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BLC 25 Silver Lining part 2

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

3. Make a PLAN for maintaining or losing over the BLC break then post or blog about your plan
My plan for the break between rounds (which is extended this time as we wonít start again until September, with new contestant sign-ups starting in mid August) is to continue using the CAMO Crew weekly template. This template has us committing to weekly goals to focus on. This format has shown real promise for me in getting results. So here are my weekly goals for between rounds.

(Note, I have stopped tracking my goal of eating gluten free every day as it has become a habit and I choose to eat only gluten free foods every day without thought so it is no longer a goal but a lifestyle)

1. Walk an average of 7,000 steps daily.
2. Bring lunch 2 Ė 3 days a week
3. Track food 2 Ė 3 weekdays
4. Track food 1 weekend day
5. Complete 140+ intentional fitness minutes weekly
6. Strength train 10 minutes (+) 3 days a week
7. Morning exercise 4(+) weekdays

We also add in a special ops focus for the week which rotates between exercise, water, food, relaxation and sleep, or something we have declared in our weekly challenge depending on what we need special help with.

I will continue to focus on one healthy living aspect a week to focus on.
I will also continue to weigh in on Wednesdays to check any tendencies to slack off during the break. This is just a break between rounds, not a break from my chosen healthy lifestyle.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Not a break - just changing it up a bit! You don't NEED the official WI every week and you still have your team for support! You've got this! emoticon

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CIPHER1971 7/23/2014 2:49AM

    My plan for the break is really similar, it is great that you have found what works for you and are sticking with it.

Have a great day

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_LINDA 7/23/2014 2:04AM

    Good luck with your break goals!
emoticon emoticon

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MRSP90X 7/23/2014 1:12AM

    Isn't the weekly template for goals just the best?! When I switched teams in the beginning of this challenge, there was no real direction and felt lost. The template is the results getter!!

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ZANNACHAN 7/22/2014 11:33PM

    I like this idea! This sounds like a great plan--focused, but adaptable. I hope you have a hugely successful break!

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BLC 25 Silver Lining Challenge part 1

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This is the final week of round 25. As part of the last challenge we are to do 3 things in a blog. I will tackle the first 2 parts in this blog and then once Iíve considered the plan a little more post a second blog with part 3.

1. Post or blog the best thing about your experience with the BLC this round or about the progress you made due to your participation in BLC
If youíve seen the TV show you may have some very strong reservations about belonging to a group called the Biggest Loser Challenge. After all, the show is all about doing anything (including tearing others down to what some would consider cheating) to win the top slot.

Well, this team isnít quite like that. Yes we are divided into different teams. Each team, while focusing on healthy living, has its own focus. Some teams focus on getting in a lot of exercise minutes; others target nutrition and eating within your range; while still others focus on social aspects and support. You choose your team and your team chooses you (you give your top 3 choices, usually but not always, you are given your top team choice) depending on where you want your focus to be for that 12 weeks.

I have been on 4 different teams over the years Iíve been involved with the BLC. Each fit my needs at the time, and there is a time that change is good because I get too comfortable and then stop trying as hard. Every team I have been on is full of people (mostly women, but there are men included) who are trying their best to live happy, healthy lives, to support and be supported by their teammates.

It is really tough for me to single out just one thing as best. I could talk about how motivating it is to be involved in a group dedicated to getting healthy, exploring different avenues to that goal and supporting each other. These were all big components in my success this round (as in round past). The support and camaraderie made this round fun.

But the thing that stands out for this round I think is that knowledge is power. On the CAMO Crew (my team this round) there was a lot of health talk. Talk about vitamin deficiencies how these deficiencies can affect out moods, energy and life. There are those who focus on strength training because it helps them maintain their mood as well as bones, muscles, etc. How drinking too little or too much water can also affect a number of things. As a result, I had my doctor do a more extensive blood test. I was diffident in vitamin D. Once I started supplementing my vitamin D I began feeling more energetic. I was able to exercise more which in turn helped manage my pain, which made me feel better and an upward cycle begun. I have only missed a handful of scheduled exercise sessions since. If all goes well with my final WI on Wednesday July 23, I will end this round with a loss. Granted it will probably be a small one, but thatís perfectly fine by me. Ending with a loss, any loss is a victory for me right now and can be built upon for next round

2. Post or Blog at least ONE NSV (Non-weight Related Victory) or accomplishment you did the round
The biggest (or at least the one that stands out most this round) is finishing 500,000 steps in 3 months. I had let myself forget this challenge for work during the first two and a half months of this challenge and needed close to 200,000 steps by the end of June. Well, with the encouragement of the CAMO Crew and pushing my body to the limit, finding out about a vitamin D deficiency and correcting it, I DID it. I managed to actually complete the challenge 2 days early.

