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Gut Feelings by Carnie Wilson

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I get inspired by reading books by and about people dealing with obesity and weightloss. Most of us know who Carnie Wilson is: 1/3 of Wilson Phillips who made big hits in the 1990s! I really loved their music and have the 1st CD. She was the "fat" one in the group and the music industry people constantly tried to cloak her size in videos.

This book is pretty old and likely out of print--I picked it up at a book sale at my local library. Carnie tells of her lifetime of dealing with food addiction and being the fat girl. Like most of us, food was a big part of family life, celebrating and feeling good. Carnie had a voracious appetite all her life. She went to "fat" camp every summer for many years of her childhood where the greatest fun was finding ways to cheat on her diet with all the others cheating too. She went on all kinds of diets but lost weight but was never able to keep it off. By the age of 30, she was within a few pounds of 300. At this point she had met Rosanne Barr who had had bariatric surgery and gently encouraged Carnie to consider it. Carnie had been a voice for fat acceptance, but deep down, she really wanted to lose weight. At this time she decided to undergo the surgery and to broadcast it on the internet for the world.

She was able to lose about 150 pounds and control her eating for the first time in her life. The book ends and she's around 150 pounds and married and thinking about becoming a mother. She also is thinking about plastic surgery to remove excess skin and lift her breasts. The book has about 30 color pictures detailing her life from childhood to the point where she was at her slimmest and looking really fit and happy.

The book has a friendly "girlfriend" voice. Carnie Wilson pulls no punches regarding her marijuana dependency or her potty mouth. She doesn't blame anyone for her weight issues, but believes she used food to cope with feelings of sadness and abandonment due to her distant relationship with her famous father, Brian Wilson. She talks about how uncomfortable she felt when she was slim at last as she was so used to being in her obese body.

Many years ago, I read her 2nd book, I'm Still Hungry, which picks up where Gut Feelings leaves off. Carnie didn't stay at 150 pounds. She did stay married and had 2 children. I have caught her on reality programs as well as hosting The Newlywed Game. She has gained quite a bit of her weight back although i don't think she's back to 300 pounds. One thing she does that I think is a bad choice is making a business of baking. I think a girl like her who struggles with eating and food addiction should not be baking or have baking supplies (butter, sugar, flour) around the house. But Carnie has a very winning personality. I hope she'll keep popping up on television and letting her fans know how she's doing.

Since my mom had such adverse experiences following necessary surgery, I am very reluctant to have any kind of surgery that isn't absolutely necessary. Many people have selected bariatric surgery to help them finally lose weight and get a hold on food addiction. I have a few relatives who had it. They both did lose weight. One, who is my age, is clearly regaining her pounds. The other, who is in her 70s, is very disabled and in decline that began after she had the surgery. Despite my weight, surgery is not for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MERRY_XMAS 11/16/2012 4:12AM

    My mum though of having the surgery but fortunately she didn't do it. I think that in most cases, surgery is the "easy" way to lose weight...

Your body changes but your mind doesn't. So after some months, your mind asks for food again and you give in, because you haven't developed a healthier way of living, but you were forced to eat less for some time.

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1EMMA2011 11/16/2012 12:33AM

    I like the way you read these books and gain insight, surgery isn't the way for me either, SP works for me just fine, emoticon

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KENDRACARROLL 11/15/2012 11:06PM

    Surgery won't cure bad habits, food addiction, or the underlying psychological problems that lead to somebody gaining a huge amount of weight. Plus, I agree, way too risky. It's just another shortcut that won't work in the long run.
Glad you're not considering it.

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LITTLEBO 11/15/2012 7:36PM

    I too think the surgery is risky and in the end, not very effective. Carney was on that show where the nanny comes and helps parents get control of their children and households. She seems like such a nice person.

