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Over due catch up ... How and what I'm doing these days

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's been a while since I posted a blog entry! I wish we all could chat face to face but that hasn't stopped you all from being hugely inspirational to me. I really do feel like we are friends! So, my friends, to catch up a little...

I started a c25k program and crashed and burned ... well, not that bad, but started just before the humid "dog breath" Virginia summer weather rolled in and then had some huge (temporary) schedule changes. I figured out I would have to become a morning person in order to run this time of year and, after some futile attempts, I have decide that I will just put the c25k thing off until things start to cool down. On the other hand... I love the PodRunner thing that I had downloaded into my MP3 player. Weather permitting I can just pop that on and go (staying at level 1) if I choose. So, I am back on my stationary bike, happily pedaling along, watching reruns of inspirational TV shows, like Biggest Loser, Extreme Weightloss, and the Amazing Race.

I had added some weight lifting, but whenever I add too much to my "routine" I get frustrated and quit. I have NOT quit this time!! (I am actually very proud of myself!) But I have had to learn to be sensitive to when my attitude is getting bad and keep my self out of the (quitting) danger zone. So, I put that aside, refocused on cardio for a bit, but then recently stumbled upon HIIT-style work outs using mostly my body weight (which at 212 is...well...heavy... LOL) and some free weights. I am VERY excited about this and think I just might have found "my thing". So, I am working on that 3 days/week and my normal cardio (or walk/run PodRunner thing) 3 days/week.

I have been a fairly "clean" eater for years...I'm a cook from scratch kinda gal, organic gardener, might even call me "crunchy" (I like to think of myself as "gourmet crunchy"). So my diet is pretty good but would chime in with the others who say 'WRITE IT DOWN'! If I don't keep track of what I am eating and PORTION SIZE, that is when I can get into trouble!

I have seen Primal/Paleo eating/exercising info lately and I am intrigued. I think I am leaning in that direction, but I need to get away from the grains ... not sure how that will go!?!? I have recently ramped up to trying to drink a gallon of water a day (with 10 cups being my minimum). This has helped immensely with any sugary cravings (not that I struggle too much with that but I do have a fondness for Classic Coke, which has disappeared). I can't believe I am saying this, but I LOVE water!?! LOL

I heard Chris Powell say two things recently that have really stuck with me ... "You are stronger than you think" and "Those are foods that took you to (230) pounds. Why would you even let them back in your house?" I admit, I need to dig in more ... find that strength! I see that I often have a lot of built in excuses, even the legit ones though, can be reworked! I need to stay in the game and lean into the belief that I am stronger than I think!!

So that's the update on me. I would love feed back. Is anybody doing any of things I have been trying? How has your experience been?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHUBRUB3 1/21/2012 5:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are doing amazing! I look forward to implementing some of what you do.

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RUNNER4LIFE08 7/13/2011 9:33AM

    I am constantly finding the strength each day. It gets better and better. Running in the heat is tough. I am still keeping up with my running but on hot and humid days I tend to go slower. There is nothing wrong with changing up your exercise plan.

Sounds like you are doing awesome! Thanks for the update!

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MFLYNN8 7/12/2011 10:36PM

    Gourmet crunchy sounds like a candy bar I would try! emoticon
HIIT sounds very promising for me!
You go girl!

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JIBBIE49 7/12/2011 3:14PM

    emoticonDONE GIRLS ROCK.

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IREMEMBERME 7/12/2011 2:39PM

    *hee hee* Thanks, everybody! I love you guys!

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MICHCLEARY 7/12/2011 2:36PM

    I change up my workouts at least quarterly. I cycle through spinning, pilates, zumba, yoga. I always do weights but meet with at trainer about every six weeks for a new program. I also run.

I should say I did...I'm 8 weeks post shoulder surgery now and all I've been doing is walking. Just last week was able to do leg weights. I still have 8 more weeks or more of recovery left.

I have an active event calendar where I do at least one 5k a month with my BFF and sometimes my youngest daughter.

I follow the Clean Eating diet and just yesterday did a food blog of what I ate for the day. Following this way of eating has helped me lose and maintain a loss of around 95 lbs.

I say just find something that you love and you can live with. I still have margaritas, brownies, mexican food etc. I just do it in moderation and then get right back on track. Then when I'm not on track I do a photo food blog which holds me uber accountable.


PS - we're jogging/walking in Texas heat so no crying...just do it.

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INIT2LIVEIT 7/12/2011 2:24PM

    First of all, way to go on the awesome hydration. Water can be so

Apart from the basics - keep moving and healthy intake, in moderation- I am not 100% sure that there is one path for all of us to take. One of the amazing things that I find about SP is that so many of us are in the same boat, but we all use different paddles.

