Monday, August 08, 2011
OK, Baby #3, I love you to pieces, but wow, did you ever do a number on my belly fat!
Hey, Sparkers, I'm back. I was a devoted Sparker for about three months, reached my goal, felt awesome and kept my weight in check. Until I got pregnant. I spent the first three months puking my guts out and trying so hard to just keep anything down. Then I made up for that weight loss...and then some...during the second and third trimesters.
So my beautiful daughter is two months old now and my son asked me if there was another baby in my tummy. Crap.
I just can't seem to get rid of this belly fat, so here I am again, going back to the only thing that ever worked for me.
Hello, again, Spark. Let's do this!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
I did it!! I reached my goal—and then some. When my sister and a couple friends who were Sparkers turned me onto the idea, I said I'd give it a try. I set a good goal: 10-15 pounds in three months. As of this morning, I'm down 16 pounds from when I started!
I was pretty excited to see that number on the scale, especially since it's been over a week since I've been using the trackers, and four days since I've done any type of exercise video just to cram in my 30 minutes of cardio that I pledged to do every day. I'm staying active but in lifestyle ways—biking instead of driving, taking public transportation and spending the day walking around downtown instead of in a museum or library, not hesitating to chase my kids up and down the hills at the park.
But I'm done with tracking cardio minutes. I'm done with videos like the 30 Day Shred. They propelled me to lose the weight and get used to daily physical exercise, but they don't have a place in my everyday life.
I'm also done counting calories. But I'm so much more aware of what I eat now. I know when I'm full. Today, for example, I can tell that I probably overshot that calorie range a bit, just based on how my stomach feels. I pay attention when I prepare my meals—protein, fruit, veggie, carb. And from three months of tracking, I have a pretty good idea on the calorie counts.
I wish I had listened sooner to those who told me to switch things up a bit when, twice during this journey, I hit plateaus. Consume more calories, they told me, which sounded like horrific advice. But based on the fact that it took me getting off my religious obedience to my calorie count and fitness minutes schedule, treating myself more often and loosening up a bit, to finally lose those pounds—you guys were right!!
It's also time to say good-bye to Spark. I'm very aware of how time-consuming this process is. I could NOT have achieved this weight loss without the Spark tools and especially this community, and for that, I thank you. But I've learned so much that I'm aching to get back to a healthier life: one in which I enjoy breakfast in the morning with my husband, without the laptop booted up to log my meal; one in which I munch on a healthy snack with my kids without scribbling notes on how many grams of carrots I consumed to log during nap time; one in which I take the kids on a bike ride without tracking the distance to see exactly how many calories I've consumed.
I'm done reading Spark emails. I've actually started a book on how to raise chickens in my backyard!
I'm not completely gone—once a week, I will check up on those of you who would still like my support until you reach your goals. You've been the key to me achieving mine and I have no intention of leaving you high and dry!
I have lost 16 pounds. I'm in the middle of my healthy BMI. I feel good. Thank you for the springboard; Life, here I come!!!!!!!!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
My Spark vacation last week seems to have worked in my favour.
I didn't want to weigh myself until Monday. That's my official weigh-in day, and I wanted to give myself the weekend to bust out some cardio in hopes of at least maintaining after a week of friends and food. But I couldn't help myself. Fearing the worst, I stepped on the scale and...
I LOST ONE POUND.
Seriously? I've been STUCK at the same weight for weeks now, even though I've been religiously sticking to my calorie count and exercise. Now, I let go of my trackers, ditch any standard cardio (although I have to admit we kept busy) and eat like...well, like I don't have to track it! haha And what happens? I bust through that plateau and lose another pound.
I feel great!!! Because I think I'm just really realizing how possible it will be to lead a "normal life", not tracking my every move and enjoying eating again, without packing on the pounds. I'm returning all exercise videos to the library on Tuesday and will rely on "natural exercise", i.e. bike riding, playing with my kids in the park, etc. I'm so ready for this!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
As some of you know, I'm very consistent about using my trackers, staying within my calorie range and getting in my exercise. I have short-term goals that keep me motivated.
Well, from last Friday through today, I took a mini Spark vacation, the first since I started this journey several months ago. I had an out-of-town guest, followed by an all-day conference, followed by more friends coming to visit, lots of plans, travel, etc. No time to keep up with all the things I usually do here.
