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DAVIDPRESCOTT's Recent Blog Entries

Day 75 - No damn dawg

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Did some volunteering this week for the local dog shelter.

I really enjoyed it - first time I have ever volunteered apart from some outdoor activities with special needs kids more years ago than I care to admit.

I went in with same sort of attitude you would have for a "real" job but it so relaxed and easy going I really enjoyed it - lots of vols there so we weren't flatchat and it was great seeing people come in with donations and good stories about the dogs they had adopted.

Please - if you are going to get a dog adopt - don't buy one:)

And I had considered getting a dog BUT the transport back to Oz costs in May would be around $3000 - $5000 so that would be a no until I get back to Oz.

Went to a training, been walking a friends dog so lots of out of house experiences which has been just what the doctor ordered.

Been a bit dry on the blog front but I'll try to be more regular - life DOES get in the way doesn't it?

Spark on emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JEAN111766 2/17/2011 11:03PM

    I am so glad you made a blog post today... I was getting ready to send out the search party again!!! Glad to hear about your volunteering...
What is Oz? I'm a bit rusty on my Australian lingo ;)

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GWENAEL 2/17/2011 2:34PM

  Thank you for doing this for the dogs!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 2/17/2011 2:30PM

    Kudos to you for volunteering with the animals. I love animals but don't think I could volunteer there. I would probably cry cuz I would want to take them ALL home, I'm a huge softie. Hats off to ya. emoticon emoticon

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TRISH579 2/17/2011 9:34AM

    Of all the dogs our family has had over the years, not a single one was bought. All were adopted from one source or another.
They are the best! Good call on waiting until your return to Oz before getting your new best friend! emoticon

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JHADZHIA 2/17/2011 9:04AM

    We got our last dog from a shelter, and rescued another one. Mutts have lots of character and you have fun guessing what breed characteristics they are coming out with. They also tend to be hardier than pure bred dogs.
So glad you helped out at the shelter. Trust you will make it a regular habit as dogs need walking every day, not just once a week when the weather is right ;)
Enjoy your Thursday!

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TENNISJIM 2/17/2011 7:47AM

    How cool is that! Which part of Oz are you from? I just visited Melbourne in January for the Aussie Open.

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THENAMESLISA 2/17/2011 7:25AM

    We go look at the puppy adoption near our house regularly. It makes me cry. I want to take them all home.

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REALLYHOPIN 2/17/2011 6:35AM

    It's always a good thing to see less of the people that are running AWAY from internet life and into the real thing...

~ Keep on being good to yourself...
~ Barbara

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TWOTIMESS 2/17/2011 5:33AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Those dogs must just LOVE you! Great stuff on the shelter work!

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WENDYJM4 2/17/2011 5:13AM

    well done David, glad you enjoyed it.
Take care

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NEDYFAY 2/17/2011 2:43AM

    I don't get why people don't want to adopt their pets unless they aim for show animals. If I could, I would have adopted every single cat in the cat shelter right now.


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NEVERMIND2010 2/17/2011 2:28AM

    Yeah, my friends brought their dog from Australia, and it wasn't cheap. This is the second time I've taken cat(s) from one continent to another. What a sucker.

Glad you are enjoying the volunteer work!

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Day 71b - Sexy Muffin Recipe

Sunday, February 13, 2011

As requested - and these will NOT be going onto the Spark Recupe's website :)

Makes about 9-12 depending on your muffin tin - make sure you only fill to about 3/4 as per instructions.


* 1 3/4 cups raisin bran cereal
* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 egg
* 3/4 cup buttermilk
(if you can't get buttermilk just use normal milk, put in 3/4 tbsp white vinegar and wait 5 minutes - buttermilk!)
* 1/4 cup canola oil
* 3/4 cup finely chopped peeled tart apple
* 3/4 cup grated carrots
* 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


1. In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a small bowl, beat the egg, buttermilk and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apple, carrots and walnuts. Fill paper-lined muffin cups or cups coated with nonstick cooking spray three-fourths full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Sour Cream Frosting

4 Tbsp very soft butter
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 cup - 1 cup Confections/Icing Sugar (to taste)

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients, except sugar, until well combined. With electric mixer on slow, add sugar beating until smooth.

I then grated lemon rind over, you could dried apple chips or even coconut.

