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A week of struggling with a reward at the end

Friday, January 28, 2011

This week, which is pre-TOM, has been difficult. The usual stuff: tired, bloated, hungry. Yet I did lose weight. I can never really figure out why some weeks pre-TOM I gain, and others I lose. But here are the things I did this week:

1. Ate oatmeal instead of a protein bar at the times I might normally have reached for a protein bar (pre-workout).

2. Added cinnamon to my oatmeal a la the recommendations from "The 4 Hour Body" -- which is for half a tablespoon a day (cinnamon, that is, you don't have to add it to oatmeal!). I tried adding it to my tea, but then I ended up with a lump of cinnamon at the bottom of my cup.

3. Made a conscious effort to drink more water. I always include my tea in my water consumption, and I realized with 3 cups of tea I was only getting 5 cups of water. Yes, it also means more trips to the bathroom.

4. Added lemon to my water before every meal -- when I remembered. I've already gotten into the habit of having lemon in my water when I wake up -- it's supposed to help with digestion. Can't say as I'm real fond of it, but it's not terrible. But another suggestion from "The 4 Hour Body" was to have a glass of water + lemon before meals.

5. I definitely ate more than usual this week, but I ate real foods. I've been tracking on both SP & WW, and what While my steps were really low this week, with all the shoveling I got a crazy amount of exercise. I'm finding is the same thing I found when I first started tracking on both: mostly I'm pretty much right where I need to be most days.

I'm also rethinking my rest day -- usually I take it on Sunday. But like most people, I do tend to eat a little more on the weekend. So it seems it would actually make more sense to have a rest day during the week.

Yesterday I had something happen to me that hasn't happened in a really, really long time: I was so full I couldn't finish my dinner. But not so full that I didn't have the planned-for Vitatop afterwards. There's always room for dessert, right? Haven't been having a whole lot of desserts lately, and haven't had any Vitatops in a really long time.

I was chatting with my leader yesterday since she weighed me in, and I told her that the new program really hasn't seemed to make much difference. Bad or good. I still yo-yo around. She said what I'd already concluded on my own: I was already eating pretty healthy before the change, already eating real foods and very few processed foods.

But there is one difference: contrary to the hungriness this week, which I know is at least partially hormone-driven (and probably also due to not enough sleep), I am much more satisfied more often.

Finally, my last share of the week. Wish I'd known about this a couple of years ago!


A measuring tape that wraps around you & then you can lock it in place. There's still some room for error, I'm sure, but it's better than just holding it and thinking you've got it in the right position. And at $6 it's a pretty good deal.

I may not be able to take this week's lessons and apply it to next month at pre-TOM, but if I don't at least try and examine what I've done, I certainly can't duplicate it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREELADY 1/28/2011 2:58PM

    I am still such a beginner at healthy eating; when you share these thought processes and choices, it helps me a lot!

Three cheers for eating well and paying attention to your body, especially when those hormones are acting up!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/28/2011 2:17PM

    Good job on losing this week and great job on all the things you've done right, keep that great positive attitude.

I have to know, did you get the purple hoodie? Purple is my favorite.

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MZSLYDE01 1/28/2011 11:11AM

    Congrats on your loss. Your doing great with the goals you met for the week.
That tape sounds kinda cool.
Anywho - Have a wonderful weekend.

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NATPLUMMER 1/28/2011 11:02AM

    Congratulations on a loss!!! That is great especially during PMS week.
I'm very happy that the oatmeal is working.
Yes, I think a lot of the hungriness is hormone-driven (and the not enough sleep also produces hunger hormones).
Satisfaction is great.
Thanks for the tip on the measuring tape. I'm going to order one today since I have other stuff to order from Amazon.

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DAYHIKER 1/28/2011 9:42AM

    Congratulations on being down this week and recognizing the changes you have put into place! emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/28/2011 9:23AM

    Good for you! Small changes can bring noticeable results. Have a fun day.

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Turbulence Training

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I don't actually remember where I originally read about this -- I think I had read about it on a couple of sites. At the end of the year I got an offer to get a whole bunch of their training plans for $20.

