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HAPPLYEVERAFTER's Recent Blog Entries

Fast Forward: Ten Years 2023

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I'm 62 years old. Each morning my husband and I go for our daily 45 minute walk along the beach, and then enjoy a fifteen minute yoga stretch. Note: this is my fast forward, my husband's fast forward would not include yoga! We both go to the gym together three or four times a week for strength training, and wouldn't dream of skipping a session because we enjoy it so much, especially the benefits of being slim and fit. Our days are filled with fun activities such as swimming, hiking, golfing, boating and fishing. We are healthy and active, and so thankful to be able to enjoy our retirement years doing the things we love without health restrictions. Making a move to a warmer climate and living in a much smaller home was the best thing we ever did. We have a small yard that is so easy to manage and care for, and love the fresh produce from our organic garden. We have a wonderful group of friends that share the same passion for health and fitness, and we get together often to experience all the wonderful benefits of leading a healthy and active lifestyle together. It's so rewarding to wake up each day happy and healthy. Our healthy food choices are a way of life and have been for so long that there is no longer a need to track, journal, blog, weigh, measure, or DIET! I'm looking forward to the next ten years, and the next, and the next!

Well, that was a fun assignment from SparkCoach! Back to the present, Sunday, March 10, 2013. I'm running late for church, because the pants I tried on thinking they would fit by now, don't fit, so now I have to iron another pair. When I get home, I have to tackle the bills, and finish shoveling off the deck and sidewalks, and give two stinky dogs much needed baths. I'm still fighting off a craving for pizza and trying not to give in to it, and the weight has not budged in a couple of weeks. I enjoyed my 10 minute escape to the future!

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Ready to Shake Things Up!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I guess I'm at the point in my Spark program that suggests shaking things up a bit so that the body doesn't get too accustomed to the current workout. Luckily, I don't have to think too hard as to what changes I should be making. Just the other week I was trying to justify the added expense of a personal trainer at the gym, when I began to do my own assessment as to how far I've come in just a few short months. Last November I was barely making it up a set of stairs without pulling on two railings. I couldn't put any weight on my right side without triggering pain in my hip. It was painful to bend my right knee at an angle to put my sock or sneaker on. I started having lower back pain last year, along with frequent stiff necks. I also had very poor balance and flexibility. Pain relievers were becoming a daily necessity. Yesterday, I went to the gym for a session with my trainer, who told me, it was my lucky day because I have a whole new program! It seems I just get comfortable with one program, and have about a few days of "go me" when my program changes once again to new moves I have to learn all over again, and for some reason, personal trainers love perfection in technique and proper form. Yes, if I was doing this on my own, I would have been injured about twenty times already. I was amazed during my first session when I saw women my age doing something called Burpees and Mountain Climbers. It hurt just to watch them, and I probably said to myself, I won't be here long enough to get to that stage. I was just hoping to walk up a flight of stairs alternating legs without the use of a railing. I was able to master that goal in just a few weeks. My lower back pain is gone, and my flexibility, strength, and balance seem to improve on a weekly basis. And last month, I was doing Burpees in between sets of weight training. They are not my favorite thing to do, and I can't say I would do them at home, but I'm doing them, and rather well at this point, maybe too well, because yesterday, I was doing Mountain Climbers! Talk about shaking things up!


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hmmm, Moderation?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Today's SparkCoach assignment is to blog about what area in my life could use some moderation. The coaching session talked about not having extremes such as good foods vs bad foods. So I guess this is where my confusion comes in, because Dr. Jonny Bowden's program which I am following has helped me to conquer my food addictions to sugar, and in the process lose 56 pounds. I guess to some, giving up sugar, which also includes flour, would be considered an extreme. So, here's the issue, I didn't start off the program thinking I was a food addict. I just thought I loved the taste of food, and that's why I've always struggled trying to maintain a weight loss, and every other program I've tried in the past has led to failure. Phase one, or the self-therapy portion of the program was pretty intense, and opened my mind to, okay, I might have a slight problem. Phase two, the elimination portion of the program, opened my mind to, yes, I'm in deep trouble. I actually went through physical, as well as mental withdrawals from eliminating sugar, and flour. I was tired, irritable, couldn't sleep, had daily headaches, and knew that if I just ate a row of Oreo's, all the misery would go away. Getting through the first week was tough. By the end of the second week, I started to feel much better, and as the weeks progressed, I was amazed at how good I was starting to feel. The energy picked up, almost into overdrive during the day, the headaches were gone, my stomach issues were gone, and I started sleeping through the night. I had not slept for seven to eight hours a night in so long, that I forgot what it felt like to wake up and pop right out of bed. Gone are the "I just need five more minutes of sleep!" mornings. The most amazing aspect of the program was that I was not having anymore cravings. The healthy foods that replaced my old eating behaviors were very healing in more ways than one. Now the third phase of the program, or the reintroduction of certain foods, was very tricky. This was the part that would let me know if I had a food sensitivity. And this is where I discovered that yes, I have an addiction to sugar, and flour. Most people, probably handle moderation very well, and have self-control. I on the other hand, experienced a set-back trying to reintroduce certain foods. One slice of organic whole wheat toast, which sounds so healthy, was my undoing. I couldn't stop at the one slice with my poached egg. I toasted another, added butter then some strawberry jam. Before I knew it, my "inner fat girl" had a "Scarlett O'Hara" moment. We just won't think about this now, we'll deal with it tomorrow, and I proceeded to toast and butter several more pieces of "healthy organic whole wheat bread". If I were to have had a brain scan at that moment, the area of my brain that depicts pleasure would have been lit up like a neon sign! Needless to say, when writing in my reintroduction journal about bread, I simply put, not a good idea! So, I am definitely experiencing a contradiction of two programs. After all, one wouldn't tell an alcoholic or drug addict, everything in moderation. It has taken me seven months to learn what I can and cannot reintroduce. More importantly, I have learned to embrace this new healthy way of eating, and no longer look at it as deprivation, but as healing. Sadly to say, from my experiences, sugar and flour are a definite no. Not even in moderation. So, if I had to choose an area that needs work in moderation, this would have to be it. After all, tomorrow is another day, and I am still a work in progress.

