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Hills and Valleys

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Like most long term projects, there are hills and valleys in my health and fitness journey. I had lost a bit prior to Christmas and despite the impending holiday, was able to focus and concentrate on my fitness and right foods. I am now experiencing a lack of focus. I haven't eaten all my calories today, but might before the day is done. I didn't eat many veggies though. I have had trouble making myself drink my water too. I haven't been getting in too many fitness minutes either. I AM doing a few, just not a big block like I was.

A lot of participation is happening on the 13-13-13 challenge and that's great. There are more than 400 people who say they are in the challenge. Don't think all really are, but a few have used the mailing list from email I sent to spam everyone and a few participants are irritated. I tell them just to delete the emails, block the senders if they want, or reset their account so they don't get notices of the emails while at work. I sent everyone a note asking them never to send email to the group, especially updates and encouragement--do it on the team page, but a few have still persisted. I guess since the team is composed of people aged 50+, there might be some that are not computer savvy. Maybe they have no experience with challenges and think email is the way to communicate. I just hope it subsides before people get all fired up about it.

ANYWAY, I have been enjoying fixing treats from Hungry Girl cookbook. I think my real hobby is cooking. Today I made everyone an after-school treat of individual pizzas. The crust is a low carb/high fiber tortilla. I used leftover canned spaghetti sauce (from the lasagna yesterday), and leftover mozzarella cheese. The pizzas were met with positive feedback. I will try other variations in time. The cookbook has quite a few variations to peruse.

Keep on sparking, y'all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISTINE99 1/13/2013 4:42PM

    I love Hungry Girl recipes! It really opens one's eyes to possible food swaps for a healthier lifestyle.

And thanks for reading and commenting on my blog! :) Have a wonderful Sunday.

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IS1GAR 1/13/2013 11:11AM

    I have been in the same battle after the Holidays but is getting better and going back to the meal plan and the fitness, still working to get where I was.
I love Hungry Girl's ideas and have bee buying her Flat Outs and she also have the individual pizza crust already made. I received her free emails that have great recipes and advise, just go to her web site and subscribe. If you crave to have pizza this is the way to go.
You can't please everyone, but you keep doing the good work. I will check 13/13/13 out too.

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ROSIEPD 1/12/2013 1:41PM

    I admire you for taking the initiative to start the challenge, and even be a moderator on the group. You can't control other people actions, but sometimes you get blamed for anything someone else doesn't like. Sorta discouraging. But you do a great job and our group is lucky to have you! I think the site sometime is a difficult to figure out how to work, especiall how to change privacy settings for various items and that makes it challenging.

I have to go check in on the 13 in 13 post now!

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KAREN608 1/12/2013 12:12PM

    It is just a little slump! Just do some every day. Glad you are enjoying cooking! I like pizza...yum. But we are having beef over rice for lunch today. I had been going over my calorie range but still lost a pound. Maybe having a hubby around 24/7 burns calories or all the kitchen cleaning I do day after day?!

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AMBERT27 1/10/2013 5:52PM

    Just take it one day at a time!!! Love personal pizzas and I've heard so much good about the HG recipes.

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MOONSTORMER 1/10/2013 12:12AM

    i'm a big fan of pizzas. i've used whole grain pita breads as well. if you have leftover roast chicken, you can use bbq sauce as a base - absolutely divine. i often make my bbq chicken and caramelized onion pizza. emoticon

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SYDLETZIII 1/9/2013 10:16PM

    We are, but with exception to the link you sent us, there appears to be no challenge page in challenge central so several are probably giving up. But I saved the link and will continue to give updates

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JINLYNN 1/9/2013 8:56PM

    It is hard to please everyone, but there are worse things than getting an e-mail or two.

I like the idea of the individual pizzas. I have seen the Hungry Girl cook books, but have never tried any of the recipes. Maybe I will have to rethink this.

Thanks for sharing. And enjoy your new hobby!