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LOSINIT52 11/15/2012 12:45PM

    I also enjoy reading about the struggles and stories of others with weight issues. I can usually relate on some level. Most people even if they won't admit it would like to lose the weight. Being obese hurts us not just physically but mentally and emotionally.
That is one of the great things about Spark people. We are working on these issues with people who can relate and understand in a nonjudgmental way. We encourage each other and give a light kick in the butt when needed. At least that is what works best for me.
Thanks for sharing that.
May the spark be with you!

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Back to Basics

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I feel like my weight loss is not going as I'd hoped with steady losing. I know I have not been perfect in my eating, water, tracking, or fitness, so I don't look to some other cause for this really slow progress or no progress or whatever you want to call it. Last night I went back to The Spark book and read a few pages. I have it on my phone. If you don't own this book, but you do have a smart phone or Kindle or some similar reading device, you might consider getting this book electronically. Then it's always convenient to read, and I didn't pay much to get it either (free, maybe?).

ANYWAY, going back to the book, I was reading about what to do for success. Two things I need to do: eat breakfast and eat 5+ servings of fruits/vegetables. I HAVE quite a few veggies and fruits around the house. I try to eat only one fruit as I think of them as sugary and carby. I need to make myself prepare and eat all those veggies though because soon I'll be throwing a lot of them away.

As for breakfast, the book says that the breakfast of choice for successful losers is oatmeal. I like oatmeal! I am going to make some today and load it up with some fruit.

Today my Spark Start page had an article about burning more calories during your workout. I am going to try some of the suggestions like wall squats with weights. My knees bother me when I do squats so that's one reason I don't do them. But I will try to do 12 of them and see.

My scale today reported I was back down to my lowpoint. I am glad and I'll celebrate by drinking a lot of water, doing more than usual Leslie Sansone, and eating oatmeal and veggies! Happy sparking, y'all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISBETHSALANDER 11/16/2012 12:21AM

    I eat steel cut oats almost every morning. I make them in my pressure cooker and 1 cup is enough for 4 hearty breakfasts. I like mine savory, and need the protein in the morning. I have a million ways I eat them, with a poached egg, with tomatoes or grated carrot mixed in, sometimes with a serving of avocado, sometimes with some shredded cheese and an egg white . . you name it I've probably put it in my oatmeal. The first time I tried the savory was with a poached egg, black pepper and some romano cheese. If adding sweets to your oatmeal doesn't work out, come on over to the savory side!

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1EMMA2011 11/14/2012 10:22PM

    Great Post! Sounds as though you are being logical and on top of things!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LITTLEBO 11/14/2012 9:38PM

    Eating breakfast and fruits and veggies are super important...but remember too, the weight loss isn't a linear thing. Sometime it defies all logic. I had a fear of fruit, too. I thought it was too much sugar and starch...but I never had a fear of candy..... Now I'm not a fearful, but I limit the higher sugar fruits..... GOOD LUCK

emoticon emoticon

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ANGRITTER 11/14/2012 4:24PM

    I saw a 1 pound drop today since my Monday weigh in for another team! I am very excited because I binged on Peanut Butter Cheerios last night. I had like 4 bowls of it! Waaaay too much, but at least it was Cheerios and not Lucky Charms or something!

Since it's finally getting chilly outside, I will be walking outside less and riding my bike more. That means sweating inside and I can stop falling down almost every day! Plus, the bike burns twice the calories in half the time. So this is a good thing, but I will miss my meandering walks around the yard... and the dogs will miss it as well. Will still do some walking, but not an hour like normal.

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THE_JENCH 11/14/2012 1:02PM

    In the winter I have oatmeal for breakfast every morning. If you feel like trying my recipe, I use half water and half unsweetened almond milk (1/3cup each), some cinnamon and nutmeg, boil that, add the oats (1/3cup), and let it simmer until about half or more of the liquid is gone and then stir in half a chopped up apple. Some days I'll also stir in a spoonful of almond butter when it's almost ready. MMM!!!

With lots of veggies you could easily make a stirfry or a curry... or a soup! If the veggies are too close to getting soft, just puree the soup and it won't matter! You can also add some lentils when cooking it to thicken it while adding some protein and fiber!