The plans are in PDFs. They're simple plans -- things like deadlifts, lunges, shoulder presses, etc. But they're put together in a way that doesn't take a lot of time -- I find I take longer than they claim it takes, but I can still do both ST & some cardio in one hour.

I also happened to get a lot of other things in my deal than just the training plans -- ebooks on nutrition, on transforming your body, and more. I think they're good workouts and I probably got enough to keep changing it up for quite some time.

And since they're all PDFs, they're all on my Kindle and highly portable -- around the house or for when I travel. Since my Ipod depends on Wifi, if I don't have Wifi I can't access Spark (altho I can on my Kindle, but that's a little funky since it's not really meant to be a Web browser).

Again, I have no monetary interest in this company. And of course you can get the similar workouts for free on SP-- or make up your own (but exercise is one instance where I like being told what to do). But if you're looking for something else, you may want to check out ttmembers.com/ and sign up for their newsletter. Yes, they'll try to sell you something. But sometimes that can be a good thing.

For instance, today they're selling a bunch of interval workouts (31 to be exact!) plus a bodyweight (i.e., no equipment necessary) cardio interval workout at www.turbulencetraining.com/intervals
. I'm actually thinking of buying this since the workout plans I do have only have about 4 different interval workouts and I get bored easily by repetition (which is part of why I'm always trying new stuff).

I also wanted to briefly mention that I think the food plan section of "The 4 Hour Body" is not for me. I'm sure it works . . . I just don't think I could eat that way. No fruit, except for your one cheat day a week. Essentially low carb (and no fruit at all) except for your cheat day when you can eat anything you want. Not for me.

But there's a lot of other good information in there -- quite a bit of it I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole, but there's enough in there that I want to try that it's probably worth it to me to own the book.

One of my SP buddies commented that we're getting a whole lot of snow this year . . . um, yeah! Altho we didn't get any snow overnight. Looks like the big storm may have passed us by . . . this time. More snow is predicted to be on its way later this week and into next week. When I talked to my mom yesterday she said how beautiful it's been out in CA (thanks mom, really what I want to hear right now).

Even DH suggested that I should go visit my brother when he goes on his business trip to CA later this month . . . except I don't really find visiting family to be much of a vacation.

I am bone weary of shoveling tho. It's added about 30 to 60 and sometimes more to my days for a week. We didn't get snow yesterday, but it had warmed up enough (finally) that I was able to remove all the remaining ice from the driveway.

We will be going to Miami in Oct., tho, barring any disasters, cause DH is now actually going to be running that particular conference. Which of course means he's also going to be impossible to live with, but hey, I get to go to Miami. Which means I've got to work on that core so I can buy a bikini.

Any fitness Websites or programs other than SP that you've found useful?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNNWYNN 2/11/2011 7:29AM

    There are a bunch of Turbulence Training videos on YouTube. You may want to check them out sometime. I tried ONE TT warm-up before my 20 minutes on the Nordic Track this morning and it didn't kill me. I might even try two warm-up rotations (recommended) tomorrow. This intrigues me to NO end!

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NATPLUMMER 1/27/2011 11:39AM

    I definitely couldn't do The 4 Hour Body food plan either. I just can't go without fruit or carbs.
No, visiting family really isn't a vacation.
At least you get a day off the shoveling.
You have plenty of time to get those abs in shape for a bikini in October.

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TEMPEST272002 1/27/2011 11:13AM

    Hmmm... my first comment didn't seem to go through. I wonder if I'll show up twice...

Anyhoo... what I was saying was that you must have all of our snow. Normally, this area of Quebec gets 4-6 ft of snow - but this year, we've only had about 1. Hubby is disappointed,but I'd rather it be you shovelling than me! hee hee

Thanks for your feedback on the 4 hour body book. Man I miss having easy access to English libraries. I dream of it sometimes. We have a tiny & independent library nearby that has 3 rows total of English books. They order in, but their budget is as tight as mine!

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4 Hour Body + why soupmaking & exercise don't mix

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So I've got a few more finds to share with you. One is the book "The 4 Hour Body". I never did read "The 4 hour workweek", by the same author. Despite the fact that the book is huge, it's also quite readable, and covers everything from a great body, to great sleep, to great sex.

