Tuesday, October 22, 2013
September, 2012 I flew home to Minnesota to attend my Goddaughter's wedding. I was wearing a knee unloader brace, in a lot of pain and 46 lbs heavier. I was the heaviest of all my sisters.
Flash forward to this month: I flew home to attend my youngest brother's wedding in Minnesota walking pain free with a partial knee replacement and 46 lbs lighter. I exercised every day at least 30 minutes of cardio and even got some strength training in. I suspect I was lighter than all of my sisters.
I was worried about this trip because we were eating out almost every meal. I don't always handle temptation well, but I was proud of how I handled it this time. I wasn't perfect, but I didn't get carried away either. Since we had a mini fridge in our room, the first thing we did was go grocery shopping and get healthy food for breakfast to eat in our room. I ate healthy when I could. When I didn't have much choice in what I ate, I ate healthy by not eating as much.
The proof was in the wedding pictures! Last year I looked sickly and bloated. This year I felt and looked healthy and happy. You might have even said I looked Sparky!
I still have 44 more pounds I would like to lose, but I am proud how far I have come in a little over a year! I am here to say that it is possible to lose weight using Sparkpeople.com, especially with all the encouragement and support of all the sparkfriends you make on the site.
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
I was one of 8 kids growing up. You ate quickly because otherwise the food was all gone. We had to eat whatever was on our plate, even if we were full. As a consequence, I have been dieting a long time - ever since high school. Although back in high school, I was able to lose weight very easily just by exercising and eating healthier - no calorie counting back then.
I have lost excess weight and achieved a healthy weight 2 times in my life. The rest of the time I have been overweight or obese. those two times, I didn't have any plan for maintaining. I just let life happen and let emotions and boredom dictate what I ate.
I feel like one year on Sparkpeople.com has really made a difference for me. I still have about 50 lbs to lose, but last year I had 93 lbs left to lose. I still have bad days where I overeat, but this time I have the tools to quickly get back on track. So maybe I don't lose weight for a particular week when I overeat, but I have the knowledge to push forward and to get back on track.
It is a little harder this time because I have a family to cook for and who enjoy eating dinner out. Last two times I was single and it is so much easier when you don't have all these tempting things even in your house. In some respects, it is a little easier too, because I have all of you to cheer me on and support me. You listen to me whine or rant and you help to keep me honest.
A year later, I have learned to put ME first. I need to be healthy to be around as long as possible for my kids. I need to be at a healthy weight to help my knee replacement last as long as possible. I need to exercise and eat right to set a good example for my kids and even my husband. When I make the time for ME, I see results. After a year of doing it, my kids have learned to accept that as normal.
I have learned in this year that carbs are healthy to eat, but in moderation. Too many carbs make me feel sluggish and also eat up my calories. It is important to try to balance and eat the recommended percentage of carbs, protein, fat and also fiber in what you eat each day.
I don't expect things to go perfectly all the time. I expect there will be times where life really throws me for a loop. But the biggest thing that is different this time is that I am not going to give up. Whatever setback happens to me is just that - a setback. It is not an excuse to give up. I will keep trying until I succeed. Then I will keep trying because this is a lifelong thing, not a one-time thing.
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Today it is my 1 year anniversary at Sparkpeople.com. One year ago today, I signed up after reading about Sparkpeople.com in a magazine. I had been on another monthly pay as you go program and had lost weight, but disliked paying monthly just to keep my account active. I overlapped the two programs for one month and found I could lose weight successfully using Sparkpeople.com. I bid adios to my monthly pay as you go program and cheerfully joined Sparkpeople.com
My initial goal was to lose weight so that I could get a partial knee replacement. I had the arthritis of a 90 year old in one knee and was in constant pain. I did lose that weight easily, and then some prior to my surgery in November last year. I continued to lose weight after surgery and then hit the holidays.
Like many people, I went in the holidays with flying colors and came out hanging my head in shame. I did the classic diet no-no and let a bad day continue on. Slowly over the next couple of months, I slowly regained half of the 30 pounds I had lost. I knew what the right thing to do was, but just had a hard time restarting.
As I pondered why I was having a hard time restarting, I realized what I had been doing with my daily eating wasn't really working for me long term. I made some changes and recommitted in July of this year. Fast forward to my 1 year anniversary and I have lost those 15 regained lbs and 12 more. So in my first year on Sparkpeople.com, I have lost 43 lbs. Not too shabby!
When I started Sparkpeople.com, I had plans to lose all the extra weight by this time, but don't we all have grandiose plans when we start? As I think about my first year, I am very happy with it. Not only have I lost 43 lbs, but I have met on-line a terrific group of people who encourage, advise and cheer me on. I celebrate their milestones and important events in their lives. We encourage each other and support each other with life's curveballs.
One year after joining, I am eating healthier than I have ever in my entire life. I have exercised regularly for a year now. I have the knowledge, tools and support to work on getting the rest of my excess weight off. I still have more weight to lose, but I am sure I can do it and feel like I have a plan that is flexible enough to handle the weekly unexpected food challenges.
Even though I have a ways to go to hit my final goal weight (I have broken my final goal weight into smaller, less daunting goals), I am already looking ahead and learning about maintenance. I have successfully lost weight before, but never maintained or learned how to maintain. Sparkpeople.com has a boatload of information about maintenance and it is free for the reading. You don't have to be at goal weight to learn about it and I believe it is important to think about it before you get to that point.
So 1 year after joining, I am healthier, happier and armed with knowledge to continue to keep getting healthier. I still have my ups and downs, but I know I will succeed this time. So thank you, Sparkpeople.com!
Sunday, September 29, 2013
I woke up this morning intending to fast, but by 11:00, I realized I was just not in the right frame of mind. I decided instead to eat at the low end of my calorie range and made sure I ate plenty of lean protein today. I will try to fast tomorrow or Tuesday.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Earlier this week, i went to a noodles and company restaurant with my youngest daughter. Now, this restaurant has been in the Midwest for a number of years, but just arrived about 35 minutes from us where we live on the East coast. We have missed this restaurant! When our girls were young, it was a nice place to eat out rather than the standard restaurants for people with younger kids.
Long story short, because my youngest has some food allergies and is picky, the mac n cheese is all we could get. Only 1040 calories for a regular bowl of it. I had a free coupon and wanted to use it, but didn't want to blow my good eating habits. So I took a chopped up tomato with me and also ordered it with grilled chicken breast added. So I had about a half cup of mac n cheese with my chopped tomato and grilled chicken. Tasty, satisfying and very plan friendly! My daughter ate about a half cup and we took the rest home for leftovers for her and her sister.
Then this evening, I knew they were having apple dumplings at my girls school function. I looked up the calories on the nutrition tracker and it was anywhere from 650 - 1100 calories with the ice cream it comes with. My immediate thought was that it wasn't worth that many calories. I could make an even make something that tasted better for way less calories.
My instincts for eating healthier are changing for the better. Last year I split the apple dumpling with my husband, which is an okay choice too. This year I realized it wasn't even something I wanted enough to split. And I have never even considered bringing veggies with me to a restaurant before this week! I think I am finally getting it and making new habits. Not too old to learn new tricks afterall!
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