Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Yes, I am an avid journal writer. I get everything down on paper. Usually I try to include how I feel about what went on each day. I started a separate journal for my health focused journey, back when I started Sparking. I am not a regular blogger, probably because I work out most of my emotions in my journal.
Yesterday, when I realized I was having stress and anxiety about gaining weight over the holidays, I remembered that last year I lost 4 pound during that time. This triggered the decision to read back in my journal the days starting November first, through the New Year. I could see that I had been sick for 3 weeks and I think I lost because of that. But I also exercised a lot less. So the fewer calories and the lack of exercise balanced out. If I'd just exercised less but didn't control my eating, I would have gained.
There were other helpful steps I took. I didn't bake my usual cookies. And what cookies my neighbor brought over were decisively thrown out. On Christmas day, when my daughters baked our traditional (and my favorite) cut-out sugar cookies with icing, I sent all but one cookie home with them. The only one I kept was the one my granddaughter decorated specially for me. When I ate it a few days after Christmas, I was so glad I'd sent them home with them, or the one would have set off a binge.
In my journal I wrote down the menus for Thanksgiving and Christmas and recorded the exact portions and calories of the items I would consume for those meals. I wasn't rigid, but made substitutions, (rather than additions to my meal) when someone brought a surprise snack or dish to serve. I had veggies and hummus out to snack on so I wouldn't grab candy or cookies. This proved to be very effective (writing it out beforehand)
It took planning and determination to stick to my plan; it was literally work. I even made myself get up and work out in the morning before I started cooking on Thanksgiving Day.
I was proud of myself. And I look back at that season with pride mixed with wonder that I actually pulled it off.
So now I'm thinking that I don't have to dread the season, but look at it as a challenge that I am capable to handle!
Starting with Halloween, which isn't usually a problem...my hubby and I don't give out candy and so we don't buy any... usually. For some reason this year I bought a bag of candy corn. Actually it was for a recipe. I made the recipe and gave most of it away. I kept a gallon size baggie of it, it started as 15 cups! (it is called Scarecrow Crunch) a trail mix made with sweets,cereal and caramel corn, not nuts and fruit. I've had a handful every now and then and keep it in the back of my cupboard. I count the calories on my tracker, keeping honest with myself. I hate to waste calories on empty calories, but I have been having binges lately on sweets. Somehow I haven't touched the Crunch. I want to savor it.
So the season really starts with Halloween, which I never thought was true until I read about may other Sparkers' problems with the holiday. Last year I ended up having Valentines Day be a problem because the store I worked at had candy out and I got a discount. I didn't gain weight, but I had eaten plenty of it. Boy oh boy, I guess the holiday season is REALLY LONG!
Once again I will journal all holiday season, and next year I can look back and be proud!
I can do this. You can do this. We can do this together! Fight On!
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Things are going well for me. I'm maintaining and I'm able to keep on tracking workouts and food consumed without being consumed by charts and schedules and checking off goals met.
Don't get me wrong. All those things were implements to help me get to my maintenance weight. I love charts and checking off my to do lists and making reward/star charts. I think the problem is I love them too much. I gave them all so much attention, I forgot to live in the real world. I was in weight loss world.
I will always need to plan ways to meet my calorie goals (goals that will always be part of my day). I just don't want to be a slave to charts and schedules that became an obsession. There is a fine line between commitment and obsession, and I think I am finding balance.
-I have employed monetary rewards to motivate me, and it was effective.
-I have also made star charts with five major fitness and food goals for each day, and stars really turn me on. I am a kid at heart, always loved school and being the teacher's pet. My star chart fit into that world.
-I have used points on SP to motivate me, which helped me get on track with things like drinking more water, getting regular sleep, getting my freggies, etc.
But now I have all these things as lifestyle, and am down to the basics of tracking food (I can't keep an accurate tally in my head) and fitness minutes (I like seeing if my calories expended is enough to support my food intake), which also are a way to troubleshoot my weight fluctuations...assisting in my maintenance.
My food intake notebook next to the fridge, is where I tally calories, check off each fruit or veggie and tally calcium servings, the nutrient I want most to control. See I still check off a few items daily...I haven't totally abandoned my tracking.
My use of this site is limited to keeping up with blogs and emails, including reading an article or viewing the daily example of additional exercises to add. I check in on the feed occasionally. I don't want to totally lose touch with the site, knowing that I may come into a rough patch. You know how the holidays are, and times when I may have an injury or illness. SP is important to me. I hope I'm not slighting anyone by lessening my involvement. If I have, it is only to work on my independence while maintaining my weight.
Some of you may have discovered that attempting to be independent of SP has led to regaining weight. Maybe you can share with me your story and if necessary talk some sense into me. Your story may be just what I need to hear before I stray too far away. I think I've changed my level of SP commitment for three weeks now. I'm enjoying a freedom and confidence in myself and in my ability to live my new lifestyle. I feel more mature, and that is thanks to all the encouragement I have received here.
Thanks in advance for any input you have for me.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Ever have one of those rebellious lazy days? I don't want it to turn into a lazy rebellious week, though from experience, I've not had one of those weeks the whole year I've been sparking. Though I've had a lazy attitude, rebellious even, I haven't acted on it. I seem to always convince myself to stay with the program in spite of how I feel. Sigh. I'm sure I'll get around to it today. I've tried encouraging others today. That often helps.
