AKELAZ   67,460
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Following the example of those who keep on keeping on

Monday, September 05, 2011

I had come to a point where I was ashamed to be a member here – I’ve never lost a great deal of weight with Spark through my own most grievous fault, but continued on the basis that slow weightloss was better than no weightloss. However I have put back almost everything I lost in this, the beginning of my third year with Spark and there seemed little reason to keep trying. But I knew I’d be letting myself down and also those who do their best to keep me going here - you all know who you are.
So - with that help and encouragement I have got back into exercising and that – in its turn – has led to better eating again. I can’t bear to own up at the moment exactly where my relapse has got me in terms of ‘poundage’ so my tracker remains the same – a blatant lie in fact – but one of those pounds has gone this week.
On a positive note, the other thing that has kept me here is that despite the numbers on the scale and a certain drop in energy recently, I am feeling better and healthier than I have since before I joined Spark and that, in itself, seems to me to be a reason to stay with this community and NOT give up.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 9/9/2011 5:53AM

    Hear hear! I am a carbon copy - for the moment gaining because I had a dip in my motivation. But I agree in feeling healthier anyway!

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QSULLIVAN 9/5/2011 9:57PM

    Glad you are back on track and back with SP! Even a 1 lb loss is a great thing. Every little bit of weight loss adds up - the same way it was a little bit at a time that the weight came on.

emoticon emoticon

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MOSTMOM1 9/5/2011 9:21PM

    Gosh, never be ashamed to be here--at least you're here! We all have to keep on keepin' on. Every day is a new day!

(I agree with Blueanellk. Go ahead and update your ticker, so you aren't constantly feeling bad about it. It's just another start point, that's all. It's all GOOD.)

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BABYTUXXY 9/5/2011 6:41PM

    I first joined SparkPeople in 2007, I lost a little that year but nothing to really brag about. When I started over at the beginning of this year, I had to reset my tracker up to a higher # than it was when I started in 2007. You have nothing to be ashamed of. We have all done the same thing. Just take it one day...better yet..one moment at a time and find what works for you.
You've got friends here at SP if you need any help!

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APPLEADAY2010 9/5/2011 3:10PM

    Yay this is a great post! Your doing really well. I agree with you - being with spark does makes you feel more positive by motivating us to eat better and exercise more. I think its natural to have up's and down's - like you say, we just need to keep on keepin on - we will get there xx emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 9/5/2011 12:34PM

    Sonia you are not the only Sparker to lose their motivation to lose weight and get fit. It can be a longer journey for some people than others due to family commitments, health issues, financial or time constraints, some of these have affected you recently so DO NOT ever say you're ashamed of being a Sparker, it happens hun emoticon

The trick is to learn and move forward and value your health enough to keep plugging away. I saw a great motivational blog today, here's the link

kinda says it all!

I have my hob nail boots on should you require a swift kick in the derričre emoticon emoticon

emoticon for making a great start emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/5/2011 12:35:21 PM

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BLUEANGELLK 9/5/2011 11:30AM

    I have been here about three years too and I am just about back down to where I started the first time. It can be discouraging, but just keep on. you will kick those pounds to the curb. I hate to suggest this, but you might want to update your ticker, just so you can face the number and not spend a lot of energy worrying about what it is. I know that helps me. Keep in tough, maybe this time we will be successful together!

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CLSYLADY 9/5/2011 11:06AM

    Glad you are back and back on track. I have been where you are and have been a member of Spark longer than you and not really lost the weight. I decided this is the year to finally make it. I know you can make it too!

You are doing things right and are making the effort and that is all anyone can ask of you. I wish you the best of luck on this journey.

Keep on keepin on.


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CLSYLADY 9/5/2011 11:05AM

    Glad you are back and back on track. I have been where you are and have been a member of Spark longer than you and not really lost the weight. I decided this is the year to finally make it. I know you can make it too!

You are doing things right and are making the effort and that is all anyone can ask of you. I wish you the best of luck on this journey.

Keep on keepin on.