These tasted even better the next day - enjoy ONE and give the rest away :)

Nutritional Analysis: One muffin equals 199 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 256 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 fat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAVENSTORM27 2/13/2011 9:34AM

    The muffins would be wonderful for breakfast but I don't think I can do the frosting...way too sweet for me. My friends think I'm a freak because I don't think frosting is the best thing in the world...lol.

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PILLOWFOOL 2/13/2011 8:23AM

    am now salivating. can't wait to try this recipe! :)

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TENNISJIM 2/13/2011 7:49AM


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KLS777 2/13/2011 3:48AM

    Thanks David, the kids will kill these in about 2 seconds flat! I'll probably only get one anyway!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TWOTIMESS 2/13/2011 3:23AM

    emoticon emoticon
Give the rest away? Nooooo... not that! This sounds so yummy!

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Day 71 - Muffin Court

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Having just emerged from another 10 or so days of ensuring that my body was well and truly punished for being attached to my fall down brain I have been in a much better place.

A friend of mine who has assigned me dog walking duty was dropping off the keys to her house the next day so I could pop in and pick up said dog.

Having visitors at home has been a rarity for me – and not really that common here in Dubai anyway to visit at home – so being in my better than usual good mood I decided to make muffins.

I like to cook and living by myself I don't go out of my way to do it so decided to make some Apple Carrot Muffins with Sour Cream frosting. Based on the measurements each muffin would be about Ό of a serve of veg and fruit plus some dairy so all perfectly legal.

Did you like that justification – yeah – me too. Did it fool you – yeah me too ha!

Pre-heated the oven which seems to have a weird mind of its own – the knob has a bit of give so 175 degrees could fall anywhere between 150 and 200 depending on how it feels that day – but I think I have it sorted bu now and haven't burnt anything to a cinder for some time.

I grated the apple and carrot and mixed and sifted – big mistake – I was starving when I slid them into the oven but was too busy being all bluebells are flying through the apartment and the sun is beaming through the house to think about eating.

So the first batch were ready and put in the next lot to cook. They looked good and I flipped over the wondrous silicon gadgetty pan thing (love that invention!) – they tumbled straight out smelling all apply and carroty and cinnamony and reeking of goodness.

…. And they weren't THAT big – so decided I should have one just to make sure they tasted OK. I mean I had only made this recipe maybe 10 times before and every single time they taste great but you never know do you (!)– and it seemed only right to check so my guest would enjoy them – I was being unselfish.

So I had one – mmmm. Yummm.

And half an hour later the 2nd batch were cooled and ready – well how could I risk it – maybe the mix went off for the second batch – that’s the same mix as the first.... in the same oven.... with the same ingredients – well yeah of COURSE it was risky!

So muffin number 2 slides down.

And yes I am already at a point of deciding lunch is a bust and muffins will have to be lunch AND feeling a twinge guilty but that’s it – 2 only. I tell you now – TWO ONLY!

So I started on the frosting and kept putting in the sugar – of course I had to taste test it to get it to the right sweetness. And of course a teaspoon with a smidge on it would never be enough to tell so I HAD to get a big scoopy finger full. One didn't seem that bad, 2 seemed OK, 3 was getting ridiculous.

And then of course I had to make sure the muffin and the frosting would combine properly – I mean it was dicey – the muffins tasted great and the frosting tasted awesome but you can't take the chance can you so I tried one with frosting.

To my complete and utter surprise it tasted great LOL. I had half, stopped and jammed the rest in the trash. Damn evil muffin!


JUDGE: Muffin for the crime of tasting way too good and clearly inciting sexy food smells how do you plead?

Muffin: Err umm – Umm – sexy? - guuiiilty I guess?

JUDGE: You and your muffin family are hereby sentenced to spend the night in the guest bathroom!

So yes – I locked the rest into a container and then locked the guest bathroom just to make it that much harder to get to them

It was only when I told my friend about it when she was over and she looked at me like I was a slice short of a loaf that I realised maybe the poor muffins didn't deserve such a harsh sentence!

She loved the muffins and I sent the remainder of the batch to her husband to scoff down while she was away – he's one of those annoying people who can eat like a horse and look like a beanpole!

And the moral of this fiendish story – eat BEFORE you cook!

And it's NEVER the muffins fault!

Spark on emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAMADWARF 2/19/2011 12:18PM

    Yea pretty much the same story with me and cake balls.. deadly combination!!! (the muffins sound delicous by the way!!)

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SKINNYPOWELL1 2/17/2011 2:34PM

    Loved your story. Good idea locking them in the bathroom, and NEVER, EVER, NEVER go to the grocery store hungry either.