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GUENAVIEVE 11/14/2012 12:41PM

    I love oatmeal too, I put some raspberries in one time that I had sitting in the fridge and it was yummy, gave it a pop. Grats on your lowpoint and I love how you are celebrating it! emoticon

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NANCYSINATRA 11/14/2012 12:13PM

    I have found as long as I'm walking or working out daily, I get my water in. I always have a water bottle with me. Going back to basics when you stall out is a great idea. The one thing I always work on when I'm trying to get back on track is to stick to just one or two things for a few days. Don't overwhelm yourself with all you have to do, just focus on one or two things. You CAN do it!!! :)

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MERRY_XMAS 11/14/2012 11:57AM

    Yeah, sometimes we need a reminder of what to do and of what we have accomplished so far so we'll keep moving to the right direction.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REDSMIRK 11/14/2012 11:26AM

    Good idea going back to the book to brush up on basics! I haven't read The Spark yet, but your suggestion of getting it electronically has given me a push to get it

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KAREN608 11/14/2012 10:29AM

    Glad you are sharing what the book says with us.
My DH has us eat oatmeal every day. He often adds a homemade breakfast sandwich to his breakfast but for me, just oatmeal. I admit I am getting tired of it. But it is easy to make, filling and a good source of fiber.
Veggies: I am not a veggie eater, so usually put onions/carrots in stew or soups so I will eat them and like the taste. I might be the only sparker that says she doesn't like veggies much, but it is true.

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LOSINIT52 11/14/2012 10:05AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Good to hear your plan for success. Sounds very doable.
I bought " the Spark" when it first came out. Would love to find and ebook for my iPad .I will keep the book handy when I am feeling the need for a little extra motivation. Thanks for the nudge.
I had a planned off day yesterday but am ready to face the day with full commitment and keep pushing forward to make this a great week!
Spark cheers!
Have a great day. I know you will.

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EWL978 11/14/2012 8:48AM

    Just the fact that you're making the effort is GREAT!! And, MYBULLDOGS's notes make perfect sense to me...keep in mind that fruits still have a place in dieting and are "good for you, too!"

Keep on keeping on. emoticon

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MYBULLDOGS 11/14/2012 8:44AM



my sister walks 15,000 steps a day at 63 years
old and has lost 105 pounds. she went from a size 24 to a size 10. all her health issues dropped off as the 105 pounds dropped off. took 16 months.

i gave up grain and sugary products and have lost 44 pounds at age 60. i went from a size 18 to a size 10 shorts and medium tops from a 1 or 2x. took 7 months.

use a salad plate as a dinner plate

use fruit for your sweet tooth cravings, an apple works great. helps with the chewing sensation.

fill your salad plate with half vegetables.

we are both still loosing weight until we reach our goal


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Feeling better

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I have had a week or so of letting things go. I wouldn't go so far as to say I binged, but I probably exceeded my SparkPeople calorie, carb, and fat allotments on different days. I am so weak in the presence of temptation. Also some foods are just plain hard to track even with the best of intentions. I have things I need to do and I'm such a procrastinator that I put them off and put off excercise to provide the time I SHOULD be doing important things. I need to fix this as it is self-sabotage.

But yesterday, I tracked my food and made a point of drinking my water. I didn't exceed my numbers. I should have eaten more veggies--that is something I really need to make happen!

Today, I am road tripping to my mom's to take her to the doctor for a procedure to discover why she gets pancreatitis. I hope the news is good. My mom had surgery in 1989 for diverticulitis and she had almost 10 years of complications. I was so worried she'd die in her 40s because of all the complications. It has made me very wary of surgery. I don't understand why so many people would embrace elective surgery--the only surgery I've had is 2 Caesarian deliveries. I'm sure her pancreatitis is related to the scar tissue and problems that followed her surgery. I just hope it can be treated so she can live a longer pain-free life.

Spark on y'all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOONSTORMER 11/14/2012 2:43AM

    well done! just keep making the small changes and eventually you'll see the big results!

