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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

1/2 oz gorgonzola
10g (about 5 halves) walnuts
4g (large drizzle) fresh honey

total under 150 calories, but with so much flavor it was more satisfying than 150 calories of chips or something

yes, I just used the walnuts to scoop up the cheese, and yes, I used my kitchen scale to measure just to see what the calories were, not to limit myself to a certain number. I dished out what seemed reasonable for each part, then noted calories by weighing.

Another decadent treat - dates (3-ish) with nuts jammed inside - what you can fit without busting open the date. Pecans, walnuts, those of you who like almonds (I don't), filberts (hazelnuts), so far that's all I've tried, and they're all amazingly delicious. This is usually well under 150 cal.

So my thing lately is to find stuff that's packed with flavor, but for low calories. I'm as tired of deprivation as I am of being overweight.

Feel free to share your easy low cal treats--if any of you still read my blogs - I know I've been AWOL for a while, but I still creep over and read some of your blogs when I can. And come next summer, I think I'll be back more again.

Have a healthy week!


Only another Spark Person will understand this

Saturday, August 02, 2014

I feel a bit silly about this, but not really. I have a Spark Tracker (AKA a SPAT), emoticon and we get trophies for how many steps we do a week. Usually I get Bronze. Sometimes not even that, sometimes I get "Spark in Progress" or something encouraging like that. Twice I've managed to get a Silver medal, but the Gold has always been far out of my reach. I have to have 60000 Spark Tracker steps in one week to get Gold.

But this week, with my kiddo having surf camp, emoticon I was cranking on the steps, and with 2 days to go, I needed an average of just under 8000 steps per day to make gold.

My usual weekend steps are 3500 each day, so it was a bit of a commitment, but I'd never been this close before so I decided to go for it. I mean, 8000 steps is a lot, but should be doable if I really focused.

And I'm extremely proud to announce that I made it! As of 8:15pm, I have enough steps to get my first gold medal!

Now, not to talk bad about the SPAT, because I really like the little beastie, but I do think it counts low on steps overall. So I'm not comparing to my other pedometers from the past, as far as overall steps. I'm just comparing SPAT steps for as long as I've had the SPAT. And this week has been my highest ever, and I get a gold medal for it!

So, are virtual rewards motivating? Yes! Not because of the reward itself, but because of what it represents. It represents a striving, a tough goal finally met, something far out of reach that was finally reached.

I went for the gold.

I got the gold!

Thanks Spark, for the motivation. And thanks Spark Friends for understanding how something that seems silly to the rest of the world, is actually a very big deal!


Edit: evidently I've had the Silver medal 9 times, I went back to count. I've had the SPAT since end of Sept last year. And here's my Gold Medal!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKL3 9/4/2014 10:10PM

    Woohoooooooo!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CANNIE50 8/30/2014 9:29AM

    Nice work! Surf camp sounds very cool, by the way.

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EDENFELL 8/10/2014 4:50PM

    Woohoo! That is huge - congratulations. 8000 steps is a lot of steps..sending loads more motivation your way so you can add to those steps every day. emoticon

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2WHEELEDSHARON 8/9/2014 11:21PM

    Congratulations! There's nothing silly about working hard to get those steps in. I love having something to help measure and work up to. Way to take advantage! I'm really impressed!

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CTUPTON 8/6/2014 9:54AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are doing great!

Keep up the good work! chris

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KOFFEENUT 8/3/2014 1:15PM

    You ROCK!!! Like you, the gold medal has been just out of my reach. I recently made a commitment to more consistent exercise and have gotten a gold medal myself a few times now. It's always nice to have an acknowledgement that you've set goals and achieved them, which is what our gold medals are doing for us. Keep on walking!

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NYARAMULA 8/3/2014 2:35AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Getting caught in the numbers

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sometimes I get nuts with the fitness numbers. I'm a data miner at heart, and I love all the data that goes with trying to get and stay fit. Having said that, it's a trap for me. Let me explain.

I have the Spark Activity Tracker (also known as the SPAT). I have a daily step goal of 6000, and I am obsessing today about not meeting that even though I'm on a quest to develop better habits. You might ask, well, why wouldn't you be trying your best to get that 6000 steps?

I had a killer workout at the gym today with my trainer. My heartrate monitor (I told you, I'm a data miner) and the app that I use with it says I burned 500 calories there. I also burned quite a few standing calories while doing other daily tasks. Now, that workout is something to be proud of. I haven't had one like it in a while, and sheesh, just getting TO the gym is a big deal, let alone coming home drenched in sweat.

So I am proud of it. I am. But why can't I be satisfied with it? Why do I have to feel like I failed somehow today by not doing that 6000 steps? My workout did include some spin bike time (as my cooldown) but mostly it was strength training. Now, to burn 500 calories strength training (circuit training), you know I was working hard! My trainer only does bootcamp style workouts, so it was non-stop.

And...yet I am obsessed with not hitting 6000 steps today. I need to stop being like this! This is what leads me to fail every time. I'm not trying to be perfect! I'm not trying to meet every single goal every day. I'm just trying to live better overall. I know darned well that my gym workout WAS enough to take off some of my weight (combined with a day of eating right, too). And I want to be proud of it.

Why is this perfectionism dogging me?!

How do you deal with perfectionism? How do you convince yourself to accept the things you know are true? How do you accept a good effort as a good effort and stop trying to do everything everyday? Nobody can sustain that, not without becoming completely neurotic or...binge eating!