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PILLOWFOOL 2/13/2011 8:21AM

    LOL - I frequently do this with chocolate chip cookies. I have the recipe by heart but you never quite know when something could go wrong. and they're the best chocolate chip cookies in the world - every damn time, but still! it's important to check.

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NEVERMIND2010 2/13/2011 4:42AM

    Darn muffins!!

Way to go on successfully locking them away, though - encased in concrete would probably be the only way I could keep from eating them.

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TWOTIMESS 2/13/2011 3:26AM

And the muffins were reprieved! Yay!

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WENDYJM4 2/13/2011 12:52AM

    emoticon Thank you David, you have put a smile on my face. Sad I think we have all done something like that. I am so impressed that you sent the rest home to your friend's husband. emoticon

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KLS777 2/13/2011 12:51AM

    So true, nothing like those sexy food smells! Oh, can you post your recipe, I promise I'll only eat one.............

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SUNNYARIZONA 2/13/2011 12:08AM

    FUNEE....but oh so true....I went shopping on an MT stomach, and came home with WAY too much stuff, and not ALL of it stuff I needed!!

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JHADZHIA 2/12/2011 11:51PM

    emoticon I am all around impressed that you can cook something! I have never done anything like that in my life! Those muffins sound fabulous!! And using something modern like silicon stuff, was wondering if that really worked (not that I would try anything, I just don't do cooking)
Keep up the great work!! (I would scarf down the whole works when they are so good)

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RUNNER12COM 2/12/2011 11:20PM

    Haha. I love this blog. Bless your heart for even attempting to make something so delicious and think you weren't going to have to sample the goodies.


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SEASONS_CHANGE 2/12/2011 11:15PM

    I really enjoyed this blog... especially

"silicon gadgetty pan thing"

and your profile picture = priceless

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LOOSEIT57 2/12/2011 10:47PM

    What a good idea I should lock up my fridge and pantry

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PEGGIET 2/12/2011 10:42PM

    Too true!!! emoticon emoticon

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SARAWALKS 2/12/2011 10:22PM


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AJB121299 2/12/2011 10:17PM


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Day 69 - 5-HTP and a dog walker!

Friday, February 11, 2011


I have been on the 5-HTP now for exactly a month - where did THAT go! If you are wondering what this is just go back to my Day 38 blog and have a read - its having a great effect for me on depression.

In the past few weeks I had been down in the dumps and found excuses to overeat and not do anything.

I just figured it was a phase (which is not uncommon) but also checked out dosages on as I thought I was at a sort of upper level of dosage but apparently not. I am on 100 mg per day and just increased to 200, taken twice a day about 4 days ago and lo and behold my mood lifted as did my butt of the sofa after 10 days of couch surfing!

I was starting to worry as I wondered whether all of the good things that had started to happen after 2 weeks on the supplement were going to evaporate but they are back and I am feeling much better after upping the dosage.

I will wait another 3 weeks and see if I need to go to 300 - if I STILL feel down in the dumps beyond that then I will need to check in with my doctor before increasing again.

I know I keep talking about this but for those of us who have experienced depression I really suggest you research this over the counter health food store supplement and give it a go if you feel its right for you.

And yes - I am now the proud god father of one cute pup called Pukka.

A friend of mine is going OS for a week and I thought I would offer to walk the dog while she is away - hubby is a 12 hour a dayer so it would be a struggle for him to fit it in - and yes - I am now a dog walker and have committed to a couple of miles each day.

I can already tell that after a week with the dog I will be desperate for one of my own - not a good idea as I go back to Oz in May and pets are not generally allowed in the building but...

Could this be a new line of work - free dog walking? Hmmm.....

Or maybe a teacup pig- I saw one on a movie yesterday and it did look pretty cute - LOL - now wouldn't THAT go down a treat in a Muslim country emoticon .

Spark on emoticon


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GENFINCH 2/13/2011 8:26AM

    LOVE the pig idea :D :D :D If you do it, post pics of your neighbours' faces when they see it!
Outrunning those pitchforks should be good cardio, too. Mwahahaha....

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GWENAEL 2/12/2011 9:33PM

  Good to hear you are enjoying your walks!

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NEVERMIND2010 2/11/2011 8:07PM

    Glad you're feeling better!

Walking a dog is a great incentive for exercise. My kid really wants one, but it's so difficult here. And walking a dog in August - not so much fun. :( I've told him we'll live in a dog-friendly place next. In the meantime, he can try to teach the cat to play fetch (it's so not working).

