CHANGINGSAM   22,479
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CHANGINGSAM's Recent Blog Entries

#26 - Battling Sodium.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I have a confession to make: I love salt.

I love salty foods. I don't like to eat anything (baked potato, stir fry, rice, etc) without salt.

The problem: Salt is bad, and I feel like I'm bloated all the time.

Since I am trying to become healthier, this is a problem that needs to be fixed. I'm always worried about my sodium levels.

So, Spark Friends, what do you add to your food in place of salt? Any ideas as to what I can do? Right now, I am trying not to use salt on anything, but the food seems bland.

Help!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUPERMOM8482 1/21/2012 10:32AM

    ME TOO!!!!! and I agree try different spices things like that I am a huge garlic fan also that helps a lot and also I love franks ;) even wrote a blog about him a while back....lol

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MARVEEME 1/21/2012 7:39AM

    FRANK'S HOT SAUCE OR TABASCO! It will ROCK your world! Between that trick, and Mrs. Dash salt substitute, your tongue will begin to be more sensitive again to salt and you won't need as much to satisfy that salt craving.

Also, try topping your baked potato with your favorite salad dressing, which you can also use as a dip for fries, and net lower sodium intake.

I aim, as my research dictated, for 1500 mg MAXIMUM sodium per day. This, alone, netted the best results in how I feel, my energy level, and weight loss success.

Hope it helps!
SPARK ON!
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CJMCCRAY 1/20/2012 1:48PM

    I use a lot of garlic, cumin, chili pepper, lemons and limes,rosemary, thyme and cinnamon. Eventually you will adjust to not using as much salt. It takes awhile to adjust.

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DREAMSOFBIKINIS 1/20/2012 11:21AM

    I use Windsor Half Salt as a salt replacement when needed...I'm pretty sure you can get it at any grocery store...it has half the sodium of normal table salt...It's awesome if you're trying to cut back and not cut it out. Any spice is a great alternative too! Good Luck! :)

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WINNIE1978 1/20/2012 11:20AM

    I used to salt almost everything, but it caused horrible bloating so I track sodium and try to stay below 2,000 mg a day now. At first I thought things tasted bland but now I can't stand a lot of my old favorites because all I taste is the salt. You could try some of the salt-free spice blends like Mrs. Dash. We use them on veggies and meats occasionally.

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MNGIRLIE 1/20/2012 11:17AM

    You should look for Spike Seasoning. It's got some salt, but it's not pure salt. I really like to shake that on tomatoes and steamed veggies.

I once had a nutritionist tell me not to worry about salt. I don't know if that's true advice for everyone, but I don't worry about sodium. I definitely see a rise on the scale after a particularly salty day, though it usually evens out.

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#25 - Day One.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to start my "journey" on New Year's due to a trip and illness.

So, today is Day One. emoticon

I'm pretty excited. I went to the grocery store last night to get me ready for today. I've eaten a healthy breakfast, and I have even had a cup of hot green tea. So far so good.

Also, with Day One comes measurement day. emoticon Let's just say that I am very unhappy with myself. I've gained 15 pounds since about September. I'm mad at myself, but I chose to quit working out and eating healthy. I chose to get frustrated because I hit a plateau. So, I have to face it and move on.

I truly want to be happy and healthy. I hope I can do this.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JADAKNOWLES 1/22/2012 7:44AM

    You can do it! When I first got on this site, I looked to you for inspiration. You're the same girl who lost the weight before and I'll be damned if you can't do it again! emoticon

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WINNIE1978 1/19/2012 9:43AM

    Don't be too hard on yourself! emoticon

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BECCAJ98 1/19/2012 9:43AM

    You can do it!!!! You know how, just do it!

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#24 - A New Start.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

After a long hiatus, I have decided that it's time to get back to it. I've had plenty of time to rest as well as work through things, and it's time to start working on me.

I did give up even though I shouldn't have; however, January 1st is a new year. 2012 is my year. Here are the things I want to work on:

A. My body (of course) - I'm tired of being sick. I'm tired of Asthma. I'm tired of no energy. I'm tired of always feeling bloated and gross. It's time to get healthy. It's time to treat my body right. It deserves this.

