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The road to dietary hell is paved 170 calories at a time

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

One mythical benefit of eating better that I have yet to experience is the one where your immune system gets stronger as you treat yourself better. I'd expect to result in being sick less, to being able to fight off colds when they do strike, but the evidence of the last couple days, and months, really, are suggesting otherwise. The scorecard from the last two days reads: Sniffles 2, Drugs 0, Partha minus infinity. The roommates dug out different drugs, so I'm giving that a shot, and here's to breathing tomorrow. I'd offered myself for server duty to a charity dinner on Wednesday; I'll have to remember to beg out of that tomorrow, as I'm sure the patrons wouldn't appreciate having my sniffling and coughing self anywhere near the food.

The title of this blog come from an observation I've made recently that a lot of the snack foods I do indulge in have a portion size of 170 calories. Three Oreo cookies, 170 calories. A 12 ounce can of mountain dew, 170 calories. 6 ounce serving of the yogurt I had last night, 170 calories. That number seems to be everywhere in my dietary universe.

So far, the tendency towards comforting foods (soups, etc) over the last couple of days hasn't had any downward effect on the weight. Curious how that'll be by the time I fully kick the ick. Don't recall from previous short term issues how the scale has performed. Didn't ha e this outlet to record those sorts of thought, either. We shall see.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIRENSONGS 10/9/2012 12:41PM

    Hmmm, I do hope you feel better soon. Although your snack sure do sound tasty, I hope you're also eating foods that have some more nutrients in them to help your ailing body heal! But boy, do I ever crave some Oreos right now, lol!

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    Feel better soon! Sometimes it is the snacks that getcha!

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NANCYPAT1 10/9/2012 1:23AM

    Hope you feel better soon.

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i was being so good until all of a sudden i wasn't

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

And in that moment(s), chips and salsa and nacho cheese and oreos and a few pieces of Werther's candies found their way down my gullet. Why? Well, in partial defense, I actually was hungry, as it was 10 pm, and 'dinner' had been a 4 pm bowl of soup, and I'd gone to the gym thereafter. So there's a case to be made for this being a real supper sort of thing, especially given extreme night owl tendencies lately. So, maybe the chips and salsa and cheese could be considered a meal? Except the portions were a bit out of whack. And the Oreos, a desert? I mean, it would take a billion tons more sand, but there's a case to be made if I added a second 's'. But again, I snarfed 7 or 8 of the suckers, making the neighborhood about 420 calories large. Not entirely sure what I was thinking. And not sure what my stomach is thinking now, signaling as if it's hungry again now at 12:30 AM. Obviously, it has a mind of its own, which my mind is just going to ignore (this time).

The point? Pointing out to myself in a public space where perhaps I'll have the decency to feel shame about it, that bad old habits die hard (vengeance optional) and Mad Eye Moody's exhortations of CONSTANT VIGILANCE! is useful when it comes to snackages.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SISYPHUS_CLIMBS 10/3/2012 6:24AM

    I agree with Blue - try a small (healthy) meal after your workout. Or even just a protein bar to fill your stomach and keep you away from the oreos.

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BLUE42DOWN 10/3/2012 2:01AM

    It might be helpful in the future to plan ahead a post workout snack / meal. In fact, that hour or so right after working out is an important time to provide quality fuel.

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Go Tigers!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pennant race baseball can be exciting or hair loss inducing (as in, when you feel like tearing it out over your team's inept defense?), but I can't complain about being a fan of a team that in recent years has been in the mix more often than not going down the stretch. The Tigers are making the blood pressure rise, though, since they were supposed to have the division wrapped up by June, and instead find themselves tied with the White Sox with a week and change to go.

In football, I'm a fan of the Detroit Lions, last year a playoff team, just a few seasons after a campaign that had the NFL's official merchandiser put a ban on people ordering a jersey with the name "Owen" and the number "16" on it. They just lost a bizarre contest to fall to 1-2, and last place in the division early on, but they share it with the Packers, who lost in even more bizarre, and certainly far more memorable circumstances, with replacement officials instantly joining Wisconsin's state Sports Hall of Shame after the Monday Night football debacle. My favorite names for that travesty are the Seattle Screwjob and the Fail Mary.

As you might be able to tell, this one's a blogging for the heck of it entry, no real reason or rhyme behind the impulse to start exercising the fingers in this particular space at this particular time. Was on the site to rest the goal down to 170, but then decided to put it at 168 for a 15 pound carrot away from the current weight. Bugs Bunny would feast for a week on that sucker. But first I have to lose it.