So I think I'm opening up to new ideas as to why I binge eat, and I'm hoping that recognizing this obsessiveness with numbers as destructive, will free me from yet another binge trigger.

Thanks for reading! Have a fantastic Wednesday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTUPTON 8/6/2014 10:12AM

    I am quite different. I had to stop waning perfection in high school--I am 67 now. Hmm.... I realized I did not have the energy other people had. So I made some priorities. To others I look unorganized and even lazy. But I did the stuff I wanted like college, etc. I just retired after 40 years teaching. So perfection is over rated in my book. I don't really like living this way but it is the best I can manage. I almost thought I had "made it," meaning losing the weight. Well, that is when hubby had a stroke. Oh boy, that set me back a bit. But finally now I am again getting somewhere with the weight loss. Live each day to it's fullest, even if it not exactly as you'd like it to be. chris

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CANNIE50 7/17/2014 9:23PM

    I think not focusing on numbers of steps, etc. is probably like not focusing on weight - sometimes it is good to step back from all of it and focus on what makes you feel stronger and better and healthier, rather than on (somewhat arbitrary) numbers. I like numbers, too, though. I think they can be useful. They are like other peoples opinions though - I am interested, and I care, but it isn't the number one thing that drives me. You know what they say about perfectionism - the number one thing that messes with perfectionism is reality. I am in a period of "deep acceptance", right now. I am just seeing everything - my weight, what and why I eat, my habits - with very clear eyes. Every time I feel myself coming up with an excuse, I challenge it. I am glad to hear you are strength training - I am back to strength training after taking a few months off due to an elbow injury. I love feeling stronger and I love that strength training is all about form and consistency and effort - not competing with someone else. Good for you for making the considerable effort to exercise. Every time you are tempted to focus on a goal, close your eyes and take note of how you physically feel. It's good for people like you and I to get out of our heads for a bit, after all, it is our heads that convince us to binge, NOT our bodies : ) emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/17/2014 9:24:20 PM

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Changed my Intro Text

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Today I updated my intro text on my Spark Page, and decided to also make it a blog. My last one was from 2013, and I'm ashamed to say I didn't make any positive progress on my health since then, except that my shoulder is 98% healed. That 2% is just a life-time adjustment I'll have to make, after all, bone is missing and I'll have weird clicks and pops and sometimes weakness. But overall, that's done and I should be marching ahead with a healthy lifestyle but I haven't. So, here's what I changed my Sparkpage Intro to say:

2014 I put all my weight back on and then some. And all-time non-pregnant high weight. My GYN just tested me for glucose intolerance and thyroid. While I didn't know if I had metabolic syndrome or diabetes (results are in: I don't), I did know that if my thyroid was out of whack, it couldn't be blamed for my weight. I've been doing this a long time now, this whole watching my health and weight, and I know when I'm eating too much and not moving enough. I also know that I'm doing it now. Regularly. I do need to find a path out of this large cave I have steered myself into.

This cave is lined with treats, and is cozy, and has a lot of places to sit. There's a TV. Movies. And a sense of coziness. But for some reason, I can't see all the unpleasant stuff underneath the enticing indulgent stuff. I DO know it's there, I'm a pretty smart girl. But I seem to be really good at looking at the surface stuff, what I want today, rather than the ick and goo underneath the indulgent habits.

So, I need to take a step out of the cave today. And every day. Some days I'll need to rest, but I can't stop or I'll just stay in the cave. And I do want out, I really do. I must find my path out!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTUPTON 8/6/2014 9:57AM

    "Head toward the light! All that deliciousness is moldy from the cave and covered in bat poo!" Thank you, MAMADWARF!

Oh how I wish I had said that! chris

Comment edited on: 8/6/2014 9:58:27 AM

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JUSTYNA7 7/13/2014 10:35AM

    Good, insightful blog!

First, no I have not read -taming your gremlin- although I do think it's a good analogy. Made me laugh. There is certainly something to taking this all with some humour but it is also pretty serious. I have shed a few tears of frustration along the way but I have to say that the past few years have been either maintaining or losing which seems like a miracle. I say that because when I TRY too hard then the sabatoge happens. Yet I know if I get too comfortable, like in your cave, well, as they say, you can only coast downhill. I've been to the bottom. Not a very nice place.

I find it easier to be accountable to someone. I don't know if you have a someone but, hey, I'm here too. I'll send you a bit of mail with where I am at today and you don't have to read or comment on it but maybe it will help me organize what I need to do today. You are welcome to do the same. Justyna

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CANNIE50 7/12/2014 6:44PM

    Listen to MamaDwarf - she is right about the yuckiness of the cave. I have been a cave dweller. I know it well. It can be quite comfortable. Comfort is definitely overrated. No one ever becomes stronger while comfortable but there is plenty of weakness waiting for us, disguised as comfort. I struggle with weight and food, for sure, but I am also good at kicking my own @$$ on a daily basis, especially lately. My own wacky thyroid has caused me some distress but mostly my choices - the choices I make about what food I eat and how often I eat it - have caused me to haul around 30-50 pounds of unnecessary baggage. It's unacceptable and even if it takes me the rest of the year, or the decade, or my life, I will NOT stop fighting for freedom from overweight and obesity. I simply refuse to collapse in a big fat heap. Enough about me. Tell me how I can help.

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MAMADWARF 7/12/2014 3:36PM

    Head toward the light! All that deliciousness is moldy from the cave and covered in bat poo!

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