BESSHAILE   44,869
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Do you drink your way out of shape?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

In today's SP Trivia game (one of my little indulgences - I NEVER cheat because I'm interested in learning what I know and what I don't know ) one of the questions concerned how many calories we drink.

"In the 1970s, Americans got 6-8% of their daily calories from drinks, but today, 21% of their daily calories from beverages. Not counting whatís in that glass, cup, can or mug may be a major cause of the alarming increase in obesity. "

Now - I was an adult in the 1970's so I'm thinking back to the sorts of things I ate and drank back then - when I thought 140 was entirely too heavy. Boy. I wish!

That was when I began my love affair with diet sodas - Diet Pepsi to be precise. Of course, they have no calories but they have Other Things in them that aren't good for me and in October, when I joined SP, I went cold turkey on them. If your 401K plan was heavily invested in PepsiCo I am sorry to have caused your portfolio to loose so much value - emoticon but I really did need to stop that particular madness. Since then I have had 2 sodas and both were delicious but the addiction seems to have been swept away.

Other than my own green smoothies - which I do count, I don't indulge much in caloric beverages so I guess this information isn't all that pertinent to me, but isn't it a fascinating statistic?

My green smoothie recipe, btw, is:

8 oz V8Fusion lite (Strawberry & Banana flavor)
1 cup frozen greens - i. e. spinach, collards, mixed greens
1 Tbs slivered almonds
1 Tbs flax seed meal
1/2 cup water

Mix in blender till smooth - 176 calories

When I want something a little richer I'll add a banana. When I want something less sweet I use regular low sodium V8

Happy Tuesday to you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAVE_FREE 3/2/2010 6:54PM

    Thanks for the smoothie recipe! It sounds delicious. I avoid caloric beverages for the most part. I count them if I drink them. I am still a soda addict (caffeine-free diet coke - so it's basically chemicals and water), but I'm working on one small change at a time. The time for no sodas will come and now I'll know to run to you for advice!

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MSLZZY 3/2/2010 7:49AM

    I haven't made a smoothie yet but it is worth a try. Thanks for sharing!

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JLITT62 3/2/2010 7:46AM

    No, about all I drink are water & herbal teas. Smoothies -- but not in the winter, and of course they're counted. Sometimes home made hot cocoa in the winter (also counted).

I gave up soda a really long time ago. Wish I could convince DH to do the same. Even appealing to his frugal nature hasn't worked.

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HARPERLADY 3/2/2010 7:08AM

    recipe sounds good I will have to try it emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Whatís your Latte Factor?

Monday, March 01, 2010

If you are a fan of David Bach, the financial guru who coined the phrase Latte Factor, you may have already seen how he is to your finances what Spark People is to your nutrition and overall fitness. Heís all about making small changes, eliminating stupid stress, getting good habits on auto-pilot. If you are new to him, you might want to check out his website Finish Rich dot com.
His most intriguing concept is what he calls the Latte Factor Ė all the little things we fritter away that could be used to start up a rainy day fund or a retirement fund. (or a new bathroom?)

So. What is your nutritional latte factor? Is it chips? Cheetos? (my bete noire)
Is it dessert? What about your fitness latte factor? What frittery things do you do that suck up the time you could be exercising? Is it television? Computer games?

March is such a good month for spring cleaning; your life as well as your house. Iím spending the rest of this week doing a financial latte factor check-list but I am also looking at my other areas of frittery-ness. Maybe itís the brisk wind blowing away the cobwebs of winter, maybe itís the brighter days with more minutes of sunshine in them, but I seem to see an awful lot of dust in the corners of my life and Iím feeling the urge to find me some cleaning utensils.

May you identify your latte factors and swap them out for a richer investment in yourself. Happy Monday to you all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAVE_FREE 3/2/2010 6:56PM

    I love the idea of spring cleaning to take care of the latte factor. I think mine is definitely soda at check-out lanes ($1.50/pop). Oh what I could do with that money. As for time, the computer sucks my time, but I gave up Facebook for Lent for that reason. I also quit running my work-out schedule around the tv and instead record my shows and watch them AFTER work-out!