B. Becoming a better person - I want to be more patient with people. I want to be happier with myself. I want to always have kind words for people. I need to learn how to forgive. I need to find self esteem. I want to have better relationships with others (and with God).

C. Find the career that's right for me - After the holidays, I am going to the local museum to see if museum life is for me. If it is, I am going to start working on graduate applications, so that maybe I can start graduate school in January of 2013.

D. More sleep! :)

I know that this "weight loss journey" is going to take some time. I'm going to have good days as well as bad. I know at some point that I might think about quitting again; however, I realized that if I would have stuck with it, I would have gotten there. It takes time. It's not going to happen over night. As for becoming healthy, that journey is going to span over my entire life. I can do this. I CAN DO THIS! :)

It's time that I start living this thing called "life". I only get one. It's up to me to make it the best!


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To all of my Spark Friends:

I just want to say that I am sorry I have not been around to encourage you. I hope all of you will forgive me. I needed to figure out me, and I came to the conclusion that all of you are important to me because there were so many who were there from week to week (day to day) when I needed you. Thank you. I hope all of you are doing well, and I can't wait to start back up! :)

P.S. If you have a moment, share with me what tips have helped you along your journey. Favorite recipe (breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner)? Emotional tips? Work out tips? You don't have to comment on each. I just want to know what's helped you.

P.S.S. I'm thinking of starting to drink tea as a break from the water. What's your favorite tea, and what brand do you use? (Where do you get it from as well?)

Thanks! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REIKI_RAE 12/28/2011 2:07AM

    Welcome back!

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JADAKNOWLES 12/22/2011 12:07AM

    I'm so happy you're back! I've been pretty MIA for the past month... school and such! Life happens... the best advice I can give you is to just remember that you can be the exception in this on-the-go disease-prone generation that we're living in. There is no secret to this. If you persevere, you will reach your happiness. This is what I tell myself everyday- I WILL BE THE EXCEPTION! emoticon

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MARVEEME 12/20/2011 7:14PM

    Welcome back! The best feeling in the world is good health, and that's the REAL goal.

The one thing that stands out for me as the key to faster success is to try new things. I'm not saying you should start eating squid or anything, but there were a lot of foods that I didn't eat because they had a stigma. Turkey burgers is one of those. When I finally broke down and bought ground turkey and made burgers, I was amazed at 1) how good they tasted and 2) how they helped me stay within calorie range.

Another example, especially boosting my needed calcium and protein, was Greek Yogurt. I pack my own lunches, so I buy a box of Kellogg's honey granola cereal, and add 1/4 cup of that into snack bags. When at work, add it to a single serving of flavored Greek yogurt at lunch. I throw in either a clementine or the pre-packaged (or personally measured in a separate container) 1/2 cup of apple sauce, and a few fat free pretzel jems for snacking, and I'm literally stuffed and waaaaayyy under my calories for lunch.

Hope it helps, and many blessings!

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ALYCENPHOENIX 12/20/2011 1:07PM

    Glad you are back!! I missed you girl! It is never too late to start again, even if it is a few times. I am sure everyone on here will agree that it happens more often than not. Sooo happy you are doing good! emoticon

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CHANGINGSAM 12/20/2011 12:25PM

    Thanks ladies!

@Winnie - I will have to check that out. Thanks!

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BECCAJ98 12/20/2011 12:22PM

    Welcome back! Can't wait to hear how everything goes! emoticon

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FITMARY 12/20/2011 10:34AM

    My all-time favorite tea is Earl Grey. Just so wonderful! emoticon

My all-time favorite tip is Baby Steps. I got sick almost two years ago and had to crawl my way back to health. Baby steps are what made that possible. I committed to doing "Just 10 Minutes" of exercise a day every day for 365 days and, guess what, it worked! Anyone can do "just 10 minutes," and once you do that, you just might be inspired to do more. If you aren't, then, hey, "just 10 minutes" is better than none, right? Right!
Chances are that you will soon be able to bump it up and do much more.
But "just 10 minutes" is all you "have" to do.
Give it a try. It's manageable and it worked for me. Good luck!
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WINNIE1978 12/20/2011 9:49AM

    Welcome back... and good luck with your goals for 2012!

