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FREELADY's Recent Blog Entries

Goal Shirt for a Spark Buddy

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

A SparkFriend and long-time encourager is in a new competition at the gym. They're offering prizes, but I promised my own virtual reward, so here's my concept of a new shirt for a healthier, stronger Spark Friend to wear to Australia.

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    emoticon emoticon

By the way, thanks for being such an encouraging and supportive spark friend! That means so much to me! emoticon

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SEWINGMEG 1/3/2012 10:13PM


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WATERMELLEN 1/3/2012 8:08PM

    Great concept!!

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    Darling, perfect shirt for Super V to demonstrate his powers at the gym.

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TRAVELGRRL 1/3/2012 4:43PM

    Freelady, I LOVE THIS! Maybe the rest of us could wear a shirt with the name "Vandelettas!!!!!

If THAT doesn't get his BO-HIND-END in gear, I don't know what will!!!!


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Sodium Hangover

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I don't like the way I feel today, and I'm recording it so I'll remember (and avoid it next time).

There's a horrible taste in my mouth that I can't wash out.
My weight is up 1.3 pounds even though I stayed in calorie range the last two days. (New Year's Eve was out of calorie range, but not much.)
I felt more sluggish and draggy than I have in weeks.

Sounds like PMS, right? Sure, right, I'm going to voluntarily put something in my mouth that makes me feel like I have PMS.

Thanks be to God that I figured it out. I've been eating so consistently that I knew immediately the cause. Sodium. Good old salt.

Bad old salt!

When we finished Thanksgiving dinner I had put the leftover cornbread dressing in a casserole dish, mixed cut-up turkey with gravy and spread it on top. Then I froze it immediately. I figured we would enjoy it much more a few weeks later.

And we did! I sneaked a small portion for breakfast yesterday and then I had a nice bowlful for supper. I did notice it being salty, but the "comfort food" coma overcame my judgment, I guess. Looking back, I should have stopped eating and put it aside halfway through, recognizing the sodium landmine.


If it's already prepared, eat a SMALL portion. (Good thing I'm on this 12-glasses-of-water regimen, or I'd be feeling even crummier!)

Be more salt-conscious while cooking. Many recipes I do alter, and I did radically transform our menu that day, but I proceeded robot-like making the dressing and gravy!

I think the straw that broke the camel's back was . . . red-faced confession . . . I added crumbled Ritz crackers to the cornbread dressing. I haven't bought those in a year, and we never eat them any more, so . . . you guessed it, I was "not letting them go to waste." They weren't out of date, and yes, it made a delicious dressing. Well, delicious for the 5 seconds it took to glop around in my mouth and slime down my throat! Note to self: if an item has VISIBLE salt stuck to the top, NOTICE THE SALT!!!

Cleaning up my food is an ongoing journey!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SENKYOUSHI 1/6/2012 5:33AM

    I'm having trouble with sodium too. It's so hard since I crave it more than sugar!

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SENKYOUSHI 1/6/2012 5:32AM

    I'm having trouble with sodium too. It's so hard since I crave it more than sugar!

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NANCY- 1/5/2012 8:00AM

    WTG on your awareness!!! I think you are doing awesome by noticing what is happening. All too often there is no notice and if you do not notice there cannot be changes made. I think you are making great strides.

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KLONG8 1/4/2012 1:07AM

    I'm still so focused on my caloric intake that I tend to ignore salt and then wonder why my hands get puffy. I promise to pay more attention (and drink more water.)

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WATERMELLEN 1/3/2012 8:33PM

    I'm with you on the salt hangover -- horrible sensation.

Ditto fat hangover when I overdo the cheesecake/chips or whatever.

Oh well. We only experience it because most of the time, we're not eating that way. Used to be "the norm"!!

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    We live and we learn. We live some more and we learn some more and we learn to laugh at ourselves. We humans are just a do over bunch aren't we? Thank you for baring and sharing a truth, it helps all to simply tell it like it is. emoticon

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STRNGNGRNDED 1/3/2012 7:27PM

    Congratulations to you for noticing how your body behaves with too much salt and doing something to change it. You're body is becoming purified. =)

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ID_VANDAL 1/3/2012 2:20PM

    Good blog and a great point. I really liked the "confession" of using the Ritz crackers rather than let them go to waste.

