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Report on Family Christmas Eve gathering

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Yesterday I had a plan for getting through the family gathering (LOTS of food!) without damaging my Sparkpeople journey. I was not going to bring as many desserts. I was going to eat reasonable portions. There would be a few tastes of high calorie favorites because I had eaten less earlier in the week, so I had a few extra calories I could spend.

Here is what happened:
I brought a batch of cookies and some fudge, as planned. I didn't eat them. (I did bring home more than I had wanted to!)
I had reasonable portions of ham, scalloped potatoes, fruit salad and some carrot sticks with water to drink.
I had 1 medium potato chip with a taste of clam dip (a favorite I don't provide for myself anymore.)
I had a small clump of homemade Caramel Corn.
I had half a cookie my daughter made and was raving about. (I split it with my other daughter.)

I'm pleased with that. It was a large calorie meal, but I didn't go over my calorie range for the day. This morning my scale shows a loss of .2 of a pound.

What I'm not so confident about:
Many of the presents from younger members of the family were homemade cookies or chocolates.

What I plan to do:
The excess cookies I brought home will go into the freezer if I like them.
The chocolate things I don't love will be eaten by my husband or migrated into the compost bin.
The leftover fudge I made, which I do like, will be stored in a container in the fridge where I won't automatically see it, my husband can eat it, it can be offered to guests, and I can enjoy a piece once in a while when I plan for it.

Whew! I think I passed this test!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 12/26/2012 10:43AM

    There, you did great -- it's just the exhaustion of will power under repeated assaults!!

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PURPLE180 12/25/2012 3:29PM

    Awesome job. emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 12/25/2012 2:55PM


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PJBONARRIGO 12/25/2012 10:24AM

    You did pass the test! An awesome, workable, sane plan! i'm going to use some of your ideas. emoticon

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Choices Ahead...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Tomorrow is my extended family's Christmas dinner. I'm committed to making good choices. Those choices started with me NOT making 5 kinds of cookies plus some candies to contribute. I made 1 cookie recipe and 1 batch of fudge - most of which will not be coming home with me. I always bring a fruit salad with yogurt for the dressing.

I'll eat reasonable portions, and probably have a taste of some things I love that are high in calories. I've been eating very close to 1200 calories a day for the past week. (I lost 2 pounds last week.) I should be fine with one meal above the usual calorie allotment.

I've exercised daily as well as making sure I get 10,000 steps and at least 10 flights of stairs in a day. I'll exercise tomorrow as well.

I think I'm ready, and I don't think I'll go up in weight next Saturday. Come back and find out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 12/24/2012 8:39AM

    having a plan is a GOOD start. Publicly announcing it is a GREAT start! Now, when you are tempted think of how proud you'll be when you blog that you got through the day without overeating! It really isn't the end of the world -- you can enjoy family without eating a bunch of junk. emoticon

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SLIMINDOWN31 12/24/2012 1:43AM

    Great plan!! Continue your good work.

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SAKS20111 12/24/2012 12:35AM

    gd game plan! congrats!

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SUNSHINE99999 12/24/2012 12:33AM

  My wife and I made less this year too. Brownies and two kinds of cookies. A Merry Christmas to you and your family. emoticon

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Fitbit One Update

Friday, December 21, 2012

I've had my Fitbit One for about a month now, and I thought I'd share some observations and insights. I'm really glad I got it!

I've found it doesn't take long to take 1500 to 2500 steps in the evening if my number isn't high enough to reach my 10,000 step goal. I am walking more all day long now with the fitbit's encouragement. (remember I was a 6,000 step a day girl when I got it.)

My Sparkpeople fitness minutes have gone way up due to the fact that the fitbit logs "very active" and "fairly active" minutes on Sparkpeople as opposed to my prior use of the Sparkpeople fitness tracker to only track my exercise (very active) minutes. I'm still doing the exercise time, but the extra walking is burning more calories. And the weight is coming off a bit more quickly than I had planned. emoticon I'm still eating in the range I was before I got the fitbit because my "Official" exercise hasn't changed much.

The fitbit daily calorie estimate is a graphic that looks like the speedometer on a car and has three zones, below goal range, goal range and above goal range. I've got mine set on "sedentary," which means that the calories I can eat (based on the calories I've burned) start out very low in the morning and go up as I move around. The "personal" setting gave me many more calories for the day at the beginning, and then surprised me later in the day by saying I'd have to exercise "x" number of calories off to be in my goal range. (I did!) You have to find what works best for you! I hate feeling I "owe" exercise.