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Searching for focus

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lately, because I was much engulfed with caring for my grandchildren to give their parents a hand, I’ve lost focus, eaten far too much and pretty well given up exercising – apart from the cardio that young children inevitably provoke. They are delicious like all little children but so-o diverting and I need to find a way to deal with them – and other diversions in life – without damage to myself - and NOT indulge myself in the process

So I’ve been chasing round the site trying to find encouragement and inspiration. There is so much hope here – so many successes – so many people keeping on keeping on despite their own problems and difficulties and I needed to read all of it to change my mindset. I seem to be always busy and then my focus on myself and my health slithers away from me and hides behind the nearest tree. I’m trying to stop the rot.

I know I’ve been sabotaging myself by only picking out the components of the Spark armoury that please me (lean protein/ lots of veggies/water) and abandoning some of the others that please me less (regular exercise/moderate portions/low-fat versions of various foods like cheese and mayo). And DON’T mention the WINE!!! All of which means I’m carrying more excess baggage than usual. I feel heavy and tired from too much food – too exhausted to move around as much as I should - all compounded by an attack of sciatica which I KNOW would be better if I were moving around more and doing plenty of gentle stretches.

I have called myself ‘determined’ here many times – the fact is that tho I WANT to be determined, I haven’t followed that through. Silly me!

Having taken inspiration from all you great Sparkers and heeded the encouragement of my good friends here, I’m starting again – and am pleased to report that yesterday I had a good first day. Moderate quantities of healthy food – some strength exercises and cardio. HOORAH!!It remains to find ways to keep that going – not easy but I HAVE to give it a go.

emoticon from me to myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 9/9/2011 5:58AM

    Exercise is often my pitfall too - it is such a hurdle to overcome to get going!

Otherwise I agree on many spark ideas - apart form that fat-replacements. I try to eat a reasonable amount of fat and as little sugar as possible - I do not seek low-fat versions, I prefer to try to eat less instead.

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TRENTDREAMER 9/5/2011 7:00AM

    "I have called myself ‘determined’ here many times – the fact is that tho I WANT to be determined, I haven’t followed that through. Silly me! "

* a lot of "I'm going to do it this time" and "I can do it" and other such inspirational statements are short term psych ups. Not bad in and of themselves, but they are preps for sprints when most of us on this weight loss journey are on a cross country run.

several weeks ago, I made the bold crazy and daring move of choosing to exercise 10 minutes a day and add 1 minute each week to the 10 minutes per day. I'm now moving up to 18 minutes per day and my body is showing the signs of someone who exercises regularly (even if a few minutes below the recommended 30 mins/day).

I became deliberate in buying enough of two food groups that I like to meet the old RDAs. I eat 3-4 pieces of fruit per day and 3 servings of lean dairy. they come naturally to me.

The big one is vegetables. two months ago, i made the bold move of choosing to eat 2 servings of vegetables a week (**not per day, per WEEK**). last month i upped it to three. starting today, im up to 4 per week for this month. next month 5.

if i had made the "im going to do it this time" vow and decided to do 45 minutes of exercise a day and eat 3-5 vegetables a day every day no exceptions, i would have totally burnt out.

im making the hard changes slowly and gradually, but surely. i went whole hog on the dairy and fruit because i like both of them and naturally gravitate towards them. if i consumed them like veggies, i may have set a goal to consume 1 serving of 1 of them per week.

slow and gradual. 27-29%, baby!! Whooooo!!!!!


Comment edited on: 9/5/2011 7:02:55 AM

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MOSTMOM1 9/1/2011 8:49AM

    I totally hear you! I can be a terribly picky Sparker too...But golly, those kiddos are super cute.

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MARTY728 8/31/2011 11:42AM

    You can do it! Being able to be with your grandchildren is a blessing. My wife never knew her Grandparents. While I and our children have had intimate relationships with and millions of memories of our Grandparents. My wife has often expressed regret that she does not have the same. At a birthday dinner on Monday evening, my oldest daugther told a tale about her paternal Grandmother. The memories your Grandchild will have will last their lifetimes. So have fun and keep Sparking!

