Tuesday, November 26, 2013
A couple of Spark members asked me for some tips and advice on how I lost over 90 pounds. Here is a random list of what I have done to lose 93.4 pounds since August 2011! I used to weigh 250 pounds. Now I weigh 156.6! I haven't been this weight since 2005! I have been pushing hard to get to my weight goal of 155 pounds, but I am extremely happy now with how much I have accomplished so far! If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask! Sorry if any are repeats! I am sure I forgot some things too.
My main advice is this: everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for you. Try, tweak, and experiment until you find a routine that works for you. Then you may have to go back and alter some things to help you reach your goals! And you may have to change your goals too!
For those of you celebrating it - Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am grateful for all of the support, advice, and kindness from everyone! I won't be eating anything my family is having for our Thanksgiving dinner except a garden salad. This is the third year I will be bringing my own platter to dinner!
1. I track my exercise on the fitness tracker the best I can! If I forget a day, I go back and add it.
2. I track food everyday on Spark when I eat it. I try to stay in range of fat, protein, carbs, and calories. I am not on a low-carb or high fat diet. I try to keep everything in moderation.
3. If I can’t track right away, I go back and add what I ate.
4. If I know what I am eating before I have it, I pre-add it to my tracker.
5. I use the Spark SmartPhone Application when I can’t get to a computer
6. I make sure I eat enough. Eating too little isn't healthy. I use the trackers to help me find out how much I ate during the day.
7. I don't weigh food, so if I think I am over 1 serving, I count it as 1.5 or 2 depending on what I think is correct.
8. I don't eat red meat. I don't consider myself a vegetarian, but I don't eat sausage, bacon, steak, burgers.
9. I eat Turkey burgers, ground turkey or chicken sausage, tuna, other types of chicken. It is easy to replace turkey meat with beef in many meals such as Tacos, meat sauce, meatballs, meatloaf, chili
10. I eat lots of veggies with dinner! The more veggies I have, the less meat/rice/pasta part I have
11. I try to get no salt added or low sodium foods.
12. I try to get no sugar added or sugar free foods. Low sugar foods tend to be less calories than regular foods.
13. I don't eat fried foods like mozz sticks, cheesesteaks, crispy chicken, etc. The only thing I do eat occasionally is french fries and tortilla chips
14. I join 5% weight loss Spark challenges for 8 weeks. I do the best I can with what they offer, and also I make up my own mini goals (like no French fries for 8 weeks during the challenge)
15. Instead of mayo, I try to replace it with light dressing or mustard or hot sauce.
16. Fat Free doesn't automatically make it better. I use light dressing instead of Fat free most of the time.
17. I don't eat cookies or cake or candy on a daily basis. Most weeks I go without having any of this. I don’t eat certain sweets ever (such as brownies and doughnuts)
18. Occasionally I will have some icing off of someone else’s cake, but otherwise I just say No.
19. I would rather have more dinner than a brownie. I feel like my body could use the nutrients instead of the sugar!
20. I cut back on cheese a lot. Most of the time, I don't even taste cheese on a sandwich. So I cut it out!
21. It has been about 2-3 months being dairy free now. It is extremely difficult, but it helps with my stomach problems.
22. I use egg whites 80% of the time. Sometimes I have 2 egg whites & 1 egg.
23. I don't use any butter or margarine at all. I completely stopped using it and eating it. Corn on the cob is plain, no butter on potatoes, none!
24. I use oil sprays or maybe a bit of olive oil depending on what I am cooking
25. If I eat out, I make a lot of changes to what I am getting. If it has cheese, I say no. I order extra veggies, but ask how they are prepared. Steamed is good. I used to feel bad about what I am changing, but it is worth it. Now it is second nature for me to make changes to everything I order!
26. I eat 50 calorie sliced wheat bread or five-grain bread when I have bread.
27. I eat whole grain pasta and brown rice when I can. I try not to eat pasta too often because I just want more and more and more! Sometimes I cave in and have extra servings because it is just so good! I try to make my own sauce out of diced tomatoes, but I do still use jar sauce.