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Saturday, January 05, 2013

402 people in the challenge at last count. The emails have stopped pouring in. In fact, I think I only got one new one today. For me to lose 13 pounds in the first 13 weeks of 2013, I need to get away from the computer some and do my fitness, plan my good eating, chug my water, which means visiting the water closet!

Have you noticed that a lot of TV programming is centered on weightloss? I guess I always knew it was true that January is the month when we all think about our waistlines. You expect it on Dr. Oz, but I caught a bit of 20/20 last night and it was about BLC people and Ruby.

I went over to AARP site looking for fitness that doesn't hurt my knees for strength training. Martina Navratolova is their health and fitness guru. She has some exercises I want to try. I don't think I'm in Coach Nicole's league.

Made a tasty casserole for my husband this morning. The yield was high and we've both had seconds. It is from Hungry Girl's new cookbook To the Max. This gigantic book has 650 recipes in it that are easy to make, and low in fat and calories. Plus, the serving sizes are satisfying. She uses some unusual ingredients like Fiber One Cereal ground up to make a coating for mock fried things, but whatever she uses can usually be found easily at both of my groceries. If you are looking for inspiration for something good to eat that won't wreck your diet, I can't recommend any other source more highly than Hungry Girl. Her recipes are online too and if you look carefully, she has a show on Food Network and Cooking Channel. I've seen her on Dr. Oz.

I've been doing okay on my eating. Last night I made a Thai curry that was pretty rich and exceeded my calorie allotment. Oh well. It was mostly veggies so that's good. I would make and eat it again, because I love Thai curry! I got the recipe from Food Network. It's a Melissa D'Arabian recipe and pretty easy if you have the ingredients. Despite it's being kind of rich, it was chock full of veggies as I used two bags of stir fry mix veggies from Publix. I needed to up my veggie eating!

I've been getting on my Wii Fit faithfully. I know there are more strenuous workouts a girl could do, but Wii Fit is better than nothing at all. I like how the Wii keeps up with the time I have spent doing it. It lets me know if I have gotten in 30 minutes of time or not. If left to my own devices, I tend to guessimate. I know I need to do more strength training. I want to have the strength to get off the floor with ease. Hopefully losing weight will make this easier.

If you made it this far, that's pretty impressive! This blog is not very exciting, but here is something that will excite you: just losing 10 pounds can reduce your risk of heart attack by more than 50%! At least that is something I read on Facebook! Keep on sparking!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMBERT27 1/10/2013 5:54PM

    Where can I find this group? I would like to join.

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 1/9/2013 2:02PM


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MOONSTORMER 1/7/2013 12:28AM

    wiifit is good! try doing the strength exercises, and the hula hoop. will definitely work your core and help your strength. plus, it's just so fun!

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PATRICIAANN46 1/6/2013 6:25PM

  emoticon for the tip re: Hungry Girl. I will definitely check that out.
emoticon on all that you are doing toward a successful weight-loss journey!!!

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VALYNN26 1/6/2013 3:09PM

    You're doing great. Keep up the good work. emoticon

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KAREN608 1/6/2013 12:13AM

    Yes and today DH tells me that overweight people live longer according to the news.
I looked at him sideways and said, yeah, 5 or 10 lbs overweight, not obese like US! Everyone knows when you get the flu you lose 5-10 lbs so I am sure that is why some experts now decide to say that.

If I lose 100 lbs will I have no chance of heart attack then? I wish.

I can get quite a walking workout if I do some of the wii fit games, longer walks. I still like my silly Walk It Out game. There have been times I walked on longer than I planned. I think it is meant for kids but the music suits my inner 12 year old.

I too would like to get off the floor with ease.

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EMPTYSKY 1/5/2013 11:55PM

    You're so inspiring!