The author is a bit brash and grating, but I suspect he means to be. Yet there's a lot of useful info in this book -- only $14 at Amazon, $10 for the kindle, and I'm thinking of buying it for my Kindle (I got it from the library, presently).

For instance, he claims the best all body move is the double arm kettlebell swing. I'd been meaning to get a heavier kettlebell, but this did prompt me to take the extra time to get one on sale last week.

And I must say, the results from going from a 10 lb to a 20 lb kettlebell were amazing -- no, I don't know if it's made a difference yet, I've only done it once. But boy, it even worked my inner thighs! It didn't feel that much heavier, but my body is sure still feeling it. I recommend at least seeing if your library has it.

So last night I had some veggies simmering away for soup. I wanted to get in some more exercise -- despite shoveling 6 out of the last 7 days for at least half an hour and usually double that -- my steps have been pitiful.

After about 20 minutes or so I thought I really ought to pause this and go check on the veggies, but I could tell we were nearing the end so I didn't. I'm sure you can guess what happened. Now I have to apply a lot of elbow grease to my burnt pot.

It's just the bottom -- I was still able to go on and make the soup (which was tasty) -- but cooking really does take some attention. Some days I just wish I could clone myself. Actually, yesterday was a semi-rest day, which means just shoveling, yoga, some core rhythms, folding laundry, and making the soup.

Oh, and I did sign up for my first Zumba class on Friday. I've done the DVDs for a couple of years, but I've never taken a RL class, and apparently I got the last slot in the class. I only have walking & running sneakers -- normally I work out at home and I do so barefoot. Not quite sure which is better -- any opinions?

And any finds to share with us?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EOSTAR_45 1/26/2011 3:10PM

    emoticon I hate when that happens, you step away for a minute (or 10) and lo and behold your dish is going to burn.

Have fun with Zumba.

Comment edited on: 1/26/2011 3:12:12 PM

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BUTTERFLYBLUE67 1/26/2011 1:05PM

    it must have been burn the soup evening because my husband burnt ur soup last night also. It was still good though. Will look into the kettleball thingy. I have 2 but there only 5 and 10 lbs each.

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KIMPOSSIBLE82 1/26/2011 12:43PM

    I'm interested in trying kettles. I saw an article in SElf (or Shape?) that listed it as the best 15-minute workout.

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TEMPEST272002 1/26/2011 11:00AM

    I saw the author on Dr. Oz recently & wondered about how good the book really is. I don't have access to many English books here, so I'd have to buy it. I try to avoid "fad" looking diet books... but this seemed interesting. Do you think it's worth spending $$ on, keeping in mind that I'm on a TIGHT budget?

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DAYHIKER 1/26/2011 10:25AM

    Thanks for the tip on the book and the kettlebell. What size kettlebell did you start out with? I've been looking at them but haven't bought one yet...don't want it too light but neither do I want it too heavy since I had torn rotator cuffs a couple of years ago.

You always have the best info and ideas. emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 1/26/2011 10:08AM

    I think I will check out the book. $10 isn't too bad. I'm wary of the kettlebell until I get some actual in-person training. I've tweaked my back too many times.
I'm sorry the vegetables got burnt. You'll get some extra upper body work cleaning out the pot, though.
Have fun at your Zumba class. I haven't taken any classes, so I can't help you on the shoe front.

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HALFFAST 1/26/2011 9:34AM

    Have fun with Zumba! I have no suggestions considering I've only tried it once and discovered how very uncoordinated I am ;)

Oh, I did want to let you know I downloaded that SpringPad app, and I LOVE it so far! I'm amazed at all the things you can do with it, so thanks!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/26/2011 8:55AM

    You definitely need proper shoes for Zumba or you will twist your knees. Shoe should have a pivot ball on bottom or a few pieces of electrical tape put on the bottom of your regular sneakers might do. I think Puma makes a very inexpensive pair. Trust me when I tell ya to get the proper shoes. I love Zumba but it did take a toll on the knees, a lot of twisting, and the correct shoes are a MUST. Have fun with it. Sounds like a very interesting book you are reading also, might hit Barnes and Noble sometime this week, books are my secret indulgence, we keep that on the down low.