28. I eat 90 calorie granola/fiber snacks occasionally. One day I would like to make my own bars!
29. I don't eat potato chips or buttered popcorn. I have low fat popcorn sometimes!
30. I like pretzels, reduced fat wheat thins... like I said before, I don't weigh food, but I try to count out the serving size if it says it on the package. I count it out at home and keep mini-snack plastic bags full so I can just grab one serving at a time.
31. I do like tortilla chips & salsa though.. but I cut back on that a lot! I don’t think I would be able to completely stop eating that food – but I accept that I can have it occasionally. I just try not to go overboard!
32. I drink water and diet iced tea and hot tea most often. I LOVE iced tea, but I hate how much sugar there is in it! I try to make my own and use sweet n low (although that isn’t good for me either)
33. Sometimes I have a small glass of fat free almond milk or use almond or coconut or rice milk with healthy cereal.
34. I don't drink soda except for the rare diet coke (if I have an alcoholic drink - but I try to stay away because the calories are crazy in booze drinks!)
35. I take progress pictures of myself and compare them to my old self. Seeing my whole body really makes a difference. You don’t have to be naked in them, but seeing the changes really helps motivate me to keep going!
36. I didn't have the motivation to exercise for months. I would go for 30 minute walks with my dog maybe once a week.. but I didn't feel like doing it. Something finally clicked a year ago & I exercise more now
37. I schedule my exercise and treat it like an appointment. If I cancel a Dr’s appointment, I reschedule it – same with exercising now!
38. I think I wanted to be more fit because everything changed. I feel happier, healthier, and full of energy.
39. I first wanted to lose weight just to be skinnier. Now I want to stay healthy. I get sick less often, and that is a HUGE motivator for me.
40. The scale pushes me a little bit, but mostly I just want to be a better person.
41. I measure myself every once in a while to see what progress I have made off of the scale
42. I keep track of other non-scale victories (like smaller pant sizes and best 5K times)
43. I get frustrated when other people constantly bring up my “strange” eating habits, but this is the choice I MADE for myself. I can either eat whatever food I want and gain back all of my weight, or I can deal with the comments people make every once in a while. I choose the comments and the healthier lifestyle.
44. Occasionally I watch & perform exercise videos on Spark. Some are even exercises you can do while sitting at your desk.
45. I have tried Zumba, yoga, pilates, and kickboxing.
46. When I can, I like to walk around the park or go for a kayak ride.
47. Spark changed my whole world, and I love sharing it with other people. I don't normally talk about my situation unless someone else brings it up because I know many people wouldn't understand how much it changed me for the better.
48. I learned that everyone needs their OWN routine and path to reach their goals. What works for someone else doesn’t always work for me.
49. When I start to get stressed, I sit and take a minute. I try to go over every situation in my head and try to look at every outcome. Sometimes I can’t help the stress, but I try to be realistic about it the best I can.
50. I don’t have cheat days – if I really want something, I will eat it! I go over what the “consequences” will be before I decide if I am going to eat it or not. I don’t feel guilty about what I eat anymore. If it will bother me too much after I eat it, I just won’t eat it!
51. There are good days and bad days. Not just on the scale, but in life. Some days I wake up happy. Other days I am moody, and I just want to eat everything in sight. I just try to stay positive and realize that the bad mood will eventually go away as long as I keep pushing!
52. I know some of us want the weight loss NOW, but it does take time. If you don't have the time now to drastically change your diet - even small changes help. Every step counts!
53. It is better to take your time than to give up! A couple of days of going over calories isn't the end of the world.
54. It is TOO easy to put weight back on, so I start over even if I get off-track!
55. I cook batch meals when I have time and freeze them.
56. Crockpot meals with lots of veggies are awesome! They are great for batch meals and also for a meal for more than one.
57. I pack my lunch at least 4 of the 5 days I work. I save money and have a healthier option instead of fast food.
58. I keep snacks like almonds, protein bars, and trail mix in my cabinets at work. My co-worker jokes with me saying that I could feed the office for a week if we got stuck in the office!
59. I add fruits and veggies as snacks when I can. They are tasty and good for the body.
60. I create grocery lists before I go to the store. It really keeps me on track instead of just roaming around wondering what I should buy for the week.