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ISLANDBETH 2/11/2011 11:22AM

    Maybe you can get a dog when you go home. I love my hiking buddy! Never turns me down for a walk! :)

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TRISH579 2/11/2011 9:37AM

    Beware the "TeaCup" pigs. My DH's cousin was given one. This little darling grew to be over 300 lbs and chased our kids all over the yard. One mean and very big pig. I used to tease said cousin by saying: Leslie, I've got 2 words for that pig: "Open Pit". Never did it though, pig died at a ripe old age of natural causes. emoticon

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DUTCHPETE641 2/11/2011 9:02AM

    Hi Dave,
I hope you enjoy your walks and that it is not too hot at the moment.
Take care,

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JHADZHIA 2/11/2011 7:14AM

    Welcome to the wonderful world of dogs :)
Hope your supplements continue to work for you..
Writing a daily journal on how you feel might make you more aware when you are slipping into depression so maybe you can get a handle on it before you sink too deep. All the best with it...
Take care of yourself!

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WENDYJM4 2/11/2011 6:19AM

    Good on you David. Enjoy walking the dog. I must find out if I can obtain 5-Htp in Australia for my son and see if it work for him. Are you looking forward to coming back home?
Take care.

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CBEVNOW 2/11/2011 3:22AM

    What is 5-HTP?, My dog takes me for a walk every day, I rescued her from a Meth Lab, She is A Shar Pei not real wrinkly like most of them . I cannot imagine how i lived with out her. I happened to see your blog and thought i would speak about the dog. What is your business, i dont understand what that means.Take care. emoticon

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Day 68 - I KNOW I can lose the weight. And that's whats stopping me from losing it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A really good friend – JEAN111766 – sent me an article to read on Spark which in turn led me off into a few other articles about how to measure the way you are feeling which in turn led me off to some articles about motivation (at the bottom of this blog)

The past 68 days (maybe counting by day on my blog was NOT such a good idea LOL) have seen me start strong, lose 4-5 kilos in a couple of weeks, wane, go offline for a week or so and gain it all back, start strong again lose 4-5 kilos, slow down, find a reason to stop for a week and so on.

And I have been completely OK with it – because I absolutely know I can lose the weight. I really do know this for a fact. I have done it before and I know I can do it again.

SO when I fall off the horse I am actually OK with it because I know I will get back on the horse...

In the past week I have eaten pizza's and chocolate and lots of unhealthy foods, sat on my butt and watched TV non stop (my lower back aching yesterday is a testament to that) and not been phased by it because I know that usually with 10 days max of starting the cycle I kick back out of it.

I have never really understood the concept of self sabotage – I have always linked it to berating yourself about eating crap – and whilst I will feel a tinge of guilt about doing it, when I am doing it, I don't get TOO down on myself because I know that shortly I will be back to losing weight so why beat yourself up.

As I have said on several occasions I am a great procrastinator – a truly awesome, medal winning procrastinator.

Which is the self sabotage that people talk about – just in a rather twisted form!

Motivation doesn't come or go – it responds to the story you tell yourself. And it has been doing just that – I was allowing myself to over eat because I knew I could lose the weight.

The other element of myself which encourages this behavior is to not look back and learn from my mistakes.

I tend to think there are 2 types of people in this regard – the old cat or dog person analogy (I am a dog person through and through – WOOF!).

You either beat yourself up about mistakes you have made (and hopefully learn from them) or you get stressed about the future and ignore what the past is telling you.

I am the second one which could explain much of my behavior - “it is what it is” has gotten me through many times when I could – and should – have examined my actions to figure out what happened and how to change it for next time.

So – where to from here. I can honestly say I don't really know.

But now I have started to uncover the triggers and am letting myself peer back over my shoulder to see what it is I have been doing wrong I am hoping that this will start to unlock what I need to make a continued effort.

Spark on emoticon



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KLS777 2/12/2011 12:00AM

    Great blog David! I don't know why we do these things at times, I guess the important thing is to get back up on the horse and ride again! emoticon emoticon

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OUTDOORSDC 2/11/2011 6:43AM

    This is such a great blog, and thanks for sharing the links to Dean's articles. I just love his stuff. It's funny, but there are moments when I actually wish that I had more weight to lose! So crazy! I have this thought like, "Well, maybe I'll just be happy at this weight since I can still eat emotionally and not have to battle all of the temptations, and why am I so concerned about losing weight anyhow?" But then I quickly catch myself and am grateful that my health is still intact and that I like to exercise - and, more importantly, I remind myself that it's not the weight I'm after but the fact that I have a roller coaster pattern of eating and sometimes can pack in so many calories (and often sugary foods!) that my body just doesn't function well. The mind is always my biggest sabotager. Anyhow, good luck to you. They say that recognizing something is happening is the biggest step to recovery.

