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Da Numbers (beaming ear to ear over here...)

Saturday, November 07, 2009


That is what I told my wonderful doctor during my annual physical last October. Blood pressure was 130/90 (which was crazy high for me). Weight was 195. At that point, I had been Sparking along for a few months and had dropped 25 lbs. Doc mentioned that I "might need to go on a low dose of BP meds" to get it under control. I was determined to get the blood pressure back to normal on my own (and I did it within the next 4 months). The cholesterol was still up over 200, but the ratios were acceptable.

My journey continued to shed, shed, shed, the extra weight that hung on my body like an anvil. I knew I had no business weighing that much with my 5'2" frame. During a Feb '09 OBGYN visit I checked in around 160 lbs. Much to my dismay, the cholesterol shot up (WTF???).

I wasn't discouraged. I kept chugging along. Watched the sodium and nutrients. Got the exercise in. More determined than ever before to find a balance in my life. To restore my health. To be where I knew in my true heart that I was supposed to be all along.

Today I received results from my Oct. 2009 physical. What a HUGE difference losing those last 30 lbs has made!

Here comes DA NUMBERS (and my love letter to SparkPeople):

OCT' 08
Total Cholesterol = 224
HDL = 60
LDL = 134
BP = 130/90
Triglycerides = 150

FEB '09
Total Cholesterol = 232
HDL = 60
LDL = 143
BP = 110/70
Triglycerides = 147

OCT '09
Total Cholesterol = 196 (first time under 200 in probably 15 years)
HDL = 63
LDL = 114 (Holy Cow!)
BP = 110/80
Triglycerides = 95 (wowee!)

Moral of the story:
Never, ever let anyone (especially yourself) tell you that you cannot do it. You can. Keep moving to where you know you need to be.

It's really not about whether your thighs (or belly, or butt, etc) are fat and jiggly or if you have a double chin. You gotta get those health digits in order. Big might indeed be beautiful for some, but my body simply doesn't work that way in its healthiest state.

For you 20-somethings and 30-somethings out there: believe me, the game changes when you hit 40. Neglect catches up to you much faster -- so get this stuff squared away early. I'm so grateful that I woke up and got the job done at age 45. Only took a year. Best part is that I eat, drink, and I'm pretty doggone merry! My only goal now is to keep my vow to never, ever return to that unhealthy, unhappy state again. I know I can do that now.

"I don't need no stinkin' meds" You got that right :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYIRISH317 11/8/2009 11:23AM

    You go, girl! That's absolutely freakin' fantastic.

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GYPSIE67 11/8/2009 7:47AM

  I am impressed!
Right you are, No stinking meds!
Myself i take meds for acid reflux. I did some testing; For a week i dropped it to one pill every 2 days with no problem. Then i went all out and dropped it. After 5 days i thought i might be feeling a bit of a heart burn, so i went back with one pill every 2 days, as opposed to 2 pills a day, seems to work great for now.
I still have about 15 pounds to loose, i have however been maintaining (or plateauing) now for about 6 weeks. I have to get the gears back in motion & drop that excess weight and that pill!

Congratulation Damotivation, you are a shinning star!

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KLMGSU07 11/7/2009 9:57PM

    That's soooo awesome! Congrats, and GREAT JOB!

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JANLEEW 11/7/2009 9:52PM

    Hooray great numbers and a fantastic job. Losing weight and working out has the best numbers in the choesterol department for me also! I still take statins but the numbers are really good! Keep moving!

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The Random Kindness of Strangers

Friday, November 06, 2009

A total stranger approaches me on a subway platform.

"Have you been waiting long?" she asks in her native New Yawker accent.
[No one EVER talks to anyone on a NYC subway platform unless they are tourists. In the interest of full disclosure, it does happen to me quite a bit.]

Who is this person? She's a fashionably pulled together slim woman "of a certain age" wearing a stylish cap, jeans and a short down jacket. She strikes up a conversation about the weather. I give a couple of uninteresting, 1-2 word answers. She proceeds comfortably from there. She tells me her daughter (38 y/o) finally had a baby after 7 years of trying. She goes on to say other things as we both board the train and continue our talk from our seats.

She inquires: "Do you have kids?"
"No" I reply.
"Oh, that's why you look so calm and rested!" She asks: "Do you plan to have kids?"
"That ship has sailed for me at my age." I reply. "I'm 46 y/o."
"What??? Are you kidding me? I'm 56! Neither of us look it! [she is correct about herself, I must say].

As she head's out the door -- the conversation coming to a close after only 3 short subway stops -- she shouts:

"Whatever you are doing, keep on doing it...it's WORKING!"

Made my whole week.

THIS is why I love living in NYC. Our cast of characters rivals any on this planet.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LITTLEWIND53 11/8/2009 12:46AM

    I live in a very small city, nothing the size of NYC.

