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No guilt trips!

Friday, December 25, 2009

How is your holiday going? Are you sticking to your plan? Drinking your water? Tracking what you eat?

If not, that's okay! Just get right back on the horse. One "bad" meal won't kill you. What will derail you is thinking you can start again tomorrow, on Monday, or heaven forbid, next year!

Nobody is perfect. We all eat too much or drink too much at times. That's not what makes us fat. What makes us fat is the guilt trips -- I already ate so much, I might as well just keep going.

One of the things I've learned this past year is that I tend to gain on vacations, no matter how careful I try to be. I still try to be careful, but I accept that I will most likely gain -- and get right back to my healthy habits as soon as I get home. And that weight comes off really quickly.

OTOH, several weeks of overeating can lead to more than just a few pounds, and we all know that those few extra pounds take forever to take back off.

Let's just say goodbye to all or nothing thinking with 2009!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/28/2009 12:07PM

    For me, being cold is motivation. When I was big I was never ever cold - winter was a relief. Another point of motivation is shopping for clothes now - there was never much selection when I was a 4X, but now as an M there is selection galore! Even if I have to dress in layers now to stay warm; they are layers of Mediums - lol. In the winter it is hard, as I tend to go into hibernation mode........ :D

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STARTSPARKING 12/26/2009 4:14PM

    Thank you for the timely pep talk! I had been in two relatives' homes for two days straight, and the amount of food has been RIDICULOUS... I was just telling my SIL that just one bite of everything was enough to stuff anyone. emoticon

Thanks for the reminder to get back on track ASAP. I look forward to soldiering on with you and other Spark friends and make 2010 a year of great health!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEYRED221 12/26/2009 1:14PM

    I did ok - just didn't get the exercise in that I was hoping too.

Today is a new day!!!


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ROCKYCPA 12/25/2009 10:44PM

    I agree there are bad days and good days. Being conscious of what you are eating is very important and getting back on track is also important. You can keep on tracking and accepting whatever shows up.

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CAROLYN1213 12/25/2009 6:52PM

    I couldn't have said it better myself! Thank you for the glimpse of the reality of a healthy life. Sometimes we make unhealthy decisions, sometime we are short on time, patience, etc. One days choices didn't get me overweight. I am tracking and I am staying as active as the holiday schedule will allow me.

Have a blessed and happy holiday!

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DAYHIKER 12/25/2009 6:43PM

    We had a lovely day! I did not track and I did overeat but it's ONE day! The kids just left and I am pooped!

Merry Christmas!!

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EOSTAR_45 12/25/2009 5:17PM

    Doing pretty good today. I am actually tracking, can you believe it? emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/25/2009 5:17:55 PM

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SEKSUNSHINE 12/25/2009 5:16PM

    Yes, I have been, and I need to go fill in the tracker right now!

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YELLOWDAHLIA 12/25/2009 12:13PM

    BahaHaHaha- stick to my plan today?? BahaHahaha....umm...NO!!

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KARBIE18 12/25/2009 12:06PM

    I couldn't agree with you more! Great advice. I hope all of the people who read this take it to heart. It makes all the difference.

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Tracking works

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I know most of you are really busy today. I know some people like to take a cheat day, or just take a break from tracking on a holiday. But it's funny how tracking helps keep you on track.

Do you really want that cookie, or are you eating it because it's there? Because it's tradition? Because you're stressed? What do you think will happen if you have to put it in your tracker or write it down?

This may be too late for some of you, but if you're traveling, there's a printable tracker, too. It's under "Printable resources" on your Spark home page. I always print one out and take it with me when I'm traveling.

When I first began with SP and back at WW, I tracked both on SP and with WW trackers. I found most of the time I was hitting my nutritional goals, so I only track my points on paper now. I prefer to use a 6 month journal; that way I can go back and look at something I ate from several weeks ago or flag a really good day or week (only I never actually seem to do that -- maybe a goal for the new year).

Whatever works for you. There's a reason almost every "diet" out there asks you to track your food. Don't throw it all away over the next couple of days. Don't worry about friends and relatives thinking you're "weird". What's more important -- what other people think, or how you feel? And in the end, you're going to feel better if you track your food, even if you overindulge.

Track on, my friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KUNGFOOD 12/24/2009 6:06PM

    It is strange, isn't it? Tracking worked for me for awhile, but I got obsessed and frustrated with it, and would really beat myself up for bad days. Lately, I haven't been tracking, though have made significant changes in eating habits, and voilá!

I also am a fan of raw food-ing... I have an Excalibur dehydrator which is a great tool for monitoring food temps. As a gadget person, you'd love it, too. Am a licensed food safety service manager, and am keenly aware of the importance of food handling/temps.

