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CONRADBURK's Recent Blog Entries

Why am I gaining weight?

Monday, November 14, 2011

This afternoon, I entered my weight in the weight tracker with great reluctance! In two weeks, I gained 4 pounds! My goal weight of 140, which I achieved two weeks ago, is now a distant memory! I now weigh 144 pounds and am in need of some serious food tracking. I am surprised by how stealthily my body put on this weight. I really wasn't thinking about it, but it just happened!

I am good during the day with restricting my calories, but the evenings are the danger time when I overeat. Even having all my food planned in advance with the food tracker did not stop me from throwing away my plan and binging on walnuts and raisins last night!

Well, this morning I took those traitorous raisins and threw them in the trash! I am not going to let this continue! I don't like wasting food, but this is serious. I will give up walnuts if I have have to. We will see if I can lose weight and continue eating them. Whatever food is a problem food for me, I will remove from my kitchen and from my sight. I will not allow temptation to remain in my refrigerator or cupboards.

I overate because of my maladaptive response to stress. I was eating a delicious food to make me feel good when I felt stressed. This will end now! I plan to do something else when I am stressed instead of eating. I may have a cup of tea. I may go for a walk. I will do anything rather than eat to handle stress. This is a major challenge I am facing now. Please wish me success in overcoming my weakness in this challenging time.

Keep the spark!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GATORJOY 11/15/2011 9:47AM

    emoticonYes, raisins have loads of calories!

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ENGLISHWIFEY 11/15/2011 9:27AM

    Conrad, I too had to give up walnuts and raisins!!
I put on about 10 pounds very quickly last spring right after I added them to my diet.
I love them and I know they are very good for us, but only a few at a time. My problem is I can't do just a few :( Same with the raisins... now only our bunny gets those!

One thing that really helped me with evening overeating is this:
before I eat my dinner I have 2 large (16 oz) cold glasses of water. I read somewhere that ice cold water raises your metabolism!
I put 5 chunks of frozen pineapple with some ice cubes into the glass, stir and drink it up, then refill with water and drink that up. Then munch on the still frozen and cold pineapple. I usually do this about 30 minutes to an hour before dinner. After dinner I have a 20 oz mug of hot tea, and then go brush my teeth. Works like a charm for me when I do it!

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TBRANTNER3 11/15/2011 9:15AM

  you really are hard on yourself. Raisins can't possibly be bad for you, but the nuts are extremely high in calories as you know. I have the same problem with late night eating. If I'd go upstairs and go to bed, I'd avoid the issue, but I almost feel like I'm sabotaging myself on purpose. Once I'm upstairs for bed I don't get back up, too lazy to go up and down the steps again!

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REDROSEMARIE 11/14/2011 9:04PM

    Hi Conrad,
You are so hard on yourself. Forgive yourself and move on. Tomorrow is a new day. I hope it is a great day for you.
Rose emoticon

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TRULYVISIBLE 11/14/2011 8:48PM

  Give yourself kudos for stopping it at 4 pounds and bot 20 pounds. I also get in trouble at night. I like wine and lose my resolve. i have sworn off wine and either pick up a book to read or jog in circles around my living room, We are talking 11pm or so. Do waht works for you but don't beat yourself up. You made goal and I would love to be at goal doing the happy dance. You will be back at goal in no time.

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CINDYTW 11/14/2011 5:14PM

  I have a problem with nuts and nuts butters at night. I can't seem to stop shoving them in either so I have been not buying them. I did make some fresh pumpkin seeds but they are less dangerous because of the shell and they are very light so it takes a heaping half cup to get to 30 grams. Maybe try those?

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 11/14/2011 3:25PM

    emoticon Are you exercising too, that would help with stress. I know you had problems with your ankle but hopefully you can do something.

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Today Matters

Friday, November 11, 2011

Today is my birthday! I am 57 years old today. It also happens to be Veteran's Day. I am grateful to all you vets who have defended our country!