lisa (aka Scarlett)

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Valentine's Day 2012 vs 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

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What a difference a year makes!

Last year, as so many Valentine's Days in the past, the day would start out with bagels from our favorite shop with their homemade flavored cream cheeses. After work we would get ready and go to our favorite restaurant. We would share a bottle of wine, order two appetizers, crab cakes, and fried calamari, and finish off the bread basket before our entrees even arrived. Mine would be steak with a loaded baked potato, salad with creamy parmesan peppercorn dressing, and my husband usually orders a pasta dish loaded with seafood. Dessert, if we could decide on one, would be split over a cup of coffee. We always exchanged gifts of chocolates, that probably should have lasted a month, but we loved our chocolate, and it would be gone by the end of the weekend. I remember always leaving the restaurant so uncomfortably full that I just wanted to get home, where I would fall asleep within an hour, from too much food and wine.

This year, after losing 56 pounds as of this morning, and still having about 20 remaining to lose, I want that uncomfortably full feeling to remain exactly where it is. A memory from the past. We started breakfast with a bowl of organic steel cut oatmeal with blueberries and walnuts. I did a 5K walk using Leslie Sansone's 5K with a twist dvd that lasted about 45 minutes, then did Debbie Seiber's 60 minute Cool It stretch and strength training dvd. After this workout I was looking forward to my protein shake, which I add chia seeds and ground flax seeds to. Can you believe it? My husband is going to the gym after work for his 45 minute session. Tonight's dinner, which I will be cooking at home, is a roasted whole chicken, with sweet potatoes whipped with greek yogurt, and a tossed salad with olive oil and vinegar. Dessert, chocolate covered strawberries. Not a bread basket in sight!

Our Valentine's gift to each other, a years membership at the gym, and mine is renewed with sessions with a personal trainer. emoticon emoticon emoticon I just love that man! My husband, not the trainer! emoticon

What a difference a year makes!

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I am the saboteur!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Today's SparkCoach segment discusses the saboteur and how to deal with that situation. Last year when I began my final weight loss endeavor by following Dr. Jonny Bowden's "Unleash Your Thin" program, one of the questions in the self-help manual was to list all your toxic relationships. I kept skipping this question because I really couldn't think of anyone, and went on to complete the rest of the manual. As the days went on, I was really feeling very fortunate about not having any toxic relationships. All my family and friends have always been extremely supportive of my weight loss efforts. Then I began to think, I wish I could say the same about myself. If my family and friends were to answer that same question, there is no doubt in my mind that my name, would have been at the top of everyone's list! That was my "Charlie Brown" moment. My name deserved top billing to the question. I had my answer! I am my own worst enemy. My very own saboteur! When the cravings were stronger than myself, I had no problem whatsoever giving in, and taking everyone down in the process. My "inner fat girl" could be so devious when a craving strikes. Inviting a friend to the movies, then paying for the movie, popcorn, sodas, and candy, just to lessen the guilt, of not only sabotaging myself, but someone else's diet. Ordering take-out pizza, grinders, chinese food, and baking cakes, when my husband is planning on running in a 5K race. My "inner fat girl" shows no mercy, feels no shame. No one was off limits, not even my own kids, or dogs!

Having 30 years of yo-yo dieting under my belt (literally) and no success at ever maintaining a weight loss, had me searching for answers. I knew I needed to work on my mind, more than the weight. The self-help phase of the program wasn't easy, but very necessary. I didn't like my answers, nor did I like myself. Six months later, my cravings are controlled, my "inner thin girl" has found her voice, and I am now my new best friend. Not only can my family and friends count on me for support, I can count on myself. I can no longer say I am the saboteur, and that feels amazing!

lisa



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