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GUENAVIEVE 11/13/2012 12:40PM

    I hear you on temptation, I am horrible with it. I stay home all day so I get really bored and wander around my kitchen. It's a hard thing to overcome. I just try to keep my mind occupied with other things.

The only surgery I've ever had is a laparoscopy to find out why we weren't getting pregnant. It wasn't bad but it was disappointing to spend that much money and then have the doctor say there is nothing wrong and doesn't know why I can't get pregnant. If I could do it over, I wouldn't.

Hope everything goes well with your mom!

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LOSINIT52 11/13/2012 12:20PM

    Glad to hear you are getting back in the groove. It's easy to let things slide sometimes especially when we have so many other commitments but it's important ant to make time to take care of ourselves.
Hope all goes well with your Moms appointment. Sh is lucky to have you by her side.
Take care

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ATLTRAINR 11/13/2012 11:56AM


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LITTLEBO 11/13/2012 11:40AM

    Congratulations on regrouping and getting back on track and not totally letting go and binging. That is a big victory.

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ROSIEPD 11/13/2012 10:50AM

    "Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew." ~ Saint Francis de Sales

That was the Spark Quote of the Day several days ago, and I was reminded of it with your blog. You are starting the day anew, and regardless of a few weak days, you are getting doing great.

Hope all goes well with your Mom. Take care!

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SIM1SAYS 11/13/2012 8:52AM

    I read this and thought "wow" ... it's like we're experiencing the same things...

You can go this. As long as we're not quitting we're still moving forward. Baby steps. Baby steps. Then bigger steps. Faster steps.

We can do this.

(You were the first blog I read after getting back online... perfect timing)

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Trying to get back in the Groove

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I have kind of lost my Spark zeal. I haven't been tracking, doing fitness, or drinking water to the degree that I did. Today I intended to be back on the wagon and I ate wisely this morning and did my Leslie Sansone DVD. But I went to a soccer party and there was just too much temptation. I ended up noshing on cupcake frosting and pizza. We even enjoyed some wine! Oh well. I did some things right and there's always tomorrow. I hope to get in my water and fitness and proper eating then! Hope all of you are doing better!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1EMMA2011 11/12/2012 8:45PM

    You can do it! Good for you for enjoying your friends! emoticon

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GUENAVIEVE 11/12/2012 3:17PM

    You can get back on track, just the fact that you are posting what happened shows that you haven't given up. Good luck tomorrow, you can do it! emoticon

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MERRY_XMAS 11/12/2012 3:12PM

    Nope, you didn't lose it. If you had lost it, you wouldn't be here posting emoticon .
Try to get back on track; the sooner, the better. And everything is gonna be sparkled again!

emoticon emoticon

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LITTLEBO 11/12/2012 12:02PM

    Two steps forward, one to the zeal comes and goes, too. Best I can do is keep pushing, regrouping and trying to go forward. This hour is a new hour.


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PAMPEEKEMD 11/12/2012 9:41AM

  Go easy on yourself, especially because it's Monday, the highest day of stress in the week for many people. You have a program to return to -- that's the best news: you're not wandering around in the wilderness wondering what to do. Think about WHY you gave in yesterday, try to learn from it and then put the focus on the next 12 hours. Just that -- 12 hours. You can do it because you already have!

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MOONSTORMER 11/12/2012 12:45AM

    every day is an opportunity to start over. do you have a vision collage? i found that seeing pictures (even just on tumblr/pinterest) can really help keep me focused when i feel like throwing in the towel.

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PATRICIAANN46 11/11/2012 8:17PM

  Don't be too hard on yourself. I just read an article in Parade that applies to this. "Remember that (your calorie intake) balances out over three days. So don't eat a ton the day before (she's talking about the day before Thanksgiving) and don't eat a ton the day after, and enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner (with an eye on portions). You will get back on Track and speaking of Track..........that is the one thing that REALLY works for me and keeps me honest.