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1EMMA2011 1/5/2013 5:52PM

    You are doing amazing. Wii works - why change a thing! Love how you are cooking Thai!! Woo Hoooooo! Very cool about Martina Navratolova - I'm going to tell my husband too about that! Great tip!

emoticon emoticon

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LUV2SURFCHIC 1/5/2013 5:26PM

    I joined your challenge today. I write for a medical journal full time; sitting at the computer, about 60 hours a week. And then I wonder why I can't lose more weight? I love working from home, and I try hard to exercise a lot, but its really hard at (very close to) 54 to lose more weight. I love your blog. I love the challenge. Keep it up! Feel free to email me directly at

Take care and best wishes to you!

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382 at last count!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

I keep a word document with all the people that joined the challenge, and I'm up to 382 now! If all 382 of the people lose their 13 pounds, the earth will be better for it! It's exciting to have so many people responding to the challenge. I have to do more than run the challenge in order to lose my pounds though!

This morning my daughter wanted to make pancakes. We found a recipe on Food Network for buckwheat and whole wheat pancakes and cooked them up. I ate 3, and they were really yummy with the sugar-free syrup I used.

Yesterday I got an entire hour on my Wii Fit. I have tried the strength training and yoga before and they are so hard for weak little me with the bad knees and all. But I did quite a few yesterday. Surprisingly, I am not really sore right now although I thought I would be.

I have recommited myself to tracking my food and so far in 2013, I have had good days eating-wise. I could really get in more veggies though to be honest. I get in my water even if it is a chore. Many of the challenge participants report that this is one of the hardest things to do. I used to resist getting it myself, but I am just chugging pure water from the tap out of my big cup with gusto! I started a streak to drink at least 6 cups but I am getting 8-9 now most days. Progress not perfection.

Hope everyone is reinvigorated with the new year with new commitment to health and fitness goals. Keep on sparking!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVINGFREE19 1/5/2013 1:20PM

    Great attitude!


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SYDLETZIII 1/5/2013 12:01PM

    I signed -up for the challenge, but can not find the link to go to it. I check my weight on Saturday (Today I was down to 248, a loss of 2 pounds).

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PATRICIAANN46 1/4/2013 2:45PM

  You are doing a great job. emoticon for not only leading us but for also encouraging us.

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SCHOOLCOOK2 1/4/2013 9:09AM

    I am saving up to get the WII fit. So many talk about it. I am working on my 13 # one month at a time. I love danceing so that is why Zumba is my thing.

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MOONSTORMER 1/4/2013 12:06AM

    so proud of you! that's great!! you are inspiring others and yourself

the wiifit yoga and strength are really great - i'm a big fan of them!

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LOSINGLINNDY 1/3/2013 5:40PM

    Hope many will lose those 13 pounds. emoticon

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1EMMA2011 1/3/2013 4:30PM

    YOU are awesome! YOU are a LEADER!!!!

I feel so PROUD OF YOU!!

That is amazing!!! That is amazing.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MPETERSON2311 1/3/2013 3:20PM

    LOVE my WiiFit. I don't care if some people think it is not as intense as real exercise, it helps me tone and build muscle BEFORE I get into some intense exercise. emoticon emoticon

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TREE57 1/3/2013 2:55PM

    Great work!!!

Looking forward to the challenge!

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IREN0169 1/3/2013 2:07PM

    You sound fantastic and I love your spirit! emoticon I look forward to seeing your progress each day!

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Monday, December 31, 2012

I am leading the 50+ team and we decided to have a 13-week challenge in which we attempt to lose 13 pounds. I sent an email to all the team members and the response was fantastic! There are about 300 people that want to get in on the challenge. I hope we can all hang in there for the duration. The worst thing any of us can do is quit. Even if we don't shed all 13 pounds, even losing 5-10 would be great. It would be for me, because I'm up 5 pounds! Christmas is NOT a good season for my health and fitness goals! If you would like to get in on this challenge, visit the 50+ team with 50-100 pounds to lose and join. Another great challenge is the Official Jumpstart Fitness Challenge. I joined that one too, and I encourage everyone to join it. I'm sure Coach Nicole has some great ideas for us to try and you get a trophy for finishing the challenge. I've never been one to get in on a challenge, but now I'm in on 2!