I haven't made almond milk myself, just because I'm lazy! emoticon Will have to try it sometime. I like the Blue Diamond brand, and rely on them to make sure I'm getting either 40 or 60 calories per serving, depending upon the packaging I select.

Yep, squash is on the menu for tomorrow's dinner, but only if I don't eat it all for breakfast.

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/24/2009 9:01AM

    Great reminder. Thanks! Have a wonderful day.

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/24/2009 8:53AM

    So true, so very true! :D

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SEKSUNSHINE 12/24/2009 7:46AM

    We don't talk about cheating. I just had caramel corn for breakfast, I'll go fix a grapefruit and that should make me feel better about the corn, but at lease it wasn't a cookie, and only a handful. Have a great day!

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STARTSPARKING 12/24/2009 6:31AM

    One of my favorite SP features is the nutrition tracker. Thanks for another great blog post, my friend!
emoticon emoticon

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DAYHIKER 12/24/2009 6:29AM

    Well, goodness, the things I learn by reading my emoticonblogs! I did not know that there is a printable tracker! Thanks for the tip! I do keep a WW 3 month journal so I have a hard copy of my habits.

Wishing you a very blessed Christmas!
emoticon Cindy

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Do you have a plan?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's trite, but it's true: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It's something my husband definitely doesn't get. He hates to plan. For instance, since there's just the 2 of us, and I rarely eat bread, I keep the bread in the freezer. If he wants it, he either has to remember to take it out of the freezer to defrost (or use the microwave). Most of the time he chooses something else instead, and gets angry that there isn't any bread available. If I don't keep it in the freezer it either gets hard or moldy.

Do you have a plan for your holiday? It is NOT too late to get one. Going to someone else's house? Can you bring a dish? Some food for yourself? Your pedometer or some resistance bands? What will you put on your plate? Can you ask what food will be served?

Are you doing the holiday meal? Great! You have control! Are you making all the old favorites? Can you lighten them up somehow? Can you add some healthy food in there? Have you decided how much you'll eat? Which dessert you'll eat, if at all?

What about exercise? Can you get the family started on a new tradition? Maybe a walk after dinner? Some touch football, if that's your thing? Can you maybe squeeze 10 minutes in every couple of hours (in one day, you could get in an hour's worth of exercising that way!)?

There is still time. You CAN do it. So make a plan, and work your plan. Don't say you'll start anew on New Year's. New Year's is too far away. Today is what you have -- make it count!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VAL503 12/23/2009 10:15PM

    Great blog, and a timely reminder for all of us to plan! I am having dinner at the in-laws, and since it is potluck, I am bringing a healthy dish to share.
I have been gone for a while, and just saw your pictures from this summer. You are really looking fantastic, way to go! Keep up the good work and have a wonderful holiday season.

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SUNNY2DAY2 12/23/2009 9:56PM

    I agree! Always have a plan. Happy Holidays! emoticon emoticon

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DAYHIKER 12/23/2009 6:37AM

    My hubby is a fly by the seat of his pants kind of guy, too! emoticon

I am stickin' to my plan and doin' good! Hubby took me out for steak yesterday and I had a small one and grilled veggies then had soup and salad for dinner. The calorie differential report is a great help!

Merry Christmas!!

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KMIRANDA2000 12/23/2009 6:03AM

    My plan is to just enjoy the time with both sides of the family, make healthy food choices, and start the day off with 1/2 hour treadmill and maybe a yoga dvd. If I take care of myself first thing in the morning, I'm more likely to be good to myself throughout the day.

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SUNNYARIZONA 12/23/2009 5:49AM

    Ok, well this is a positive idea for sure. Keep looking up!

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FITKAT2010 12/23/2009 5:46AM

    So true! Yes, I have a plan. Yes I am implementing the plan. Always!

Thanks for the blog and reminder.

Stay strong!

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MELOSPARKLE 12/23/2009 5:41AM

    I'm going to my in laws this year so I have no control over what is served. I do plan on using their treadmill while I'm there, so at least I can get my cardio (and some strength exercises) done while I'm away for the next few days. As far as food goes, I'm going to make good choices with what I have available to me. It's only four days, so whatever I eat won't change my life or new healthy habits. Good luck to you during the next few days! Enjoy the holidays and stay healthy!

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Imbibe -- but make some of it water!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

First, I want to thank the 10,000 steps a day team for making me team member of the week. I mostly lurk, so I don't really feel I deserve it, but I'm grateful for it, and I WILL get to thanking you all personally. It may just take a little while.

Next, how'd you do yesterday? Did you remember to take deep breaths before eating, or any time you were stressed? I admit I'm not 100% on this myself, but I keep working on it. The more we work on it, the more it becomes a habit. If anyone would have told me when I was a teenager that I wouldn't feel right if I didn't exercise 5 times a week, I would have died laughing.

