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Friday, February 26, 2010


Where did February go? Where has the year gone? I have a busy weekend ahead. My husband sings barbershop and tonight is their big show of the year. I'm at the box office at 2:00 selling tickets and then some kind of dinner with him and then pick up his 90 year old mother for the show. He is the publicity chair and has worked really hard getting this advertised and the tickets are flying out of the stores. After the show, there is an after party as well. So it will be a fun evening. I'm not really worried about eating and drinking. After 62 days, I have learned to peruse the menu carefully and choose what I am eating wisely. I have also learned that one day of overeating isn't going to make me fat. Just go back to eating wisely the next day. I still find myself wanting something crunchy at night and got into the almonds last night but I will have to come up with another plan. I've been thinking of making granola with cereal nuts and raisins and doling it out in bags so I'll do that this weekend.

Tomorrow, I hope it is a nice day so I can get in a long walk with my friend Pat. Walking is the exercise I enjoy the most and when the weather is bad, I dont' get out. And inside walking isn't the same. We walk and talk about my 90 year old mom in law and her 85 year old mother that lives with her and it gets the stress out of our systems. Tomorrow evening is a big fundraising party for our local theater group and I know I will choose the food wisely.

Sunday is rest and relax. My husband has been pushing himself so much all month with this show, it will be nice to just vegetate. Maybe we will drive out and see our grandson Brandon and his sister Hannah. At any rate, I feel good at what I've accomplished through Spark. My diet has improved and I believe that I will never go back to the way I was, the way I ate before. Too much and too many sweets. Progress.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALEXIAAG 2/27/2010 10:40AM

    I am so proud of you! Where did February go anyway?

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    Yay, Carol! It sounds like you have found a new way of looking at eating and food. I'm so proud of you!!! I'm walking Polo daily, and we are both benefiting. The water is helping me a lot, too. So far, the weather is not intolerable.

Have a great weekend!

Sharon emoticon emoticon

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Thursday, February 25, 2010


When you own a business and you are active in the community, there are loads of eating opportunities and I take advantage of every single one of them. No wonder I put on weight. Just this week, I am only half way through the 4 eating ops available to me. Sunday was our church Tasting Fare and I did okay with that. Last night was the 4 chamber mixer and I ate more than I should have but it was okay. I did have some frozen yogurt and some chocolate which I had put off limits for Lent but it was a special occasion and I didn't eat that much.
Friday night, my husband sings barbershop and we have a show to go to. Afterward is the AfterGlow where they celebrate the success of the show and go to a local restaurant for food and drink again. Of course there is beer and wine to go along with it. Then on Saturday night, we go to a big fund raiser for the local community theater group and of course, food and drink again. THAT IS FOUR IN ONE WEEK! I'll do good just to eat sensibly and not over do it like I've done in the past. Eat and eat and Eat. I'm going to shoot for just Eat.

This morning, I feel the urge to go for a walk. It's sunny but cold but I could bundle up and take the dog. AFterall, I have a challenge to do so. I have end of the month bookwork to do when I get back. Everyone always tells me I have such a fun job being a decorator. And I do! But it is a business and there is bookwork that comes along with it and that is the not so fun part. So, onto my day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Yay, Carol!!!! You have recognized your social meals as "excuses to eat," and that sounds like a huge breakthrough! I love the way you've put it. Instead of "eat, eat, eat," you're going to just eat. Maybe you could adopt the rest of my family's point of view (and I'm learning it, too). Eat to fuel your body with just what it needs rather than over-indulging because it tastes good, it's a special occasion, everyone else is doing it, the host/hostess might be insulted . . . you know what I'm saying. When everyone else is having beer and wine, you can have mineral water. It is beautiful. I'm sure you know alcohol has sugar in it, which you have given up for Lent (so there's your explanation if anyone asks), and I don't know about your medication, but with mine, alcohol is off limits. Hmmm . . . does alcohol contribute to constipation? Just a thought. Also, some meds cause constipation. I'm having wonderful results this week as I have resumed drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Yesterday I read that the first glass should be taken as soon as you wake up. Well, I went ahead and drank a 16-oz. glass. Wow! Didn't realize water was so powerful like that if you know what I mean. It didn't take long for it to push things along. Ha!

