ESTHER2175   8,166
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Sleep Factor.... go figure.

Monday, May 09, 2011

I have been on two teams, both with challenges on them since January. I really enjoy reading about what other people are doing and enjoy the friends I have made on spark people. One of the teams, the San Antonio one has an EPIC challenge. Unfortunately, I was out of town for a day or two and life just got crazy and I forgot to sign up for May BUT, One of our leaders sent out information about sleep and how you need sleep to loose weight.

I have to admit, I really didn't think it was an issue, but I found out by accident. The last week of April I was out of town for a day and two nights. I was at a wonderful hotel in Houston for a conference. I was very busy, but somehow I managed to get 7 hours of sleep 4 nights in a row. I was careful about my eating, but did not get a chance to workout. I was sure that I would have gained that week. But a funny thing happened, I lost weight, the only thing different was the sleep! So, now I am going to try to sleep longer during the night, and go to bed earlier.

I have begun to get really tired on my journey as I keep gaining and losing the same 2 pounds. Perhaps increasing my sleep will help. It's hard though, my internal clock is set to about 5 to 6 hours a night. After that I cannot sleep. I get up and read, work, do laundry or clean. I would never have thought that sleeping would make a difference.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOPEYP 5/9/2011 7:48PM

    I read an article on SP yesterday that said sleep is one of the factors that affect weight loss. I think it has to do with stress-that our bodies are stressed when tired and when stress the weight doesn't come off. Who knew? Glad that you are seeing results!

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ONMYOWNAM 5/9/2011 2:08PM

    Wow, I think i'm going to have to give this a try. I am feeling so tired this morning and i was expecting to see a loss because i worked my butt off this past week and weekend but didn't see what i thought I would. Maybe it's because I didn't give myself enough rest? I shall have to test myself and see what happens. Thanks for the blog and i hope that you are doing well. :)

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MJ-SHE-BEAST 5/9/2011 1:03PM

    Sleep DOES make a difference. I gained during the last few months of not sleeping and having anxiety and worry. I've been sleeping more the last couple of days and I do know that my energy level is up and am anticipating loss this week. I'm sorry you missed the sign up but we are looking forward to seeing you back in next month! Great job!

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Veggie Bonus for FEF

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Well, its funny that this was the bonus this week because I have been experimenting with substituting regular meals for veggie ones to add variety. I get in food ruts. I figure out its ok to eat X and then I fix X all the time for that meal. It gets old fast. So last Sunday we ate out after church. We went to a local chineese restaurant and I ordered steamed rice, instead of fried rice and something called a "veggie delight" which turned out to be brocolli, green peppers, red peppers, scallions, onions and mushrooms in a clear sauce. No meat. It was good. I was still hungry when we left, but being hungry is part of it. At least I knew I had made a good choice.

I have also discovered Subway's Veggie sub on honey wheat with vinegar and oil, which I had for lunch on Thursday. I really like it and I don't feel deprived after I am done eating. Plus, it really is pretty good lol!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJ-SHE-BEAST 5/8/2011 12:23PM

    I adore the veggie subs at Subway! I am very interested in learning more about this Flexitarian (sp?) lifestyle. I love meat, but am so ready for a change to less meat and more vegetables and grains. Good for you getting in more of the "healthy stuff"!

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CHINCHIN 5/7/2011 1:35PM

    Hi! Sounds like you are making some terrific choices. Keep it up, girl. You can do this!

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RAD062010 5/7/2011 10:09AM

    Excellent on eating more veggies! However, I don't know if you need to walk away hungry. Getting used to smaller portions can take a while. Eating small portions more frequently can be an adjustment. however, it really does help. The other thing that I notice is that if I don't get enough protein, I don't feel as good and/or I feel hungry.

Eating lots more whole grains (more fiber is always good) and beans/nuts for the protein. You might want to give that a try.

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Why I started the journey

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Our challenge this week for Fit Equals Fabulous was to blog about why we started this journey towards weight loss in the first place.

On April 30, 2010 my blood pressure soared to 126/182. I am not sure what caused it although I have learned that lack of sleep + stress + sodium intake over 500 mg at one time are all contributing factors. I spent the better part of a day in bed, holding my head praying I would not have a stroke, TIA or anything else. I could not stand, walk, hear or see clearly.Going to the hospital was not an option. We have no medical insurance. I also did not have a job at the time so there was no extra money to go. I prayed... a lot. I made it through the day and spent another half day in bed. My body was exhausted and I knew that I could not do that again.

I went to a doctor, and yes it cost me a small fortune. I have been overwieght most of my life, but what he told me that day terrified me. "You are a walking time bomb. If you don't lose the weight you will have a stroke or a heart attack before your 50th birthday."

That's when I really got started on sparkpeople. It was free, it was easy, it was motivating and inspiring. It took me nearly 6 months but I lost 20 pounds and kept it off. I have been stuck loosing and gaining the same 2 pounds since October of 2010. But, I feel better, have changed my eating habits to a degree and I have a regular exercise routine. I am getting stronger every week and I feel better. My blood pressure is down too! And that is why I am here to get healthy. I want to reach my goal, but I am getting weary. But, more important than a number on a scale is that I believe I have changed the doctor's prognosis for my 5oth.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TURTLE_MOM 5/9/2011 9:53AM

    So great! Good for you getting this taken care of, many people know that they need to but still don't work on it. Great job!

