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BLC#20 - Weekend Challenge - It's all about the food

Saturday, September 22, 2012

(( For those who don't know and see this abbreviation in blogs of mine - it stands for Biggest Loser Challenge and the 20th Round. ))

** Post on your chat thread or a blog at least one idea for controlling your nutritional intake, making meal planning easier, or eating cleaner. **

Controlling nutritional intake.

Live alone. emoticon emoticon

More seriously, tied into the concept of portion control is something I've learned to do with fast food. My favorite burger is Jack in the Box's Ultimate Cheeseburger. That offers a whopping 990 calories, 66g of fat and 1620mg of sodium. That alone could "kill" my day nutritionally. Add the shake I like with it and that's another 670 calories, 33g of fat, and 350 sodium. Doesn't leave much space for the rest of the day (and has me over the range on fat already).

What do I do on the rare occasions I really really want that treat?

Eat half the burger and toss the other half. I cut it before I start eating and throw out the bigger looking half. I pour out 3/4 of the shake into the garbage before I even put the straw in. Now I'm getting 662.5 calories, 41.3g of fat, and 897.5mg of sodium (and possibly a little less than that, but I round up). Sure, it cost me just as much as if I'd eaten it all, but since they don't offer a half-size meal, I'd rather waste food than add it to my waist. (And, really, I take that into consideration if I'm craving - am I willing to waste some of the food to get the tastes and textures I apparently want so badly?)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PKCTTS 9/22/2012 2:14PM

    I do that too. Although I've gotten to where a can order kids sized burgers instead, love the Wendy's jr bacon cheeseburger

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DIET_FRIEND 9/22/2012 12:45PM

    I have a hard time throwing food away and that is one of my problems. Whey do I consider myself a food garbage disposal? I was raised to never waste food and to clean my plate. It is hard to undo this tendancy. I try not to give my kids the same compulsions.

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TALENKARR1 9/22/2012 10:04AM

    emoticon ....Si painfully obviouse why the hell did I not think of that?!,......THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !!!!!!!!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 9/22/2012 8:05AM

    Cool Great idea

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SBNORMAL 9/22/2012 5:23AM

  You are a tough cookie if you can throw half of it away!!! LOL

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CIPHER1971 9/22/2012 3:01AM

    Living alone - nice idea - if a little impractical for me at the moment

Have a great weekend

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DANAEBOYCE1 9/22/2012 2:16AM

    That is a good idea. My kryptonite is the Carls Jr. Breakfast Burger. I saw a commercial with it on the tv, and moaned a little. My fiancee looked at me and said, "Did you just make a sexy sound about a breakfast burger?" I was so ashamed. But seriously-I am in love with that burger. If only I could have an oreo cookie shake from Jack in the Box with it.... Okay, now thats bad! I just stay away. I dont have that kind of self control yet!

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RUNNINGWILD 9/22/2012 1:12AM

    Very cool idea. One I definitely hadn't thought of.
Thanks for sharing.
~p~

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 9

Friday, September 21, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

9. How old are you and do you think your thoughts about weight loss, fitness, and wellness have changed over time?

I am 43 and a half. Absolutely, yes, my thoughts on these things have changed over time.

As a child and teenager, fitness was something authority figures made me do for the most part. P.E. and fitness tests in school, aerobics classes that my stepmother dragged me to because she hated going alone, none of it was my choice. Sure, I learned that it was good for me, but so were chores allegedly.

As a younger adult, there were so many distractions and pulls in this direction and that. Marriage meant someone else's ideas of what foods should be in the house and served. Children meant all sorts of chaotic upheaval to food and time. Divorce and single-parenting stole time and added stress.

Youth guarded against the downward trend for quite a while and I kept putting off me and taking care of my wellness and fitness until my kids were grown up.

Thankfully, I'm now at that point of just feeding and caring for me. And I'm old enough to take the knowledge I've picked up over these many years and put it all together into action, with a certainty of the benefits to be gained.

Fitness has become the major focus. Wellness and weight loss are secondary results of how much effort I put into my fitness. (And that includes knowing that I could lose weight a lot faster if I cut more calories, could potentially increase my wellness through supplemental vitamins and minerals, but instead choosing to find a balance that gives me a well-rounded lifestyle that I like.)

Fitness has become MINE. Meaning that I am not doing any of this because I read an article that said I should or a study says it is the best way to lose weight or decrease my risk factors. There is no authority figure, no doctor or parent or teacher, telling me that I have to do it and they say so because it's good for me.

Nope, it's all me.

I want to BE fit, BE well, BE a healthy weight.

And so I DO what is needed.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKFRAN514 9/21/2012 8:36PM

    great blog sounds like you have come full circle like many of us. we did PE class because we had to to get out of high school. and all then life happens and now we find our selves working to get those pounds off you have a good plan do it at your own pace and how you feel comfortable doing. you have to be doing something right as you look great keep up the good work you look emoticon

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HOPEFULHIPPO 9/21/2012 4:15PM

    emoticon It's amazing how our thoughts change over time isn't it?
(we're about the same age!!)

