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Fun with food scales

Monday, October 03, 2011

I think the item that's been most "fun" to measure in the food scale so far is ice cream. I think it was an article here that pointed out that a serving of ice cream is a mere 1/2 cup, rather than the bowlful (or whole pint) that some people eat in one sitting. Okay, that sounds like a pretty easy to estimate amount. One scoop.

Except, I'm used to seeing Cold Stone size scoops. It's been many many many years since I remember going to Thrifty during the summer for their 1-scoop, 2-scoop, and 3-scoop cones. Those funny cylindrical scoops they did. But those were probably accurate servings ... in the 1970s , a couple decades before mandated nutrition labels came about.

So, I try scooping ice cream into the measuring container. The flavor I like lists 66g on the carton as the 1/2 cup weight. Okay, over 100g. Too much. Scoop some back. Scoop more back. Keep going.


It's so LITTLE! That felt like such a strange reaction, given I have no problem accurately eyeballing 1 cup or 1-1/2 cups of milk. But I don't think I've ever eaten it hand scooped from a carton in a correct serving size.

Tonight, trying it for the second time (first was Saturday), I did much better. Got just over 75g in the container, and quickly dropped that to 66g.

Of course, it's plenty satisfying. I don't feel deprived for not getting 2-4x as much. It's a delicious little splurge treat for the days when I still have the room in the calorie budget. And it's nice to know the carton will last this long. (Especially without a 19-year-old and 20-year-old regularly scoping the fridge and freezer for food.)

Ultimately, what I'm trying to learn is not to be obsessed with a food scale such that I can't cook and eat without it. (Though I'm learning that recipes by weight make a lot of sense especially when cooking for one.) No, I want to learn to judge servings of common foods without scale or packaging.

Because that's the way to turn it into a lifestyle - to make eating by serving size natural. Who cares if the plate set before me has enough food for 4 people if I can eyeball how much is 1 person's portion, eat that, and have the rest packaged for later?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARENCRAFTER 10/5/2011 11:20AM

    I remember the thrifty cones too! I had a hard time downsizing my ice cream portions too . I switched to frozen yougurt and scoop it into a cake cone.( its only 17 calories) I find I eat it slower when it's on a cone and It looks like more when its popping out of its container! emoticon

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CINDYSAMA 10/4/2011 5:16PM

    Totally remember the Thrifty ice cream scoops! I had forgotten!

You have a great, witty writing style :)

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RIVER331 10/3/2011 6:57PM

    Good job changing your habits! I've got to get a scale too, for the same reasons. I've been using a measuring cup but a scale will be so helpful with re-training! emoticon

emoticon emoticon

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JAHCANNON 10/3/2011 9:47AM

    Love it.

Portion control is still a bit of a struggle for me sometimes... particularly with certain foods (pasta). A scale will be something I get soon (probably post-BlizzCon) once our funds are a little more freed up. ;)

As for the little bit of Ice Cream... my mom got me in the habit of using little ramekins (custard cups) for ice cream, instead of actual bowls. Then the little scoop doesn't look SOO little. :P

Comment edited on: 10/3/2011 9:54:22 AM

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No shortcuts

Sunday, October 02, 2011

No shortcuts. It seems to be a motto I live by. Thankfully a good one.

My walks are generally along city streets if I'm not heading out to one of the trails. I map them to find out the distances. Tonight I noticed my application of my motto to my walking - I take corners by going to the "point" - not cutting at an angle. I make sure I've mapped it on the sidewalk and not in the street, so I'm not shortcutting the distance by being a whole 15 feet off along one edge.

At work there have been times when we're under a time-crunch, and my boss will ask me to just skip doing some tests - make sure what he did works and send it out. I follow orders, then turn right around and do the rest of the tests. And when I've found bugs like that, I'm ever so glad I didn't take the shortcut and just skip the rest.

The other day when a bus driver and I were talking about weight loss, eating and exercising, he mentioned another passenger who had been losing weight normally ... who about halfway along went for lapband surgery. (I honestly had to go look it up after that. I knew about Lipo and I knew about the stomach bypass one, but had never heard of that.) He said she went from looking healthy and very curvy, but definitely more "in shape" than when she started ... to sickly, more weight lost but sagging skin. Again, I realized these were not solutions I could imagine ever undertaking.

I don't expect to shortcut my way to 160 - or from there to whatever my ultimate healthy weight turns out to be. I don't expect to shortcut through maintenance and just permanently be there.

Similarly, I'll never do a quickie weight loss fad diet. I remember co-workers and their cabbage soup. Why anyone would do that to their body was beyond me. Any diet method that promised many pounds lost in the first weeks - I don't even tend to read further. I might as well cut off an arm to lose weight for the long-term damage those can do and the unlikeliness of the short-term loss being of body fat.

Then again, I don't plan to shortcut through my life either. I want every year of the next 4 or 5 decades (or even 6 - I do have great great aunts who lived to 101-103 years old) to be a year I actively live and spend the days of wisely.