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LUNADRAGON 3/2/2010 1:35AM

    Great idea. Time. That would be my latte factor.

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SANDYJAS 3/2/2010 1:21AM

    Lattes, mmmmm

Comment edited on: 3/2/2010 1:23:27 AM

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MSLZZY 3/1/2010 9:35PM

    Time to address my latte factors-thank you!

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MAURAK 3/1/2010 7:56PM

Great food for thought - the only kind we don't have to track here.

I remember once my mom told me that I paid the chef's salary at the supermarket because I bought convenience things like washed and bagged lettuce.
Our habits have changed so much that the other day in the supermarket I asked my daughter what something cost and she knew I was referring to it's nutritional value. We had a good laugh about that.
Thanks for the link!

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JLITT62 3/1/2010 3:54PM

    Oh, my latte factor is absolutely BLTs. And I'm working on it! I feel much more in control over them lately. At least I'm more aware of them. Like the one pita chip & smidgeon of garlic dip I had at the store today -- I wrote it down.

And I always know I'm bored when I start clicking my "get mail" every few minutes.

And sometimes sparking is a good way to fritter away my exericse time . . . like RIGHT NOW. So I guess I better throw the clothes in the dryer, change, and get my run over with.

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SHEILA1505 3/1/2010 1:50PM

    Your background of blooming daffodils is wonderful and particularly appropriate for today - St. David's Day - Patron Saint of Wales.

My latte factor was giving up smoking and not having to put in the hours of working for clients to earn the money to pay for them. And then the medical savings and the cleaning bills - the house and clothes and interior of the car - and having to replace linens &clothes that had burn holes from ash or match heads - all this increases my FunFund which is for travelling and dance classes.

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HARPERLADY 3/1/2010 12:49PM

    great post, thanks for the info

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MOOOOW 3/1/2010 12:31PM

    Again, another great blog! My latte factor is any carb that sets my insulin off and makes me crave...a diabetic problem. I am always trying to find that one thing (taste) that will take the urge away. I do not keep sweets or sugar around.

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HANSEEN 3/1/2010 12:07PM

    My latte factor is food high in fat as well and the TV. Although when the weather is nicer I will swap the TV for the garden or a walk.

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TESHIE4ME 3/1/2010 11:51AM

    My latte factor is snacking on fatty foods, especially CHEESY fatty foods. I found laughing cow light and put it on a whole grain cracker this is progress but I can't seem to stop at one serving. That is what I must work on next. Oh and my other latte factor = margaritas. I cannot completely eliminate them but I have cut back quite a bit. Now I just appreciate them even more! emoticon emoticon

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February Report - and what I learned from it

Sunday, February 28, 2010

First the good news. The numbers on official Weigh In and Measure day were not so bad. Weight 166 - which is down a mere half a pound for the month. Of course that's putting a good spin on it - it means weight was up 1.5 over last Sunday.
Bust - same
Waist - 33 down an inch
Hips - 38.5 down half an inch

Also - in February I began to learn yoga - for my faithful friends you already know this. I practiced yoga 27 out of 28 days which is a very good fitness streak. With yoga I feel like I've made a new Best Friend - A BFF ... Best Fitness Friend.

My Monthly Mile Posts were to:

Show Measurable Progress in at least one of the following areas emoticon

__X__ inches lost
__X__ weight lost
__X__ strength

Try a new recipe or food emoticon

Do one fun thing that celebrates my Health and Weight Loss Journey - this month - to create a visual

Devise on the first of the month and accept on the last day of the month a reward for meeting my monthly goals. February's reward is a candle lit bubble bath with champagne tonight. emoticon

At least I will accept it when I have tried this new recipe:

Roast pork was requested by Himself for dinner today - whew. Made this just in the nick of time. I had intended to make slow cooker yogurt and I may still do - but just in case, I'm glad there was a recipe for dinner that fits both the goal and the husband's desire.