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EMGI129 9/21/2012 2:53PM

    So nice to see where you come from. Thanks for putting it all down. emoticon

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CIPHER1971 9/21/2012 1:18PM

    emoticon

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KANOE10 9/21/2012 8:58AM

    Great blog. Wonderful about making fitness yours. emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 9/21/2012 7:54AM

    emoticon

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RG_DFW 9/21/2012 7:47AM

    Great attitude

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MICHELLENRGZED 9/21/2012 6:47AM

    Way to go, & thanks again for sharing.

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GHOSTFLAMES 9/21/2012 4:52AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SBNORMAL 9/21/2012 4:38AM

  emoticon

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 8

Thursday, September 20, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

8. What do you think will be different when you reach your goal weight? If you are in maintenance, what did you think would be different? What actually was different?

The biggest difference? I won't be buying new clothes because my current ones are too big (or too small).

Really, I don't have any major expectations of things being different other than to be done with that particular part of the journey. I hope to already be redirecting time and energy toward the next stage of my life journey (education toward a more fulfilling job path / career). I recognize that any differences are ones that I create - not ones that depend on reaching a particular weight and magically come into being.

One difference will be that my nutrition tracking I'll be moving over to the Living Cookbook software I own. Not depending on an internet connection and a website being up is important. I also find it easier to pull all the pieces together - raw ingredient inventory, recipes, meal plans, shopping lists, and nutrition tracker.

Another difference is that I plan to reduce my cardio time at the gym, pushing up the intensity of what I do. I also hope to be doing more in the free weights area, learning a much broader variety of exercises to challenge myself.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIET_FRIEND 9/20/2012 3:47PM

    When I lose the weight--it won't be an overnight thing as it's coming off a pound at a time--I will feel a true sense of accomplishment that comes from being successful. Hopefully I will also feel more confident and look better to the world and myself. I also hope to feel better physically from releasing so much unneeded weight from my body.

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JESSERS22 9/20/2012 12:33PM

    LOL! @TALENKARR1. emoticon

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TALENKARR1 9/20/2012 10:01AM

    Plus all the guys checking you out. don't forget them! And your kids getting into fights cause one of there friends called you a "milf"

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NEWMOM20121 9/20/2012 9:19AM

    Thank you for sharing a part of yourself.

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APONI_KB 9/20/2012 9:12AM

    This is a cool idea, I should try it. I kind of like the idea of not tracking things online but it scares me a bit.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 9/20/2012 7:44AM

    You are ROCKING your way to goal. If I could share one tip as you get closer to your goal. Never think you are there. I've found that this journey never truly ends. In some ways maintenance is harder than the road to get there. emoticon But it is all worth it.

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RG_DFW 9/20/2012 7:30AM

    emoticon

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MICHELLENRGZED 9/20/2012 3:31AM

    It's interesting getting to know a bit of you this way. Thank-you again for sharing your heart & mind with us all this way.

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SPARKFRAN514 9/20/2012 1:20AM

    emoticon emoticon

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 7

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

7. How do you measure progress towards or maintenance? Scale weight? Body fat percentage? How your clothes fit? Other?

Fitness level is my primary measure, though that does end up sounding a little vague. Short-term it is a comparison of what I can do today compared to what I could do a week ago or a month ago. Long-term it is things like the condition of my joints and tendons, infrequency of illness (getting sick) or injury (such as spraining my ankle or how long it takes to recover if sprained), and developed strength / muscle tone. I'm very aware of trouble areas and how they are improving.

Body fat percentage and scale weight are the secondary measures, used to watch trends in my progress toward a healthy ratio of lean body mass. Measurements and how my clothes fit give nice NSV (non-scale victory) boosts. If they don't change, I'm unlikely to be panicking, though I do review my trackers for the reason(s) why.

The last component is another thing hard to measure exactly -- lifestyle changes. A few years ago, I hated house-cleaning in any form and avoided as much as I could, claiming laziness as a personality trait. Gradually over time I've changed my approach to chores. I still hate house-cleaning, but I recognize the necessity. I sweep my room, clean the bathroom, keep my dishes clean, wash my towels and linens and clothes, and so much more. I didn't immediately change all that. I added little bits here and there and built on them. But looking back now I can see the differences.

When I go shopping, I don't even think about buying bags of Chips Ahoy or Oreos. Those used to be "staples". When I decide to visit Starbucks, I get one pastry rather than two - and it has probably been at least a week since I last went. When I buy a pound of lean ground beef, I split it into single meal servings rather than buying a hamburger helper and eating the entire 3-5 servings it generates. I'm more likely to have a half-gallon of milk go bad than drink it all in a couple days. No matter what food I'm eating, I take the time to actually taste it, appreciate it, and decide whether I want to eat it again in the future - rather than gorging myself on it. Those are all minor changes in the grand scheme of my life and yet together they add up to a much healthier way of eating and approaching food in general.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JO88BAKO 9/20/2012 11:17PM

    Great plan Blue! So glad you are an Outlaw! Keep up the good work.