(( Now, to anyone who has chosen or is looking at surgery, anyone who does the quick-loss, cleansing, fad diets - this isn't a condemnation. I'm a very firm believer in personal responsibility. MY choice for ME, and ME alone, is to avoid all such means of speeding up my achieving my goals.

Admittedly, I had to very intentionally eat a certain way to gain weight and maintain that excess weight. Any time I ate healthier, it started to drop. So I'm not facing the same level of challenges.

At worst, I just won't comment in those blogs. I won't ever tell someone they're wrong for making that choice, because only they have all the information on why they feel it is needed for them. ))

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELCARD1 10/6/2011 1:50PM

    I'm in the gastric bypass camp because I had one in 2008, but I will wholly endorse that it's not for everyone. I am 5' 5" and was 325 with a BMI of 45. My liver was fatty, my aches and pains were many, and I was on the fast track to diabetes. I needed something drastic. Luckily, most of my skin bounced back, but there are still a few annoying areas.


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PODIEX2 10/4/2011 12:23PM

    I have a lady friend who got that lap band procedure and I was almost tempted to get it too, but I have another lady friend who lost more weight then the lap band lady in the same amount of time, so I just saved myself 12, 000. lol........I need to find a balance and then learn to live within it. Great blog!!!

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SARA126LBS 10/2/2011 3:01PM

    yep.. has to be sustainable.. anything too harsh cant run the course..
sounds like you really know what works for you.. and well done for all that walking :) emoticon

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MARTHASPARKS 10/2/2011 2:04PM

    Anything worth doing is worth doing right - that's another way of saying, NO shortcuts. Lapband surgery is like gastric bypass - if your weight is threatening your life, it's an option . Otherwise, NO! My cousin had it and for the rest of his life he eats only a few tablespoons of food at every meal. However, it did save his life.

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IILAAD65 10/2/2011 9:15AM

    You are definitely right on!!

I noticed that anyone who loses weight "quickly" looks old and wrinkly and yes thinner, but i thought , WOW he/she looked better heavier!

Slow and steady - and letting your skin shrink naturally is the way to go.

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REALLY_ROBIN 10/2/2011 9:02AM

  I'm with shortcuts! It's definitely a great motto to live by!

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The End of Stage 1 and start of October

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Couldn't have timed it better if I tried. Today is two weeks since I got started with Stage 1, so I'll be moving on to Stage 2 tomorrow.

For my own records - my original goals and how I did / comments on them:

1) Actually plan grocery lists and move away from eating out for convenience
- Only partway there. I'm testing a menu planner that has a grocery list maker, but it's in the early stage where I feel like I have to add most foods to it - so I'm shopping and entering data instead of making a list and shopping. That part is extended to a 60 day goal (30 days for trial and 30 days if I swap to the other option).

I did mostly stop eating out for convenience. And when I've been grocery shopping, it has been with a conscious idea of the basic food needs for the week. So, even though I didn't "plan grocery lists", in general the change I wanted to make was successful.

2) Do a dozen proper form crunches a night until it's a habit

- Again, only partway there. This one ran into the basic Cardio / ST schedule. I have been doing crunches every day I scheduled ST for. I haven't been making them a daily thing. This one I've re-evaluated and decided keeping it part of my ST is enough for now. In terms of making a habit of doing exercises, this was successful.


Better goal-making. I think my list of October goals is more realistic so I don't get these "accomplished what I really wanted, but didn't meet the goal" situations.

I'm actually happy with what I've done so far. I was also a little surprised by two things:

I did actually lose a little weight over the two weeks. It wasn't the goal or focus, but I shouldn't be surprised given the change in what and how I've been eating.

I had a bus driver who has seen me semi-regularly over two to four weeks spontaneously ask if I've lost weight or been working out. He said he could tell. O_O He's really the first to say anything and I didn't think I changed that much in the two weeks. (We had a nice conversation from that point till I got to work on the physical activities and such and, while I didn't push it, I did mention I was doing a lot of tracking on SP.)

Oh, and there was one other "surprise" today. I still have money on my Starbucks card even though I'm not easily able to stop for a drink. So today when a couple other girls in the office went, I had them get me my "usual". Then I quite properly recorded it in my food tracker. O_O Okay, I knew that my hot chocolate and glazed old-fashioned habit was part of my keeping my weight on. But I didn't ever apply a real world number to it. Bearing in mind that I don't stint on food. Tall hot chocolate with whip = 390 cal. All by itself.

I won't ever go with "skinny" or "no whip", but I definitely won't ever return to that being a morning routine.

Welcome to October and Stage 2. Let's see how this story progresses.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAMAT08 10/1/2011 4:29PM

    sounds like you are making changes for the better health that you want. Keep up the good work emoticon

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REALLY_ROBIN 10/1/2011 9:29AM

  My motto the entire time I've been losing this time (and it's definitely the last) is I am only going to make changes I can live with for the rest of my life. No shakes, no labratory engineered foods, no paying someone else to lose weight. I eat real food and I have dark chocolate every day, it's what I love. The difference now is it's a part of my plan. So if that hot chocolate with whip is your thing...I say go for it...your making it part of your plan! Isn't it so awesome when people notice the changes your making in your life! You are doing so great! Woo Hoo...onto stage 2!