I did not complete the week 12 fitness tests (as done in weeks 1 & 6) as I have been sick for the past 2 days. I plan to repeat the test sometime in the next week once I am healthy once again and post the results.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon Huge smile maker my friend. Change can be good! Here is to a loss and moreover to feeling BETTER, STRONGER, FITTER! emoticon

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CIPHER1971 7/23/2014 2:45AM

    Awesome, it is so wonderful that you have made such strides with your health this round.


Have a great day

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_LINDA 7/23/2014 1:38AM

    I have heard nothing but good things about these Biggest Loser Teams. They are inventive, smart and supportive, never bullying like the show. Congratulations on your success with them! Its a great idea to focus on the area you need help the most!

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MRSP90X 7/23/2014 1:16AM

    The BLC is the best team ever IMHO that helps daily in getting me and keeping me on track. For me it IS SP. It is what I spend my time here at SP on. Sorry to hear you are sick! emoticon emoticon BTW, I am SO HAPPY I met you on the CAMO Crew!! You are emoticon emoticon !!!!

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ZANNACHAN 7/22/2014 11:31PM

    I didn't complete the fitness test either, partly because I just ran out of time (another busy busy busy day that had me going non-stop until... well, really I'm not done yet), partly because I had a combination of ugly cramps and a hormonal migraine that made the idea of things like crunches seem... nightmarish. I did get a lot of fitness minutes though carrying stuff back and forth, though!

I agree but the information--I've learned a lot, and I found the stuff about the vitamins particularly interesting. And the cortisol. Lots of interesting and informative conversations!

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POPSY190 7/22/2014 7:32PM

    Great blog. The bullying nature of the TV programme is something that deters some SPers from joining the teams, which is a pity. I've put this in my blog too, and I think some others have addressed the issue as well!

Like you, I've lost only a small amount of weight but have gained a lot in many other ways. See you on Round 26? Panther Penelope!

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6 week recap

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wow! Has it already been six weeks since my last blog?! EEP! I meant to do much better than that. Anyway we did our 6 week fitness tests to look for improvements. Hereís mine for comparison.

Week 6 recap:
I feel that I did better overall with the tests. I made some great improvements overall, although, the crunches didnít improve at all. I am working on learning to do a crunch like they say to on the crunch test this next 6 weeks.

Pushup Test:
wk 1: 17
wk 2: 21
Crunch Test:
wk 1: 0 (12 - 3" crunches)
wk 2: 0 (12 - 3" crunches)
3 min Step Test:
wk1: heart rate 92
wk2: heart rate 120 (hr taken differently from first test)
Timed Mile:
wk 1: 16.30
wk 2: 12.52

Now, on to the rest of my life. Iíve lost focus for way too long. Iíve been drifting along without making much of an effort. I am/was just exhausted all the time and my ankles have been hurting/swollen more often than not. So Iíve used that as an excuse to not move as much as I need to feel my best. Iím also way behind on my quarterly work challenge. If I donít get moving I wonít get the insurance premium discount this quarter. NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN. The challenge is 500,000 steps, or about 5 Ė 6K a day. I havenít even been averaging that. As of last night I had taken 340,391 steps, which leaves close to 160,000 steps left. It means I must take approximately 12,300 steps daily to meet this goal.

I can do this. I have done this before.

Iíve now been married for over 23 years. I think I love him more now than I did when we married. He has supported me in health and in sickness. He has taught me how to stand up for myself and make myself more of a priority. He has supported me through fad diets, giving up, starting again, low carb, low fat, weight watchers, and many other ďdietsĒ. Right now he is supporting my decision last year to go gluten free. He eats gluten free at home. If we go out I will not force this lifestyle on him. Itís his life and body.

I cannot and WILL not FORCE my lifestyle on anyone else. He is thinking about limiting wheat/gluten as heís seen what itís done for me and because of my choices heís started researching the effects of gluten on the body. But he has yet to commit to this lifestyle. I think he is afraid that he wonít like the foods as much as what he eats/ate as a child.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAWNFIRE72 7/9/2014 9:57PM

    I don't think I have EVER done a proper crunch in my life so I commend you for trying. I am sure you will get it.