I love it that you're motivated to walk. Me, too! I have found that walking around 1:30 to 3:00 in the afternoon seems to work best for me. The temps are at their daytime high, and the activity refreshes my brain. With your book work, perhaps a walk afterwards would be refreshing for you, too. Just another thought.

Okay, my mind is filled with things I want to say in general, so I'm headed off to blog now.

Happy Thursday!!!
Your dog-walking challenge partner,
emoticon emoticon

P.S. Sheesh! I need to get in the habit of proof-reading with the spell checker so I won't keep having to edit my comment in order to correct typo's. emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/25/2010 10:31:30 AM

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Okay, this is Day 60 of my journey and I decided to go back and look at all 60 blogs I have written to review my progress. My first day was Dec 27, 2009. What have I learned since then?
1. Focus and commitment are necessary if you want to succeed at weight loss and fitness. If you get off track, refocus on the task at hand and recommit.
2. As I read the book which I received in early January, I learned that tracking your food intake was essential to see what you were eating. I always hated doing that but the spark tracker is so easy and so fast and so correct. I love doing it now and programming my food for the day.
3. On Day 12, I learned about moderation being the key to success and so I gave up trying to do the bootcamp, and stuck to learning how to eat and keep track of my business at the same time. In addition, I was trying to reduce one of the medications I have been taking for depression and was having trouble with that.
3. Day 17 was my big AH HA day of all time and I was a featured blog post! I realized that day, January 12, 2010 which will be forever etched on my memory, YOU CAN'T LOSE WEIGHT AND KEEP IT OFF WITHOUT CHANGING YOURSELF! THis is not a hurry up and lose the weight and get to goal so I can start eating again. This is a slow process which will take time and I will never be able to eat the same way again. That was HUGE for me!
4. Day 22, from the Book, I learned that I should measure my food portions. Instead of throwing the cereal in the bowl, I actually measure the portion. I've discovered that 3/4 c of shredded wheat and bran is good for me rather than the 1 1/4 c they suggest. So now I measure. I also learned the importance of Criss Cross, how everything crosses over to other things.
5. Day 27 - Meltdown Day! Here I was doing what I thought I should be doing and nothing was happening. In addition, my depression was getting me down. Getting off meds wasn't working. At this point, I would have given up on other diets but I knew I needed to persevere.
6. Day 30 was time to get back on the medication I was trying to get off. That little blue pill meant more to me than I realized. Without it, I was sluggish, discouraged, one step below normal. It takes about 2 weeks for meds to take effect so I had a few more days to recover.
7. Day 34. Disillusionment on my progress. Sigh!
8. Day 39 Whoo Hoo! I received perfect attendance and 500 points! That was quite an honor and an achievement on my part to stick it out even though the scale wasn't showing progress. I reviewed my 3 main goals that I started with and found myself achieving them.
a. Cook dinner 5 out of 7 nights a week. This is a biggie as we were eating out many nights a week and I decided that had to stop, not only to save money but to have a better diet.
b. Reserve sweets and desserts for special occasions. WE had gotten in the habit of always having some kind of dessert after every meal. I have won that battle and last week, I committed to keeping that up for Lent. It's working!
c. Eat 5 fruits and veggies a day. I'm eating more and more and I don't feel bad about piling my plate with green beans.
9. Day 42. Recovered from my battle with depression and I've gotten all my tax paperwork done and caught up on some business goals.
10. Day 59 I wrote about choosing teams and how it is a trial and error thing. With digestive problems, I joined the IBS team and I learned about the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber and how to balance what you eat.