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APPLEADAY2010 8/31/2011 7:10AM

    Yay well done for your focus. I really enjoyed reading your blog and your grandchildren are sooo cute! Keep up the good work! I am going to try and do the same xx

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NEW-CAZ 8/31/2011 3:55AM

    emoticon Sonia
Sometimes our priorities change for a while and you've put your family first but you're ready to take care of you.
You owe it to yourself (and your family come to think of it) to keep well and healthy and now you have that focus back again.
Do yourself a huge favour, don't launch yourself into a too strict regime to make up for it like you did last time...slow and steady wins the race.

Oh and if you need some butt kicks you know who to call emoticon emoticon

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Gastronomic Turkey - Day 1

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We had a very bad journey out to Izmir – an airport on the edge of the Marmara Sea. A delay of two hours on the runway due to a strike by air traffic controllers in Greece and when finally there was a slot for take -off, the Control Tower at Gatwick was struck by lightning. So a further delay and such a bad thunderstorm that the pilot did a detour taking nearly a further hour to fly around it.
The outcome of all this was that the four of us arrived at the hotel at midnight hot, tired and cross. I had no idea how wonderful the Turkish people are. So soothing and welcoming . Hungry? No problem – we can only offer you a Turkish omelette – Kaygana - with a very particular dry spicy Turkish sausage – Sucuk – quite hard to describe. The closest flavour would probably be a chorizo, though the texture is more like frankfurters. Being a muslim country, there is no pork sold (well not that we saw) so Sucuk is made from finely ground beef with cumin, garlic, salt, and red pepper, fed into a sausage casing and allowed to dry for several weeks and is their ‘bacon’. The sausage was chopped and fried in the omelette with fresh feta and herbs(flat leaved parsley and mint in this case) all drizzled with a very small amount of pomegranate molasses. We ate it in the cool central courtyard (with a huge Avocado tree in the middle) of our traditional hotel (once home to Ataturk) and whilst anything would’ve made us happy at that stage in a difficult day, this was truly delicious! Accompanied by wonderful sliced tomatoes with a flavour I have only ever found in hot climates - certainly never in England - with chives and chopped garlic plus a bottle of wine, it saw us very happily to bed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon emoticon

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APPLEADAY2010 8/3/2011 11:09AM

    Looks really tasty - hope you had a great time! xx emoticon

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/3/2011 12:29AM

    I have been thinking latey to make my own sausage - I am not a sausage lover but that is because it is hard to know what is in there... but this sounds like an interesting object... looking forward to more inspiration from the turkish kitchen ;-)

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FITFORMYFAMILY 7/21/2011 11:07AM

    Interesting food description. I'm not too big of a fan of any type of sausage (usually), but the rest of it sounds absolutely delicious!

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MARTY728 7/20/2011 10:58AM

    WOW! Sorry about the journey. The food sounds and looks great! Thanks for the description and pictures!

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NEW-CAZ 7/20/2011 7:47AM

    what a wonderful welcome after a frustratin journey.
The food looks fantastic!
Will you try and replicate the meals now you're home?

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MANDARYANE 7/20/2011 7:35AM

    So glad you made it safely, and the food maybe simple but it looks delicious!

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BDJOHNSON 7/20/2011 7:27AM

    I'm glad you made it there safely. Enjoy your trip.

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WALIDGAZALA 7/20/2011 7:01AM

    Next time go to a simple little hotel in the city.

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Home from Turkey - what an experience!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

As some of my friends here know I have been in Turkey recently – partly for work and partly for the wedding of a Turkish student of mine involving two ceremonies – one in the tiny village where he was born and another in Istanbul. It has been by far the most interesting experience I have had in all my years of travelling around the world. A taste of real Turkish life – and - I don’t have to say - of the food! Turkish food is amazingly healthy and their preference seems to be fresh local organic food transformed into wonderfully tasty but simple dishes of all sorts. I hope to blog about the food with photos of some of it and of the wedding ceremonies in due course.
Annoyingly, I came back feeling pretty unwell, having passed out several times abroad which I attributed to the heat. However, I have spent part of this current week in hospital on enforced bedrest to lower astronomically high blood pressure. I now have to undergo a battery of tests to find out whether there is an underlying cause.
Having signed up for the 5% Challenge I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to participate as I felt rather feeble and had been warned that I shouldn’t exert myself in any way until the blood pressure was well and truly lowered. However, I woke up yesterday feeling completely myself and popped to the Nurse at my Doctor’s practice to check if it would be OK to start the challenge today. To my delight my blood pressure is now lower than it’s been for years – all a big mystery medically – but I am passed fit for the challenge, although warned to ‘start slow’. So all’s well that ends well. Hoorah!!