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EDWINA172 1/26/2011 5:38AM

    I just found out about the 4 Hour Body also. I might pick up a copy. I did find a video where the author explains some kettlebell moves on Bodybuilding.com.
When you figure out how to clone yourself, let me know? LOL! Have a great week. PS...glad the soup turned out ok.

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I prayed. Then I prayed some more . . .

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Not to long I downloaded "Craving God", a free ebook for the Kindle which was an abbreviated version of the book "Made to Crave".

It has 21 days of lessons on dealing with food issues thru the bible, essentially. Which might put you to sleep, you'd think, but I'm finding it useful.

Yesterday's lesson was when a craving hit, just pray. Sounds really simplistic, doesn't it? But it did work. At least yesterday.

It's a week before TOM. I don't have the crazy hungries -- the I'm gonna gnaw off my own arm I'm so hungry -- but I am hungrier than normal. And I don't have a whole lot of extra calories to play around with the next few days.

I've created yummy menus, filled with delicious whole foods . . . and then I'm still hungry.

So I prayed. I told God I was really hungry, but I wanted to lose this weight. I really want to get to GW this year. I know I said that about last year, but it's just as true this year. Maybe God just wants me to get to GW for my 50th birthday? I'm really hoping to get there before, cause that's not til next year!

I prayed for the strength to resist eating more.

It did actually seem to work . . . it wasn't easy, but I stuck to my plan. The hunger never really went away, but I was able to mostly ignore it.

Keep in mind I'm Jewish. And I don't even attend temple. But I do consider myself to be very spiritual. I don't think this book will necessarily be "the" answer for me, but then again, I don't think there is any one answer. There are many answers. We need many tools in our arsenals.

And I like to pass along my finds. What have you found that works recently?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMMERJESSE 1/27/2011 9:07AM

    I downloaded that book as well, but haven't gotten to it yet. Sounds interesting. Sounds like you are enjoying your ereader. I've got 1060 books on mine since Sept of last year, most of them free. I'm addicted. (smiling)

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IFDEEVARUNS2 1/25/2011 7:02PM

    Something to think about. It sounds to me like the mental game you enter into when you are running long distances. Good for you for adding an arrow to your quiver! emoticon

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DDHEART 1/25/2011 6:45PM

    Judy, I think it's about focus....prayer to me is really meditation....a concentration of your mind and a focus on what is important and harnessing the tools to make it happen. I'm glad you didn't gnaw your arm off...writing your blogs would become so much more difficult and I would hate to miss them!

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NATPLUMMER 1/25/2011 10:05AM

    I'm all for keeping an open mind. If it works for you, go with it.

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MZSLYDE01 1/25/2011 8:46AM

    I agree with Skinnypowell1 - With GOD all things are possible.
AMEN Sister.
I am glad you were able to pray - Prayer is powerful.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/25/2011 8:16AM

    With GOD, all things are possible. emoticon

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KARBIE18 1/25/2011 7:37AM

    Sounds great to me! Thanks for the recommendation.

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ELSCO55 1/25/2011 7:12AM


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TEXASGIDGET 1/25/2011 7:09AM

    Interesting! I'm going to have to look this book up on my Android Kindle app and download it! I'm hoping to get to goal weight this year myself. I turn 40 this year and I've been in this overweight body for far too long. Congrats on sticking with the plan!

Wishing you continued success!

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DRJJ2004 1/25/2011 6:56AM

    I agree. Since starting this book as a bible study...I find myself praying more. It works for me as well..as long as I put in the extra thought to do so. I think that's the beginning..to actually get the thought process going first, before actually making the decision. Don't get me wrong, because I do believe in God and that prayers are answered. But I also believe that we have a hand in helping ourselves as well. I'm getting a lot out of this book too. She's a great writer! :O) I'm on week 2 this week..a little heavier on the thought process. Proud of you for making a great choice, my friend!

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Organize your life

Monday, January 24, 2011

I know a few of my spark buddies are organized challenged like myself -- there are those few weirdos (no offense) that are uber-organized -- in fact, I used to be pretty organized at one time in my life -- but they seem to be the exception to the rule.