And now I am on Day 60 and loving it. I have lost about 5 pounds which isn't much but my belly is flatter and my pants aren't tight anymore. I can easily button all of my pants and have a little room. I tried on a shirt I couldn't button last year and now I can. I am committed to upping my exercise and getting out to walk more now that the weather is warmer. I can easily walk 3 miles with my friend Pat and we did so yesterday. It was lovely and I felt thinner this morning. Adding that walk at least 3 times a week ought to get the weight moving.

My ultimate goal is to lose 30 pounds by the end of July. I think I can do that! The nutrition tracker is now my best friend, aside from all my spark friends of course. Thanks Spark! Best place I've been in a long time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRANNYS5 2/24/2010 9:14PM

    Thanks for sharing your adventure so far. Sounds like you are really on the right track.

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GIVWIG 2/24/2010 3:08PM

    You keep mentioning that you can't exercise because the weather is bad. Have you thought about getting a walking DVD? You could probably get one from your library just to try before purchasing. They have many that are 1-4 mile walks that you can do in the comfort of your own home when the weather is bad. Just a suggestion. You seen to be doing well with your nutrition, that could get you started on your fitness while you wait for better weather.

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AJDOVER1 2/24/2010 1:52PM

    I love reading your blogs! Thanks for sharing your journey.

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LINDA! 2/24/2010 1:21PM

    You have gained many wonderful new ideas.....you have also lost weight! Isn't it an amazing journey. emoticon

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


How do you choose a team to participate in, there are so many. I've tried several and then I disengage myself from them because they don't fit, etc. I just joined the IBS team and Cooking from Scratch team and the whole foods team. And my favorite site on the Spark Cafe is diet and nutrition. I talk about food a lot in my blogs and it looks like most of the teams I enjoy have to deal with food. I also love looking at the recipes. I usually check them every night when I'm fixing dinner to see if there is something I want to try. My most favorite thing to do is to track my food and nutrition daily. So I guess I am a foodie.

As I posted several days ago, I think I have chronic constipation(CC) so I joined the IBS team to find out more info. Some of the stuff they talk about on there, you can just bare all your private moments. They even sent me to Heather's website and I learned about the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber and that I should eat more soluble fiber. She included lists of both and it turns out that the soluble fiber foods are things that you are not allowed to eat on most diets, like fresh white bread, pasta and noodles, white potatoes, carrots, corn meal, avocados, bananas, flour tortillas, etc. etc. So after many years of eliminating this stuff from my diet, except bananas, Now I have CC. Now I will have to learn how to put these things back into my diet to cure the problem and mix them up with insoluble fiber foods. I definitely don't want to take any more medication.

Last night we had grilled fish, green beans and I added a sweet potato as the soluble fiber food. I tried the recipe, Sweet and Spicy potato oven fries and they were delicious. Try it! Usually when I go out to eat, if there is a choice between a chef salad of some sort and a meal of meat, veg and starch, I usually go for the salad. Now I will have to rethink that and maybe choose the other but get healthier versions, like grilled and scrape off the gravy.

Now that I'm getting my food down, I must get into exercise. I did take the dog for her 1 mile walk yesterday and I plan to walk at 3:00 this afternoon with my friend Pat. Hope the weather is good, it was beautiful yesterday. And business wise, I finally have caught up on my yearly requirements for taxes, etc. and it's only the end of February. Thank God, that was weighing on me heavily. My company (I would love to tell you all about it but I don't think I'm supposed to advertise although there is no way that someone in California would call me in Florida) is launching a new brand and website and we are getting into social networking big time. I am really excited about that. Had first of many training sessions on it. Internet shopping and social networking are the way to go now so have to get on the bandwagon.

I am feeling better without all the added sugar in my body, giving up desserts and sweets for Lent. And I'm going to get that other problem under control as well, somehow. Until tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCSORLAM 2/24/2010 12:52AM

  Sweet potatoes are one of the foods that I've grown to really enjoy while traveling around and you can do so much with them!