I think that is something we all need to work on. If it's not good for us - THROW IT AWAY and NEVER BUY IT AGAIN!

Easy to say - now let's work on getting it done!



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    That's certainly something for me to consider! Thank you for sharing!

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NATARSHAD 1/3/2012 9:34AM

    I am trying to cut back on my sodium intake as well. I'm just not sure where to start since it has been a staple of my diet for so long. I think I am going to start experimenting with herbs.

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Goals for January 2012

Sunday, January 01, 2012

"Driven by Faith" Spark Team asked us to post January goals. I'm repeating them here for accountability.

- Lose 4 more pounds by Jan 23 to reach that 10-pound increment set last month.

- Continue to set 10-pound goal dates on the Wii Fit, which does a great job of weighing me, graphing my progress, and nagging me!

- Meet each 10-pound goal, adjusting expectations if wise. Never give up!

- Pursue active fun by doing Wii Fit 20 minutes daily when I am not traveling or ill.

- Attend strength training class at church on each scheduled date (normally 3 times per week). Work my hardest there.

- Continue tracking all food on SparkPeople.

- Report weekly on SparkPeople concerning accountability to these goals, favorable or not.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon emoticon

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NANCY- 1/3/2012 8:00AM

Clear and concise! You are awesome!!!!

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HSMOM2FOUR 1/1/2012 9:02PM

    Sounds fantastic!!

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    It is so nice to have you here FL. Your goals have such a nice balance to them, achievable. I look forward to cheering you on.

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TRAVELGRRL 1/1/2012 4:57PM

    You are on a roll, girl! Let's keep it going!!

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WATERMELLEN 1/1/2012 4:36PM

    Great goals: you can do it! And you will!!

Thanks always for your steadfast support and encouragement. I do so much appreciate it!

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Due to a few months' crash-and-burn in the middle of 2011, THE SCALE shows me no closer to a healthy weight on the last day of 2011 than on the first. Yet I am honestly celebrating and praising Jesus Christ for amazing transformation in my lifestyle this year. I'm leaving it in list form, as I jotted it down (with my jaw dropped). The changes were so tiny and gradual, I have astonished myself. Truly, if you had told me a year ago that the following things would be true by the end of the year, I would say it could not be possible.

In 2011 by God's grace I . . .

-- enjoyed a party where the main activity was building gingerbread houses, and I did not eat a bite of candy (didn't feel deprived; just not "worth it")

-- served my family radically modified healthy Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner.

-- extinguished after-dinner eating

-- made tracking all food a fixed habit

-- made my food & fitness trackers public (gasp . . . I can still hardly believe this)

-- initiated my photo with a major sports mascot and later with a national fast food icon (my former mantra: "Don't take my picture!")

-- joined in hora folk dancing at a public event

-- did not hide my weight amount from my daughters any more (my sons could not care less)

-- chose some bright colors to wear instead of my years-long norm of blend-into-the background attire

-- often took time to put on a pretty necklace

-- for my birthday selected a very colorful purse and take it everywhere

-- wore bright-colored croc flats even when they weren't exactly matching anything else i had on. Told myself, "These are my fun shoes." . . . Shoes and fun in the same sentence? Radical!

--tried a very different hairstyle.

-- ran my first 5k

-- released my anxieties and let my daughter have 2 rabbits. This has been a great success and enjoyment for all (formerly a fish-and-turtles-only household).

-- saw some healing in working through some profound sorrows, stresses, and distresses the year brought.

-- felt God near in dark days and received grace to do my duty in each moment (what author Elisabeth Elliot calls "the consolation of obedience").

-- lost 20 of the 25 lbs I had regained.

-- gave myself permission to stop punishing & shaming myself over the backsliding weight gain.

-- allowed myself to feel emotional pain.

-- let myself grieve when needed and did not numb myself with food.

-- let myself have joyful times and did not let the crises define my life.