And I will create some kind of visual today and even if it isn't my best shot it will suffice. And I think if I get over the hump I'll be able to continue with the concept till there is something I really like.

I'll come back later today and put in those emoticon's beside those two other goals when I can honestly claim them.

So. What did I learn from all this - and especially why didn't I lose more weight ... why did I derail my efforts that last week?

Here's what I think:

1. I didn't keep my goals in the forefront of my mind that last week. The first 3 weeks I spent just oh - 5 minutes a day imagining myself achieving each of my long term goals. Buttoning that dress, The doctor beaming at me and saying "I think we can lower the dosage on this", me at family reunions and other food laden events just calmly selecting exactly the right things to make me feel healthy and strong and part of the group. But that last week I stopped doing it. Oh - I would mentally list the goals but I didn't take those few minutes - and I promise you - it doesn't take more than 5 minutes a day to really SEE myself the way I want to be.

but with out that visual image really part of my daily life i really do tend to push the long term goals further into the future - to a Someday Off in the Distance.

Like brushing my teeth - I really can't afford to not imagine myself reaching each goal I want to reach. If I stop wanting to imagine it ... i have probably stopped wanting to have it.

2. I stopped being serious about what I put in my mouth each day. I exceeded the calorie limit almost every day this past week. Oh - I never went over the limit by THAT much - but you see - 100 calories here, 200 calories there and the next thing you know you've gone over by a LOT. I am sure this is how I put on all this excess weight in the first place. I'm not much of a binger, I'm a nudger. One day over the limit is never going to matter but one plus one plus one plus one plus one ... plus 365 in a row and those pounds will pile on. I think I need to lay down a strict limit of only one nudged day a week.

Plus I ate a lot of salty food this week. I love olives and I enjoy adding some to my diet fairly regularly but those olive bar olives are so salty they can make your mouth pucker. I like a little salt. I am not a salt-0-holic. I think if I'm going to have olives in the future I really need to have the ones with the least salt in them.

Also - there are a few things that I don't track on the nutrition tracker. They're little 20 calorie items but I don't know if they didn't all sneak up on me as 100 and 200 calorie Bites Licks and Tastes by the end of the week. The tablespoon of fat free half and half in my coffee - okay it's 20 calories but was it really only a tablespoon? Did I drink 3 cups of coffee? I can't honestly tell you but I think in March I shall get serious about those BLT's and be sure they're on the tracker so I can't forget about them.

3. and this is really a minor thing but it's something I learned nonetheless. I participated in the Spark team's 28 crash course through the book - and the spark people plan. Each week you go through one of the 4 segments of the total spark plan which was entirely too fast for me. I joined SP in October. I didn't really start working the plan for a month. I wasn't ready to move to stage 2 for at least another month and by golly I wasn't ready to move to stage 3 till this month. Not that I had to "obey" the 28 day crash course but I realize that I don't do well with other people's time table. A monthly challenge that has me exercise every day or drink water every day or some other small thing or even big thing - can be good but following an arbitrary schedule is not for me. I won't do that again.

So. I am much smarter today than I was a month ago. emoticon I'm a little smaller and even a wee tiny bit lighter. This is good. I'm armed and educated to move into March. I intend to look for the same monthly mileposts and follow the same daily routine I did for February but I will incorporate the knowledge I now have and be more assiduous about keeping those goals in the front of my mind and those calorie limits in place.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACIWRIGHT79 3/1/2010 6:34AM

    Thanks for sharing! I especially appreciate your comments on the book, I am reading it right now, and I don't think there is anyway I can move through that fast. Glad to know I am in good company! Congrats on meeting so many of your goals! emoticon

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OPAL50 2/28/2010 6:32PM

    Your voicing what you learned helps me and others to learn through your observations. emoticon

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MOOOOW 2/28/2010 4:18PM

    Fantastic self-evaluation!!! You will get there if you continue this! Great! Great! Great!
Pris emoticon

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SHEILA1505 2/28/2010 10:46AM


with love


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CRAVE_FREE 2/28/2010 9:45AM

    Wow! Looks like you've learned a lot and have some great focus points for March! I hope your bubblebath is a great reward and fuels you up to earn your March reward.