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If you are interested, I posted a blog recently about what's helped me with the weight loss... maybe you'll find it helpful too. You can find it on my page... title is "50 lbs GONE! Lessons learned/accomplishments along the way!"




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#23 - I Feel Lost.

Monday, September 19, 2011

emoticon This blog isn't happy. It contains complaining. emoticon

I feel lost about everything.

Since I last blogged about the problems with my boyfriend, we talked a little bit. Some things have gotten better; other issues have stayed the same. We talked again on Friday before a planned trip to see a college football game with another couple who are our friends. I was really nervous about the trip because the last time we all hung out, I did not have a good time. However, this weekend was just what I needed. My boyfriend really focused on making me happy, and he was really supportive. We had a good time. While this weekend was great, it's back to reality, and I'm scared of it going back to the usual. Fast forward to last night: his mother told him that his Grandmother's cancer is back, and there is nothing they can do for her. Needless to say, he's been upset since yesterday. I did my very best to console him. I feel like my feelings about this relationship are important. In order for me to be there for him, I need to feel better about things. I really want to talk to him about the issues that I see, but how can I now? It would be very selfish of me to say "hey, can we talk?" because I feel like all we would do is fight. Plus, I am afraid that this talk would lead to a break up, and I don't want him to have any more pressure on him. His Grandmother is a very important person in his life. So, I guess my feelings are on the back burner (as always, it seems). I feel lost because I know I need to make myself happy for my health, but he's got his own problems to deal with.

In addition to boyfriend issues, I am bored at my job. I have nothing to do (usually). The highlight of my day is walking to the mail box. (Ha) I've looked into going to get my Masters, but I'm scared I will fail. However, I can't stay at this job forever. I hate it. I want to do something that I will enjoy. I want to get my Masters, but it's just seems like a lot, and I am not sure I will be able to keep up. I feel lost because I don't know if I could even get through a class.

These feelings as well as TOM have me going on food binges. I feel like I am eating everything. I can't seem to stop eating. I don't feel full either. I just hope TOM moves on soon.

I know what it's like to be exercising and eating better. Sure, I was tired, but I felt like I was getting smaller and healthier. I loved that. However, I still have not found my motivation. In addition to all of those above, it just seems like exercising and eating healthy is so far off. It's a distant dream. I feel like those things above have me depressed because all I want to do is sleep and eat. I need to go to counseling, but I don't have the money nor do I really want to share details of my life with someone. Some things are just too deep to talk about.

I've also been thinking about taking a break from Spark People. Here are my reasons:

1. I'm a hypocrite. - How can I go encourage someone when I can't encourage myself? How can I give advice when I don't even take it?

2. I feel like I have been so negative. - The last few blog entries are full of complaining: no motivation, boyfriend problems, etc. I don't want to fill Spark with negativity. I don't want people to "catch" my negativity.

3. I keep saying I will get back on track but I don't. - To all of my amazing Spark friends who stick by me and encourage me, I am so very sorry. I feel like I have let you guys down. I know I have let myself down too. I feel like I shouldn't been on this site until I am absolutely ready to start. No more false blogs of starting back. I join challenges that I don't finish. I joined a 5K that I haven't even started training for.

I know quitting is stupid, but I don't know what else to do. I have tried to get back into it, but nothing seems to work. I need to just get my act together. Maybe I will find my "Spark" one day, but it just seems so far away. I hope you all reach your goals. Good luck.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHARL1ESMAMA 10/19/2011 1:55AM

    emoticon
You sound so confused! I'm sorry that you are going through so much right now.

I think you are right to give your boyfriend some time to digest what he's going through with his grandmother. When you love someone, you have to cut them a little slack sometimes. Just make sure that you don't stay silent forever! And, don't let this be an excuse for him to treat you badly (if he does).

Anyway, enough with the advice...

If you quit, you will only feel worse. You will just be procrastinating.

It doesn't matter how many times you have to re-start or how long it takes you. Every day is a new day and every day presents it's own challenge whether you are on spark people or not. You might as well have the support of you friends here. Most will be there regardless of how much progress you have made.