Maybe instead of looking at things as "quitting" they just weren't your speed and you are still searching. Although it seems that HIIT has you pretty excited.
I have tried the running gig and ended up with injury after injury, eventually it sunk in and I stopped running. Apparently not for me, but it took me a while to accept it. You may find that you miss it even before the heat lets up and you'll be ready to go for it again. I think there are quite a few articles on SP where they say to switch things up in our workouts. Not just for physical reasons, but mental too!

As for food, I am one of those that can eat the same thing every single day. then I will make a different menu. It keeps me on track and in control. I also don't have the luxury of cooking every day. But trying new foods can be a great way to experiment. It sounds like you have a lot of knowledge about food and can get creative with it. Maybe not sticking with one thing necessarily?
You ARE strong and you CAN do it and yes, tracking really is a big deal, especially for us foodies. emoticon

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TIFFYFANNY 7/12/2011 2:19PM

    I worked with a couple of guys who did the Paleo thing last year. They saw huge success with it. I, however, am one of those people who believe everything in moderation, and kind of shy away from any one diet/plan/program that dictates what I can and can't eat. I eat 2 donuts for breakfast once per week, if I have a good weigh-in that week. While that is not necessarily a "good" system, it allows me to have something I enjoy while still being successful. But, you have to do what works for you, and if you want to try it, then go for it.

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SUSIEWHITE1109 7/12/2011 2:14PM

    I understand about running in the heat!! Ugh!! We're on about the 20th straight day of 100+ temps in Dallas, and we're just now getting to what is supposed to be the hottest part of the summer...I'd be lost without my indoor treadmill!!

Sounds like you are doing a great job and making good progress...which is the name of the game! Progress, not perfection! I need to keep things simple as well, and I need to keep things fun...I know myself well enough to know that when it isn't fun anymore, I won't keep it up for the long term.

Keep on truckin'!!


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IREMEMBERME 7/12/2011 12:49PM

    I hear ya, MACKIEFISMOM! Honestly, I think you are right. I think I still search for a magic bullet ... even though I think I am past that. Take the paleo/primal thing. I believe it would be very good for me, but if it gets to complicated, I know I will quit! I stepped away from dieting for years. I couldn't stand the thought of checking a foods list or counting calories! Somehow, the Spark Food tracker got in under my radar. About a year and a half ago, I went through this 15 week program called Weight of Grace. It explored our relationship to food (emotional eating) and body image (who says you are worthy of love if you are overweight?). It was a chance to explore life events and ingrained beliefs that influence the choices I make (without me even knowing it). I learned a lot. I am very skeptical of much of what I believe ... LOL... which is why I welcome feedback. I am very capable of fooling myself!

I keep thinking to myself "lifestyle change"... it really has to fit in and be something that I enjoy and can continue for the rest of my life!

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MACKIEFISMOM 7/12/2011 12:23PM

    Sorry the C25K didn't work out this time, but I'm sure you'll try again and beat it up!! Morning runs are hard for me, but I don't want to miss my run, so I'm willing to get up early to fit them in before the heat!! I am also crunchy, but I think more my parenting style than my whole life. My recent vacation and subsequent weight gain has changed my perspective. I'm glad and I feel like I'm back in the game with a renewed vigor. I think we are stronger than we know, but our brains can hold us back!! I have decided though, that no food is off limits. Moderation is key. If you enjoy something, allow yourself a small amount. If you love ice cream (or Coke) don't keep lots of it around. Go to the ice cream shop once a month as a special thing and look forward to it. Excuses come in all forms and we justify everything! There is strength in numbers and we'll get there together!

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Nana (the 89 year old Super Hero)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Let me tell you about my "Nana". That woman rocks! At 89, she lives alone in a 3-story row house, runs a weekly bingo game and a monthly bus trip (all proceeds go to charity :-)). She drives! She is the glue that holds us all together and maybe even the whole universe.

I spent yesterday with her in the emergency room. They think she has had stroke. They can't figure out why because she is so freakin' healthy! She is a petite little firecracker with muscles! They checked her into a hospital room for more tests and brought her a "heart healthy" meal ... it was decadent compared to her usual EXTREME healthy regime. LOL

Because of her stellar health she will eventually recover and get back to her normal (super-hero-esque) routine. She will beat the odds of being yet another senior who fell, ended up in the hospital and died. She will continue to live a bit longer, continually blessing our family and asking for nothing in return but that we be happy. What an inspiration she is!

Good health is a legacy we can leave our families. My Nana has passed it to my mother. They passed it to me, but I fumbled. By the grace of God, I still have a chance to run with it! It's not too late! Go, Sparkers, Go!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARCLE 6/18/2011 3:27AM

    What a wonderful lady your nana sounds like. Best wishes for a very speedy recovery - what an inspiration!! emoticon

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/19/2011 11:16AM

    Best wishes to your Nana!

She is such an inspiration!