I went shopping yesterday. My dad gave me some $ for Christmas and I had a coupon at Sports Authority so I bought some fitness gear. I haven't even taken it out of the box yet, but I have a ball, mat, and stretchy band. I did my Wii Fit Plus today and logged 46 minutes. Fun! I hope that when I shed the 13 pounds, I will be looking and feeling terrific. These tools will help.

Happy New Year, Y'all! I hope to keep on sparking and being your Diet_Friend for another year!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IREN0169 1/1/2013 10:49PM

    You will do great! Sorry, unable to join the 50+ as I am not quit there yet, however I look forward to hearing about your challenges! We are going to have a great year! emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 1/1/2013 5:57PM

  Good for you and emoticon for starting the challenge. Happy New Year.

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JCKIRNER 1/1/2013 8:29AM

    Thumbs up on the two challenges you've joined! I'll admit I'm a little daunted by the January Jumpstart fitness challenge - but I'm giving it my best effort!
emoticon Happy New Year!

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MOONSTORMER 1/1/2013 6:43AM

    wow! sounds like a great group challenge!

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1EMMA2011 12/31/2012 8:50PM

    Congrats on the 300 plus emails! This is our year! We can do it!


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Getting my Spark points

Friday, December 28, 2012

To get spark points, I have started doing the trivia questions found on Healthy Lifestyle page. I quit when I have answer 3. This is a great way to get points and learn tidbits at the same time.

I am listening to SparkRadio right now. It's such a perky podcast. Still, there is much to learn.

On my 50+ team, some of the members are starting a challenge in January that lasts until Easter. We are planning to lose 13 pounds in 13 weeks for 2013. If you are interested, join us!

Went to the movies and saw Django Unchained. Very bloody with extremely dark humor. Not a movie for everyone. Today we went to see Lincoln and took our son (he's 12-going-on-13). This movie was interesting and despite having occured over 100 years ago, the political machinations reflect what's happening in Washington DC today. This movie is really talky and my son was a bit bored by much of it. It is a movie for history buffs.

I have not completely gotten my spark mojo back yet, but I DID work out on Wii Fit today and yesterday and even Christmas Day. I still need to get eating under control. I don't see truly getting into all my routines until my husband goes back to work on Tuesday. I WILL keep on pushing water and working out and eventually I'll get the eating back in check. I did okay today except for a tasty calzone. At least it was a veggie calzone and I had water as a beverage. I need to get in more veggies though.

Dr. Oz had a program regarding Omega 3 supplements. Should we take them? I had just read a passage in a book that advocated taking them and then this segment came on Dr. Oz! He says yes. It's good for more than heart health. I have been trying to make it a daily habit to take a few supplements including Omegas. I'm going to make that one of my streaks: to take my supplements. Do you guys take them?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TREE57 12/29/2012 10:09PM

    I take omega-3s in the form of Mega Red because the fish oil burps are pretty nasty. The Mega Red doesn't have any side or after effects.

I love the thought of 13 pounds in 13 weeks.

Come over to The 2013 Great Slim Down team and check us out. We are small but MIGHTY. We have a great new challenge coming up for 2013 kind of like the Amazing Race. We have a great time on this team and everyone really rallies and cheers each other on.

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MYTHMYTH 12/29/2012 2:52PM

    Is that weight loss challenge one of the BLC teams?

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SPIRALDOWN 12/29/2012 1:15AM

    I dont... Not yet anyway

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SYDLETZIII 12/29/2012 12:26AM

    Yes I take omaga 3 and I join the challenege, how will we know about it.

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1EMMA2011 12/28/2012 8:56PM

    I take extra vitamins (doc prescribed) and used to take omega 3 - great reminder to get back with it!


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ITISABOUTME 12/28/2012 6:45PM

    I do not see the challenge for the 50+ team. I am a team member but apparently have missed the posting. Will you update me please?! emoticon


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