JLITT62   52,035
50,000-59,999 SparkPoints
JLITT62's Recent Blog Entries

Be prepared

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Yup, you gotta be a girl scout to win at weight loss.

On Thursdays I volunteer at a friend's small cat rescue, which simply means I get to play with & pet the cats -- and sometimes just lay on the couch & snuggle with them; although sadly, not during the summer.

It means I have to eat lunch earlier than usual, and I'm out past the time I would normally have an afternoon snack. I have a small tin that holds one ounce of almonds. I leave it in my purse, so I always have some almonds with me.

This Thursday, I got a call not long before I'd have to eat lunch -- there was an opening at my dentist. I hadn't had my teeth cleaned in 2 years, plus my dentist happens to be near my friend. I took the appointment. Which meant trying to get out of the house earlier, because I couldn't spend a whole lot of time at the rescue due to the appointment -- and getting home just a little later than usual.

Thank goodness for my almond tin. I didn't have to worry about getting hungry. I like the almonds because they don't get flattened like protein bars do, and it's small and light-weight.

Here's another idea I really like:

Unfortunately for me, this won't work, because I have a large, determined cat that loves veggies & fruits. He would either knock it off, try to eat through the plastic to get at the contents, or simply open it and take what he wants. But for the normal person I think the idea is brilliant. You want those fruits & veggies up front & personal.

How do you stay prepared on your weight loss journey?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 7/21/2008 3:35PM

    Oh, I LOVE that iced veggies tray with lids! It also saves energy because the refrigerator door doesn't have to be opened gazillion times on summer afternoons. Thanks for the wonderful tips and ideas.

I have a little sliding drawer under the shot gun seat in my car. I stock it with granola bars and crackers. Therefore, whenever I'm on the run and hungry, I don't have to waste time going through the drive-through. Whenever I go to events such as weddings when I don't know exactly when food will be served, I stash a couple of granola bars in my purse. That way I am not starved by the time the reception finally starts and prevents me from eating everything in sight.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ASTARB1 7/21/2008 7:31AM

    I keep food in my office drawer for those evenings that I have to work late. It's tough to find non-perishable vegan food that fits my requirements for healthy fare. Right now I have organic soup cups, whole grain crackers, and peanut butter.

Admittedly, I sometimes find it hard to stay out of my drawer *before* a real dinner emergency!


Report Inappropriate Comment
SCHANDLER8100 7/20/2008 10:41PM

    Great idea about the almonds I am going to look for a little tin of my own. The other thing I like with almonds is dehydrated cranberries yum. It gives me that sugary salty snack I so often crave.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MTER67 7/20/2008 9:16AM

    Thank you for that link. That's a great idea! (Except I don't have an icemaker!) Part of the problem with grabbing stuff that's healthy is the preparation involved. The washing, the peeling, the cutting...This is a great idea and I know it would work with kids. They just want something fast. It can be healthy as long as they can grab it and dash away!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LSFBOOK 7/20/2008 8:15AM

    Baby carrots are my lifesaver! They travel well and they give me the crunch that I seem to desire.

Report Inappropriate Comment

What's your measure of success?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

That was the theme at my WW meeting yesterday. In fact, it should have been the theme at anyone's WW meeting, because leaders are given their topics. The point was that the measure of your success shouldn't just be the scale.

I've talked about that before, but it was definitely pertinent for me because I showed a +.8 lb gain. Since I had such a good week (loss wise) before, I expected (but didn't hope for) a gain, but not one that large.

I'd drunk 3 glasses of water that morning, which is my usual amount before a meeting. But I was still thirsty. I didn't want to drink another glass at first, fearing it could cause me to show a gain, but then I realized how silly that was. Drinking more water over time is only going to help my weight loss. It's hot here; I was really thirsty; I drank my water.

I've been wearing the same jeans for weigh-ins for a while, but I wore new jeans yesterday -- all my old jeans were too large. It was time. Maybe those jeans were heavier.

I'm not making excuses. It is what it is, and you have to own your number and move on. Always disappointing to see a gain, especially when you feel you ate right and exercised fine, but I still know that my trend is downward, and it will continue to be downward.

There was a time that gain would have really made me crazy. It no longer defines my week. In fact, our leader asked how many had to drag themselves to the meeting the morning. Not me! My husband's plane was arriving at the time of my meeting, but I had him take a cab (which work pays for) because I didn't want to miss my meeting. He grumbled a bit, but he did it.

My success is eating healthy. Feeling more energetic. Clothes fitting well.

So the weird part was that I was extremely hungry yesterday. No, it didn't have anything to do with feeling like a failure (I didn't), for some reason I was just really hungry. For the first time ever, I think, I went over my calorie range. Not my points, though, because I always save points for the weekend.

What's your measure of success?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 7/20/2008 2:22AM

    Even before joining SP, I've been writing down my weekly weigh-in results in a notebook for years. Mter is right. You really get a much clearer picture when you look at all the numbers over time. As you've read on my blog post a couple days ago, I need to remind myself that I need to put things in perspective. I may have gained back a few pounds after I lost 35 pounds earlier this year, but at least I was not gaining on a consistent basis as I have before joining SP. I have since lost those few pounds, plus ten more. However, it took time for the overall progress to unfold.