61. Occasionally, I eat protein bars instead of having a sandwich at work. Sometimes when I feel like I am going to get grumpy because I am hungry, I eat a protein bar. Even if I know I will be out of range for my food for the day, I would rather eat that! A grumpy Kimmy is bad news!
62. Reward systems are awesome. I used to give myself some rewards such as a new workout outfit or a haircut for completing goals.
63. If you normally drink soda every day for lunch - try not having it Monday through Thursday. If you can do that, let yourself have some on Friday. If it is too hard to give it up again once you have it, then try a different reward system.
64. Sometimes I have water instead of having a snack. Sometimes it really DOES help curb my appetite.
65. Drink water, water, and MORE water! Even when I am not thirsty, I try to drink as much as I can.
66. Sleep is extremely important. I used to stay up really late and only had 4-6 hours of sleep. Now I try to have 7-8 hours of sleep. It really makes a big difference for me especially when I had a tough workout. The sleep gives my body a time to rest and recover. Plus, I have less headaches now and I am less grumpy!
67. I take vitamins due to low iron and low vitamin D. I never took any weight loss supplements or medications or anything like that.
68. When I can, I try to park further away in the parking lot. Instead of fighting for a spot in the front, I park far away and walk the extra 30 seconds each way.
69. Sometimes we eat because it is habit. Example - If you go to dunkin donuts and get a coffee & donut every morning, try to change this routine. Cut out the doughnut and bring yogurt instead.
70. Or cut out going to starbucks or dunkin donuts or the fast food restaurant all together!
71. I bring my own food & snacks to parties and to other houses. I used to feel funny about this, but now I prefer it. Some of my friends like the "weird" food I bring now.
72. Experiment with old recipes to make them new. Use fat free cheese instead of regular or cut the amount in half. Use ground turkey instead of beef. try chicken sausage instead of pork sausage.
73. Stick to serving sizes even if you don't track it. I think the serving size for wheat thins is 16. Try actually counting out 16. Or have an actual 1/2 cup of ice cream to see how much that really is! I could choose 2 cookies or a whole bunch of grapes. Sometimes it is worth it to have the “bad” snack, but then I will be hungry much faster!
74. Sometimes a bite can make all the difference. If someone is having pie, take one forkful if you can. If someone has cheese fries, just take one if you can. Just one or two bites to give you the taste can satisfy cravings. It doesn't work for everyone though!
75. Even if you have a day where you eat four slices of pizza and two pieces of cake - Don't get too discouraged because we are making healthy decisions other days. Don't give up!
76. I ask questions – I ask random Spark Friends for recipes or for tips on how they lose weight. Knowledge is power!
77. Research! I constantly look up new recipes, motivational quotes, and other weight loss information online. I have looked up everything from Paleo diets to how to get rid of loose skin! The internet has a lot of great resources! I just remember that what works for someone else may not work for me.
78. Sometimes I use my lunch break to get exercise. When it is nice outside, I walk around the complex!
79. I give myself pep talks. Sometimes I need to talk myself into doing something and sometimes I need to talk myself out of doing something stupid!
80. Sometimes when I want a snack, I chew some sugarless gum instead. It sometimes helps me when I am so close to a meal time – it prevents me from too much snacking
81. I am not on a DIET. I have a healthy lifestyle. To me, diets are strict and most people don’t like them. I have learned what foods are better for me, and I try to eat them most of the time. I do have the occasional skittles… but most of the time I stick with something better
82. I read weight loss success stories. Everyone has their own goals, and I love reading how other people reach theirs. Even people who just started their journey are inspiring to me. It is fun following other people!
83. I try to give advice when I can. Many people have helped me and I love giving advice when I can. Plus, telling people random facts about myself like “I don’t eat brownies or mozzarella sticks anymore” really helps me be proud of myself.
84. I try to have ME time when I can. I go to craft and pet fairs by myself because I enjoy them.
85. Since I started my journey, I have tried new things like horseback riding, indoor rock climbing, Frisbee golf, and archery. It was fun and some new things count as exercise too!
86. When I can, I get a buddy to exercise with me. That extra push makes me want to exercise more sometimes!
87. I take compliments more often now. I used to be self-conscious when someone said something nice about me because I was feeling negative about myself. Now, I say thank you and I really mean it!