Today's mission: drink more water. I've read in numerous places that it's truly a myth that we need 8 glasses of water a day. That you can tell how hydrated you are by the color of your pee (sorry if that offends); it should be almost clear.

The truth is that most of us are chronically dehydrated. By the time we feel thirsty, we're already dehydrated. And many of us mistake thirst for hunger. I have also personally found that when I'm getting 8 glasses of water (I include soymilk, my fruit smoothies, and herbal teas in the total), I am less hungry and less tired -- something we could all use right now.

I gave up alcohol many, many years ago. I was never a big drinker to begin with, and I just decided I'd rather eat than drink my calories (except for those smoothies). But if you do like to drink, there's nothing that says you can't -- IN moderation. Alcohol lowers our inhibitions, which tends to make most people overeat. So it can be a double whammy. If you do like to drink, try to make every second drink a glass of water.

Trust me, you will feel so much better if you get in 8 glasses of water over the next few days. Put water bottles in your car. Stash them in your gym bag. If you don't like straight water, add a few slices of lemon (it's actually very good for you, but I personally am not fond of the flavor). Do me a favor and stay away from those sweetened, no or low calorie waters. The more sweet flavored things you have, even if there are few or no calories, the more you are set up to crave sweets -- NOT good at this time of year.

So go forth and drink. Only make it water. Let me know if it makes a difference for you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY4JEANNE 12/22/2009 12:02PM

    I agree with you. I have been lacking in the water and then when I go to swim long distances, I cramp! Then I really know I messed up. LOL
I will follow your advice on the wine too. I will pass on the cookies for the non fat wine, but I will make every other glass water! I tell my brother in law that Jesus drank wine, and I do too. LOL But like you, generally not a big drinker for I do not like the headaches or the sluggishness I feel when I drink on a regular basis.
Thank you for the reminder and congrats on the recognition in your group!
:) Jeanne

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EOSTAR_45 12/22/2009 11:11AM

    Oh crap, I sure forgot to take deep breaths yesterday :-)

I used to be so good on drinking water and I am trying to get that healthy habit back. I am doing better but need to continue working on this! Drinking more water and tea too. emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/22/2009 10:20AM

    I am a water fiend and rarely drink fewer than 10 a day. But when I do, I can feel the difference in my energy level and my body craves it. (I am expecting the repairman this morning, thanks to your info. I have thanked you in today's Sp status.)

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RUNNER23 12/22/2009 8:48AM

    I've been shooting for a half gallon of water each day since June. I totally notice a difference in my skin and my energy levels! I also don't overeat as often. You're right about mistaking thirst for hunger. I've been more mindful of this over the past few months and realize how true it is!

A friend of mine just gave me a stainless steel water bottle, and I LOVE IT!!! It makes it sooooo much easier to drink lots of water!

As for alcohol...you're right there, too. That is a tiny bit tough for me during the holidays and celebrations. I don't drink at all unless I'm celebrating something....those celebrations seem to pop up EVERYWHERE, though - so that's where I find my challenge during the holidays.

I will focus on being smart and keep my water level UP. Thanks for the post!!
Happy Holidays!
Pat emoticon

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DAYHIKER 12/22/2009 8:34AM

    Congratulations on being named Team Member of the Week! emoticon

Yes, I did think about your advice to stop and breathe yesterday and I believe it helped. I tend to eat too quickly so the breathing will help, I think. As to water I shoot for 10-12 cups a day and rarely drop below 8. emoticon

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KUNGFOOD 12/22/2009 8:31AM

    Great post, you are right about the sweeteners, too!

But I am too rebellious to never say never to a glass of wine... though I am mindful of the risk of having more than one.


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ZUZUBEE 12/22/2009 8:14AM

    I feel so sluggish without my water - in fact I probably drink more than the recommended 8 glasess. As to wine, I like a glass now and then, but I do have to decline it while I'm dieting, because it does, as you say, lower the inhibitions, and I've found myself reaching for food I'd otherwise have the willpower to resist. So I agree with your advice. Enjoy the holidays, and have a great day!

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SEKSUNSHINE 12/22/2009 8:04AM

    I might as well stop drinking. I maybe have 1 sometimes 2 drinks a year! I'm a real cheap date. I will think of your advice as I go through this day! emoticon

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ME2448 12/22/2009 7:55AM

    I am going to try water for the New Year.
Right now I drink Diet Coke which I consider as part of my water.

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My present to you: being mindful & BE present

Monday, December 21, 2009

For me, the holidays are already winding down. Hannukah is over. We have no more holiday parties to go to that I know of. We saw my parents for the last time before they head out to CA for the winter yesterday. So now I can sit back and relax (sort of).