Once I set down my computer, I really don't have anything else planned for the day. It's about 1pm and that gives me 4 hours till hubby comes home. I am paying for the Y so that should motivate me to go use it.
Two hours on SP is four times the amount I usually Spark. I can't believe I've been at it for two hours!
Ok. A good thing about today is that I had coffee with a dear friend this morning. She told me about her trouble with dieting, how she can be so strict and do well all week but the weekends do her in. I was able to share with her several of the tactics I've learned on SP. She is in a PhD program in Public Health. Which takes up so very much of her time and has already told me she doesn't have time for something like SP, so I'm more than happy to share with her insights I've learned from all you other Sparkers. And from the articles I read here. She was open to my advice. I hope some of them help her. I also shared with her some of my struggles, my weaknesses, and she said she doesn't have any answers but that she would pray for me and hoped I'd do the same for her.
Alright, another good thing is that I am confident that I won't trash my day by eating trash. I like what one Sparker said about not treating my body like a garbage can. Why would I throw trash into my body?
I wish for all of you a very motivated week (I wish it for me too) and that you will all be successful in everything you set out to do.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Well, I did it! I managed to stay at my goal weight throughout a trip to Mom and Dad's. I Went to Wisconsin...Had all the treats I mentioned in my Confession blog. Plus I ate Brats, potato salad and baked beans. Had a mixed drink which isn't the norm for me. Went over in calories two days. 300 extra one day and 2000 extra (!) on the other day.
I am so relieved that I don't have to re-lose any weight! WOOHOO!
MY NEW GOAL
Last year I set a goal to lose 6 pounds over seven weeks surrounding the Holidays, from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. I was able to lose 7.
This year I am at maintenance and my goal is to stay within 4 pounds over/under goal weight. Wouldn't it be wonderful to not gain any?! What I'm aiming to do until the week of Thanksgiving, is lose 4-5 pounds, so that if I gain any weight, I will not have to work so hard to reach my goal weight again.
So really, I have a separate fall goal of losing 4-5 pounds, and a Holiday goal as outlined.
Maintenance entails as much hard work and paying attention to minutes of fitness and healthy eating, as losing. It's not time to "go back to normal" I have a new "normal." It is to continue being vigilant. Maybe I can eat just a little more, but I was losing so slowly, and actually I've been maintaining for 7 months without adding or subtracting anything from my routine.
Best wishes to everyone as we have a tendency to enter into the Hibernation mode of storing fat for the winter. Let's be victorious!
Saturday, September 22, 2012
I am shaky. My heart is racing. Some of you may recognize these feelings...especially in conjunction with consumption of too many calories, including sugar. I just ate around 1550 calories within 45 minutes.
It took courage to sit down and record all that I just ate. I decided to face facts and do a reality check. I have done extremely well during this whole trip, until today.
There was nothing planned and I got a bit bored. It is my last full day here. My parents are pooped out from visiting, and they want to rest. So I am bored. I had sparked earlier in the day, though I could've gotten back on and looked for encouraging victory stories by my sparkfriends. But, my dad reminded me I needed to go to the store to get some Tylenol. So I went. I passed the Dairy Queen. Decided I'd stop there later for a specific item that is a favorite since I was a little girl. But first I went to the DrugStore to buy Tylenol and a few little toys for my grandchildren.
I thought I'd check the Ben Franklin for the gifts, but it was no longer there! How sad, because I used to go there and hang out while my grandmother worked there. It had the old fashioned kind of cash register with the push buttons. (Back when I was 8 years old.) Then I saw the next door down that the Bakery was open. Surprised that it was still around, I went in, hoping to get a specific jelly filled donut, but those were gone. I settled for something else, just to feel a closeness to my grandma who used to take me there with her on her lunch break on the days I was hanging out with her while she worked.
My bakery item in the white bakery bag, I walked to the car, deciding I would save it and eat it later to enjoy it. Once in the car, I decided on the shortest route back to the Dairy Queen. They no longer carry the crunch coat for their cones, and I am saddened by that, so I ordered a peanut buster parfait, one of the most caloric desserts they have, though not because I wanted calories, but because I've secretly wanted one for a year and a half and have denied myself the pleasure, which was wise. But in my weakness today, though I had half a mind to just eat part of it and throw the rest away...I scarfed it down.
Went directly to the car and gobbled up the donut. On the way home I stopped at a McDonalds. I think I was craving something savory after the sweet, and this small two stoplight town has just claimed it's first McDonalds, and I've never been to it...I just had to go. I got a Happy Meal; after all, the fries are only 100 calories in this order. And a burger is only 250. To top it off there are apple slices in the box. Whoopee.
Well, I wish that were the end of it, but I got back to the house and grabbed two cookies made with butter and cream cheese. Now I'm done eating, and I'm done with my confession.
My mom just walked into the room with a bunch of graham crackers smeared with frosting. She weighs 103, so I don't fault her. But at least I'm not rushing off to make some for myself. I feel that like shaming myself. But that doesn't do any good.
I'm doing all I know how to do to keep from dropping into dispair...I'm getting on the computer to fellowship with the most encouraging, thoughtful, forgiving, understanding bunch of people I know. . .my SparkPals.
Thank you for listening. I feel better. I am starting fresh right this minute.
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