LKG9999   60,498
60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
LKG9999's Recent Blog Entries

Taking my low-carb show on the road

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Next week my family and I will be joining the 46.3 million Americans who will be traveling this Thanksgiving. Traveling poses many challenges for those of us attempting to stay on a healthy eating regime. I'll be taking a few low-carb items with me to help stay on track: ground flax seed, Quest protein bars, packets or protein-based hot chocolate, raw almonds, and coconut oil. The latter has been a challenge; how to transport something that softens at room temperatures and could make a mess of my luggage? I just discovered that I can get the coconut oil in handy, travel-size packets:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IC0ME1ST 11/24/2014 10:51PM

    Cool! I was unaware of coconut oil benefits. I know it's great for massage!

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SMITHKRISTI 11/21/2014 8:00AM


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NEKOCHARM 11/20/2014 8:25PM

    Sounds like you're well prepared! I didn't know they sell packets of coconut oil. Great to know! I'm also on a low carb ketogenic food plan, so this will really come in handy. Take care and have a wonderful holiday! emoticon

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Sunday Brunch

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Today I get to enjoy one of my favorite meals of the week, Sunday Brunch:

Pictured are low-carb, protein-powder based pancakes, topped with extra virgin coconut oil and cinnamon. It's the one day of the week when I can sit in my cozy breakfast nook during the daytime and take some time to read my favorite sections of the local Sunday paper.


Motivation for Maintenance Needed

Saturday, October 25, 2014

I've been back Sparking for about 6 weeks and I've been doing great, sticking to my eating and exercise goals and surviving a wedding weekend. In fact I am doing so well I'm not even worried about Halloween this week and having a boatload of candy in the house. Last year for probably the first time in my life I did not eat a single piece of trick-or-treat candy, and I'm so charged up I'm planning to do the same this year.

At the same time, I know my history: I get to my goal and somehow all that drive and focus disappears. It is in some ways truly bizarre. How is it that I can expend so much time and energy to reach a goal, and then just give up on it? Good health is not about *getting* to a healthy weight, it's about *keeping* it there. Here's some of the challenges I see for myself with maintenance:

- Lack of ongoing feedback of my success. When I'm losing weight, I get little signs that help to keep me motivated, whether it's a lower number on the scale, fitting into smaller clothes, having my fiance & partner comment on my success. The results of my efforts are more tangible. But maintenance? In my head I know I should celebrate if I step on the scale and keep seeing the *same* number (or close to it), but somehow it doesn't feel the same.

- Remove weight-loss restrictions and I'm lost. While I'm losing weight, it's easy for my to decide that I'm 1) only going to consume a set number of calories, 2) I'll (mostly) eliminate things that impede losing weight. I reach my goal and suddenly I have a host of little voices saying "Aw come'on, you can have that wine/chocolate/hamburger now". I give in saying it's just a little bit, and the next thing I know all rules and restrictions are out the window.

- Pushing myself to exercise becomes much harder. I have issues with my energy (look up hypersomnia) and honestly exercising is a constant push. I know that I really need to disconnect exercise from weight loss, as there are a whole host of other reasons why exercising is good to do for one's overall health. But when I'm not working on losing weight, the immediate need for rest invariably trumps pushing myself to exercise.

I don't know how to deal with this issues yet, but I am hoping that over the next two-three months as I get closer and closer to my final goal I can prepare myself for the challenges I know I will be facing during maintenance. And I'd love to hear any strategies that others have had for keeping that energy and drive going to keep going while maintaining.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMITHKRISTI 10/29/2014 6:55AM


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CFODEL 10/28/2014 10:53AM

    Set goals on SP to keep you paying attention -- gain so many points per week... tracking a certain number of days. perhaps that will give you the additional feedback you desire?

Regardless, kudos for thinking about it now and planning out a strategy that works! emoticon

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SMITHKRISTI 10/28/2014 7:49AM

    I force myself to exercise emoticon also.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/28/2014 2:36AM

    It's good to think about these things ahead of time - that way you can set yourself up for a higher chance of success once you do reach goal.

There's a section in the Big Page of Links about continuing the maintenance that might be helpful:

Just as in weight loss there is no one-size-fits-all approach, maintenance requires trying out a lot of different strategies to find out what works for you. Some people find that weighing every day and averaging to see a trend helps them stay accountable. Others find the scale drives them crazy and only use it once a week or less frequently.

Most people seem to regain in the first 1-2 years after reaching goal, so vigilance during this vulnerable period seems important, And so is acknowledging continued maintenance. If you found the dropping scale numbers motivating while losing weight, perhaps celebrating the increasing months of successful maintenance might help.

Regain is inevitable at some point because life has curve balls . But the sooner you can snap back into loss mode and reverse the trend the less of a problem these blips will cause (I'm still working on this one).

I'm looking forward to seeing what other people suggest and what you come up with as your maintenance plan. :-)

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Out of sight, out of mind

Friday, October 17, 2014

I love my partner Ken; he's funny, kind and loving, and we have gone through a lot together in our 10 years together. He's supportive of my weight maintenance activities and strongly supportive of regular exercise, which is not surprising given that he is a professional sports coach at a local college. But with food, we are on different tracks; I often joke that we're the couple in the old nursery rhyme "Jack Splat would eat no fat, his wife would eat no lean..." Except with us it's the other way around: he loves high-fat cuts of beef, gravies, and wine with dinner, while I'm trying to keep saturated fats and alcohol consumption in check. At home this is not a huge issue (although it often does require preparing two different meals), but there's one place it's been a real issue for me: the car.