This blog is about motivation. I have a little game that I play with myself to help motivate me. There is a small dry erase board mounted on my refrigerator door, which I bought at Walmart for $5. Below is a photo of what it looks like today.

I love to write little messages to myself on the board with the dry erasers. It reminds me of when I was working at the Chemistry Department and drawing chemical structures on the dry erase boards. There would always be someone who would write on the board with a permanent black marker, and everyone would groan, "Oh no!" when it would not erase. But the good news is that some acetone would remove it.

On this board I have written the title of the book I am reading on my Kindle 3. It is called "Today Matters" by John Maxwell. Maxwell is a very successful motivational speaker and author who writes with remarkable insight and clarity. I only wish that some day I could write as well as he does. His books are about leadership, but his insights apply to all areas of life.

I just finished reading chapter 3 on the importance of attitude. Maxwell says that having a positive attitude instead of a negative attitude produces success and happiness. I love this book!

Because it is my birthday, I bought myself some Brown Turkey Figs as a special treat! I love fresh figs! They taste awesome, even better than dried figs. Here is a photo of my birthday figs:

Thank you to all my SparkFriends who have given me SparkGoodies for my birthday and for your encouraging comments. I love you all!

Keep the spark!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRAVERUDE 11/13/2011 11:22AM

    Happy Birthday weekend and thank you for all of your positive comments!

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ENGLISHWIFEY 11/12/2011 11:10AM

    Nice Blog Conrad!
I've tried fresh "Turkish" figs before, but they didn't seem as nice as the dried Turkish figs. We usually buy the organic mission dried ones.
Lovely treat!

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 11/12/2011 11:09AM

    Happy Belated Birthday, Conrad. And yes, every day matters! Have a good birthday weekend!

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REDROSEMARIE 11/11/2011 9:31PM

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Dear Conrad
Happy Birthday to you!
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CINDYTW 11/11/2011 6:54PM

  How do you make figs?? I have seen them and never knew what to do with them!

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GATORJOY 11/11/2011 6:42PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonHope your birthday is the best ever!

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LINDAMARIEZ1 11/11/2011 6:36PM

    Birthday figs! I like that! My birthday is the first day of June! I have a birthday watermellon!!!!! I usually take myself to a movie!!!! Tomorrow I am going to go to the movies to see Jack & Jill! I need plenty of laughs in my life! The more the merrier !I hope you special day was beautiful!


linda emoticon

People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care!!!

Comment edited on: 11/11/2011 6:50:33 PM

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ARNETTELEE 11/11/2011 6:16PM

  Happy birthday to you! Great idea of the dry erase board. Have a very nice day!

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SHINJU39 11/11/2011 4:48PM

    Happy Birthday


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MSCRISPIN 11/11/2011 4:31PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHELLE43 11/11/2011 4:28PM

  Happy Birthday!! Today is my brothers birthdat also. Great idea about leaving yourself messages I think I will try that!!!

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Grapes are better than M&M's

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When I was a young man in college at the University of Massachusetts and living away from home for the first time, I used to eat a whole pound of peanut M&M's for dinner! I was young and foolish and back in the early 70's few people cared or even knew about good nutrition. Today I am older and wiser. Instead of candy and sweets, I eat fruits and vegetables following the Paleo Diet.

Now if you look at peanut M&M's and grapes and compare them, they look similar because they are the same size and shape. Below is a photo of the red, seedless grapes and the peanut M&M's.

Only the shape and the size is the same. In each bowl is one serving, 1/2 cup, of grapes and M&M's. Now the grapes have just 30 calories, while the colorful, but disgusting M&M's have a whopping 250 calories! You do the math. The nasty M&M's are going to make you fat and give you indigestion, while the grapes will nurture your body with healthy nutrients.