I don't usually start talking to people I see daily on the bus, for several months, and then it starts with a smile, then a nod, then a good morning, and eventually they start returning the greetings once they realize I am no threat to them, and then we start having actual conversations.

They become my "bus buddies" and I quite enjoy our interaction, even if only for those 15 or 20 minutes each day. I miss them when they don't show up (vacation, sick, whatever).

It is great when we get affirmations from strangers. Keep up the good work!

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HOLLYSNOWWOMAN 11/7/2009 11:39AM

    That is such a good story; it seems no one talks about the good, just the bad especially in NYC!!!

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AMYLT82 11/6/2009 5:04PM

    I went to WM one night to get some paint remover. When I did I was going to pay cash. It wasn't a problem for me to show her my drivers license. (I was 35 years old). The cashier couldn't make up her mind about whether she wanted it or not. I just wanted to show it to her pay and leave! Finally she decided that she had better look at it and confirm my age. So I showed it to her. I still thought it didn't make that much difference just show it to her, put it up and leave. When I did and she read and found out that I was 35 she was all upset and she wanted to spend I don't know how long apologizing for looking at my drivers license because she didn't think I was old enough to buy paint remover. I just told her it didn't matter. I would rather her have me show her my drivers license when she didn't need to see it than not ask someone who she did need to ask and not ask them. That didn't matter, she was still upset about it.
I have just used the soap that goes with the make-up that says it is clean, since I was 12. Now I put lotion on my face (for about 3-4 years, under my eyes mostly. The two things keep my skin moist so I do look younger. Your Friend, Amy emoticon

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TINABLEAP 11/6/2009 4:59PM

    That is so awesome. I live in a small town and we drive everywhere so there is no chance for that kind of conversation. But, I did have a co-worker say to me the other day.."So what are you doing?" I wasn't quite sure what he meant, but then he said, " well you look really good." It just makes it all worth it!!
Keep up the good work

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Break from Food Tracker...Yes or No?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

For anyone who is maintenance mode:

Have you successfully maintained your weight loss without using the food tracker?

I've been maintaining for about 2 months. I'm considering going without tracking next week to see if my eating instincts are in a good place.

I don't mind entering the data as it does let me know where I am with the various nutrients. Just wondering how others approach this. It's a little scary to "fly solo", but I may be ready to give it a try.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAMOTIVATION 11/2/2009 7:29AM

    Thanks for all of the advice!

I've decided to keep on tracking through the end of the year (mostly to get through the holidays staying within my 5 lb maintenance range). Knowing my nutrients levels and keeping accountable with the calorie count across the week seems too important to give up right now.

After that, I may experiment with tracking 5 days a week (no tracking on weekends).

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MRS.DOYLE 11/1/2009 4:44AM

    I find that I put on about half a pound a week if I don't track. I lose it again as soon as I start tracking. I will continue to track about 6 days a week. For me, it's a big part of how I managed to lose 30 pounds.

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FLOWINGWATER 11/1/2009 12:07AM

    I lost weight once before by tracking my foods. When I stopped tracking the pounds crept back on. Now I know that tracking will just be a part of life, if I want to maintain my weight. I just don't have good enough judgment of what I have eaten and how many calories foods are without logging them. Plus, like someone else said, it's too easy to eat half a bag of chips, if I'm not accountable for them.

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KAYOTIC 10/31/2009 8:50PM

    I have gone on and off tracking a lot, with varied success. I don't track anymore, and have been maintaing pretty well for the past year or so. I think the hardest part of not tracking for me is realizing that even though I don't know exactly the calorie count I have for that day, I still have to eat as though I were tracking. Or at least eat like I did when I was tracking. Meaning, I measure out things I know I need to measure, cereal, dairy, grains, etc. I weigh out things I need to weigh out, for example I recently bought large bags of chips and to put them in 1oz baggies I weighed out the portions. I weigh my proteins a lot.

The other part is not to give in to those easy temptations, dip your hand in the candy bowl for a few candies because you know you don't have to enter them in the tracker, etc. This will pile those pounds back on in no time.

I also still track my fruits and veggies in the quick tracker, since it's so easy, and I want to make sure I keep up with my goal on those. I track my water there too.

I also use the quick tracker for my fitness minutes.

Whatever you decide, you can always go back if it doesn't work for you, and if it does, then yeah to that too! Good luck!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 10/31/2009 7:26PM

    I know others here at SP that go without the Tracking but maybe it depends on how out of shape someone is to start with.

I lost 90 lbs and part of my program was realizing I would be tracking for the rest of my life.

If you want to do Intuitive Eating, I say go ahead and try it. I believe there are teams for it too, you might want to do a search.

Good luck! And you can always come back to tracking if you need it.