I'd get started on the exercise portion of the 'diet and exercise' thing, except for the little fact that in trying to do so Sunday, via playing ultimate frisbee, I managed to take a funky step, one of those little maneuvers that makes a calf go "pop!" So, needless to say, I'm moving at the pace of, say, a glacier these last three days. I can almost go up the stairs without grasping at the railing to pull myself up, but going down, that's a different story. Hopefully, by the weekend, I'll have mobility without worrying that the next step brings a searing pain to my leg.

I've been thinking of volunteering for some campaign or another (really, I have no excuse for not having done so for so long), so I finally got off the couch and wandered over to a campaign office. Did phone banking for a couple of hours, and frankly, it's tough work getting answering machine after answering machine. Land lines not getting answered in the middle of the afternoon, who knew? I did have some nice conversations with some nice senior citizens, though. Now that I've managed to get off my duff, and find the office, I think I'll try to get over there more often. I'm told that there are shifts available at the Farmer's Market on Saturdays, so I might wander over there and throw stickers at people.

One thing I realized is that even when people are at least cognizant of the top level races in the state, there's a lot of disconnect between a Presidential and Senate race (statewide contests) and the local, Congressional race, let alone state house races. I'm a reasonably politically interested person - after all, I'm going in to volunteer for a campaign six weeks prior to the election, and as mentioned above, feeling guilty for not having done so before - but I didn't know the name of the opposition's Congressional candidate until today. Even with those few people I did manage to get on the line, almost universally, they indicated that they hadn't paid any attention yet to the vacated House of Representatives seat, even if they knew that there was a vacancy there due to the incumbent running for the Senate. One person, though, an older woman, she was on top of the game, even rattling off the names of the State Assembly candidates in my district, which I didn't even know! (My only defense was that I knew who was running from where I used to live!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMMAEKAY 9/26/2012 10:19PM

    I know whatcha mean about moving slow from an injury. My neck has been super horribly stiff for days from the concert. I've been pushing myself through some form of exercise everyday this week. Give your leg a rest, but work your upper body. Do some upper body lifts! Core twists. Crunches!

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UMBILICAL 9/26/2012 9:23PM


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365th day on SP

Monday, September 24, 2012

Actually, because of the leap year, and because on not recalling precisely when I first logged in, that's an approximation, but I think of September 25 as the date, so that's what I'm going with. Scribbled this following note on the sept 25-oct 1 class's message board, and thought I should also record it here for posterity.

Happy anniversary to us

Sparkiversary, whatever you want to call it. Anyone reading this has been peeking at this site for about a year, as I have, and I'd love to hear your tales on how the site has affected you. Successes, challenges, whatever, it's worth telling, I think.

Me, I'm down between 20-25 lbs. The initial goal was a 25 lb decrease, and I've woken up a couple of times at that mark, but I haven't managed to make it stick for three days yet, which is my marker for something that's real and not artifact. But I'm close. It's a combination of paying attention to details, whether of caloric numbers, or fat content, etc, that this site has made me aware of, that's helped me in this particular journey, whereas earlier attempts lacked for that information, and floundered when I've encountered work difficulties, etc.

That said, I don't know for sure whether this is a permanent loss, since, while being aware of those numbers, it hasn't resulted in me really altering how I eat. Sure, there's less fast food in my diet these days, but that's driven somewhat by external circumstances, and when those change, that factor may change along with it. I still feel like I snack way too much, on the wrong kinds of things. I may feel some guilt over it, but that hasn't stopped me.

I feel like I'm liable to weight gains still, since I see that I've rapidly gained 5-7 lbs (lasting gains, as opposed to reversible sodium weight) on a couple of occasions, and slowly had to regain that ground. The fact that I'm regaining that ground (meaning, re-losing that weight) is a good sign, since it means I'm cognizant of what needs to be done, and am in enough control to re-orient myself in the right direction after lapses, some of which have been from deliberate choices of a celebratory nature.

Hadn't intended to ramble on at this length, but there you have it, me at a year after first peeking at Spark People. Feel free to share your tales of triumph or woe. This team has fallen by the wayside, but I know a few of you are still around, would love to hear how you're doing.

All in all, weightwise, a good year. I'm calling 183 lb the official one year number, for a loss of 22 lbs. I'm resetting the goal for the next year at 170 lbs, think I'm capable of shedding that, despite how badly I've plateaued over the past 5 months. Gives me something to re-focus on, if nothing else.