I know, however, that for most of my spark buddies, their holidays are just revving up into high gear. So I tried to squander what seems to be left of my brain cells on how I could help y'all. I was reading my library book on mindful knitting this morning, and one part really caused me to sit back and think.

She was writing about your morning cup of coffee (or, in my case, tea). And how it tastes soooo good because we're really mindful and present. Our day hasn't begun to spiral down into chores, errands, and not-so-positive surprises.

I'm not sure I completely agree with this -- I think some of the comfort comes from just holding that warm mug in your hands. The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is drink some water. Cold water. I'm definitely not cradling that baby in my hands, even though it tastes good after no water for 12 hours or so. There's just something about the warmth seeping into your hands, even in the summer.

But it does beg the question of why that first cup tastes so good, but subsequent cups often go unnoticed? Well, that is our clue -- they're going unnoticed. We're not mindful. We're not really present. There's no reason the third cup can't be every bit as soothing as the first, if we really take the time to savor it, instead of beating ourselves up for all the things we haven't done yet, and worrying about just how we will cram in all the things we have yet to do.

Every time you feel rushed today, please think of me and just stop. Take at least 5 deep breaths. Concentrate on the task at hand, and only the task at hand. We like to think we multitask, but the truth is no one is really good at multitasking. This isn't easy, I know, but with practice, you'll find yourself doing it more and more.

If nothing else, I want you to take 5 deep breaths before putting food in your mouth today. That's my present to you. You CAN do it, no matter how frazzled you're feeling. And let me know if you do, and if it makes a difference!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKYCPA 12/22/2009 3:35PM

    what a great blog - really gives you something to think about. Hope you had a great Chanukah!

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JUSTDUCKY1405 12/22/2009 9:23AM

    Excellent blog, and thanks for using up some of what's left of your brain cells to share it... lol! That made me chuckle out loud!

Very great points. I don't think I got much sleep last night, I felt very aware of my surroundings and thoughts upon rolling over... one of them nights! Pretty sure I was sorting out all I have to do over the next few days!

Well, here I sit, enjoying my first morning cup of coffee, with 5 deep breaths in, feeling invigorated to face my day!

Thanks for a great blog!

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KARBIE18 12/22/2009 7:53AM

    Great advice! I've been working on this for a while now, but a reminder never hurts. Rushing never helps, and taking time to breathe makes a huge difference.

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MOMBUCK3 12/21/2009 9:24PM

    Thanks for the reminder, great blog!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/21/2009 7:51PM

    What a great reminder - I multlitask far too much and really need to do this. Thanks :)

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FITKAT2010 12/21/2009 6:54PM

    Excellent reminder.

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QUEENLATIFA 12/21/2009 1:54PM

    I have discovered this same truth recently. I used to drink way too much coffee/tea but now I drink a lot of water and only have decaf tea when I really want a cup. I think about it, decide to have it, and really enjoy it. Such a gift! Thanks for sharing the thought so others can do the same. *S*

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MISS_PIE 12/21/2009 12:50PM

    Great idea. I will give it a try!

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JENNNVA 12/21/2009 10:53AM

    What a great blog! I really should make this a habit! Thanks!

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BUTEAFULL 12/21/2009 10:52AM

    I'm a tea person too, I hadn't really given much thought why I look forward to that first cup in the morning, I just know I can taste it before I have even fixed it and I probably do relate it to the quietude of morning before the rush begins, thanks for making me give it some deeper thought processing

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GOALWEIGHT180 12/21/2009 10:39AM

    Thank you so much. This is a great blog. I will thnk more about what I am doing and avoid mindless behaviors. Thank you!!!

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MYMONSTERSX3 12/21/2009 10:39AM

    Thank you for that gift. I will definetely stop when being rushed and take and take those 5 breaths.

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TANYA210 12/21/2009 10:32AM

    Thanks for giving us all something to think about.


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REINVENT_ME 12/21/2009 10:08AM

    Thanks! Great blog!

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DAYHIKER 12/21/2009 9:08AM

    I hope you had a happy Hannukah and enjoyed your parents' 62nd anniversary. Wow, 62 years! What an accomplishment in today's world!

Thank you for this post...I made a note in my WW food journal about taking 5 breaths and enjoying my food. emoticon For a couple of days last week I fell into the old pattern of stuffing my food down and overeating. Thankfully I got a handle on that quickly!

I don't get to travel a lot but I think local food is a big part of the experience and mostly I am able to walk enough to keep serious weight gain at bay. Heck, just running for those European trains keeps you in pretty good shape!


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SEKSUNSHINE 12/21/2009 8:06AM

    Thanks for the gift! You must enjoy each moment of life, what else is there?

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