AKELAZ   68,963
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Re-igniting my Spark

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I have been trying to do it for some time – on and off. Firstly I lost heart with myself. Secondly there’s been a bit of hiatus in my life – two weeks working away - which always involves meals out and hotel living generally - and then a collection of pieces of bad news. My longest standing friend, in Cumbria in the north of England, is in the last stages of emphysema, another treasured friend is undergoing chemo at a London hospital. A valued colleague of my partner and good friend to both of us had a stroke in Corfu and had to be transferred to London by air ambulance – an extremely complicated procedure it seems. He and his wife are considerably older than we are and when I hear what his wife had to go through to get him the attention and help he needed I can’t imagine how either of them got through it. Currently he is in hospital in London and is stable. So I’ve been driving around a fair bit visiting these friends, helping with the chemo runs and in the other case saying a definitive goodbye which was, of course, extremely harrowing. But it’s time to kick myself into a frame of mind where I stop complaining and count my blessings. ALSO I have to get on with this weight loss journey which I keep stalling.

In the meantime I have been discharged – finally – by my cancer specialist after the five years it takes to be considered clear. Definitely a plus.

Thanks to the great food tracker here on Spark – the best as far as I have found - I am happy to find that the accountability that it gives means I have lost a few pounds - another plus. In my gratitude for that I am finally finding the motivation to get going on Spark again in the hopes that I can actually lose a serious number of pounds. My current aim is to lose 30lb by my birthday in the first week in March 2012.
I would ask everyone to wish me good luck – but we all know it’s hard work and not luck that gets us to where we need to be.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 11/3/2011 12:02PM

    Nice to se you again! I have missed you! I think your goal is tough but doable... 30 pounds is almost 14 kilos, I think I will try to join...

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TSEWARD 11/2/2011 9:54PM

    Love the new profile pic, and I am saddened by the trials you are experiencing, but encouraged by your positive outlook! My thoughts and prayers are with you. emoticon

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TRENTDREAMER 11/1/2011 7:04PM

    "and then a collection of pieces of bad news. My longest standing friend, in Cumbria in the north of England, is in the last stages of emphysema, another treasured friend is undergoing chemo at a London hospital. A valued colleague of my partner and good friend to both of us had a stroke in Corfu and had to be transferred to London by air ambulance – an extremely complicated procedure it seems."
* Sorry to hear emoticon emoticon emoticon

"But it’s time to kick myself into a frame of mind where I stop complaining and count my blessings. ALSO I have to get on with this weight loss journey which I keep stalling. "
* It's above all else time to mourn a loss though. Not saying that you don't have to address the weight loss issue. Being able to process your impending loss of your dear friend is extremely important. If you don't address it and grieve it, it can haunt you.

"In the meantime I have been discharged – finally – by my cancer specialist after the five years it takes to be considered clear. Definitely a plus. "
* emoticon emoticon emoticon . Didn't realize that you had cancer. Glad to hear you're cleared!

"I am happy to find that the accountability that it gives means I have lost a few pounds - another plus. In my gratitude for that I am finally finding the motivation to get going on Spark again in the hopes that I can actually lose a serious number of pounds."
* Glad ur back

"My current aim is to lose 30lb by my birthday in the first week in March 2012. "
* One pound at a time. One step at a time.

Again, glad ur back

emoticon emoticon

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APPLEADAY2010 11/1/2011 1:33PM

    Sending loads of hugs - you have been through such a tough time. Really glad to have you back and well done for losing weight in the middle of it all. Looking forward to sparking again with you xx emoticon

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ROJAKHAN 11/1/2011 11:27AM

    emoticon

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IDLETYME 11/1/2011 8:51AM

    You are such a caring person to look after your friends. I'm sure they know and appreciate you too. It's wonderful that you have passed the five year cancer free date. Now is the time to set" little" goals to get your weight down by your birthday. You can do it, just set small goals.

With all of your Spark friends sending good thoughts and prayers your way, it will happen!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon


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4DOGNIGHT 11/1/2011 8:35AM

    I have heard it said that God only gives challenges to people who can handle them. ANd you certainly seem to be one of those people. Why do we let stress dictate the food we eat? If we could figure out the answer to that question, we would all be skinny. Congrats on 5 years cancer frees! What a blessing.