I'm not in the military, I'm an English teacher in Korea. It's great for travel and learning about new cultures, but it's not so good for trying to diet and exercise apparently! :)

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    Glad you have found useful info about fiber. We started eating sweet potatoes last summer on the recommendation of our personal-trainer friend. We all love them baked whole or as spicy baked fries, too! Improving your fiber choices along with walking the dog will probably help a lot! Have a beautiful day!!! emoticon

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PATHUMPHRIES 2/23/2010 9:53AM

    When I'm constipated I cook greens. I usually choose collard greens but any kind will help and are good: collard, kale, mustard, spinach, etc. I add some smoked meat to season. I like smoked neck bones the best but if you're watching the fat grams close try smoked turkey.

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Monday, February 22, 2010


I keep hoping spring is here everyday the sun shines here in Florida. But then, about every third day is grey and rainy. This morning I was wakened by our border collie Panda because it was thundering and she is petrified. I have to get up and put her in the bathroom with the doors closed so she won't see out. Now, this morning she is pacing and panting so I knew something was up. Sure enough, it's raining again. Wonder how she would react with snow?

Here it is Day 58 and still no weightloss other than a few pounds initially. I HAVE to start exercising and stop procrastinating. Maybe with the rain today, I can accomplish a few things that have been pressing, like writing an article about decorating for the Daily News and cleaning a spot for me to actually stand while I exercise. I was dissappointed this morning because I didn't have an inbox full of Spark messages, not even the articles that Spark sends. Maybe the rain halts the signal that sends them. I look forward to learning something new about health from them. I did however have a message from fiber-one and offering me a coupon for their products. I already eat them for added fiber anyway so that was helpful. I get their yogurt and that is dessert and I have their cereal and their bars.

We had our tasting Fare at church yesterday and I steered clear of the desserts except hubby's bread pudding which is actually a vegetable? Or side dish? I served bar-b-que meatballs and sat right next to the only vegetable in the place. Spinach dip in hollowed out bread and a tray full of fresh veggies. I just reached over and had a few carrots and broccoli with dip of course. I tried a few other things and I didn't clean my plate if I didn't care for it. I also didn't track my food because there was no way to figure out what I ate. So I am on track again today.

I have learned so much about nutrition and reinforced what I already knew here on Spark. It is so rewarding. And I appreciate all the friends I have made. I've still got a goal to lose 30 lbs by the end of July. I can do that if it would just start. The eating out occassions we have with our chamber and community lifestyle really get in the way. I've got WEd and Friday nights to look forward to. Lots to eat and drink but don't have any idea what.

I know I've lost inches because my pants were loose yesterday and I mentioned trying to lose to someone and she questioned where it would come from. That was a complement and my belly is flatter so there is progress. until tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Hi Carol!!! I am HOPING it will rain here today. It is in the forecast. We need to get rid of the last of the snow in the yard and the piles of snow along the streets and on the corners. It is filthy. So I'm looking at the rain as a cleansing. Yay!!! Our dog, Polo, has been afraid of storms and the sound of the wind since we boarded her while we were on vacation several years ago. She used to be allowed to stay in the boarder's house, but that year, my friend put her in the dog kennel (a very clean, well-equipped outbuilding). She sheds excessively, so I don't blame my friend. But they had a huge storm and Polo was very frightened and clawed at the chain link fence so frantically that she broke her toe. The rest of that summer and the following summer, we had to give her a tranquilizer to settle her down when it stormed. We cut that out when my hubby and I both accidentally gave her a pill, so she got a double dose and temporarily lost bladder control. With time, she has just learned to go to her crate in the basement where she feels safer. She still runs into the living room and hides under the end table at the sound of wind, though. Pets are so sweet!

I am right there with you on procrastinating with the exercise. I had hit the jackpot with burning calories while raking leaves, but we've had a lot of snow on the ground for almost a month. I think you and I would both do well to walk our dogs daily or twice daily. My dog tries to pull, so I have to keep stopping to get her to relax on the leash. (Thank you, Dog Whisperer, for teaching me this.)

Do you have a rain coat and a rain hat? I do. What do you say? Shall we challenge each other to walk our dogs?

Have a fantastic day!!!
Sharon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/22/2010 12:12:07 PM

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