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I can last longer - something to hold on to on a tough day

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Longer than what? you ask

Longer than any struggles, setbacks, hurdles, difficulties, doubts and frustrations. Today is a difficult day for me. It's tough because I snuck off with Mr.Scale and peeked at my weight and it is not what I wanted to see. I peeked because I know I have been slap dash with the program this week and I'm going to write about that tomorrow - on my official weigh in day and also the end of the month.

But today I am going to write about something else - something important for me to cling to. something I found on the SP message boards in the Staying Motivated Forum, topic Say One Positive Thing About Yourself Each day

I went looking because I can feel the frustration and disappointment with myself building inside. It's going to be a restaurant day, taking my wheelchair riding dad to some fat laden restaurant for our monthly visit. If I'm already feeling sorry for myself - or worse! - feeling like a weakling, like the fat daughter of fat parents from the fat family - well. This is a hurdle for sure.

Mind now - I love my family and accept them at any weight or size and I have a sister who's here with me on SP and we ARE making progress. But today is a hurdle day and I was on the lookout for something that I could hold on to on a tough day.

and sure enough I found it. When I tried to think o something positive about myself that I could use my mind cast back to the 1990's and the building of our new library - and there it was - the hand-hold I was looking for - right there within my personality.

Our community is not a poverty stricken one but it always falls in the Below the Median line whenever the state looks at economic factors. We're small - 10,000 people and back in 1994 we were even smaller. There are pleanty of other challenging demographics I could site but I like that 10K population figure because it's an easy number to imagine whenever I'm talking about the wonderful thing our community did. And with this story, I will take credit for being the single candle that never ever blew out no matter what.

When my library board decided to build a new library (in response to my constant prodding) the estimated amount of money we would have to raise was $700,000. Nobody in my county had ever raised that kind of money from local fundraisers before. The schools had all been built with federal money and the surrounding small counties like ours had all built their libraries with at least large chunks of federal dollars. Yes. I know that ALL government dollars come from the localities ... from individuals ... but it is easier to apply for a federal grant than it is to knock on your next door neighbor's door, when asking for money.

And on my board there were people who shook their head and said "you'll never get that much money out of this community - it just isn't here".

and my answer always was .... "There are 700 families who can donate $250 a year for 4 years because even MY family, paying for college tuition right now, can do that. It's less than a coke a day!" And right then I decided that I would NEVER give up. NEVER quit. No matter what things blocked our way I would out last them. I would believe and I would be positive and never once did I think "oh I'm sick of this. We'll never get there. I quit".

It took us not 4 years, but 6 years to raise that money. But we did raise it and more. In the end we raised one million dollars from the pockets of 10,000 people or about 2,500 families. And we gave them the most beautiful library - it opened 10 years ago and it still looks like a new building. The grand opening was the biggest event the county ever did and it wasn't till our high school football team became state champions this past fall that anything pulled us together quite so completely.

And we did it because we - especially I - never ever gave up. When someone would come to me down hearted I'd look them in the eye with steel and a twinkle and say "Don't worry. We'll do this because we can last longer than this problem. "

And we did.

And by golly - no matter what the official weigh in is tomorrow ... No matter how long this takes ... No matter what looms up ahead - I am going to reach my goals, because


And can't you see all sorts of SP tricks and tools in this story? Small steps, patience, positive self-talks, belief. They're all there. And if I did it before, by golly, I can do it again!

And now I'm going to go do some yoga to add the finishing change to my mood. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HARPERLADY 2/27/2010 1:50PM

    good luck emoticon

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SANDYJAS 2/27/2010 11:13AM

    Bravo! Thank you for the inspiration about your library. You are a "Can Do Person".