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SPARKLEIIGHGAL 11/1/2011 7:49AM

    Welcome back dear friend. You have had such a trying time and have emerged on the other side with vigour and motivation. Well done and congratulations on getting the all clear. Wonderful news. Wishing you all the luck and happiness in the world. emoticon back again. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 11/1/2011 6:30AM

    emoticon on getting the all clear Sonia. I am so sorry so many of your friends and those close to you have health issues and that it's been stressful for all concerned.
But now you have the opportunity to take care of number one for a change. Welcome back and good luck.
Small steps hun, small steps emoticon emoticon

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Progress made

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I seem to have a change of attitude - long may it last!

I was obliged to go out to supper last night – unavoidable – a longstanding arrangement - and I really didn't want to go because I've had a few pretty good Spark days and didn't want that to change.
SO - I gave myself a good talking-to and I actually wrote a note to myself: -


'IF I CAN’T BE CAREFUL EATING AND DRINKING (WATER RULES!!) TONIGHT AFTER ALL THIS EFFORT AND RECENT SUPPORT FROM MY GOOD SPARK FRIENDS, THEN I JUST DON’T DESERVE TO LOSE ANY WEIGHT. JUST DO IT RIGHT!'

i felt rather stupid doing it but I'm pleased to report that it worked and I stayed within calorie range and had only TWO glasses of wine – DEFINITELY a first!!

Further because I have a very bad habit of coming home and diving into the fridge even when I've already eaten - some long ago childhood habit that I can't rid myself of - I left a low-fat yoghourt by my bed with some water and some juice and by-passed the kitchen altogether. That worked too. Ate the yoghourt - drank some water and went straight to sleep.

All in all I'm feeling pretty pleased with progress made in my change of attitude - now I need find ways to keep that new attitude in place.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLEIIGHGAL 9/23/2011 4:46AM

    Brilliant. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEDDYPEDDY 9/9/2011 5:54AM

    Precious moments - whatever happens you did this great!

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MOSTMOM1 9/7/2011 10:27PM

    Good for you! That's some tenacious Sparking!
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BABYTUXXY 9/7/2011 10:06PM

    emoticon

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GRANDMABABA 9/7/2011 7:11PM

    emoticonAwesome!

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MTULLY 9/7/2011 5:02PM

    I am going to have to try that note to self. What a great idea!

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BEATLETOT 9/7/2011 9:00AM

    That's great! Congratulations! I love your note to yourself...never thought of it that way before, but it's so smart!

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FUZZYMOTO 9/7/2011 6:42AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I'm proud of your accomplishment. and I will gain strength from your Ideas. emoticon

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TSEWARD 9/7/2011 6:09AM

    Very Nice!!! You set yourself up to succeed and you went above and beyond! Your determination is inspiring.

emoticon emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 9/7/2011 5:37AM

    emoticon Sonia, replacing a new healthy habit for an old unhealthy one is def the way to go...it'll soon be second nature.
Well done for the positive self motivation note too.
I keep some motivational quotes on my back bedroom (gym) wall to keep me inspired. Got the idea from SP and it DOES work.

SO pleased for you that you're fired up emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/7/2011 5:37:46 AM

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WALIDGAZALA 9/7/2011 4:47AM

    Well Done

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TENACIOUSTRISH 9/7/2011 4:44AM

    emoticon emoticon

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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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TENACIOUSTRISH 9/8/2011 7:17AM

    emoticon

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TENACIOUSTRISH 9/7/2011 4:45AM

    emoticon

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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!
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(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
http://www.sparkpeople.com/
mypage_public_journal.asp?id=MU
SCLEMOM_2

kinda says it all!

I have my hob nail boots on should you require a swift kick in the derrière 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!!!!!

http://www.spar
kpeople.com/mypage_public_journ
al_individual.asp?blog_id=4419373


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:

MYRTLEBEACHWINS 8/4/2011 9:08AM

    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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