The M& M's contain whopping amounts of sugar and unhealthy fats. This is what makes them so addictive to candy addicts. Don't be fooled by the peanuts. The peanuts are just a delivery mechanism for the sugar and fat fix. The M&M's are not real food, but are a mix of chemicals. The list of ingredients is as long as your arm and contains all sorts of chemicals I never heard of, and I have a Ph.D. in organic chemistry! The choice is a simple one. Eat foods like healthy grapes, and you will feel good and be healthy. Eat foods like the M&M candies and you will feel lousy and get sick. If you have any of this unhealthy food in the house I urge you to go through your cupboards and get rid of it. Do your body a favor and eat the healthy fruits and veggies. Here is a closeup of the red, seedless grapes. I ate the grapes after I took the photo and threw the M&M's in the trash where they belong!

Keep the spark!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAMARIEZ1 11/10/2011 9:35PM


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TRULYVISIBLE 11/10/2011 9:33PM

  I was also in college in the early 70's I also had a part time job in a surgeon's office. The office manager would buy large bags of peanut M&M's and would fill them in a tall glass vase for office color and to eat. The surgeon would get to the office at 10 for office consults and at 1:30 head to the hospital to perform surgery. He would always take a plastic cup and fill it with the M&M's and eat them when making calls before he left. No lunch, that was lunch before surgery. He was young and hopefully today he changed his ways or he may be the one getting heart surgery.

In a healthy cooking class I once took they said to freeze grapes and they will taste like candy. I like savory and not sweets so I never tried this.

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REDROSEMARIE 11/10/2011 10:39AM

    Hi Conrad, surprisingly I have never tasted and M&M candy. I really enjoy the taste and nutritional value of grapes. When I looked at your first photo it was the grapes that appealed to me.
Good blog! emoticon

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CINDYTW 11/10/2011 10:36AM

  Very fitting for me since I just had an inexplicable M&M binge not long ago! I usually don't even like them either. It must be all the scientific formulas you blogged about before! Great that you threw them out!

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GATORJOY 11/10/2011 9:49AM

    I do love grapes too. emoticon for throwing those M&M'a in the trash, even if they do have chocolate in them! I love chocolate too! Great blog! emoticon

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ENGLISHWIFEY 11/10/2011 9:12AM

    I love me some organic red seedless grapes! They've been on sale for the last couple months here but are now up in price again. I try to eat seasonal, so I think I'll start knashing on some grapefruits and lovely oranges, just like the one you sent me!

Great blog!

I love it!

ps m&m's taste nasty to me. Last time I tried a couple was over a year ago, and I actually spit them out. All I could taste was chemicals!
I do like to indulge my chocolate fix with premium organic dark chocolate. One serving = 45 calories. Antioxidants in it as well.

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 11/10/2011 8:26AM

    So true, thanks for sharing. Glad to see you are doing great.

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    Thanks for sharing and good luck staying focused and reaching your goals.

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ELRIDDICK 11/10/2011 7:39AM

  Thanks for sharing

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Why tracking food works

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I am a scientist with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. I love science and science has been my life. It is science that makes tracking your food work. Tracking puts the power of science on your side to normalize your weight and help you to lose pounds.

The food industry has their own science to help make you overeat their foods and buy their products. They test their foods and design them to be irresistible for most people. They combine three things, salt, fat and sugar along with artificial ingredients in just the right proportions to get your body to crave these foods. I won't go into all the details, but it is all done scientifically.

If you want to put science on your side, use the food tracker and make it work for you. I like to track my food a day in advance. This way I am prepared for the next day and know what I will eat. I use the favorites to make it easier to track and also copy meals to the next day, which helps too. Paying strict attention to the total calories works wonders. Find the calorie range that is right for you to lose or to maintain, and you will be rewarded with success.

One thing I would say is that eating as many fruits and veggies as you can is essential. I really love my fruits and veggies! Eating them helps to regulate your appetite. How often have you had an irresistible craving for an apple during the night? I rest my case. And even if you do eat the apple, do you go ahead and finish off the whole bag of apples because you can't stop eating them? Of course not! Fruits and veggies are your friends and processed foods are the enemy to weight loss and maintenance.