88. I eat a healthy breakfast every day. Even if I only have store brand low sugar oatmeal, that still counts as something.
89. I try new foods. I didn’t used to like asparagus. Now I really enjoy it! I never thought I would ever like something like spaghetti squash – now I love it.
90. I remember I am only human. I make mistakes. I am more forgiving of myself now! I try to figure out what is important and I try my best to be my best. If I slip, I try to regain my focus and keep moving forward!
@SHARONGOODRIDGE: My exercise schedule changes every month or two months. I used to just jog/walk outside to do 5K training and I also did zumba once a week. Recently, I did 10 weeks of cardio kickboxing 2 times a week and also did pilates once a week. Now, I am just doing 1 day of yoga and walking when I can. The cold weather is holding me back a bit because I prefer to be outside when I walk!
Friday, November 08, 2013
Happy Friday! Today is my last kickboxing class of the online deal I bought. I can't believe it has been 10 weeks since I started the class! I really enjoy the class, but I can't afford to keep going. I would have to pay almost $200 up front for 3 months of classes. If I had more money, I would definitely continue with that location! Unfortunately, I can't afford it. Oh well! I am going start doing yoga for 10 classes. I bought an online deal - 10 classes for $19. Moving around from location to location makes me feel bad, but I can't beat the price!
So... I feel like I have been in a boring routine lately. Maybe it is the dark sky now when I leave work? Maybe the cooler weather? Maybe the stress of money and credit issues? The combination of everything seems to be the most logical answer. I am pretty happy overall, but I feel like something may be missing or lacking from my life. I am still sparking & tracking... but I haven't been excited about what I am doing. It seems like I am just in a normal routine now with my eating and the rest of my life. The only time I have strong feelings about what I am doing is if I am out somewhere and I am having trouble finding something to eat. Then I just have anxiety & some stress about what I can eat! I haven't been as grumpy lately because I have been making sure I eat ON TIME! As long as I don't get hungry, I am good! At least I am not giving up or not caring about what I am eating/not eating. I am just afraid that this lack of excitement about my lifestyle may keep going downhill!
Usually when I am feeling a bit down, I like to browse the blogs of my Sparkfriends. Other times I like to look at the success stories here on Spark. It is amazing to see how much dedication and determination other members have! If you get a chance to look at some of the success stories, do it! I used to read the stories and think "One day I hope I can lose a lot of weight". Now, I DID lose a lot of weight! But I still don't feel as happy as I thought I would at this point! I was even invited by Spark to fill out their success story survey, but I still don't feel like "I DID IT". I do try to remind myself of all of the non-scale victories I have encountered like no longer being Plus-Sized and finishing ten 5K races!
I have been looking at the Secrets of Success today. I haven't read too many of them before. They have a lot of categories! I was reading through, and I actually got a few tips on aspects of life outside of weight loss! There are tips about saving money, cooking, breaking plateaus, exercise, organization, and many other things! Once again, I have found another part of this website that keeps me positive that I can make better choices and changes.
When I feel the lack of motivation to be content with my healthy lifestyle, I like to remind myself of how much I have done so far. Seeing the progress of You awesome members really helps me too! Not only did I lose over 90 pounds, but I have kept it off. I think that is the toughest part! Even though the scale can sometimes be evil, I miss the times when I would lose 2 or 3 or 4 pounds a week! People ask me if I am going to start eating junk food again since I am "skinny now"...... My SparkFriends know how hard it is to say NO to the unhealthy food! I can't start eating the way I used to just because I lost weight! This is a lifestyle I will have to continue to stick with Forever! The success stories and secrets of success and the members of this site have really helped me stick with my program! Even though I make a few changes here and there and also take a few steps back sometimes... I am still on the right path!
Once again I am giving my Thanks to this amazing website! We all have our own success story - our stories continue to grow every day! Our stories are not over, they are continuous! This website and members have helped me become who I am today. I need to continue to remember that I am the one who has followed through with all of the advice, ideas, suggestions, and support!