I get too anxious sometimes, but I have to remind myself to be patient. Quick results rarely last. Little hurdles are inevitable on our journey to good health. We feel so empowered when we do get over those hurdles and continue on.

Comment edited on: 7/20/2008 2:22:26 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
NOMI_822 7/19/2008 4:47PM

    I just do my own weigh in first thing in the morning. On weigh in day I get up and on the scales before I even dress. I do the same ritual every weigh in and never eat/drink/anything until I have jumped my naked booty on the scale. The trick for me is not getting down about a gain. I am doing better as I go along. When I started SP I would just get so upset I just felt like quitting every time I saw a gain. Now I also look at how my clothes fit and am beginning to like my reflection again. Thanks for the Green Tea it was very sweet. I used to take meds for the migraines but don't like taking pills everyday. I can't even remember my daily vitamin every day. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MTER67 7/19/2008 9:32AM

    Do you invest in mutual funds? The reason I ask is b/c years ago, I worked for a brokerage firm and we always encouraged our clients to purchase shares every month, instead of investing big sums once a year. Why? B/c you take advantage of dollar cost averaging; some months your share price will be high; other months it will be low. You end up paying less per share on average when you invest this way.

I am not sure where I am going with this, other than to say that your scale, is going to show high numbers that don't seem to make sense some days. But, the next week might show a big drop. Just keep weighing yourself week after week and plot that downward trend on a line graph, in your log book, or on the fridge--someplace where you will be able to clearly see your progress--particularly on days when the scale is not telling you what you want to hear. THAT consistent, gradual decrease over time (not the weekly one) is what really counts. But, you already know this...You just wanted my stock tips, right?

Report Inappropriate Comment

Friday Fit Tip: Fight Portion Distortion

Friday, July 18, 2008

With smaller plates. Yes, it can be that simple. A lot of portion control is simply mental: we want to see a plate filled with food. So the solution is simple -- use a smaller plate -- and a smaller bowl, especially, because cereal bowls can sometimes hold about 3 cups of cereal -- and a typical portion is 3/4 to 1 cup.

A few other tips:

*Try the portion plate, www.theportionplate.com/

*Grab a sald plate when going through buffets

*Measure problem foods

*Cover half your plate with fruits & veggies, a quarter with protein, and a quarter with whole grains

Over time, you should learn what a portion size looks like. But if you have to continue measuring, so what? Is it better to measure and be thin? I think so.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 7/19/2008 6:43AM

    I was just commenting on someone else's blog yesterday that I measure out a cup of cereal for portion control. My diabetic mother just pours it into her bowl and ends up getting about two to three cups!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SQUIRTZIE 7/18/2008 3:27PM

    Good suggestions! Thanks!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MTER67 7/18/2008 10:34AM

    I try to use the last two. I also use the "deck of cards" rule for measuring my meat. Some day I would like to invest in a food scale b/c I think that would be very eye-opening to see exactly what amounts I am eating. I always measure stuff like cereal and count out servings of crackers to make sure I am not pouring out too much. Especially for something calorie-dense like granola--the serving barely covers the bottom of the bowl! Thank you for another useful blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Numbers lie

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Numbers are just guidelines. In fact, most people -- according to the authorities -- underestimate the number of calories consumed and the (edited: overestimate) number of calories expended by exercise.

That is why I didn't much worry when my total calories for yesterday (not all recorded yet) came to something between 1000 - 1200, which is quite a bit below my calorie range.

I had an extremely healthy eating day. A home baked muffin for breakfast (full of things like bananas, carrots, sweet potato & oat bran -- and actually tastes pretty good); lunch was sushi (which is most likely where the calories got fooled, because who knows how many calories are really in there?); and dinner was a strawberry salad and tempeh "fries" (my first time trying tempeh -- which is really odd looking, sort of odd tasting, but oddly filling & satisfying, too). I had plenty of fruits & veggies, and a small piece of chocolate in the evening. A good day all around.

I also want to point out something you might havef glossed over: I tried something new. With my husband gone much of the time, I am free to eat vegetarian & vegan (sometimes, obviously the sushi doesn't fall into that). You don't have to try something as "exotic" as tempeh, but it's always a good idea to try new things. You never know what your taste buds might decide they suddenly like.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 7/17/2008 7:12PM

    I had pseudo-sushi for lunch yesterday too: ahi tuna and ebi (shrimp) California rolls. There is something very satisfying about the cool texture and amazing flavors of sushi in the summer time. I don't enjoy it as much in cold weather! Would you share your recipe for the muffins? They sound really good and I need something like that to jazz up breakfast. Variety really is the spice of life, and sounds like you are doing a fantastic job incorporating new things into your diet. Yum!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SQUIRTZIE 7/17/2008 3:59PM

    How wonderful that you try new foods. I wish I was brave enough--but there are too many spices I don't like.
I don't think one day of below or above makes that much difference. It's waht is done overall.