You can get those steps in, make more trips to the bathroom, the sink or fridge for more water or do like I have and just pace the hallway for a while.

I agree with you that a supportive spouse makes a HUGE difference in life and not just weight loss. I agree a good spouse gets better the longer you are together. If it feels no different 23 years later than it did at the beginning you have done it right.

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MONETRUBY 6/22/2014 9:49PM

    How super that hubby is so supportive! You are very fortunate. And a big woohoo for the progress! I do understand feeling like you are drifting; I've been feeling the same. Really tired out from work, and not exercising like I'm used to. We can both get back on that horse and ride it across the finish line!


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ZELLAZM 6/21/2014 4:24AM

    Thanks for your support - so glad to see that your dh is so supportive, makes such a difference!

Have a step-ful weekend!

Comment edited on: 6/21/2014 8:09:07 AM

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CIPHER1971 6/18/2014 2:35AM

    Awesome improvement.

You can get those steps in - emoticon

Have a great day

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_LINDA 6/17/2014 11:42PM

    Sorry you haven't been feeling well enough to keep up with your work challenge :( That is amazing you did so well on the tests with not moving so much! That walk time is terrific! Amazing in fact for having sore ankles!
That is so wonderful to hear of such a good marriage! May you celebrate many more wonderful years together!
Good luck getting on track with the work challenge!
emoticon emoticon

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SUSANELAINE1956 6/17/2014 8:14PM

    Congrats on your results, especially the walk. That was an amazing improvement.

Also, congrats on 23 years with a supportive man. That is so wonderful. emoticon

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BLC25 Starting Fitness Test Results

Monday, May 05, 2014

Wow! I took the 4 fitness tests with a few surprises. The tests were pushups, crunches, 3 minute step test and walk/jog/run a mile. Here are my results and thoughts about them for future comparison. We are retaking these tests in week 6 & 12.

Crunches... do you know how much I despise this particular test? I can not even reach the distance requested. That's right I got a big fat 0 on this particular test. I could only reach 3" total, at my best. So I know I have to work on strengthening my abs. But I did do about 12 - 15 crunches as I tried to move my hands that six inches. Would have been more if I wasn't straining for those added inches.

Pushups... I didn't do too badly at this one. I got a total of 17 modified pushups in the minute allowed. Might have gotten more if my shoulder hadn't started complaining too much. But still not bad for not having done any pushups (or other strength training consistently for the last several months.

3 minute step test. After 3 minutes of stepping (used our back step instead of the 12" step as I didn't have a 12" step available) at 96 bpm my heart rate was a 92 when taken over the minute after I finished.

So overall, I did poorly but now I know where I stand. I have trouble being on the ground and doing crunches. I always have. This might be a good goal to work on though. Pushups hurt. But they are good for me. I will work on strengthening upper arms/chest/back too.

The step test and the walk a mile I did the best on. I can tell that I have been focusing on cardio exercises rather than strength training. Guess that needs to change, right? Well, I've got some great support and leadership to get me there.

Brief recap for comparison:
Pushup Test: wk 1: 17
Crunch Test: wk 1: 0 (12 - 3" crunches)
3 min Step Test: heart rate 92
Timed Mile: 16.30

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLUTTER-BY)L( 6/17/2014 2:01PM

    Hope you see great improvement in you results over 6 weeks.

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ZELLAZM 5/13/2014 5:44PM

    Good on you for making the effort! Look forward to hearing your results after the challenge is over.

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GIGGLEBOXGIRL 5/6/2014 10:53AM

    I'm right there with you on the crunches, I couldn't make it to 6". You are not alone! emoticon

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MONETRUBY 5/5/2014 9:36PM

    No doubt, you'll be doing much better at the end of the 12 weeks.


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FUNGIRL81005 5/5/2014 4:01PM

    Cardio is great..16 minute mile is good good!!
emoticon emoticon

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MINIMINIV 5/5/2014 3:45PM

    You did well on those tests, especially the walk & heart rate! I did not like doing the crunch test either.

Comment edited on: 5/5/2014 3:47:42 PM

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_LINDA 5/5/2014 2:01PM

    Strength training is every woman's weakness more often then not. Its slow and tedious when done properly and utterly boring, unlike cardio. So yes, its time to step up.
I can't do anything on the floor, but I can on my bed so I can do crunches just fine. Joints don't hurt so much on a soft mattress! Only wall pushups for me. But you do have to modify according to your disease limitations.
You have some work to do on this challenge, but you can do anything you set your mind to!
Good Luck!
emoticon emoticon

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ZANNACHAN 5/5/2014 11:34AM

    Congrats on finishing! I know that your scores weren't what you wanted (I felt the same way when I did mine) but this is just a baseline--the point is to see how much you can improve from here. I rarely do standard crunches and almost never do push ups (they are hard on my hip) but I have found that doing other exercises that strengthen the same muscle groups does help, so there are options if getting down on the floor is hard.