-- became a whiz on iPod touch.

-- went out of my comfort zone to commit to the Game On! Diet. ( Please join our Spark Team; we're starting a new round Jan 2! No cost involved. You can read the book online at
or see a list of the rules at

-- learned to like avocado, butternut squash, edamame, talapia, kefir, tofu, coconut oil, and salad-for-breakfast.

-- stopped drinking pop and sweet tea. Stopped thinking about drinking pop and sweet tea.

-- became reliable about taking my morning vitamin.

-- learned to sail a sunfish. Enjoyed it immensely even though many people I know could see my bulkiness and clumsiness.

-- rode a zip line

-- gave a humorous speech about my weight loss journey in front of a group. Did not turn the invitation down even though I am embarrassed about how heavy I still am.

I would never have thought I could change so much in one year. That's why I'm not obssessing about the scale. Yes, I'm definitely committed to a series of small, achievable weight loss goals. I am determined to reach healthy bmi in 2012. But I see growth and transformation in so many ways that the scale doesn't show. That's what's really going to produce good health in 2012!

emoticonNow to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. (Ephesians 19:20-21)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAMASUDS 1/3/2012 1:56PM

    I am so proud of you! I am also so glad that you are back online. I have missed your encouraging words so much.

Woo Hoo! Here we go.

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    Wow!! How do you even remember all of that??? You don't need to set any goals for 2012 except to maintain your 2011 habits.

And, you did lose 20 of those 25 pounds my dear friend.

I look forward to striding forward with you this year. Cheers.

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ID_VANDAL 1/1/2012 1:03PM

    What a success story you have!! That list is just great to read. It put a smile on my face!!

Even though you are even on pounds you have improved the quality of your life!! What a great example for the rest of us to follow!!

I also read your recipe change blog - another great blog and I agreed with the others - your mother is very proud of you!

Here's to a great 2012 for all of us.



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NANCY- 1/1/2012 9:18AM

    What wonderful changes you have brought into your life. You are one awesome lady. Yes it is the little things that sometimes can make the biggest difference. What a great list of accomplishments.
You Rock!!!!

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 12/31/2011 8:33PM

  I love you so much because you love you because He first loved us.

I have discovered the same things and more since being on sparkpeople and yes the pounds will come off in due time.

What a marvelous light you have shone out of the darkness of obesity and or being over weight.

If a person con love themselves being over weight being over weight will not be around and hang around very much longer.

It sounds as if you are really learnding how to love yourself and respect yourself and yes even have fun being yourself and enjoying who you have been created tp be. Cna you imagine any of this in the past?

I could never have imagined any of this for myself but now I do because I know Holy Spirit led me hre along with so many others who love Jesus and have great callings on all of our lives but we have to be healthy to live long, strong and active and satisfied lives in the name of Jesus we are losing weight.

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    WOW! This blog really motivated and cheered me in my journey! I am so glad I read it! Thank you for sharing these accomplishments! We're going to have a great year, aren't we?

Have a wonderful, wonderful new year! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 12/31/2011 4:27PM

    This is a fantastic blog: shows your courage and persistence, which has resulted in your huge achievements. These are real changes from the inside out!

And: thanks so much for your very very kind comment on my SparkPage: much appreciated! Happy New Year: 2012 is going to be terrific!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNNINGOMA 12/31/2011 2:18PM

    Totally awesome! Great accomplishments! Loved the blog!

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MIRRORBALLMOON 12/31/2011 1:53PM

    What a great year for you! We're on a journey with no real end point; once we lose the weight, we still have to maintain (which really means we will go up a little, down a little hopefully within healthy ranges for the rest of our lives). Everything you talk about here are the very things that will help you maintain! :-)

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TRAVELGRRL 12/31/2011 1:07PM

    Wow, FL, I would say you've had an ASTOUNDINGLY SUCCESSFUL 2011! Congratulations to you, and an "attagirl" for focusing on all the non-scale victories that you achieved this year.

I too am the "DON'T TAKE MY PICTURE!" girl and as a result my husband has a ton of me FROM THE BACK. He says I'll die future generations won't even know what I looked like. Sad, isn't it.