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. Spark if you can! If you can't, don't beat yourself up too much. Keep moving forward and work towards all of your goals! If you feel like you won't reach your goals - you can change the goal date or even change the whole goal! Even though you can't change what happens to you, you can do your best to be in control of what you do and how you react! Thanks for being so great & for being you!
Monday, November 04, 2013
Happy November! Here are a few things you could do to try and spice up this fall season! I always like to try new things with family and friends. Even when no one is available, I like to do some things on my own! Fall is here in my area (outside Philly) even though it keeps getting warm, and then cool and then warm and then cool again! The leaves are beautiful right now & there are some fun things I want to do this month. I know some Sparkers have snow already! Yikes!
I was trying to think of some fun new things I could try. I figured I would post them here on Spark. Everyone on here has different reasons for sparking, but I love being reminded of how fun life can be! I did some research to find some fun things to do this month. Here are the best 15 ideas I could put together!
Ideas on what to do in November in a random order:
1. Celebrate Peanut Butter! November is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month.
2. Have some apple cider. Go on a Hayride and pick some apples if they still have them in your area!
3. See holiday lights or other holiday competitions. Close to my area, they have a scarecrow competition & a gingerbread competition!
4. Go to a firepit/bonfire or start your own.
5. Start a garden. Tulip, iris and daffodil bulbs are ideal for fall planting.
6. Celebrate veterans day Nov 11th.
7. Try new Spark/healthy recipes with fall squash and pumpkins. Soup, bread, pie, muffins - yum!
8. Nov 14th Clean out your Refrigerator Day. Go through your fridge and clean out that old food! Also, go through your cabinets and donate some canned goods. It is a good way to see what you have hidden away and use it before it goes bad!
9. The third week in November is "game and puzzle week." Try out a new or favorite game with family and friends.
10. Attend a local HS or college sporting event! Bring a blanket!
11. Nov. 17th is "Take a Hike Day." Even if you aren't up for a hike, take a walk around the block! Plus, you could do this on other days too - not just this day!
12. Attend a craft fair Or make your own crafts!. This time of year there are many crafts for sale for all of the upcoming holidays.
13. Visit a holiday parade or festival. There may be thanksgiving parades or veterans parades in your area. Or apple/pumpkin festivals.
14. Sign up for a Turkey Trot or other charity walk! Even if you just walk, the money usually is donated for a great cause! or just walk on your own time.
15. Spend time with family if you can. Play a game, try a new recipe, watch a movie, take a walk outside, give that relative who lives 10 hours away a call!
Have fun with whatever you choose to do or not do. Share the memories and keep pushing towards your goals. Or make new ones!
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Happy Wednesday & Happy almost Halloween! I am not dressing up tomorrow at work because we have a client meeting. If I didn't have the meeting, I would probably wear my costume!
Self Review of October:
I reached my 1,500 fitness goal minutes for the month! I got about 1750 for the month. I am really happy with that! I think this Fall 5% Sparkteam is motivating me to push pretty hard!
My 5K race went pretty well! Only one of my friends ran with me. I got 34:12. I am very happy with this time especially since I didn't do enough training. Every time I run a race, I want to train more! It will be tough with the cold weather coming in. There is that treadmill here but... I just can't get myself to use it that often! My friend wants to do another race in the spring. She beat me by 5 minutes, so hopefully I can catch up to her next time!
I haven't had any french fries or tortilla chips since the beginning of October. It is tough, but I am glad! My boyfriend is also giving it up because he knows how hard it is for me. He tells me how he is struggling giving them up! It is true- we get so used to having certain foods at certain places, and it is tough not having them!
I have been doing my best to stay positive. I am tested time and time again with negative situations. But.. I do my best to be realistic about what is going on. It may take me a few days of feeling bummed out before I pick myself back up, but I can't let the bad things take over! Life is too short to be completely overwhelmed by the bad things. There are too many good moments I would miss!
Lately I have been trying to eat on a regular schedule. It definitely helps keep grumpy Kimmy away. I just need to have some food & I Don't get moody! When I feel like I am getting hungry around snack time, I am drinking some water and/or chewing gum first. If I am actually hungry, I will have a snack. Sometimes I forget that I was craving something to eat! I have been trying to have a bigger breakfast in the morning too. I haven't had the chance to do it every day, but I hope to keep trying to do it more often! I would like to make my own breakfast (with oats maybe?) It is tough for me to plan this stuff out when I am not home at night, but I will try to make it work!