The food that Sparkpeople transfers to Fitbit doesn't always transfer the exact calorie numbers. I don't stress about that. One thing you should know is that if you make a mistake on Sparkpeople, delete a food and add another one, nothing is deleted from your fitbit food entry. I have one day that shows me eating a HORRENDOUS amount, which I didn't, but the deletions from Sparkpeople didn't transfer. You CAN delete something directly from the fitbit site, but not, apparently, after the day that it was added. Thus my HUGE calorie intake for that day. I don't know how to fix it. Eventually it will fall off the graph, I hope!

You can have fitbit friends, much like we have Sparkpeople friends. It lists you your friends on the right side of your screen and shows their weekly step count, highest to lowest. So far I only have one fitbit friend, and she's walking circles around me. The only time I get higher step counts is when she's away on a trip and hasn't synced up for a while. We're both doing what we need to do, and I'm not demoralized that I always come in last. Lol. My scale is moving, and I'm down a size in clothing since early November.

The sleep tracker has made it much harder for me to get credit for 8 hours of sleep! I'm usually in bed that long, but if I toss and turn much, I'll only get credit for 7+ hours of sleep. I have wondered if my husband's tossing and turning jiggles my fitbit and disturbs their concept of my sleeping more than he is really disturbing me. I'm not sure how I'd test that.

I'm still amused by the fitbit chat when I pick it up. It has a large repertoire of short phrases. I wish it would put my name first and the phrase 2nd, because I sometimes forget to watch and only catch my name at the end.

Some people have reported that the fitbit came out of its holder and was lost. Knowing that, I usually try to clip it on a waistband or coin pocket with the bottom inside another pocket. If it falls out, it should go into my pocket. So far I've not had any trouble at all with it.

It is supposed to stay charged for up to a week. I forgot to charge it one week, and it was still going strong at almost 2 weeks, though the battery DID need to be charged then. It hasn't let me down.

If you're at all interested in the Fitbit One, I heartily recommend it as an ongoing source of motivation. It's doing its job very well for me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKMAN6797 12/21/2012 7:50PM

    Very nice review!
With regards to your food issue, you should be able to delete the extra food by hovering your mouse over the food line and on the left hand side of the line there will be an "X." Click on it and it is gone! That is one of the drawbacks for the food transfer but trust me it is a minor drawback as having to log on both sites took a lot of time so this syncing is a godsend for me! I, too, have noticed that the One stays charged for a long time! I love mine and would second your recommendation!


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NWFL59 12/21/2012 7:27PM

    Today I purchased a Fitbit One to help me start my New Year off right. I was glad to see your blog and read about your experiences and tips. I look forward to using it in addition to my regular pedometer and comparing results. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 12/21/2012 7:01PM

    I have the fitbit ultra and LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I finally was getting 10,000 steps with ease and now shoot for 15,000. One of my main Sparkfriends and competitors on Fitbit is AMaralynH, who averages about 27,000 per day! (She must sleep walk is all I can figure.) But my point, is that I totally agree -- it's a great motivator. My favorite chatter is "Stepgeek"!

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RAPUNZEL53 12/21/2012 5:21PM


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Fitbit Fun

Monday, November 26, 2012

I've been doing pretty well with tracking my eating and faithfully exercising, and my weight is slowly going down. I've been seeing all the ads and articles regarding the fitbit and how it syncs with Sparkpeople, and I thought it would be fun to have some immediate feedback to motivate me to move more.

I checked out the various Fitbit models and decided to buy the Fitbit One. It arrived about a week and a half ago, and I have to say that I HAVE been motivated to move more! I probably was a 6000 step per day person. Now if I see in the evening that I'm below 10,000 steps, I have to walk around until it reaches that goal. The Saturday after Thanksgiving I did 16,000+ steps! Yesterday I walked to the library and back for the first time instead of driving.

It cracks me up that if I put the fitbit on the counter (while showering or changing clothes), when I pick it back up it gives me a message: "Walk me, Joan!" "Move It, Joan" "Rock it, Joan." It's particularly funny to me if it says that just after I've done my workout. I can't wait to see what else it has to say.

We have 2 sets of stairs in our home. Fitbit thinks a flight of stairs is at least 10 feet. The stairs between the main and top floor meet this requirement. The stairs from the basement to the main floor apparently do not. My husband just shakes his head in amusement at me when he sees the small step stool at the top of my basement stairs so that I can use it to get credit for the flight of stairs. So much motivation in one small device. I'm having a lot of fun with it.

I do like the way it syncs with Sparkpeople. Fitness and sleep info goes from the Fitbit site to Sparkpeople. Food info goes from Sparkpeople to the Fitbit site. There are some good reports on the Fitbit site, and it will tell me, in light of the fact I'd like to loose a half pound a week, how many more calories I can eat at any given point in the day - or how much more exercise I need to do to work off the extra calories I need to burn to reach that goal.