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A New Chapter

Monday, April 11, 2011

A couple of years ago I logged my fitness and calories on Spark. I didn't make any friends or participate in any groups. I tried for a month and when the pounds didn't fly off me I decided that it was because I had some kind of medical problem. I gave up. I went to the doctor and they said they really couldn't find anything wrong with me. LOL So here I am again a couple years later. I have made some friends (I really do love you Twilight Challenge ladies!) :-) I have also noticed that the pounds come off me really slow. I have lost 9 pounds since 1/1/2011. HOWEVER... I am okay with that. I am also now "in the zone". I have stuck with it long enough to see that my energy levels are different at various weeks on my monthly cycle. Also, that if I truly track my food it makes a difference in the...uh... 'fudge factor". I have found that as I track my fitness in baby steps, the more baby steps I want to take. I do hope I can begin to see more pounds come off. On the other hand... my clothes have suddenly gotten comfortable. When my clothes are comfortable, I wanna go out and do more! Yesterday I noticed a hint of leg and calf muscle! Hmmm... maybe this is gonna work!

I am truly in awe of many of you fellow Sparkers! Your blogs, photos and post speak volumes to me.

Time to get off this computer and take my walk/run!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIPLE_EMME 4/11/2011 3:21PM


I am glad to have you as a emoticon

Baby steps are very important. We are learning new habits and that takes time (especially when we had years of bad habits!). It's important for us to have in the healthy lifestyle journey. We will get to our destinations, but there is fun to be had along the way.


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RUNNER4LIFE08 4/11/2011 3:10PM

    Slow and steady wins the race! And life is more grand with friends by your side!

Enjoy your workout!

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MACKIEFISMOM 4/11/2011 11:03AM

    YEAH!!! So glad you came back and have made such great progress!! Slow and steady!!! Yep, time for workout :)

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Note to self: you CAN be a runner

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I have never been a runner. Even as a walker, I'm more of a loper. But there is a new wind a blowin'. Something is different this time around. I am making changes. Little ones...over time. Today, for the 2nd time this week...I went for a walk/run. I go by visual markers so I don't know the exact length, but I walk part of the route. then run a part. Then repeat. Day 1 took me 22:49, today it was 20:24. I am starting to have visions of maybe adding a few more yards of run time. One day I will be able to run the whole way and then some! The change is that I am happy with tackling this literally one step at a time. Today I am reflecting on the little things and staying in the game! I realize that even a little step keeps me on the playing field. I want to stay in this time around and I know I can do it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SSONIA1 4/8/2011 12:40PM

    That's the way to do it. Little by little. emoticon

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JENNIFIER30 4/6/2011 4:56PM

    Great job on the walking/jogging - You can be a runner - and I believe you will be! You are doing great!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MACKIEFISMOM 4/6/2011 4:44PM

    Great work!! There is a neat feature to "track my route" where you can put in where you start and where you go. It will calculate the total mileage and calories burned. It's at the bottom of the fitness page. I love it!!

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/6/2011 2:56PM


It is awesome that you are walking/running! And, you are improving on your time, already. emoticon


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Make yogurt in your crockpot

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Recipe follows...

--8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk (do NOT use ultra-pasteurized)

--1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter)


--thick bath towel

Pour the whole half gallon of milk into the crockpot on low. Cover and cook for 2 1/2 hours.

Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.

When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.

Put the lid back on your crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crockpot for insulation.

Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.

In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened---it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days (refrigerated). Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.

I like to thicken it up a bit by setting the yogurt in a coffee filter set in a colander and letting the whey drip out (takes a while). You can use the whey for other things, but that's another post :-) This is great with fruit or my favorite - honey and almonds. Enjoy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MACKIEFISMOM 4/7/2011 11:48AM

    Great!! Thanx! I'm going to try making some this afternoon!!!

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IREMEMBERME 4/7/2011 10:54AM

    You can use skim. I think the consistency might be effected, but I'm not sure. I have heard of adding powdered milk or a packet of gelatin, but I usually use whole milk and sometimes 2%. I made yogurt yesterday and, again, strained off the whey for more of a Greek yogurt. I used organic whole milk and let it drain quite a bit ... best yogurt ever! I actually prefer it to the Quadruple Chocolate Cake I made for my husband's bday (the leftovers are sitting on the counter). So, if the yogurt can keep me out of the cake, that's a good thing!! emoticon

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MACKIEFISMOM 4/7/2011 10:02AM

    Do you have to use whole milk? I was thinking I'd make fat free with skim? Have you tried that? I think I used to make it with 2%.

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IREMEMBERME 4/6/2011 9:47AM

    It makes a half gallon (8 cups). My batch this morning turned out kinda runny, but it tastes amazing!

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MACKIEFISMOM 4/6/2011 8:14AM

    Kinda makes me wish I had kept my parents old yogurt maker! How much yogurt does this recipe make? Will definately keep this in mind :) Thank you!!!!

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