Weird thing is, I don't feel significantly healthier....it's a thought that I want to think about more before sharing how I feel about it, so, stay tuned if you're curious, I suppose....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEFTHANDLUKE 9/26/2012 1:27AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SISYPHUS_CLIMBS 9/25/2012 8:04AM

    Congrats on your 1 year and your progress. You may find that some of these habits are more permanent than you thought. After I started cutting down on fast food (due to monetary reasons more than anything else), I found after a few months that I didn't even enjoy the taste anymore, or that I'd get sick when I ate it. And just by incorporating those healthy habits slowly, you're making them the new normal for your body. emoticon

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SEASONS__CHANGE 9/24/2012 11:46PM

    Congratulations on the 22lb weight loss! Even with the ups and downs that is still progress.


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CATHOLICCORGI 9/24/2012 7:44PM

    Congrats on your emoticon !!!
SP has made a big difference in my life. I did not lose the weight I initially wanted to, but I AM down. If I can do the same thing in the next year, I will be that much closer to my initial goal. The weight is important, but it is not the main important thing for me. I have more confidence in myself, I have more faith in God and others. I have learned to eat healthier and well... I even LIKE apples now! And water! LOL!
Exercise is the key to losing more weight for me. I know this! I am using my DH's strokes as a semi excuse. I can always find 15 minutes each day... I just do not do it. What is 15 minutes? I spend that on FB, so why not on the Wii?
Anyhoo... I am going to blog on October 1, 2012. Gonna be a long one, too! emoticon I haven't written in over 3 months...
Life happens! And we have survived!
This SPARKing isn't a sprint... it's a marathon, and we WILL win the race!
It's more important to enjoy the journey... and I have enjoyed getting to know YOU!
Thank you for your support, encouragement and checking in on me!
May we both have a successful and enlightening New SparkYear!
Peace be with you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIET_FRIEND 9/24/2012 5:40PM

    If you stay with your new lifestyle, you will surely see more weight dropping off. Isn't it great to be so many pounds away from 200? I will be so ecstatic when I am in 100-ville!

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not crossing the line in anything approaching fine fashion

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I just updated my status with the observation that I was stumbling toward the 1 year mark on Spark, and thought that thought could stand a bit more fleshing out. I mark that anniversary probably late next week (Class of sept 25-Oct 1 from last year, so using 9/25, in lieu of more specific knowledge). I've had a goodly share of ups and downs weight wise, over those nearly 365 days, but I'm glad to not that the initial goal of shedding 25 lbs has more or less been accomplished - the 180 lb barrier has been breached a couple of times, but it hasn't quite stuck yet, so I don't consider that official. But I've been sub-185 for a good few weeks now.

As nice as that is, it also points out the barrier to any further weight loss. In a word, it might be defined as apathy. I got to certain point along the way and allowed myself to slack in the knowledge that I knew how to recover. This latest bit of apathy has struck at the point of accomplishing my goal, and yet, instead of pushing myself across that line and basking in the accomplishment, I seem content to have more or less done it. I say that, even though my weight hasn't significantly increased over the past two weeks, I also haven't done a lick of what I'd consider exercise. I have thought about it of multiple occasion, and just haven't managed to push myself into doing anything. Rather annoying,really, but there you have it.

That said, I guess it is time to figure out the next goal....I'll finish the first year of sparking down about 22-25 lbs, and while I don't anticipate a similar result the next year (had a bit of "easy" weight at the start of the trip) I think I might be able to lose another 10 to 15 lbs, and return to the 165 lbs I weighed a decade ago.

Of course, potential life changes could knock those plans way off kilter...but then again, those same factors that lead me to allow slacking off on occasion would still hold true: after a year poking around this site, I seem to have picked up a clue on how to combat those lapses, and I think I could handle even more backsliding, were it to occur.

Don't anticipate that would be the case, but it's nice to have those weapons in the arsenal!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIRENSONGS 9/18/2012 10:27AM

    Happy one year Sparkversary, and congratulations on reaching your goal. It can definitely be hard to stay motivated, but don't let it go for too long, lest your weight creep up on you again. It's definitely happened to me a few times when apathy has kicked in! It sounds like you're aware of all this though, and I'm happy to read that you're going to keep on going!


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ELAYNE39 9/18/2012 8:58AM

    Great blog! You've done great so far. Sometimes it's hard to stay motivated, but sounds like you are getting back on track. Congratulations and Happy Sparkiversary!

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