Since I refuse to weigh myself more than once a week, I can't say with any confidence that I "stayed on track." In fact, I won't be at all surprised if I've gained a couple pounds. But I can say without a doubt that it was worth it.
I don't have a desk job, so all this "Sparking" I do happens while my kids are napping, or in the evenings after they go to bed. And while I firmly believe in "me time", I don't necessarily want to spend it in front of the computer, and I certainly don't want to take away from the time I devote to my kids and/or husband. Or my "real life."
But I do. A lot. And it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make in the very short term because I've set these short-term goals.
But this week, I had friends visiting and lots of fun activities planned. I didn't eat as much as I used to in my pre-Spark days, but there was ice cream...and chocolate...and dinner at an Italian restaurant...and evening snacks. Some days I felt sluggish because I wasn't exercising. But I won't lie—most of the time, I felt great!
I'm not worried about what the scale will say on Monday because my heart is happy. My soul is happy. And this mini vacation from the trackers was just what I needed to remind me that Spark is merely a springboard for LIFE. I type that in capital letters because LIFE deserves at least that much attention here on an online blog.
I'm coming back refreshed, and yes, ready to enter my meals into the tracker tomorrow, ready to go out for a bike ride or even—gasp—grind out a workout DVD. All to get to my elusive goal, that short-term weight loss one that ends in a week. I'm not sure I'll reach it since my body has plateaued for a month now, but that's the only goal I knew how to set (using my BMI).
I feel healthy, I feel happy, and I feel like I know my body well enough now to be able to splurge and then work it back off again. So let's do this!!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I used to think I was a pretty flexible person. Now I'm beginning to wonder.
Last night, after an hour-long fitness video that made me want to puke, I decided that as soon as the kids woke up and had their breakfast the next morning, I would plop them in the bike trailer and head to the local farmer's market. This would be my exercise for the day, and I would shoot it out first thing in the morning.
I woke to up a dark sky. I checked the weather online: light rain throughout the day. I guess I was somewhat in denial, because I got the kids ready anyway. When we got the bike and trailer out of the garage, it wasn't raining at that particular moment, so my one-tracked brain decided we would make the 10-mile round-trip.
About two miles into the first five, it starts raining. Damn weather person was actually right this time. I stopped, threw the rain shield over the kids and kept going.
Three miles into it, I realize that when wet, my pants are see-through. Excellent.
I should also mention at this point that my bike is a piece of crap. It's about ten years old. Yesterday, at the grocery store, the chain fell off, and luckily some random stranger was able to help me because I had no idea what to do. Hey, I ride a bike, but I don't maintain or repair them for a living!
Anyway, on this rainy day, my hair plastered to my head and forehead, sweaty under a helmet, with see-through pants, the ENTIRE CITY can hear me coming—or stopping, that is—because every time I squeeze the one hand break that works (see? crappy bike), it lets out the most high-pitched screech I've ever heard. At least this allowed for some comic relief on the bike path. If I came up behind someone who was waiting at a light and squeezed the brake, more than once the person in front of me jumped out of his skin. Maybe peed his pants. We wouldn't know because everyone was soaking wet from the rain. I'm sure people in cars were laughing: stupid cyclists.
My son (18 months old) lost his patience at mile 4.5, so for the last half mile, he's screaming his head off as I book it to the market and lock up my bike. Passersby are peering into the trailer; I kid you not. They wonder how I'm torturing this poor baby. My daughter, miraculously enough, is silent the whole time. Maybe she was pinching her brother. They are both bone-dry, thanks to the rain shield.
We wander around the market (it's covered, so I tie my coat around my transparent pants and hope for the best) and pick up lots of fresh veggies, some dried cranberries, a basket of apples. Then, it's time to go home. I load up the kids and groceries. No luck—it's still raining. But at least the wind has died down. I should count my blessings, right?
Five more miles home. After three, my son falls asleep. My daughter—once again, miraculously—does not complain that he's leaning on her and rather cups his head in her hands. What a good sister. I play my brake siren all the way home, dodging pedestrians and haphazardly parked delivery trucks. It took us longer than it usually does, but we made it home.
At 10:00am, my kids are happily playing with their toys, I'm changing into dry clothes and I can check "exercise" off my to-do list. It was a hard way there—but success!
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