I wish you good food tracking. Keep the spark going!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIN59VARA 6/8/2014 2:44PM

    Terrific blog, thanks

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REDROSEMARIE 11/9/2011 7:34PM

    Hi Conrad, excellent blog and so true. On top of that their advertising also has cute little ways of enticing you. I know a local store uses baking sprays on their lights to make it smell like a bakery. I did that when I put my last house for sale.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 11/9/2011 5:49PM

    Bet you can't eat just one!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 11/9/2011 12:03PM

    Thanks Conrad, for sure fruits and veggies are our friends, also our medicine!

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TRULYVISIBLE 11/9/2011 11:35AM

  I so agree on how the food industry spends billions of dollars to manufacture their foods so we become addicted and keep going back for more salt, fat, sugar and empty calories. If you are eating enough of these foods, quitting feels like quitting smoking. The more whole foods you eat, those other foods will taste like a mouth full of chemicals. Great blog!

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ENGLISHWIFEY 11/9/2011 11:08AM

    Conrad, I loved this blog! I totally agree with you on everything you said! I would have added though that if I do not get enough protein in my diet I begin to crave sugary/carby stuff. Science also proves that getting a good amount of protein in your diet is a sure way to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Tracking helps to make sure you're getting that good amount of protein. It's not just about veggies and fruits. but good lean protein as well!

Cindy, I actually do crave celery sometimes. It probably means I'm deficient in something, so I'll eat it till my hearts content and I can really put those green stalks away!

Great blog Conrad!

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CINDYTW 11/9/2011 10:38AM

  emoticonI wish there was a way to make myself crave celery! emoticon

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MOSTMOM1 11/9/2011 9:33AM

    I love what you said in the last paragraph. I never thought of it that way. Most of the time, if I convince myself to eat the apple, it saves me from all the awful other things I could've eaten. Thanks for throwing a fresh perspective out there!
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Ankle is healing

Sunday, November 06, 2011

My ankle where I had the surgery to remove some skin it healing very well. It feels and looks great! I did an exercise walk in Ring Park yesterday, and my ankle felt fine. No pain or tenderness and no redness or swelling. The healing is happening rapidly!

I had potluck dinner with the Lifeline Singles Friday night. It was wonderful. A women commented on how thin I look! WooHoo! This really helps my confidence. I am slowly buying smaller clothes, so I have some nice clothing that fits me.

All this is good, but I am still struggling not to regain the 32 pounds I lost! I am tracking my food, but having trouble overeating in the evening. I think it is stress that is causing this. I have gained three pounds in five days! WoeHoo! This is going in the wrong direction. It is so easy to gain weight! When I was loosing weight, it took me three weeks to lose three pounds, but it only takes me five days to gain it back. This is not fair!

Anyway, I am thankful for the weight that I have lost and for my ankle healing so rapidly. It is such a blessing to be walking again for exercise! I love walking.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINDYTW 11/6/2011 12:59PM

  It is probably water gaining that fast...don't worry about it! Glad the ankle is better! emoticon

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REDROSEMARIE 11/6/2011 12:29PM

    Hi Conrad,
I am glad your ankle is healing quickly. I am slowly getting back to my walking, I am moving a lot slower, but like you I enjoy it so much.
Just remember that all you have to do is eat too much sodium and you will retain fluids. I am always shocked at the sodium in everything. I make homemade soups that have no sodium whatsoever and each bite is a different flavour of vegetables.
Don't worry you are doing fantastic! Keep up the great work.
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WOLFSPIRITMOM 11/6/2011 9:08AM

    Glad to hear that you are feeling better and good how the ladies supported you! Don't worry about yesterday, just get back and on track today, make good choices. Have a super Sunday!

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SHINJU39 11/6/2011 8:01AM

    3lb in 5 days is unlikely to be pure gain, you will probably have some (mostly) water gain in there.

Hang in there, I am sure it will balance out if you keep doing the right stuff.

Have a great day


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