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BARBARASDIET 10/31/2009 6:43PM

    I am not at maintenance yet, although I have been at a plateau for a year now. I have to track every day. It keeps me honest! I know that I will continue even when I do reach my goal.

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WATERMELLEN 10/31/2009 12:36PM

    Tracking is key for me -- when I stop tracking, I start gaining.

Gotta weigh myself every morning also and catch the creepage before it catches me!!

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CAROLJ94941 10/31/2009 11:26AM

    I've been on maintenance before and have never been successful on keeping the weight off for years. It works for maybe 1/2 year and then starts to creep up. So I'm going to do it for life. It's just too hard to keep losing it over and over again.

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Sweet Potatoes

Monday, October 26, 2009

Slice 'em up. Put 'em in the oven. Enjoy the sweet, starchy goodness. Nothing better.

Maybe, just maybe, these will get me through the recent wave of hard candy/Tootsie Pops consumption going on around here. Sugar madness always sets in this time of year. It's like my bod wants to pack on the insulation for winter. Thankfully, it will all be gone by Saturday night!

At least we don't buy chocolate to give out for Halloween. Having that stuff around the house for 2 weeks would be a major mistake for me. No candy corn either. I can eat about 100 of those little buggers without blinking. That stuff is like crack. I don't miss the post-sugary intake stomach ache. It used to get me every time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAMOTIVATION 10/31/2009 11:18AM

    Gypsie, that soup sounds good.

Okay, do you bake the potatoes first and then drop them in or just let them cook in the liquid? I guess same question for the apples?

Sorry, I'm not a natural born chef to say the least. I always need really clear instructions. How long do you simmer it?

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GYPSIE67 10/27/2009 9:50AM

  Gotta try my sweet potato soup, it's easy to make and great this time of year:
2 leeks
2 sweet potatoes
2 apples
veggie or chicken broth
cook & blend it until nice and creamy
The original recipee adds cream when serving, i add skin milk

Bon appetit!

Comment edited on: 10/27/2009 9:51:25 AM

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KAYOTIC 10/27/2009 9:06AM

    I know what you mean about packing on the insulation right now! I'm fighting a bad snack habit that's been kicking my butt lately! Stay strong, and so will I!

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MBSKIT 10/27/2009 8:52AM

    Sweet potatoes are a great treat.
Hang in there the holidays will be over before you know it.

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MYGEORGE 10/26/2009 8:08PM

    Yeah to sweet potato fries. I love'em. Stay focused throught the tough holidays coming up.

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Sneezes and Aches and Pizza...oh my!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Feed a cold" Yup, thats' what I did today. Too bad that activity doesn't show up in the SP calories burned fitness tracker, LOL.

Being sick and lounging with aches and pains on the couch is just no fun. I've been so hungry today. And not just because I'm bored with the germ-a-polooza going on in my body at the moment. My husband brought it home -- yet again. I love the guy, but he doesn't seem to grasp the importance of hand sanitizer in a world where everybody coughs and nobody covers their mouths. What can i do?

Answer: I had PIZZA. It was pretty tasty. Thin crust. Fresh tomato and basil on top. Not too much cheese or oil oozing all over it. It's been a good long while since my last slice and I've been eating fairly well across the past week. However, I have a mental picture of those 4 slices marching double-time, in formation to affix to my lower body. Ludicrous of course, but it's an uncomfortable visual just the same.

Tomorrow it is back to the more reasonable food for me. Don't know if I'll be up to facing my treadmill (or Jillian) by then, but once I do recover, I'm jumping back in feet first.

With visions of evil pizza slices dancing in my head.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GYPSIE67 10/18/2009 10:28AM

  I love pizza way to much to give up on it entirely, i actually have it once a week!
I either make my own slim thin pizza on a whole wheet tortilla bread or i buy a Stromboli pizza (mini one portion pizza). I dont know if they are offered in your area but they only hold 250 cals for half a pizza, add a nice salad with that and im happy.
I'm sure you can find one in the frozen section that is not too calorific!
Dont forget you vitamin C & lots of water!
Get well soon

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STORMY96 10/17/2009 8:38PM

    funny i had pizza today too..and it had nothing to do with the reasons u had urs...it was too cold to go out there and buy one so i made it..lol hope u enjoyed urs i enjoyed mine. lol...hope u are feeling better soon. Luisa emoticon

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PYNNER 10/17/2009 8:32PM

    I have to laugh about the part of your DH bringing home the colds. You have described my DH to a t. I have my children trained really well. Use tissues, wash hands a lot, cover your mouth..etc...etc...but my DH, forget it. He sneezes so hard you can see spray go everywhere. All of us always duck and cover when he sneezes, it's so annoying. He coughs wherever, I could just smack him. What a ding bat. Some days I think he could use a good beating. I hope you get over your cold quickly and your pizza sounded yummy. Take time to pamper yourself and relax as much as you can.

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