November Fitness & Food Goals:
-Cardio Kickboxing - Mon & Fri one more time
-Find a new workout place for November
-Get at least 1500 fitness minutes this month
-Try new recipes (without dairy)
-Stay under 160 pounds
-Keep tracking my food
-No french fries & no tortilla chips.
-Stay positive the best I can
-Eat on a semi-normal routine so I don't get as grumpy
-Drink Water when I feel hungry and wait and see if I am actually hungry or not.
-Eat more fruits & veggies as snacks
-Have a bigger breakfast and/or have 2 parts of breakfast spread out
Other goals for November:
-I would like to save more money & spend less! Christmas is coming "soon" & I like to make gifts for my family. Instead of spending a lot of money, I will be doing a lot less this year. If I have time before Christmas, I may make some chocolate covered pretzels for my family members. It doesn't cost a lot for the supplies & they are pretty tasty! I just have to make sure I don't have many!
-I want to spend more time with my Mom. I love her & I don't see her that often even though I live here! We are going shopping on Saturday, so that should be fun!
-Spend more time talking/being with other family members. My Grandmother is 94, and I keep putting off seeing her. I NEED To make time to go visit her. She only lives 45 minutes away.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Happy Monday. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. Mine was pretty good. I had a 5K race on Saturday, and I went to a Halloween party on Saturday night.
The 5K race went pretty well! The course was mostly flat, and it was an out & back course. We ran across a dam and it was pretty windy near the lake! It was SO cold in the morning. I couldn't feel part of my left foot and my hands were so cold before the race! I had gloves and a jacket on before the race, but I didn't run with them on. Once we started running, my hands warmed up. Towards the end of the race, I even rolled up the sleeves on my fleece shirt! At least the sun was out and it wasn't raining! One of my friends raced with me. It was fun having someone else there who was also running. I had friends and family there to support me in the past, but they weren't running. My friend ran off There were a few cute dogs there (There was also a fun walk with dogs). The money went to the local SPCA, so it was great to see the money go to a cause I love to support.
My time was around 34:12. I am extremely happy with that race time. I came in 87/127. My best time recorded from another race is 33:53, and that was when I was training more often. I haven't ran much in the past few months. I have been doing kickboxing & pilates/spin, but I only ran a few times! Every time I run a race, I wish I trained more before it! My friend wants to do another race in the spring, so I would like to actually train for that one! Her time was under 30 minutes which was great! Since I don't train enough, my legs are still sore. It would be nice to run a 5K without having to walk at all during it. I walked less this past race, but I still had to walk some. I basically had to walk to catch my breath, and then I would run again. Since I have been doing kickboxing, my recovery time for my breath is much faster! My after race photo is below! and I put a picture of the lake too.
The Halloween party was pretty fun. I went as Briar Rose (sleeping beauty from the Grimm version of the story). I wish my hair was that long & curly!! My boyfriend went as 9 from the movie 9. The costume took a LONG time to make. All of out friends were saying they want us to make costumes for them now. He won Best Costume of the night, so that was fun. He is entering his work costume contest on Thursday. Maybe he will win! He won a $50 second place two years ago. First prize is $100 I think!
Yesterday I relaxed most of the day. I want to sleep in, but I went to bed at 2am and then woke up at 9. I am glad I didn't sleep the whole day away, but I wanted to get a little bit more sleep. Oh well - that is what happens when I am really excited and happy. I wake up happy and want to start the day off right away!
I have kickboxing tonight, but my legs are still really sore. I have to see how they are feeling tonight. The 10 weeks deal at the facility I bought is almost over. I am debating what I want to do next for my working out. Usually I look up online deals to find something new. Unfortunately I haven't found anything good lately. I still have the treadmill at my parent's house, and I should use it more often!
Have a wonderful week. Life has been varying quickly for me lately from happy, sad, stressful, loving etc. Even though life is stressful and tough situations come along all the time, we still have to do our best to handle them with thought, care, and strength! Life is what you make of it and NOW is important!
Actual 9 from the movie:
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