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Another Learning Opportunity

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What is this whole journey but a string of learning opportunities, one after another?

Isn't it amazing that, despite how much we learn, we still make some profoundly bad choices? I have a sweet tooth, and I learned years ago that, when trying to lose weight, the worst thing I can do for myself is try to go cold turkey without desserts. But I have learned recently, during my time on SparkPeople, that one bite of a dessert tastes as good as several bites.

So why, oh WHY, didn't I remember that today?

We went to a birthday party Sunday; the birthday girl's grandma used to own a bakery in town. Needless to say, the cake was outstanding! I had a slice; that was fine. My friend sent me home with a chunk... I should have said no. I did ok yesterday, just a couple bites. But today, I had already had one of those Hershey's miniatures (our bank is deadly with its candy bowls everywhere), and then I came home and I was hungry. So I grabbed the cake... and had not one or two bites, but maybe ten. Within half an hour, I had a headache.

And THEN my DD wanted to make daddy a birthday cake for his birthday tomorrow, and I taste-tested during the cooking, and the frosting, and then had a slice after dinner. All while I still had a headache from the earlier overindulgence in sugar! How dumb was that? These days I generally feel proud that if I don't always make GREAT choices, I at least know that I am making BETTER choices than I would have a year ago. But this afternoon was a bomb, a complete failure.

The good news is, I took the rest of the leftover cake my friend sent home with me, and threw it in the trash. It was actually better than the one DD and I made, but I couldn't throw away daddy's cake, so the other one had to go. SOMETHING had to go! And actually, better to throw away the REALLY yummy one. The one we made will be easier to resist tomorrow...

There's always opportunities to improve along this journey, aren't there?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GONZOGIRL2 10/29/2008 10:51AM

    Funny- A couple weeks a go I made a birthday cake for my friend's daughter. I actually made real frosting not the stuff for a can as son calls it. I now know why I can't make real frosting, i couldn't seem to stop eating the cake. It sent me on a downward spiral for a while not I am doing better. I am avoiding eating of the halloween candy especiallly peanut butter cup. Hope things are better for you this week. Take care Michele

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HESTERBABE98 10/22/2008 10:08PM

    I totally understand I ate a big hearty breakfast so that I would have energy to walk. After I finished the breast cancer walk. Instead of just sticking to the banana I had brought with me. I got the cookies I ate them and my banana went to a hockey game got a hot choc. and then the fried dough looked so good and since I had taken a separate car from my family I thought that I was done for the day that okay I was a little bad, but hell I worked a lot of it off. My dad was like are we meeting at MC Donalds? I got the kids meal and in the middle of the night I was so sick with the re-ah that I thought my insides came out. Why didn't I just say to the old man that I would see them next week?

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SKISINCO 10/22/2008 11:03AM

    Sorry to hear the cakes got the better of you, but atleast you were able to pitch some of the naughty stuff before you consumed it all, lol. Happy b-day to your DH! It's all about progress, not perfection, thank goodness! =)

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MOTIV8U 10/22/2008 12:46AM

    thanks for finding my blog!! and its funny to see that we have had the same experience in the past week. i had company in town and we both took a break from our diets to have some special dinners out...the problem is, it was tough to get back on track!! the sugar kept making me feel crashed.. and then i felt like i needed a boost to get myself going again! this sunday, i went for a slice of banana cream pie, and realizing the whole pie was less than twice the price of a slice, decided to purchase the pie and take it home. well, this morning, i knew i had to get rid of it. i was thinking about taking it to some friends. lucky for me, i dropped the pie and it slid onto my leg! i got to throw it away!! i think we are being saved from ourselves ;)

morale of the story, i like some sweet things, but all the crashes of the past week have shown me that the SAD diet and what used to be 'normal' doses of sugar are way too much for me!!

wish you all the best!

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Happy Anniversary To Me!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy anniversary to me! A year ago today, I was web-surfing (which is actually quite unusual for me) and found a mention of SparkPeople on a strangerís blog about weight loss. I checked it outÖ and the rest, as they say, is history.

Iíve been thinking about this momentous day for a couple of weeks, thinking about what I wanted to say. Iíve had all sorts of great ideas, most of which have all disappeared out of my head. So Iíll just start here:


Thanks to SparkPeople and everyone behind it. Thanks to my great teams: Colorado Women who have helped me SO much, Depression and Dieting, and our great little team on ďExercise Like You Mean It!Ēóthose women know how to kick you in the behind when you need it most!