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ALLPROTAMMY 10/1/2011 2:30AM

    Awesome! You should be so proud of yourself. This is great progress for such a short time!!! You go Girl!!!

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Sore sore feet - but only a break long enough to write

Friday, September 30, 2011

Didn't sit down once doing laundry tonight, which has my heels really aching. I'd considered figuring out a way to "work out" while waiting. After all, the dryer is an easy 40-50 minutes of nothing much to do. Didn't because there were a lot of people, some less than savory (the lady in charge there had to chase out a guy talking crazy and smoking a joint and not doing any laundry).

So instead I semi-watched the ad-tube which had some X Factor thing playing. *CRINGE* *CRINGE HARDER* There were more cars (in ads) than there were voices that weren't painful. This is part of why I do NOT watch TV, do not have cable, and haven't in over a decade. Sure, I'll Netflix or Youtube a series here and there, but even those I don't stick with horribly long.

Walking the bit from the bus to home, there was a mental conversation going on what to do about sore feet. Yeah, I'm crazy enough to talk to myself in my head. =P The "Oh, no you don't use a flimsy excuse like that" voice won. I'll be heading out for my 1 mile walk once I finish here and use the facilities. Get back and I'll do my ST. And then *CRASH* because it will be my bed-time.

In more positive thoughts, I'm going to the Los Gatos Creek Trail from work tomorrow to do my 2 mile walk for the 5k Walk training program. I'm really looking forward to opening into my weekend like that.

Okay, now I'm just deliberately dallying. Off and away I go.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Great blog when I am some where and trying to work out while waiting and not wanting to looking like a dumba$$ I walk and much as possible up and down or around the building people might think what the heck is this person pasing for but who cares! emoticon

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What is this ...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's something other people do as a matter of course, natural as breathing. Friending people on a website.

Whether it's Face Book, G+, Myspace, Twitter, Tumblr, or a dozen other social networking sites or blogging sites, the urge to add people to follow, to add "friends" has never been there.

In fact, my G+ usage so far is unusual. I have my bestest friend ever. He was the first person in one of my circles. Next, I invited other emails I had, creating a circle of me (which was good for testing out what showed to whom). Next I added a couple of family members. Finally, I've very recently added a couple who know me by an online identity.

Speaking of which, she has a G+ and Facebook too. She's a character in WOW, but I'm more socially active on her than I ever have been in real life.

Now, it's not that I'm shy. Never have been. I'll speak up, I'll meet and greet, I'll chat with random strangers freely. But when it comes to offering a phone number or email or messenger ID ... I give excuses. If they're given to me, it's extraordinary that I make the effort to reach back out. I guard my privacy and my alone time, to a level that's extreme perhaps.

So, that brings me to here. The only person I added as a friend originally is one I know from elsewhere - with whom I already have interactions and have gotten to know. I occasionally noticed the "I want a Spark Buddy" on people's pages, but didn't even know what a "Spark Buddy" was. ^_^;; I even went looking in the Help and FAQ trying to find out. Er, yeah. That's me.

A couple days ago I happened to check the email attached to my SP account, one I don't keep up with regularly. O_O Who are all these people that added me as a friend? I went looking and discovered it was people that I responded to threads and blogs, giving encouragement and different viewpoints on situations.

Tonight I realized I was doing the same thing I do everywhere else. Being quite willing and comfortable in the zone of "strangers I don't know well" ... but not putting myself on the line to build any level of "being Spark Buddies".

So I'm trying to change that.

Everyone who has friended me, I've friended in return. In addition, I'll be keeping an eye open for local Sparkers who might want to have a walking buddy or even people who are interesting to have conversations with.

Hello Spark Friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SSVINGENJONES 9/28/2011 11:10PM

    Hey there;

We are all Spark Buddies on this cyber highway of technology. Are we friends.. sure, we will probably never meet, but the encouragement and thoughts that we will share with each other, will take us to the next step, will help us when we are down and will encourage us should we falter.. and that my friend, is what friends are for!!


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JAHCANNON 9/28/2011 10:15AM

    I've always respected (and admired) your reserve in the social media circles.

But I'm also proud of you for opening up here. I think you'll find a great support system. And you don't have to go nutso and friend every person you come across either. :)

emoticon from your Original Spark Friend. ;)

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SICIANASARI 9/28/2011 6:28AM

    Heya Spark friend! Don't feel too weird, I'm that way, too - maybe it has something to do with being online gamers? (I'm a WOW player, also.) Not sure, but you have a lot to offer, and are a very kind and well-reasoning person, judging from your posts, so you can probably expect a lot of friend requests... who wouldn't want to be friends with someone neat and cool?! :)


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    I have a facebook and other social accounts but something about the wonderfull people here on sparks just moves me...the comments and kind words that people on facebook would never even think to put out to a "stranger" I love sparks and all the new friends I have made...I hope you are able to open up even more and let some great people into your wishes and Im always here! emoticon emoticon

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