Report Inappropriate Comment
STARTSPARKING 7/17/2008 7:59AM

    It's wonderful to treat new things to get out of the "meat and potatoes" rut. I have discovered that I love certain Indian and Persian entrées such as dahl. A lot of it is vegetarian, full of fiber and flavor with a rainbow of spices!

I also don't worry too much when I'm a bit under on calories because I don't weigh every morsel I consume. I am a nibbler and sometimes would eat a bite of someone else's dessert just so I don't have to have an entire serving of my own. I try to be accurate and log everything, but sometimes I just can't track one bite of food. I'm pleased as long as I get a general picture of what I consume just so I'm not way too over or under.

Thanks for a great blog post!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Eat real food!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

People sure do love their 100 calorie packs. I understand why -- I like the concept (although they're not terribly environmentally friendly), but I've yet to find one that passes my ingredient list test. They tend to be full of things like high fructose corn syrup and other rather artificial junk.

There was a day when I wouldn't care about any of that, either, I just wanted my sweet fix. But a funny thing happened on the way to eating healthy: I discovered, all on my own, that eating sweet things made of artificial junk and preservatives wasn't really satisfying me. Sure, it give me that sweet hit. Then I was hungry for more.

I'm not saying that you should give up sweets, either, just that there are better options out there. You might have to create your own 100 calorie packs, but you're worth it. Back to Nature makes a great line of cookies. Luna bars really hit the spot when it comes to sweet treats, and they have some fiber and protein too (and some even come in 80 or 90 calorie size now, too). Small pieces of chocolate -- you can't get any better than that, to my mind, when it comes to hitting your sweet tooth (yeah, okay, fruit is healthier, but I'm not a purist). Pricey, but worth it, are vitabrownies from www.vitalicious.com (and you can almost always find a coupon for some amount off on the internet).

This is the reason I didn't buy the "Hungry GIrl" cookbook. It looks good, on the face of it, but it's just too full of junk for my tastes. I want real food. It's truly amazing how satisfying real food can be.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CITABRIA 7/17/2008 12:13AM

    I'm getting caught up on Spark posts, and have loved your last three!

I find it amazing, how many people (including at my WW meeting) don't seem to know how much artificial junk is in their sugar-free and fat-free food. If I'm doing this to be healthier, then I want to be *healthier* darn it! As you said in your last post, it's not about losing weight to look good (though that's a nice side-effect).

Last fall I was hit by a really bad stomach bug, and was on clear liquids for two days. Jello, thank goodness, counts as a clear liquid -- but I needed regular Jello with sugar, to give my body *something* to run on. I also didn't want to deal with bowls and boiling water, so I looked for the individual containers. I was *amazed* at how difficult it was to find regular Jello -- over 2/3 of it, and maybe even 3/4, was sugar free. Same was true with popsicles. What worried me most was that most of this is being fed to kids -- they're eating chemicals that are still relatively new. Doesn't anyone wonder whether that's a good idea?

Anyway, thanks again for your posts!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ASTARB1 7/16/2008 8:29PM

    Great post and very true. I try to eat real food or natural foods whenever possible. My snacks of choice are air-popped popcorn, nuts, organic dark chocolate, and dried fruit.

This topic is very timely for me because I've been discouraged lately by the fact that I've been eating more processed food than normal because of the long hours I've been working.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MTER67 7/16/2008 6:44PM

    I refuse to buy those packs for all the reasons you and everybody else listed. It is wasteful packaging. If people insist on eating those things, then they should be able to count out their own servings. You can eat 5-7 mini Oreos for 100 calories or you can have an apple and a couple crackers. There are far more nutritionally-packed snacks, that will leave you feeling satisfied longer, for fewer calories than what you'll find in those little packs! Thanks for the reminder!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HOCHMUT 7/16/2008 4:59PM

    Excellent points! Since I have upped my exercise I find I want food with real nutrition!! I need fuel! My favorite treat is a small piece of 70% dark Lindt chocolate. I can eat half a square and be satisfied for a few calories. No HFCS there!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SQUIRTZIE 7/16/2008 4:54PM

    Since I started walking I don't usually want any junk food. I always check for high fructose corn syrup and try not to buy those products. It really makes me mad when the no. 1 ingredient in cookies is high fructose corn syrup or sugar. I do not understand how they can make a cookie with sugar as the main ingredient--what happened to flour?

Report Inappropriate Comment
STARTSPARKING 7/16/2008 4:42PM

    Those 100-calorie snacks by various manufacturers are just marketing gimmicks. Like you said, they are usually highly processed, and the packing makes them not environmentally friendly. If one wants to eat these snacks, it's cheaper to just portion out your own. After all, every box has a nutritional label that spells out what one serving is. In addition, I agree that there are many other more healthful alternatives that are more natural and contain more fiber. To me, a piece of fruit or a few slices of low-fat deli meat satisfies me a lot more. Real food DOES tastes better and is much more gratifying. Thank you for a wonderful reminder!

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 Last Page