I too am committed to making this the year I reach my goal, so maybe we can support each other and do it together.

This is a great blog and a reminder to me to focus on the POSITIVE changes, even if they don't involve a smaller number on the scale.

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Mom Would Understand

Friday, December 23, 2011

Today I meddled with a Traditional Family Recipe. (Gasp!)

We have a smaller group assembled for Christmas this year, so I dared modify my late mother's made-it-this-way-for-fifty-years corn chowder recipe. We usually have corn chowder for supper Christmas Eve, and I've found it tastes better the second day after the flavors mingle, so I made it this afternoon to refrigerate. Plus I wanted less cooking tomorrow!

Mom and I were raised in the deep south, so her corn chowder recipe starts with bacon, and I'll just say not much of the grease goes to waste either. She has gone to God, so I can't explain my recipe changes or tell her it's not personal, but she would be so happy for my renewed health and energy.

We always made corn chowder by "that looks about right," so I can't list an exact recipe, but I'll tell you the way I did it. I sliced celery thin and diced onions and matchstick carrots, then sauteed it all in a bit of coconut oil. Before they were done I added half a red bell pepper, diced very small. Wonderful smell from the skillet. When all was tender, I poured in a can of evaporated milk (NOT the sweetened kind) which deglazed the pan perfectly. The veggies are so pretty and colorful, plus they give the liquid a gorgeous golden glow. I put in diced cooked potatoes and cooked corn (I used frozen, but canned works fine), plus chicken broth to taste (and more milk if you prefer).

I used small gold potatoes and left the skin on for nutrients and fiber. The original recipe has lots of ham in large chunks, but to save calories I used fewer, smaller pieces. I warm the ham separately and let each person put some in his own bowl, but you can add it all in if you want. I did not use any bacon grease, and I did not use flour to thicken the soup. I used chicken broth in place of half the canned milk, and I left off the bacon garnish.

I admit, it does not "taste like Mom used to make," but it is delicious as its own entity. I call mine Confetti Corn Chowder, cause I like all the colorful bits in the soup. Hers was absolutely scrumptious, but it was important to me to make a soup where I cut the fat and calories. My girls are young enough to embrace a new tradition on our menu, and I thank God that my husband is open-minded and welcomes my innovations that make our meals healthier.

I certainly won't be undermining anyone else when they want to make the original version, and I'm sure many will prefer it. But I'm feeling good about blazing a new trail in my kitchen with diet-friendly food, even on an important holiday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIGLITTLEWOMAN 12/26/2011 3:16PM

    I think Mom would be proud of the healthy changes you made to her recipe. You kept your family tradition in tact. Way to go Freelady.

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NANCY- 12/25/2011 12:43AM

    WTG the last few years my sis and I have been moving toward a healthier menu also.
What a loving gift for the family.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

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TRAVELGRRL 12/24/2011 3:05PM

    Dear FL,

I am really proud of you! You took a traditional family recipe and made it your own. It won't be too much longer before YOUR version will be the family tradition, especially with your girls!

My mother (at 78) is a former nurse and extremely health conscious, yet what we ate as children was full of fat and calories. If there wasn't a hunk of meat on the plate as well as a dessert it just wasn't dinner!

When you know better, you do better.

I know your mom is smiling and giving you her blessing. Enjoy!

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WARMSPRINGDAY 12/24/2011 11:23AM

    emoticon on slimming down a recipe!

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PARISTASAI 12/24/2011 11:12AM

    The great thing about traditions is that they are not handed to us on stone tablets from Mount Sinai. Tasty changes!

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HSMOM2FOUR 12/24/2011 9:15AM

    Sounds yummy!!

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WATERMELLEN 12/23/2011 9:26PM

    Mmmmm. This sounds delicious! And pretty! I'm definitely thinking corn chowder for a pot of soup early in the new year . . . and because I'm not a pork bacon eater, may make (gasp) a further revision. Turkey bacon corn chowder?

Good for you, for keeping traditions alive and keeping yourself alive and healthy and modelling all of that for your family!

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