Does this sound like the Academy Awards yet?

SeriouslyÖ I still get frustrated with this journey. I donít always make good choices. Sometimes I choose the bad ones instead. I donít lose weight as quickly as I would like. My fat calories frequently go over for the day. I gain weight on vacation. I have a relentless sweet tooth, and Iím sorry, SparkPeople gurus, but FRUIT just ainít gonna cut it.

But I realized something this morning.

Thatís all part of it! Itís all part of the journey. And while there is a goal in mind at the end, this morning, I realized something important. The journey is actually MORE important than the goal! So if I can step back, and cut myself some slack, I seeÖ

I have actually come to the point that when I am tired, I frequently CHOOSE to exercise, because it will make me feel more energized afterwards. I have been known (maybe only once or twice, but itís a start) to pass by the cheese tray at a party. I use whole wheat pasta, brown rice (at least some of the time), and make my sandwiches with whole wheat bread. I have learned that frequently, one bite of ice cream tastes every bit as good as a whole bowl. I have found that eating the right things at breakfast makes me feel better all day long. I bought a hot pink water bottle so that I canít ignore it, and I try to get my 8 cups a day. Quite unexpectedly, I have become pretty good at finding ďhealthy opportunities.Ē

And the great part is, the journey isnít over, and I still get to keep learning more!

Hooray for me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZYJB 9/23/2008 3:30PM

    I can't believe I missed your blog! Happy Late anniversary :)
You look great so keep up the good work!

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SKISINCO 9/12/2008 11:04AM

    Happy Sparkaversary Denise! We share a special day together...how cool! Yesterday was my 40th b-day. Congrats on your successes and I wish you the best on your continued journey. Have a wonderful weekend!

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JIBBIE49 9/11/2008 7:55PM


The first time I heard about Steamboat Springs was in 1973 when we knew of a guy who went there to work in a church ministry. My husband wanted to move to Colorado, but I didn't want to live in the COLD. I had had enough of that in Illinois on Lake Michigan. emoticon

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What I've Learned: An Update

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One of the things I love most about SparkPeople is how much I've LEARNED! I've learned so much about the foods that I eat, and how they break down into carbs, fats and proteins. I've learned that the days that I feel best at the end of the day tend to be the days that the little circle graph of my fat/protein/carb breakdown closely matches the 30/15/55% goal that I'm aiming for.

But most importantly, I have learned how to be nicer to myself.

I have learned (it's a LONG lesson) how to not beat myself up over mistakes.

I have learned (well, I'm trying...) that my habitual perfectionism does not serve me well in this weight-loss journey.

I have learned that on any journey (ESPECIALLY this one) there are ups and downs, and accepting that fact does not mean failure.

I have learned to cut myself some slack.

I just got back from vacation a few days ago. I gained about five pounds. And you know what? It's ok. My last vacation, I gained six pounds, and I was quite devastated. But not this time.

I had really good intentions. I took walking shoes, workout clothes, and my favorite dance DVD along. But you know what? It wasn't that kind of vacation. There was simply no time, ever. I tried to make super-healthy choices while eating out (at, like, McDonalds... like a packaged chicken salad could taste better than a cheeseburger...), and then got frustrated because my food didn't really taste that great. I didn't get to the computer as much as I thought I would, so I was getting stressed out over remembering a couple days' worth of meals and getting them into my nutrition tracker. I was feeling like some kind of failure because each time I thought I could squeeze in a walk, it didn't happen.

So you know what? I let it go. BUT in letting it go, I didn't let ME totally go.

That means...

I gave myself permission to NOT track my food for the final days of the trip (about 5 days). I'd NEVER not tracked my food, in nearly a year on SparkPeople. I'm diligent. I'm obsessive. I'm... perfect. But I let it go. And it was fine. But I still tried to make healthy choices. I didn't use the lack of accountability to go crazy. Yes, I did have some of the yummy double-chocolate wedding cake. But at that crazy calorie and fat-laden restaurant called Macaroni Grill, I had the healthy Simple Salmon: 650 calories, low fat, grilled salmon with broccoli and asparagus... it was SO good. The night we got to a hotel early enough for the pool, I did a little pool jogging while DH played with DD. I actually... what's that SparkPeople phrase? "Looked for healthy opportunities." And it felt rather natural and normal!