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SANDY5882 2/27/2010 11:02AM

    You are amazing! If you accomplished the library goal, you can do this!

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CELEST 2/27/2010 8:10AM

    Incredible and totally true. Look forward to reaching the finishing line, looking over my shoulder and finding you smiling alongside me. emoticon

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JLITT62 2/27/2010 7:58AM

    Wow! What an amazing accomplishment!

I like to say that I can outstubborn any of my animals, and my husband will tell you it's true!

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MSLZZY 2/27/2010 7:14AM

    Very positive! It make take time, more time than we expect, but we will get to our goal if we are willing to invest that time to get there. emoticon

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SHEILA1505 2/27/2010 7:08AM

    And only you can get in your own way!
You've proved to yourself, and now to all of us, that you CAN do it, that you WILL do it and now you are just going to DO it.

We are with you all the way - and have some fun with your Dad today!

with love

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TRACIWRIGHT79 2/27/2010 7:01AM

    What an amazing story! You did, and you can do this! You are bigger than any food at a fat laden restaurant! I have faith in you spark friend! emoticon

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The greatest non-scale victory of them all

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thank you my dear spark friends for the swift rallying round me on yesterday's blog. I have to admit, I was of two minds about posting that story because, in truth, I wasn't all that upset about my straying on Wednesday. I decided to write about it, though, because I want this blog to reflect my real journey - which includes the successes and the failures. Or perhaps I should say the right turns and the .... left turns. (almost wrote wrong turns)

It was too bad that I couldn't resist buying (and eating) both the sandwich AND the olives, dripping in olive oil. Too bad I succumbed to the lure of freshly ground beef. Really too bad I'd left those chocolate chip cookies in the house when I could have shared them with my staff or ... for heaven's sake ... thrown them away. too bad.

but what is So Good - what is the greatest non-scale victory of them all is that yesterday I hopped up, ate healthy, did a gentle, slightly shorter yoga session, and breezed through the day in a cheerful mood. Not because I had to force myself to Do The Right Thing but because I couldn't wait to do it. As if Wednesday had been a trip and Thursday it was over and I was back home in my familiar favorite territory. Yup. The greatest victory of all is when - regardless of size, weight or anything else - the healthy day is the most fun!

May all your days be healthy ones. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPAL50 2/26/2010 1:47PM

    I really like MSLZZY's comment about taking a "scenic route" on your "mini vacation"... I LOVE Sparkspeople! emoticon You learn SO much from the blogs as well as the comments from others. Keep going! emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 2/26/2010 9:34AM

Good olives are nothing to regret.... emoticon

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JLITT62 2/26/2010 9:28AM

    My biggest thing is not so much what I eat, but HOW I eat it. As long as I thoroughly enjoy it, usually I'm good with it -- whether it was on the plan or not.

And it sure sounds like you mostly did (except maybe those cookies -- I've been known to throw out food on occasion).

Before you know it, you'll be eating like a kid again!

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TRACIWRIGHT79 2/26/2010 7:55AM


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ANTCOF 2/26/2010 7:19AM

    You're back on track, that is the main goal...that's what matters! Stay healthy.

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BAYSIDE07 2/26/2010 6:56AM


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MSLZZY 2/26/2010 6:55AM

    Your mini vacation was like taking the scenic route back home. You have arrived and are back in control. Good for you!

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HARPERLADY 2/26/2010 6:32AM

    sounds like you got it working for you, great job!

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KALIOPPE 2/26/2010 6:26AM

    Congratulations on getting your balance. I find that harder than anything else. Good luck and keep it up! emoticon

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SHEILA1505 2/26/2010 6:23AM

    Sounds like you are getting to enjoy the balance in your life


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BDENOON 2/26/2010 6:21AM

    Slip ups like the one you had are normal.
You're back on track and enjoying life....that's what matters!

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