Whenever Ken travels (he travels a LOT for his job, almost weekly) he has gotten into the habit of eating and drinking to help relieve the boredom and fatigue of driving. Unfortunately a good portion of the snacking is on trail mix, which I also like. So when he's sitting right next to me with a Costco-size bag open between us, it's really really hard for me to "just say no". Unfortunately for me this summer, we traveled together quite a bit and I was constantly dealing with that temptation.

This past weekend we attended a wedding about 3.5 hours away from home. On the way home, Ken was the driver and pulls out a diet Coke and trail mix for the road. I requested that he keep the trail mix on the driver side so it was out of my sight and reach, and he complied. What a difference that made for me! Although I was aware that the trail mix was in the car and he was munching on it, I wasn't constantly fighting the voice in my head telling me to help myself, and I was able to relax and enjoy the scenery. I employed a similar tactic last night when we went to the movies and Ken bought buttered popcorn. I asked him to please keep it on his side away from me, and did not have any even though I had skipped dinner to get to the movie in time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TX_WILDHEART 10/25/2014 1:28PM

    great blog. My husbands eats his candy... but keeps it on the other side of his chair so it doesn't bother me. That's true love. LOL

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CFODEL 10/21/2014 7:59AM

    That's AWESOME that he is so willing to do little things to help!

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POCKETFULOFSUN 10/20/2014 5:31PM

    trail mix and beef jerky are two roadtrip binge triggers. They have so many calories it doesn't take much to really mess things up. Good job!

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SMITHKRISTI 10/18/2014 6:10AM


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IC0ME1ST 10/17/2014 3:15PM

    Wow- isn't that amazing? I find out of sight does so much for me too. My partner travels all the time. WHen he's home he puts food on every counter. As soon as he leaves I bag it up and put it away. It makes life so much easier. If I don't see it's there I don't even notice I want it.

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BYEPOUNDS 10/17/2014 2:13PM

    what a compromising thing to do, you are each treating each other with respect


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Breaking the link: stress & overeating

Friday, October 10, 2014

Like many Sparkpeople members, I struggle with emotional eating. My issues started when I was 10 years old, when I discovered that just 1 or two fun-sized candy bars were not enough. Soon food became my comfort, during the tough grade school years when I was bullied and alienated by my peers. Although I moved well past during high school and college, emotional eating had taken a firm hold in my psyche. As a result I've been yo-yo dieting for years, managing to maintain a lower weight only for brief periods between emotional distress of one sort or another.

This past summer was yet another stressful time in my life. After healing from a broken ankle in February, I developed a herniated disk in my neck and was in great pain. Since I work full time with computers, work and driving made things worse, and I was not able to sleep without waking up in pain. In April I had also transferred in April from one account in my company to another one that turned out to be a political nightmare. So this summer was one disaster after another, and my physical issues were not looked upon kindly in the midst of the uproar. So how did I deal with the pain and stress? Why by overeating of course! From May to September, I managed to pack on 30 pounds.

The good news is that I have gotten two steroid shots for my neck and the pain has subsided enough for me to return to a normal sleep and work schedule. As such three weeks ago I put myself back into weight-loss mode to undo the 30 pounds of damage . The bad news is, the fallout from this summer has remained at work and I am still feeling very stressed there and I am looking for another position. However every day I need to continue to go to a job I no longer care much about and pretend I do, while braving through various upsetting conversations and still continuing to do a good job.

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my manager that left me hurt and mad as hell. My first thought was to head home and dive head-first into a the largest chocolate bar and bottle of wine that money could buy. But then I thought, no way am I doing that. It may feel good for the moment, but in the long run I will still be upset with work AND disappointed in myself. So instead I went for a REALLY fast walk. I talked to my fiance and vented. I went home and worked on my resume. And I stuck to my eating plan.

What I'm finding is an interesting lesson: the stress at work is actually an opportunity. Every day is tough right now. I get up even though I want to hide under the covers all day. I'm on-guard the entire day at work, ready to be hurt and upset. I feel vulnerable and I hate living with the uncertainty. But I am not self-medicating with food, and I am hoping that I am learning to break that auto-response to stress.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IC0ME1ST 10/17/2014 3:20PM

    Wow Lisa. I am really sorry to hear about all that has been going on. I suffered from a herniated disc a few years back and it was hell. I feel for anyone who has to go through that pain. My advice (if your looking) is to insist that your physician understand your pain. I went through that for too long before they finally operated.

About the job- I too have gone through such career struggles. I found that though my job took up a good part of my day it was best to focus my energy on all the tings I loved in my life so that I could appreciate those and keep my spirits up (though it can still be very hard).

The walk choice is the right choice. I think it's all about choice- our entire lives. We hold so much power in our future with our choices- take care! emoticon

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SMITHKRISTI 10/14/2014 7:46AM


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CRISCOLIBRI 10/11/2014 2:24PM

    Hey lady, its been awhile. Glad to see you are still inspiring us with your writing.
Great job on the positive coping methods. I still struggle with emotional eating. Having wheat and dairy addictions and trying to find an emotionally safe coping mechanism to ditch them. Maybe you have tips?
Anyway, I know how you feel about the job thing. Hated mine too, and I was laid off in july. A blessing!
I wish you lots of strength during this time, you will find a better day job soon.
Meanwhile, have you ever thought of doing an online writing coach business?
You are amazing, remember that! emoticon

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CRACKERS4554 10/10/2014 2:59PM

    I am really proud of you for going on a walk instead of eating!

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