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PAPER_WINGS18 9/20/2011 4:27PM

    emoticon

I know what you're going through, but hang in there. Things have a funny way of working out.

If you need to give yourself a mental break from tracking/sparking, then go for it. But then come right back and do your thang when things get easier in your personal life.

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ASHESS85 9/20/2011 4:00PM

    FIRST OFF- YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOU! I know your boyfriend is going through a hard time emotionally but that does not mean you need to pretend that everything is fine with the relationship when it isn't. I suggest you just sit down and talk again. Just make sure you start off with "I know you are going through a tough time right now but..."

2ND- YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO NOT BE A STRONG, HAPPY, CONFIDENT PERSON 24/7. We are human like many and we have feelings and emotions and you have a right to be feeling the way you are. We are not here to judge. I go through cycles where I am a sad and negative person...but then I bounce back and am back at it. Sometimes this process takes months so be patient. I know you will get your spark back.

3RD- DO NOT GIVE UP!!!

I feel if you completely give up on spark now...it may makes things worse. I think you should just keep doing what your doing and just try to do at least 1 healthy thing daily. Whether it be taking that walk, drinking that extra glass of water, or choosing a rice cake over a donut. That's all it takes to slowly get back on track. I know you can do this!!!

Let me know if you ever want to talk! emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/20/2011 4:01:23 PM

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NU_ME_SOON 9/20/2011 2:31PM

    wow...
Wow ...
WOW...

It is so much in the blog. Let see here with your boyfriend situation the best thing I can say to help you is think about yourself because in the end you are the most important thing. If you feel yourself being put on the back burner or that your not happy or that you cant talk then maybe you need to take a break from that. To be healthy you have to rid your body of all unhealthy things and the way that you feel about your boyfriend and/or the relationship with him is not healthy. Stop looking at it is complaining but instead see it as venting. If you hold all your feeling in and continue to be blue in silence then that is also not healthy. I would say that you should have one last talk with him. Rather it is a calm conversation or an argument don't end it until you feel like the both of y'all have came to an understanding of how the relationship is and if it can be fixed or not.

Second I am right there with you the job thing. I hate my job to end. I hate waking up everyday to just come here. Throughout the day i am rarely doing my work but instead on SP. I feel like if inside you are saying that you want to go back to school you should do it. Stop thinking negative and saying that you will fall behind before you even try.

Also you are human. You have the right the be sad, happy, or whatever emotion you are experiencing. Don't give up SP. I have had complaining depressing and sad blogs also but with the help of my sparkfriends they help me see where I can make my situation better. If you feel like you need to see or talk to someone you should do it. Do whatever you think is gonna make you happy in the end.

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ALYCENPHOENIX 9/19/2011 5:59PM

    Dont Quit! I love you girl! When I feel really negative, I just think about my life with an objective lense and stop myself if I start adding in emotion, and then when I am objective I see that my life IS manageable and not so bad. I try to look at my life pragmatically, because it is important to keep moving forward. Maybe it is time to move on and live life for yourself, and then you can focus on Grad school. I shouldnt give you advice on stuff but it seems like one door is closing and the universe is urging you to change some things around. IDK, at least that is what it sounds like. Grad school is important and you can do it!!

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GIANTMICROBE 9/19/2011 4:41PM

    Whoa whoa whoa!!! Don't you even think about quitting... you haven't failed until you've given up. That's my take. I have fallen off the wagon more times than I could ever count. I can say without a doubt I have had more "bad" days than good days. But I have still seen success, you just have to keep trying, every day.

I'm definitely scared of grad school. I wasn't the most stellar student in undergrad; I really struggled. I'm still sort of amazed I graduated at all. However, I know I HAVE to go back to school to get the job I want. The support is there, you just have to take advantage of it. Furthering your education is never a poor decision. If you're really nervous, start with just one class. That's probably what I'll be doing!