You kicked my tail on the heart rate test--my "resting" heart rate before I started was 93 and 124 was my average over the minute of measuring. emoticon My cardio vascular fitness is frustratingly awful.

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BKWERM 5/5/2014 6:06AM

    Congrats! You did great! I rarely do crunches or pushups because I hate doing floorwork but I do a lot of standing ab work and I think that really helped me with the crunches. Unfortunately, my shoulder gave out on the pushups so I didn't get very many of them.

Looking forward to seeing what Week 6 will show.

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CIPHER1971 5/5/2014 4:25AM

    Great Blog, and the TnT has a core focus this time round so that should help. And if the start line was perfection you wouldn't have anything to aim at for the finish line.

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POPSY190 5/5/2014 3:11AM

    That's a terrific walking time, Cyndi; and the heart rate wasn't too bad either! I found the 6"inch crunch terribly difficult so I'm glad I wasn't alone in that. I did manage a few but it was a huge effort and made the push-ups (modified) a doddle in comparison. I think this is a very good addition to the Challenge as it focuses on our individual progress. I, like you, really need to do more to strengthen my core. Pilates for me for tomorrow's LCW should be a start, and I might throw in a few of those crunches as well! Some people on the Panthers are talking about a team push-up challenge we could join, but I think I need to devise a Personal Crunch Campaign!! (PCC) emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/5/2014 3:12:08 AM

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CoH Writing Week 5 option 3: Prose

Friday, May 02, 2014

BLC 25 Pyramid
Also known as, Things you can change in 12 weeks for 250 points, please.

This week in the BLC 25 we are challenged to come up with and discuss our goals for the next 12 weeks of this challenge. What do I want to achieve? What CAN I achieve realistically in 12 weeks? I have been thinking about these since the doors opened on this round. There is so much I *want* to do. ButÖ Yeah, that little yet mighty word that limits what I want to do.

A friend of mine wrote about the fact that about 2 years ago she joined a website that defined 101 things she wanted to do in 1001 days. This actually intrigued me. That is a very long, yet short amount of time. It gives you time to plan for and build up to some larger goals like diving a shipwreck when you havenít even learned to scuba dive yet. But leading up to that larger goal you could have some interim goals, like getting certified for open water diving (first step). This is a way to define where you want to be and have done in the next 2 + years.

But for this challenge I only have 12 weeks or 3 months to focus on. So my goals will necessarily be focused on things I can do now. That I can get done or at least make a great start at. I could say what I have always said, I want a clean house, I want to lose weight, I want to exercise more, etc, etc. Been there, done that, bored now.

I changed teams this round because I was too comfortable with my old team. They are great people and a great team. I truly enjoyed my stay with Azure Destinations. That team helped me in many, many ways. They are focused on helping everyone else in the BLC as well as themselves. Which can be challenging and fun, yet I often felt lost within myself and felt torn between focusing on what *I* need and being there for everyone else when I was having trouble just caring for myself.

So this round I went C.A.M.O. They are a great group of people dedicated to doing what is right for them and focusing on what each one needs to succeed. Most of us know what has worked (at least in the short term) in the past or is working for us now. So in keeping with taking care of me I need new goals to reflect that. This round is dedicated to taking care of me.

First I will explore foods and how they affect me. I am living a totally gluten free life and I donít plan to change that. I have much less inflammation and pain since going gluten free. This lifestyle is a commitment. It is not something to undertake lightly. ***If you are thinking about going gluten free talk to your doctor or a nutritionist to make sure it is right for you. I spoke with my rheumatologist before starting this way of living. It may or may not be right for you. ***

I am slowly transitioning to a more paleo diet, not totally as I enjoy my rice, corn and beans, and not necessarily all grain fed or organic food, at least not yet. But I do like the idea of eating more natural foods so I am exploring this and it is a good or easy fit with the gluten free lifestyle as most of the foods with gluten in them are excluded from this diet. But what will happen to the inflammation and pain if I eat less processed foods? Perhaps I will feel even better. There is no way to find out except to try it.
Because I was feeling so much better I allowed myself to be sidetracked with my medications. Things I should be taking daily and weekly that I have ďforgottenĒ. I have also been wickedly tired and forgetful. I have ďforgottenĒ to make several doctor appointments like mammogram and colonoscopyÖ for about 3 years now. I have ďforgottenĒ to call my mail order prescription provider to find out why I havenít received my prescriptions yetÖ prescribed 3 months ago. Yeah, I know, I know. I NEED to get these things done. So they are on my list to do this week(end).