Enter Springpadit -- springpadit.com/

It's both an app for your Ipod/Iphone/Ipad/Droid and a Website anyone can use. It's free.

I stumbled across it while searching for apps to help me keep track of recipes I want to try. As many of you know, I have hundreds of cookbooks & I use them on a regular basis. Right now I was simply making a note of the recipes in the note app on my Ipod.

This let's me do that . . . and so much more. It allows me to rate the recipes, add photos, will even grab recipes off of Web pages (I think you need to use the Website for that, haven't tried it yet but I did come across a recipe in Real Simple this month I want to try, so I'll try it, and manually enter recipes, too.

You can put in there books you want to read/buy (I was already using the notes app to do that, too, but this is much better). It will even let you know when prices come down on it!

You can create checklists, tasks, notes

In a word, it's just really cool & it's free! You can share stuff with friends . . . or choose to keep it private.

No, I have no monetary interest in this app, I just think it's going to be uber-helpful! Especially once I get my Ipad, cause then you can basically create a sort of vision board for different categories (I suppose you could create an actual electronic vision board . . . cool idea!) -- a little hard to do on my Ipod, altho you can do it with the Website.

You can use the board feature to plan out your meals for the week.

You can gather all the Websites, articles, restaurants you want to eat at etc., into one "notebook" for an upcoming trip. Once we actually go somewhere, this will be super useful!

There was more shoveling yesterday. I spent 5 hrs shoveling last week! We didn't actually get that much snow, the problem was we got sleet with Tuesday's storm, and our very large driveway became a skating rink. So in addition to clearing the little snows that keep popping up, we're chipping away at all the ice. It is definitely a really good workout, but one I could do without, frankly.

I think I'll skip it today. Right now it's -10 F -- altho not windy, so not too bad. More snow headed our way tomorrow. I'll do my grocery shopping today, even tho it's bone-chilling cold.

I tweaked the blueberry cheesecake oatmeal this morning, but not in a good way it turns out. I decided to puree the tofutti (you can use regular cream cheese, btw, i just try to stay away from too much dairy . . . of course then I try to stay away from too much soy . . . oh well!) with the flax, vanilla, cinnamon, and half the agave.

Poured that over the oatmeal, mixed it up, and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Problem was the tofutti basically jsut melted into the oatmeal and you didn't get that creamy cheesecake-like experience. I think there's 2 things going on there:

1) Doesn't help to do it the night before

2) Chunks of cream cheese or tofutti are really key

I did up the cinnamon to 1 tsp -- I think you can go higher.

So let's get organized and I'm on the hunt for the perfect healthy blueberry (or substitute your favorite fruit . . . cherries, anyone?) cheesecake oatmeal.

Got any organizing tips you'd care to share? I already know about Flylady!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRECKS96 1/24/2011 4:48PM

    That app sounds cool! I will say, there are times when I wish I had an isomething. Good luck with your organizing and your oatmeal recipe search.

I need to start eating oatmeal again-but the cooked kind, not instant.

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JRIMM4 1/24/2011 11:46AM

    Awesome! I'm lookup the app right now! Thanks!


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NATPLUMMER 1/24/2011 10:13AM

    I just signed up and I'll check it out when I've got time. I'll download to my iPhone later. Thanks for the tip.
Good luck on the grocery shopping. I would definitely not want to go out in that cold.
I'm sorry the oatmeal didn't workout well today. Now you know. I don't like cheesecake so I can't offer any suggestions on how to tweak it except maybe real cream cheese would be the key.

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ONICAM 1/24/2011 8:38AM

    I am also with difficulties when it comes to organization. I am still very far into the baby steps with flylady.

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DAYHIKER 1/24/2011 8:05AM

    Thanks for the website tip, Judy. I will check that out. For those into Flylady there's a great iPhone app called Home Routines. It is one of the few apps I've paid for but it has been worth it to have my control journal on my iPhone. Like you, I have no financial interest in the app but it works very well.

Thanks for the recent tip on the Sticky Notes app which I sought out and am using to keep goal reminders on my lock screen. Cool--thanks! emoticon


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