So despite the five pounds that I need to re-lose, I feel really very good about myself. I feel like I've made progress. I no longer feel like the addict who fears that one slip-up will cause her to crash and burn and fully embrace her addiction again. I feel smarter, and healthier, and like it's part of who I am, and not just a diet or a program that I'm on.

Hooray for me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FEDUPNOW 10/23/2008 12:43PM

    Thanks for sharing your comment on my SPARK PAGE. I was able this year to get the courage to deal with things in a more mature and PASSIONATE way.( A word my last NURSING instructor used quite often. We have to feel PASSIONATE about things. I have developed this to a higher level and I want to express my appreciation to you for bringing me to your site out of natural instint to know who you are and to thank you for sharing the things you learned in life. Isn't SPARKPEOPLE a grand place for the connection of minds and hearts.It is encouragingly nice to have people appreciate our efforts and to have others feel freedom to mingle around safely not too far from the tree and reach out to share something good with others. I love SPARKPEOPLE. I read a quote one day " perfectionism does not make us perfect but it is when we leave ourselves some room to make our mistakes and master those mistakes ...then perfection can happen.." The man Thomas Edison who invented electric light and who made the first light bulb found the one way to make it happen but it took many mistakes to get there and make it happen. +In getting there he found "10,000 ways that didm't work. He stated , " it was 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." He was a friend of Henry Ford and Herbert Hoover.This actually made me find the encylopedia and read about him. In reading about him, ...I want to sharewhat I I learned about his life.He overheard the schoolmaster( as they called them in those days and the way it was stated in the encyclopedia) tell the district school inspector that the Edison boy was "addled" and Alva ( Thomas's name in school) ran home to tell his mother( she was a teacher) and she went back to that same teacher and took Edison out of school and taught him some at home and he learned so fast she couldn't teach him any longer.So he only had 3 months of schooling in his life and his life was 1847-1941. Very interesting to read. emoticon Have a wonderful day today. Keep learning. It is who you have become. A wonderful person. Glad to meet you. I'm Linda. emoticon

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SKISINCO 8/17/2008 11:15AM

    Great blog Denise, isn't SP the best?!

Have a great week, I'm hopping to survive it. =)

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Calories... I don't like them

Friday, August 01, 2008

I'm really struggling to stay within my calorie range, ever since I re-assessed and changed my goals to get things moving again. I still am not aiming for aggressive weight loss; it's still very slow and steady. And I'm doing great on exercise. But I just can't seem to stay in my calorie range! Who am I kidding, I had a hard time staying in it before, when the range was higher! I guess if I'm going over, but by just a small amount, and the range is lower, then overall, my calorie intake must be lower, on average. I'll have to go with that, until my body can adjust to eating a bit less... because I just get hungry!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SQUIRRELY_GIRL 8/1/2008 4:55AM

    Ugh I totally feel you Denise! I am always freaking hungry and its so annoying! Ive started eating 5-6 times a day though and it seems to be helping. What is your calorie range? Maybe instead of dropping your calories you could try interval training. Ive heard that gives you a metabolism boost. Hang in there! You are doing great and you will get to your goal!

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Note to self: Remember to mix it up

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

You know, there's lots of articles on SP about plateaus, boredom, and the need to mix up your exercise, for all sorts of reasons. I've read many of them, they're really good articles! And I kept thinking "oh, but I am!" Some days I walk (faster, slower, longer, shorter), and some days I do dance DVD's, and because those are different routines, I figure that automatically mixes things up. And I'm sure it does.

My best friend just sent me a new workout DVD; she's a long-time fitness instructor, and I really miss her classes. Holy cow! Not only did I sweat a whole lot more than I have in a long time, I had so much FUN! FUN FUN FUN!!! I can't wait to do a different combination of routines tomorrow! For weeks now, I've been dragging myself to the TV, picking one of the half-dozen or so DVD choices, and pushing myself through it. I worked harder today, and had way more fun doing it.

Yeah, ok, so when the article says to keep making exercise work, you need to find something you really love to do... maybe I should have paid closer attention.


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