I feel better when I exercise consistently butÖ the tired all the time, not sleeping well because of the low grade pain and just not focusing on what I truly need to be happy and healthy has conspired to making me more sedentary than Iíve been in years. So that needs to stop. I WILL exercise consistently. I WILL make this happen because I always feel better afterwards when I do. I have made a commitment to exercise 5 days a week for a minimum of 20 minutes a day. The only way to make sure this happens is to exercise first thing in the morning. On mornings I canít or donít get up I must/will find a way to get that exercise in throughout the day. *Note to self* this can be broken down into smaller portions and done is small portions throughout the day.

I am bored with what I have been doing. Iíve been mostly doing walking workouts because it adds steps to my work pedometer based challenges. They give me a discount on my insurance every quarter I take 500,000 steps. I havenít failed yet, but itís been close more than once. This quarter is going to be a challenge to get them in because Iíve been pretty lazy and not getting in many steps.

So Iím going to shake it up. Not sure exactly how yet, butÖ I am going to find new things to at least try. I also know I feel better when I am strength training regularly. However, finding exercises I can do consistently without aggravating the RAD is challenging. I *can* do pushups for about a month (not every day, like 2 times a week) before my wrists hurt to the point where I canít do them anymore. So I will be trying to find substitutes for them and the other exercises I canít do now but to hopefully someday build up the strength to be able to do them.

Now on to the fun stuff, I am going to learn to scuba dive this summer. Not sure when yet, but itís on the list of things to do. I also want to renew our year passes to Disneyland. Now to make it happen!

Condensed goals for this round are as follows:
1. Experiment with food while continuing to eat gluten free to find the diet that makes me feel the best, transition to a more paleo diet to see how I feel while eating that way (most of the time). Along with that will be cooking more at home. I will be eating at home (& bringing lunch to work) 75% of the time by the end of the challenge. I will also be eating paleo 50% of the time minimum.
2. Find new and exciting exercises to intersperse and combine with my walking challenge from work. Include strength training a minimum of 2 days a week (perhaps a circuit training style might work). Explore different routines until I find one I like and can do.
3. Make my 500,000 step goal by June 30.
4. Get a good start on the next 500,000 step challenge (ends in September)
5. Learn to scuba dive
6. Clean kitchen to prep for cooking at home more.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUNGIRL81005 5/4/2014 9:13PM

    BLC 25 Pyramid
Also known as, Things you can change in 12 weeks for 250 points, please. Haha! emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 5/3/2014 11:22AM

    Attainable goals! Change is good! You do have to focus on yourself if you want to succeed.
You felt better so you slacked off with the medications, BUT you haven't been sleeping well because of low grade pain -red flag there girlfriend! Seems like you should be getting back on those medications STAT. Best make it a priority as in as soon as possible!! Pain of any kind is wearing and will derail many a good intention.
Please take care of yourself!!!

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ZELLAZM 5/3/2014 9:12AM

    Great goals - hope you have a great BLC! Miss you on the island, but travel is coming up!


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CIPHER1971 5/2/2014 6:39PM

    Great goals - if you need a personal challenge - one on one to help with the steps I am there for you.

Have an awesome week.

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POPSY190 5/2/2014 3:39PM

    I'm a Powerful Panther and will be writing something similar today! That feeling of having let everything just slip away is a familiar one to me! The last round helped me out of it but the activity slipped in the interval! Your move to pales eating is interesting and I will be interested in seeing how it goes for you. We eat a largely plant based diet a la Dr Fuhrman's and have had some success with it; I think aiming to get to a new eating plan in stages is a good one as it has more chance of becoming permanent that way. Will respond also on writing thread.
Great blog, and enjoy your C.A.M.O . Round. emoticon

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SCRAPPY_RN 5/2/2014 1:16PM

    sounds like you have a great plan. Remember to take it one step at a time and don't overwhelm yourself. Change takes time. I am so glad you came to CAMO and are thinking of yourself. It is awesome to help others but we need to put ourselves first. That is something I keep having to remind myself.

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