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JADAKNOWLES 9/19/2011 3:18PM

    Where do I even begin? You have touched on so many things in this blog that I feel overwhelmed. First off, I know exactly what you are going through. It seems like nothing is going right and the last thing you want to do is fight yourself over what you're going to eat. Restraining yourself is exhausting enough without dealing with the rest of the BS in our lives. I have felt like a hypocrite for the last two weeks myself. Right now, I'm sitting in a food court and and asking myself "Would it really hurt to eat something from Panda Express?" when I know that it will just put me a step back & I'll hate myself afterwards. One day, I hope that I can live without this constant push and pull feeling. SO, my dear, everyone feels this way. If you need to take a break, do it. Regroup, focus and reevaluate your home situation and future, and come back strong! BUT, don't give up & talk to somebody. You deserve to be happy and healthy. Take care. emoticon

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REIKI_RAE 9/19/2011 1:01PM

    Sometimes it is good to take a break and if that's what you need, then do it. There are people who've come to Spark, left it, then came back stronger than ever and reached there goals just as there's people who've been on Spark for a few years and still haven't reached their goals but still keep working at it. It is just a tool to use when you're ready to use it.

It's time to be selfish--even if that means that you and your boyfriend "take a break". It is time to say No to everyone else and Yes to yourself. Also, being bored at your job (vs. being stressed at your job) can actually be a blessing especially if you decide to focus on healing because it won't drain/distract you.

Again I do think it is vital for you to get a support system and you already acknowledged that you do need help. The benefit is that it's NOT someone that you know and won't be connected to your family and friends--it's like having a secret treasure chest that no one needs to know about and it's just something that you do for yourself. If you have health insurance through your job, then find out what help you can get and use it to the max!

People don't realize how important it is to deal with our spiritual & emotional "stuff"--a person literally CANNOT achieve success in ANY area of their life because that "stuff" will completely and devastatingly sabotage every single bit of progress that's made. I know because I went through it (and CONQUERED it)! And I know that I was only able to deal with my weight and eating habits successfully AFTER doing that intense healing work.

Regardless, I do wish you the best in whatever you do! Rest assured that no one here on Spark judges you AT ALL and we are completely supportive and will help out in any way possible. And please know that YES it IS possible for you to be happy and live the life that you want to live. Blessings!

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BECCAJ98 9/19/2011 11:40AM

    You know I am having problems too.....and I feel bad about my negativity as well, but I found it was harder not to be here and get random smiles from my sparkfriends!! I totally understand where your coming from, and you know I am always here if you need me!!! Sending big hugs to u!!!!

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JNPMUDDIN 9/19/2011 10:46AM

    Hi,
I was reading your blog entry and ya are right it is a tiny bit blue....however, everyone has a minute, hour, day or even days where they are blue, sad, lonely, eating out of control. You need to find a upside to all of this. Leaving Sparks isn't going to help. If this is where ya can vent then do that.

Here try this just for a day if ya like. Whenever something makes you smile or feel even a wee bit happy right it down, now don't loose this paper. At lunch or the end of the day go over what made you happy and then tell your self tomorrow you will look over these items whenever ya are sad or make a new list every day.

Now on the boyfriend thing seriously...if you feel left out or just on the back burner the only thing anyone can say or do for you is to tell ya, you are the only one that will ever be able to make yourself happy. I know it sounds harsh and when ya think of it, it is...but, my dear life is life with good and bad...and we are only put here to live. Your man will have problems and so will you but, you can not always look to him to make you happy. Find away for you to make yourself happy...this can be a hard thing to do. But as time goes by you will find that being next to him is easier and more fun. If you find a way to make yourself happy and things with him still feel like your sitting on the back burner or in a slow cooker my dear that is a way your self is saying it is time to move on. Then please listen to yourself and move on.

IF you are not happy you will not stick to a healthy lifestyle it is proven. IF you keep giving yourself a reason to quit you will. IF you keep IF'n YOU will never move FORWARDS.

Do one thing new today or even tonight. For 5 minutes just walk in place if you can't get outside to walk...that is a step forward and in the right direction to your 5K challenge.

When you do this ad it to your list of things that made you smile and then tomorrow go for 6 mins.

I know you can do all of these things and I understand all the problems...and feeling blue...but, life is to short and ppl do not make you happy ... you make yourself happy..please remember that.

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#22 - All or Nothing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Disregard the previous blog.

I think I worked out like once since I posted it. I am pretty disappointed in myself.