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HOPEFULHIPPO 9/19/2012 7:13PM

    your list of small changes are everything I do/did/done :o)



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DIET_FRIEND 9/19/2012 2:32PM

    I still make hamburger helper, but I feed my family not just myself. I always add veggies to the mix so a large serving will include onions, celery, peppers, whatever I have. Even a can of tomatoes is good in HH! When I make this, I make sure that I have space in my program for a serving. I probably only make this once every 2 weeks or so. My family loves one-dish meals like this.

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SHERIO5 9/19/2012 9:27AM

    Yes, those small changes truly do add up over time into a healthier you, and isn't that the point of Spark? It is daunting to think of making sweeping changes, but you are proof that one little change and lead to more.

emoticon

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MNJONES2 9/19/2012 9:17AM

    You really have changed how you think and you have made new healthy habits that are going to stay with you!! CONGRATS YOUR HARD WORK HAS PAID OFF!


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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 9/19/2012 8:02AM

    emoticon Isn't it great seeing the changes you are making in how you shop and how you splurge. You are doing GREAT.

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CIPHER1971 9/19/2012 7:03AM

    emoticon

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RG_DFW 9/19/2012 6:34AM

    emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/19/2012 5:18AM

    Those are all great measures of how you've changed your life! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MICHELLENRGZED 9/19/2012 4:37AM

    This totally makes sense to me. Weight loss is definitely one way to measure things here, but it all goes so much deeper than that. Some people - like me - aren't meant to be super low in weight, nor down to a size 6 or anything like that. I myself will never fit the modern ideal of super skinny, & I'm totally fine with that. Yes, weight is an important measuring tool, but things that you mentioned in your post are more important in many ways, like lifestyle changes & fitness levels. To me, those are better ways to gauge how things are going than merely focussing on weight or clothing sizes.

Thanks for this post. I wasn't aware of your 30 day blog challenge, but now that I am, I'm going to keep up with it & go back now & read the previous 6 posts in this series. :)

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 6

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

6. What has been most challenging about maintaining a weight loss (now or in the past)?

I'm still losing and haven't really had a past experience with losing and trying to maintain the loss.

Looking forward to maintenance ahead of me, the thing I find most challenging is my knowledge of all the inherent inaccuracies. Weight, BMI, Waist to Hip ratio, Body Fat %, clothing sizes - there's lots of ways to measure things, but each is more of a general indicator.

I use a scale for a Body Fat % and who knows how accurate that is when it can go up and down depending on my hydration level. It's good for tracking change. It's not so great for knowing for sure where I stand.

My scale measures only in 0.5 pound increments. Again, good for tracking change, but sometimes I have to step on it three times to be sure because one will round up and another will round down. If it's the same all three, I'm definitely close to that. If it bounces back and forth, I'm probably in between.

BMR calculations are averages based on population samples and there are actually several equations, each with different results, all or none of which may pinpoint my actual BMR.

Calorie burn from fitness tracking doesn't adjust depending on the intensity of my workout. SP has a single calculation for Stationary Bike (over 15 mph) that doesn't care if I was at 60% or 85% of my max HR. Elliptical doesn't have any consideration for a machine with incline and resistance. It's also a single calculation purely based on time.

All of which leaves me feeling like I'll have to test different calorie ranges and continue to use a level of intuition to decide when I need to eat more or less because I've been burning more or less. While working on losing weight, it's no big deal as long as the range is about right. An extra 100 calories per day when losing just means losing one pound less than expected over a 5 week period. An extra 100 calories per day while maintaining means gaining a pound over a 5 week period - slow enough to be hard to notice for a few months.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MICHELLENRGZED 9/19/2012 4:46AM

    Thanks again for sharing. :)

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SPARKFRAN514 9/19/2012 12:25AM

    emoticon my scales is in the basement and its been 25 days since i took a peek at what it says i was making me stressed out. and i just have a plain old scales emoticon your scale would be band to the basement forever emoticon
I do like your eating plan and not going bananas when you go over the food tracker guidelines. emoticon

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EVWINGS 9/18/2012 1:46PM

    I do the exact same thing when weighing myself.
i try to do it every friday at the same time and in the same clothing. The consistancy of that seems to help me as when i get weighed at the doc's I'm usually right on with what I have been tracking.

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DIET_FRIEND 9/18/2012 12:41PM

    My scales fluctuate too. If I see a big change the first time I get on, I will get on 3-5 more times until I get a reading 3 times and that is what I consider my weight for the day. I wish losing weight were really only about calories in calories out, but there are other factors like PMS and hormones. Also I believe if you don't eat a minimum amount, weight doesn't leave you as quickly. It's an odd science. I try not to think about the data so much as just making good choices consistently and practicing good habits too.


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SHERIO5 9/18/2012 10:03AM

    I agree with the fitness tracker and the formula used for calories burned...I don't pay much attention to it...but I track anyway, just to be accountable for daily activity...puts it in perspective seeing it there.

Keep up your great work!

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DEBJAE 9/18/2012 9:01AM

    emoticon

Do you ever sleep?

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RG_DFW 9/18/2012 7:55AM

    emoticon

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CIPHER1971 9/18/2012 4:06AM

    A thought provoke blog

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