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WEEZYB7881 5/7/2011 12:57PM

    you must have been terrified. and I am reminded of how grateful I should be to live in Canada where health care is never charged. thank you for sharing and for sticking around here. you're worth it!!!

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ONMYOWNAM 5/7/2011 12:09PM

    So glad that you are here Esther. Like you said, sometimes it's not the changes on the scale but the changes that we feel and notice in our bodies. Keep going your doing an amazing job.

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NEVERORNOW 5/7/2011 10:29AM

    Wow, that is scary. :( I'm so glad you are here and losing weight and feeling better. You WILL reach your goal! emoticon

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POOKASLUAGH 5/7/2011 9:56AM

    What a scary experience! I'm glad that Spark has helped you to get your blood pressure under control and to start losing that weight.

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JUST_DREAM345 5/7/2011 9:54AM

    Nice job! Sometimes we just need that wakeup call to get us moving.

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Motivation collage

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I have really been fighting this since I got on Spark people. I have never done a motivation collage, but because of the challenge on my FEF team I will do it.

I am not finished but I will tell you a little about it. I like the picture of the girl in the red dress from the Got milk ads. I don't know who she is but she is pretty and she is not some skinny anorexic model she looks real kind of reminded me of Jane Russell back in the 40's.

The magazine Muscle and Fitness Hers also motivates me. I like reading what the fitness competitors eat, their routines. They look great, not all skinny.

I also like reading about other people just like me on the SparkPeople website that really did it, lost 100 pounds, kept it off and seeing their before and after photos.

I think that I will be sarching for active photos too. Things that I would do if I wasn't so heavy.... like hiking, or playing outside with my kids and just doing things outside more often but I don't because I am so overweight and you just sweat and look bad. LOL!

That's the start of it. I have created the picture file on my computer for it and hopefully I will finish it soon.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLIE_2B_LESS 4/18/2011 1:43PM

    emoticon job! Sounds like you are on the right track!

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CHINCHIN 4/17/2011 2:10PM

    Great ideas from ChristinaG117. Esther, it sounds like the collage is gonna be great. I've been thinking about mine for two yrs and haven't done it yet. I am collecting paper pictures, words, etc. because I don't know how to "collect" things online.

I rootin' for ya, buddy!

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NEVERORNOW 4/17/2011 9:29AM

    Sounds awesome!!! I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

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SBEAR5 4/17/2011 7:55AM

    I'm lovin' the collage idea!

I do have one comment... You don't have to be skinny to hike! Hiking is GREAT exercise. I lost about 20 lbs when I lived in Maryland by going on hikes! Give it a try!

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CHRISTINAG117 4/17/2011 1:03AM

    Some other things you might add to the collage are healthy foods you LOVE to eat. I dont know why, but reminding myself about the healthy stuff I love, makes me crave them!! Put pictures that make the item look really gourmet, like fresh fruit salad, I love this picture for instance....


you can also put in pictures that help strengthen needed areas, this one is a good reminder for me!!


you can use possitive affirmations to fill in the spaces between your pictures!!

One last idea, use your collage pictures file on the computer as the screen saver, let it scroll between all of those pictures!

I wish you the best of luck on your journey, and I will see you on the other side!!

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3 Books....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I have been having a hard time finding Spark time this week. More so than normal. I had training at my job with a two hour daily commute. An hour there and an hour back. It was all I could do to get all the exercising in!

All time favorite "diet" book-- Got to be The Spark! I have been able to apply the goal setting portion of the book to other areas and it is so positive! Even if you are not planning on loosing weight I think it is a powerful book about mindset, goals, attitude and making changes.

The next one is "The New Rules of Lifting for Women, Lift like a man, look like a Goddess", by Lou Schuler . Its a book about weight lifting for women. I got it during Christmas, the first book I purchased for my Nook, and since I knew absolutely nothing about weight lifting I found it interesting. I refer to it like a reference book periodically. It explained a lot of things I did not know.

The last one is my current read by Jillian Michaels. I actually purchased two books the first one is "Mastering your Metabolism" which I definitely needed. She has really done her research on this one and I know I will be rereading it just because of the details and explanations. There is a lot of endocrinology and bio chemistry in it, but Jillian makes it fun and she is matter of fact in her manner. I am still reading and learning. There is a lot about food additives as well.

I also have her book, "Making the Cut", but even she advises that the book is not for people who have 100 pounds to loose, so I think I have the wrong book. But, I am reading it too. Although, it is geared for people who are already at goal weight and really fit. It's designed for dropping weight for special occasions and getting the last 10 pounds or so off so you can be really "cut". What I am learning is that in order for muscle definition to really show, you have to be thinner and that is what this book is about... getting the last few pounds off, so you can really see muscle definition and I am not here... yet. I still like the book because it answered some questions I had about supplements like CLA and I like the way she writes.... the tone of her books, its matter of fact, informative and she pushes even in the books for you to do your best no matter what level you are and I like that!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWINB1954 4/17/2011 11:27AM

    emoticon for the 3 book tip. I already have the Spark, and I will go out today to get "Mastering Your Metabolism" by JM. Have a GREAT week fellow Sparkie!

Esther emoticon

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DIANE9158 4/17/2011 12:37AM

    While at Target, I almost bought the "Mastering Your Metabolism" by Jillian. I had it in my hands and then put it back, I don't know why.

The next time I am there I will definitely buy it.

Keep up the good work!

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