Here's the excuse: I have the "all or nothing" mentality. I think to myself: "Ok, I did a good job with my food today, so let's workout!" Here's another: "Well, I ate fast food for lunch, so it would be a waste to exercise this evening. It's not like it's going to make a difference." The issue this week is that I have been paying all of the bills and groceries while my boyfriend waits for his check. This means that I am paying for his things (cell phone and his share of the bills) too. So, naturally, I am financially drained which does not leave much room for more healthier options when it comes to groceries.

I know this is the worst mind set. I know it's sabotaging my journey. (Heck, my "journey" has been out the window for a good month and a half due to the boyfriend trying to find a job.) I have been trying to get back into the swing of things with exercise. However, this mentality holds me back. I don't see the point of exercising until I can start eating more healthy too (Yes, I know the benefits of exercise; I just won't see any loss in weight until I finally eat healthy and exercise).

So, I ask you, my Spark friends: how have you overcome this "all or nothing" mentality if it was a problem for you?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JADAKNOWLES 9/17/2011 7:53PM

    I am the queen of the "all or nothing" mentality. If you find the cure, let me know! In the meantime, I hope that you can strike a balance. I've been striving for that this week so we'll see :) emoticon

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REIKI_RAE 9/13/2011 1:56PM

    Definitely make use of the 10 minute Spark Videos to still get some exercise in even if the healthy eating is not where you want it to be. Just maintaining that routine of 10 minutes a day will help. And healthy eating is actually cheaper than non-healthy eating because it will keep you full longer and be more satisfying. Get those natural foods that are high in fiber and very filling. For example:
*bag of apples (lots of fiber and carbs)
*bananas (important minerals & carbs)
*cans of tuna (minerals & high protein source)
*eggs (high protein source and great fat)
*potatoes (2 servings of potatoes tends to be more filling and less calories than 2 servings of whole wheat bread)
*bags of spinach (important nutrients)
*mushrooms
*steel cut oats

The thing is, sometimes you really don't know how long an uncomfortable situation is going to last (what if this goes on for another month, or two, or three)? You have to remind yourself that this is about creating a healthy lifestyle change that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

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NU_ME_SOON 9/13/2011 12:13PM

    i have fell a victim to this type of thinking too. Since I am a full time worker and student I would often tell myself that it was easier to heat up something or quickly by something for my self and child. But when you think like that you have to sometimes sike your self out and get back on track. When you see your self saying that it is no point of exercising because you ate fast food today try saying that is an even more reason to you exercising. Eating healthy can come even if you see that you dont have the funds to do it. Instead of you stopping at the fast food restuarant eat something you have at home. Little by little you will see your journey coming back and you will be back on track. Just take it one day at time. emoticon

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LYSHALAUREN 9/13/2011 11:37AM

    I refuse to re-lose my weight. I would say in times like that you cant force yourself to be "all in" (exercising AND eating healthy). Try to maintain the weight at least, so you can pick up where you left off rather then backtrack! Remember, if you want to make it work, you will. Find that little motivator that gets you going, and use that to push you through the tough times.

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BECCAJ98 9/13/2011 11:15AM

    I get into the same attitude sometimes.......but then I think about what if I did neither. It is way more sabotaging if you just give up on one or the other. It takes practice to overcome those ideas.....it is hard work, but you can do it!! Then when both happen at same time, you will be amazed at what you can do then!

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ASHESS85 9/13/2011 10:55AM

    I can completely relate to this sometimes!!! And it's funny because we should be thinking the opposite. I guess the only thing that gets me out of this thinking is to just get up and go. I know it is hard but sometimes you just have to stop thinking about it and just do it. Maybe like as soon as you get home, just throw on the work out clothes and go before doing anything else. That way, once you have the clothes on there really is no other option except to exercise.

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SANDRAAAR 9/13/2011 10:18AM

    I see it the exact opposite as you. If I eat something that is not that great for me I make it a point to exercise, even if means just a mile walk, it's something! Or the opposite, I don't put exercise at the top of my priorities list if I did eat great that day. The exercise is just something that I like doing now, so I have a regular schedule. I say just do what you can. since your financial situation is a little tight right now, do the best you can with healthy choice with the money you have. and if you don't want to workout, do it anyway :) I know you can do it!

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