Comment edited on: 11/11/2012 8:18:12 PM

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ALEXSGIRL1 11/11/2012 7:19PM

    that is right there is always tomorrow to do better emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROSIEPD 11/11/2012 7:08PM

    Glad you did the exercise. Get back to tracking! It helps.

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LOSINIT52 11/11/2012 6:25PM

    Don't beat yourself up but DO get back on track. You can do it and remember how good it feels to be good. Once in awhile we need to give ourselves a little slack and as long as it's just a little it's ok.
I know you will get yourself back in the groove.
emoticon emoticon
I look forward to hearing you report on your good moves.
Keep sparking! Your efforts are worth it!

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ALIDOSHA 11/11/2012 5:43PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Made my own plum sauce

Thursday, November 08, 2012

One of my Spark Friends blogged about making her own mu shu wraps and emphasizes the importance of the plum sauce. The friend's name is Amomentsnotice if you want to read the blog.

Have you ever shopped the Asian section of the grocery? A lot of the boutique ingredients come with high prices. I feel a little robbed to buy 6 ounces of something that costs more than 3 dollars just to put a spoonful into my pot. So I googled plum sauce recipes. I was initially intrigued to make my own using plum jam as a base--it seemed so easy! But I went to 3 groceries and scanned the shelves for plum jam--nada! I bet I would have been more successful if I lived near Amish Country in Pennsylvania. When I visited there, the Amish made jams and jellies from every kind of fruit you could imagine. Sadly this variety is not available on my grocery shelves. I ended up purchasing 6 plums and decided to figure it out from there.

I peeled and chopped up the plums and placed them in a small sauce pan. I sprinkled a tablespoon or two of sugar over them and poured in some merlot wine I had opened last weekend. I let them boil for a little while enjoying the spicy winey aroma. I added some water and let it boil down about 15 minutes. I added a crushed garlic clove, a bit of freshly grated ginger (1.5 inches maybe of a piece of fresh juicy ginger), a bit of sesame oil, a splash of rice vinegar, and salt. I pureed the ingredients using an immersion blender. I haven't had real plum sauce in quite a while so I can't remember the precise flavor of it, but mine tastes pretty good.

Thanks, friend, for the inspiration. I am glad to be able to use some of my pantry inventory to make a tasty sauce. Now I need to stir up the broccoli slaw in the wok and pull out the wrappers I bought when I made spring rolls and see what I can do!

Cooking is fun. I wish I had a person who liked to clean up after hanging out all the time, and maybe I'd do more of it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MERRY_XMAS 11/10/2012 3:15AM


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ANGRITTER 11/9/2012 8:06AM

    I lived in upstate NY and we always bought Amish - they were at the bottom of our hill, so you had to pass them! And their jams and jellies are wonderful. My mother makes her own out of figs and another out of blueberries, and another batch out of plums.

She also cans all year (in mason jars), so we are never "completely out of " anything!! And when they move down, she is bringing her entire 10X10 room of canned goods with her! YAY! I can tell you that I have not run out of corn in the past 10 years and haven't bought any either! It's amazing what all she still does for all of us! I not have a full stock of potatoes and carrots back again.

I tell her "Keep it coming, Mom!" and she does!!!

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SHEILA1505 11/9/2012 12:34AM

    That sounds great - and I'll bet it would be good with duck!
Thanks for the reminder that we can always find a way - and just google it, if in doubt!

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MOONSTORMER 11/9/2012 12:15AM

    emoticon very impressive!

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RETIREDMAMA3 11/8/2012 10:06PM

    I have never had plum sauce but it sounds good. Good job on making it from scratch.


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LOSINGLINNDY 11/8/2012 9:47PM

    We would work well together--you cook: I clean. That is the way DH and I do it.


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LOSINIT52 11/8/2012 4:23PM

    It's a win win situation when we make things like this from scratch. More economical, bu more importantly much healthier. I will give this one a try. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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PICKIE98 11/8/2012 3:08PM

    That sauce sounds great! It is the best to eat with ragoon and egg rolls, steamed dumplings!

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