Well, that's all the time I have to spend here, today. I have WALKING to do.... emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKMAN6797 11/28/2012 10:06AM

    It sounds like you have become a FB convert! It is one of the most motivating devices I own and now that it syncs with SP it is even better! I smiled when I read about the foot stool comment, that is motivation!


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TRAVELGRRL 11/27/2012 10:11PM

    Thank you for adding me as a friend! I'll do the same. My husband enjoys "my" fitbit too; when we walk he's always asking me "How many steps do you have?" It is a tiny motivator, isn't it?

Here's my fitbit website; why don't you add me as a friend on fitbit, too?

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 11/26/2012 2:11PM


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Monday, February 13, 2012

Itís difficult to come back to the scene of my former success and admit Iíve failed. I failed to maintain my weight loss. Sickness originally derailed my exercise program, and I didnít get it going again when I recovered. (I donít love exercise Ė I love how it makes me feel AFTER Iíve exercised.) Of course, I didnít reduce my intake, either. (Have I mentioned I love food?) I failed to stop the upward spiral even when it became impossible to ignore. It takes time for muscle to turn to fat.

Of the 30 pounds I lost, Iíve regained 26. Sigh. Iím ashamed to come back to my Spark friends in this condition.

BUT! Failure can be good groundwork for future success. Itís not a permanent failure if I get back up, pay attention to the things that sabotaged me before, and plan what I will do if those circumstances happen again. I now know where some snares lie in wait for me. I believe I can loose the weight again, but I want it to be permanent this time. No more yo-yo!

So, Spark friends, Iíd appreciate your encouraging support again. And when I get back down where I belong, I will need to keep on with a maintenance team. I need those trackers and the accountability of checking in with others. Iím so thankful that the Sparkpeople website and community is available.

Here I goÖ.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KLONG8 11/14/2012 11:50AM

    This is the cool thing about SP. We are learning skills that show us how to lose weight sensibly (no starvation diets for this crew) and we know there can be set backs. You've just had one of those but here you are. Ready to go again. Very brave, very smart, and you've set your sights on healthy living again. So proud of you.

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CAPETERSON 2/27/2012 9:05AM

    I'm so glad you have decided to work with SP once again. You are not alone, by any means. I'm in something of the same position and need to use the trackers again, too. Yet, I'm finding it difficult to devote the time and attention to actually following through with the trackers, especially the nutrition tracker. How are you doing with that? Any tips for another returnee?
emoticon emoticon

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CRYSTALJEM 2/22/2012 8:32PM

    Your courage will see you through.

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    You are so not alone. I"m actually back for my third try. Each time I come back wiser and stronger and always, always, always healthier!

You have an excellent outlook and I'm sure you will achieve success!

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TRAVELGRRL 2/22/2012 7:44PM

    I had to eat humble pie in December and do EXACTLY the same thing. I regained 20 of the 25 I lost, and I wasn't even at maintenance. emoticon

But, happily, I am now down 15 pounds and really excited about doing it FOR GOOD this time.

You are in good company. Congratulations for coming back and 'fessing up. Now that you've got that off your chest it's time to move forward! Good luck and welcome back!!!

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NEWKAREN43 2/22/2012 7:40PM

    Well! I wasn't here when you were before so welcome my new SP Friend!!! Just think, the lessons you learned in round one will serve you well in this final round of loss and on to maintenance! Think of it as a head start. Don't give up, power on and know that you are in good company with the current SP community! Blessings on your journey! Karen

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WATERMELLEN 2/22/2012 7:21PM

    You've lost the weight before: and you KNOW that you can do it (and will do it) again.

That "At Goal and Maintaining" team is a great one!!

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ROSEWAND 2/14/2012 1:14PM

    It takes courage to come back and report your
situation. You have not failed; you have gathered
more information for your individual success! emoticon

At times when we have stumbled; and lost sight of our
goals, what we each need more than anything is
self-compassion. And that can be the hardest thing
to give. We are quick to punish our slip ups.

Most of us here have been where you are. Some of
us, like me, several times. The best way to approach
this crisis; is take all the information you have gained
both from your success and your setbacks, and move
ahead toward your goals.

We are here to support you. emoticon

Go for it! emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/14/2012 1:15:26 PM

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MS0669 2/14/2012 11:24AM

    You are back where you belong !! I have been in your place before lost the weight of a whole person, and gained the weight back of person and a half. It happens. The only thing we can do is keep trying to make the healthy choices and move on from there. Start each day new and fresh and forget about bad mistakes from yesterday, easier said than done, I know !!
Good Luck and don't give up !

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KANOE10 2/14/2012 7:57AM

    We have all been down your path and regained weight. It takes courage for you to come back. Good for you. As you siad, you know how to lose weight, you have the tools and Spark People is the perfect place to be!

Hope you have a great day. emoticon

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