minor miracle!)

I chewed gum.

I drank ICE water.

I cleaned out the closets and did everything I could to stay busy.

I never did give in to one of those urges to stuff my face.


Gee, it feels so good.



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