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WENDYJM4 2/11/2011 2:10AM

    Hello David,
Great blog. So true unfortunately. I now do not bring those sorts of food into the house any more which has helped.

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FLUFFYSUE1 2/10/2011 1:48PM

    lol this is so me i could of wrote this blog, ignorance is bliss and well i'v played the part well.I too am realising my move forward is to look back and learn and change my habits.

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CELLISTA1 2/10/2011 12:57PM

    This rings true for me. You know what I think? I think we give up too easily. When things get tough, we find it easier to walk away. After all, we can always deal with it later, right?

Should we get a little tougher? As in "tough it out"?

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ISLANDBETH 2/10/2011 10:52AM

    David, I definitely understand. I used to totally be one of those on again, off again people as well. And I never really felt guilty when I was off again, but I definitely had my excuses... like, well, I took a long walk today, so I deserve to eat this cake, etc, etc.

Now, I just follow my healthy eating habits and occasionally have something out of my plan. For example, tomorrow, I am going to lunch and having a local meal here called Roti, which is a tortilla filled with meats and potatoes and curry sauce and chick peas and then fried so the tortilla gets crisp. I am going to eat half of one, and share with a friend. But it is a one off. Its when you spend several meals or days or weeks eating like that that causes a problem.

Blogging and staying on Spark with your spark friends will help!! Good luck!

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RAVENSTORM27 2/10/2011 10:27AM

    This sounds so familiar to me, and the place I am arriving at is that consistency and a commitment to my health are key. Do I have days when I totally blow off dissertation work and video game all day? Yes! But do I stay stuck there? No...I give myself permission to slack off for a day as long as I have a contingency plan for staying on track with what I know needs to be done. Same thing with food...I will thoroughly enjoy that pizza, that glass of wine or that dessert but I track it so that I can work with it rather than having it work against me... emoticon This also reinforces to me that what I am developing is a lifestyle and in real life guess what? Yes, many people enjoy pizza, chocolate, desserts, and red wine in moderation. And it really is a package (as one of SDJ's blog posts noted)..there is the mechanics of tracking and exercise but there is also very much an emotional component as well. I think it's good that you're recognizing that and starting to approach it that way.


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DUTCHPETE641 2/10/2011 9:49AM

    You seem to know what works best for you! No one knows you better anyway so the only person you need to satisfy is yourself.
Keep going mate, I am sure you will get there!

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SARAWALKS 2/10/2011 9:19AM

    When you find the triggers, you find the key - or sometimes a number of keys!
I think your day by day blog may have helped actually...
I have heard it said that women are more reflective than men...or maybe it is that cat people are more reflective than dog people! emoticon However that may be, reflecting on patterns does seem to help.
And that old procrastination pattern, oh, I know it well!
But if you WANNA do it, emoticon
I guess the question is, do we wanna quit procrastinating? emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 2/10/2011 8:52AM

    Sorry to hear you are on this self sabotaging yo yo diet cycle. Maybe you need to keep a daily journal of your thoughts and feelings to find out what is really triggering you to go back to the unhealthy habits. I assume when you are getting regular exercise and eating healthy that you feel better. That begs the question why do you want to go back to feeling worse??
The other thing Sparks warns, is that too strong a start can lead to burn out and unrealistic expectations.. Losing the amount you lost is over the recommended amount.. A healthy lifestyle is more palatable to take getting it in small doses rather then stuffing it all at once. Start out with small steps which will eventually lead to bigger ones. Get used to one thing before getting on with the next.. The whole idea is it must become second nature, not 'I have to do this", but this is what I want to do and what I am used to..
Good luck with it David

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PATSY142 2/10/2011 5:07AM

    I, like you know I can lose the weight. I did it before. I think that just makes it harder, because we just keep putting off what we should be doing now. I would like to know when you figure it out, also.

You know you will look and feel so much better when you buckle down and loose the extra weight you have been carrying around.

You might try doing like I do. If I don't need it, I don't bring it in the house.

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THENAMESLISA 2/10/2011 3:38AM

    I hear you! Let me know when you figure it out!

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