Sunset over the Marmara Sea from the tiny island of Avsha.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:



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    Such a beautiful photo.

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/3/2011 12:27AM

    I will follow your writings about turkish food with interest and it was also interesting to read about your blood pressure.... mine has been "perfect" all my life but with aging I have to keep an eye on it because it is slowly raising - exercise has become more necessary!

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MOSTMOM1 7/19/2011 8:25AM

    So glad you're doing better. Have fun with the challenge, but take care of yourself. Go A Team!

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MARTY728 7/17/2011 8:38PM

    Glad you enjoyed Turkey and happy you are back. Sorry about your health. I hope you are well soon!

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TRENTDREAMER 7/17/2011 6:28PM

    glad 2 hear that u had a good time and that the blood pressure is doing well.


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    Glad to see you enjoyed the trip but sorry to see you were so unwell. Do take care of yourself and only do what you can on the challenge. emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 7/16/2011 10:47AM

    Sonia I await more details of your exploits and look forward to your foodie blogs.
What a shame your holiday was marred by fainting, I am just glad you didn't ignore it on your return to the UK and took care of yourself; how weird that it's come back down so quickly- but I for one am glad it did!!!!!!!

Good luck with the challenge babes, take it slow.

Love the sunset emoticon

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HELEN_BRU 7/16/2011 9:50AM

    What an experience! I envy your trip. Happy to know you are able to continue with the 5% Challenge. I nearly gave up because of an allergy but am okay now.
Looking forward to seeing more pictures of Turkey, etc.

Happy journeying!

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    Your trip sounds intriguing. I'm looking forward to your food/photo blog.

I'm glad you're ok to start the challenge. It's so odd that your blood pressure was messing around like that. Did the doc think there was any possibility of some sort of allergy to something you were exposed to on your trip?

That's a beautiful sunset picture!

Go A Team!

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More tales from the Bootcamp

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Having said I lost no weight on the Spring Bootcamp - which was both true and disappointing I nonetheless felt it had done me a great deal of good in boosting my energy levels and I could see (and measure) that I was more toned. Fine by me – truly believe you all when you say the number on the scale is not everything.
However – today – only 4 days after the final Bootcamp weigh-in - I did a mid-week weigh-in as I often do - and find that 5 pounds have disappeared!!! Great!! But can anyone explain ? More to the point can I trust it?
I DO hope so – I have an invite from one of my foreign students for his wedding in Istanbul – and before that in his Turkish village – in July when it will be very hot and I need cool and probably 'difficult-to-wear clothes'. I had made it a goal for a decent loss – not got far with that lately! Still – there are 4 weeks yet and I need to latch on and FOCUS consistently.
Any emoticon anyone feels like giving me would be most welcome.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 6/19/2011 4:55AM

    I am not that good in good advice or buttkicks but I do think thatyou can do fine in the remaining weeiks and I hope you do because you are such a nice person! That I feel friendly towards and therefore wish all the good in the world! emoticon

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MARTY728 6/1/2011 10:05AM

    Congratulations on toning up! You do not need any kicks, I KNOW YOU CAN DO THIS!

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APPLEADAY2010 6/1/2011 9:24AM

    Yay congratulations!!! The sacles are showing what you knew to be true from your measurments and energy levels! I am really proud of you - 5 pounds is a great success and so is doing a full month of boot camp - your a true spark hero! My hol is in six weeks so we will try and motivate each other - we can do it! What are your plans for June? Are you doing another boot camp or have you joined another group? xx emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 6/1/2011 9:22AM

    Sometimes when I'm working hard on workouts and have a day of rest its on the rest day a weight fall registers.
Have no idea why...hey don't complain hun emoticon
If you keep on track it should stay off.

What a great treat you have in store for July and what better motive than a wedding to make you focus.

Consider your butt kicked emoticon come on Sonia emoticon emoticon

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