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LORILEEPAGE's Recent Blog Entries

Looking Back is Inspiring a Good Holiday Season

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!

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I can do this. You can do this. We can do this together! Fight On!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LARISSA238 10/30/2012 8:52PM

    You can do it! You are so strong for setting out a plan and sticking to it! Good for you- you can do it again!

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_JODI404 10/30/2012 3:29PM

    Great planning! If you did it before, you can definitely do it again!!

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POPSY190 10/30/2012 3:11PM

    Here, Halloween is not such a big celebration so the problem isn't as bad for us. I think your strategy for coping is brilliant - writing plans down makes them more concrete and more likely to be adhered to. You are geared up for success and a regret-free holiday season.

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LUCINDARW 10/30/2012 11:01AM

    I'm glad your journal helped make everything clear for you for the holidays. Keep up the good work! I know you can do it! Lucinda

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SHERIO5 10/30/2012 10:53AM

    I predict another healthy holiday season! emoticon

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My New Life as a Maintainer

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.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUCINDARW 10/24/2012 2:24PM

    LoriLee good for you on maintaining your weight! I can see your point about computer time if I post on all of my teams then work for points I'm on the computer all day! I like to have calanders everywhere that way I know what's going on and I can cross things off as they happen. Don't forget to drop in on the BP team and let us know how your are once in awhile. I would keep up with the tracking of your food and exercise to keep you on track for a while yet. Good luck with your new part of the journey! Lucinda

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/24/2012 3:33AM

    Although I'm running the maintenance challenge, much of my own involvement is behind the scenes, so I hear you. For me it just works out that way between having a full time job and spending most weekends kayaking down rivers...

I just try to stay focused and engaged in my own process by logging and monitoring my food and weight and touch base when I can (like now).

When I start to stray (and it definitely happens) then I spend more time here revisiting the "why" of maintenance. Since I track my exercise, food, and weight elsewhere, the people factor and external accountability from it is the only reason I'm still involved with this site! LOL

And what fun, with the star stickers on your chart!

Comment edited on: 10/24/2012 3:35:58 AM

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ANNEMAC5 10/23/2012 1:43PM

    I have cut back over the last 5 weeks and pop back in I have stopped been fixated on spark points and streakes but have also slacked off on exercise. I was putting in too much computer time so has felt good to let go. I have been maintaining for two years but SP has been important to me in this phase.
Good luck and well done on maintaining it is a great place to be
Anne :)

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GOTTAPLAN4U 10/23/2012 11:56AM

  Weight loss world. LOL. So true.
Good for your progress and thanks for the kind of blog that inspires the rest of us.

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POINDEXTRA 10/23/2012 11:43AM

    Congratulations! From hanging out on SP, it seems that maintaining really is different for everyone. Some people are able to go without tracking and/or weigh-ins, but that doesn't work for me. The main tools I use to maintain my weight (going on 10 years now) are tracking daily, and weekly weigh-ins. I plan to experiment with using the plate method during times when it's difficult to track, or our upcoming cruise, and see how it goes. The good news is, even if we have a little weight gain, we know what to do to combat it. After starting a new job last year, I went up to 7 pounds over my goal due to not tracking (and overeating) on the weekends. I stopped that, ate at what I knew was a reasonable level, and those extra pounds have been gone for a while now. I find that I'm constantly tweaking my diet/exercise to see what works for me.

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CELIAMINER 10/23/2012 10:57AM

    Congrats to you! I reached my six-month point last Friday, and I admit I still feel dependent on SP. I need the incentive points and, more important, the social interaction, but the tracking tools remain the highest priority for me.

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SHERIO5 10/23/2012 10:40AM

    I would love to be where you are! I did regain some weight when I cut back on my SP time. I have not lost the weight yet...I keep wanting balance and I am not sure how to achieve that....

I am so happy for you! emoticon

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THIGHMASTEROMG 10/23/2012 10:26AM

    Thanks for the post, Lorilee. Since leaving my home and husband last April, I've been lax in keeping up with the tracking. I haven't regained any weight, but I also haven't lost any more. While I would still like to lose another 20 pounds, I'm ok with where I'm at, too. And this plateau seems to be a stubborn one!

I am dancing tango 2-3 times a week, which is my main form of exercise. Outdoor biking season is coming to an end for me. Instead of every day, I'm only riding 1-2 times a week. I need to find a new cardio substitute. It will probably be zumba. Still, I'm in the best physical health of my life!

Congrats on reaching and maintaing your goal!

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GOULDSGRANITE 10/23/2012 9:24AM

    I am looking forward to joining you in maintenance land soon - within weeks- and I appreciate your taking time to blog your recommendations! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Gold fish stars for you!!! I love chedking thing off too - Way to Go!!!

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LOSE4LIFE47 10/23/2012 9:14AM


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Lazy and Rebellious at the Moment. But the Day isn't a Loss.

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.

Take care emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOULDSGRANITE 10/2/2012 5:42PM

    The Y sounds sooo fun. Hope you can enjoy that. We live so far in the middle of whereever the Y here must be 40 miles away! I used to love going there as a family. Been under the weather myself today. Watched the grand kids on Saturday - Hmmmm - maybe a school virus - lord I hope not. I will pray for your mojo to return soon. Pray for me to get better - can not afford to be sick!!! emoticon

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LUCINDARW 10/2/2012 2:38PM

    Hi LoriLee! I like the saying you have about treating your body like a trash can! I talk to others and my Grandkids about eating right but fail to do it myself lately. You have come so far on your hen it comes to doing the right thing!goals and succeeded with them I know your will persevere when it comes to doing the right thing! The Y membership sounds like a good incentive to go since you paid money for it. Waste not want not. Good luck with the rest of your day and yes I know all to well how the time passes when you are on SP! Take care, Lucinda

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CHAOTICMOM4 10/2/2012 2:36PM

    Weekends do me in too. Hope you made it to they Y.

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SHERIO5 10/2/2012 1:55PM

    Hi, Lori!

I can certainly understand the feeling lazy and rebellious at the same time...been there! I think you are on the right track by Sparking, AND I love your confidence that you won't let this turn your week into a bad one. I envy you your confidence! I also like the quote about not treating the body like a garbage can. For me, that means "re-writing" old stories of comfort with food. Sometimes I can feel the "new story" becoming my reality. Other times...not so much! But, you are an example of what can be, realizing that the feelings, are just feelings, and won't be helped by indulging in cruddy food choices or a lack of exercise.

I believe in you, and KNOW you can meet your goals for October! Thanks for your support and for sharing your struggles.

Sheri emoticon

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POPSY190 10/2/2012 1:46PM

    You are allowed a day off now and again! Hope the motivation has returned. emoticon

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Maintenance while Traveling PLUS goal for Holiday Season.

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!


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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERIO5 10/1/2012 6:51PM

    Awesome goals! I think they sound totally realistic as well!

Here's to a healthy Holiday Season!!!

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LUCINDARW 9/26/2012 9:44PM

    WooHoo on your maintenance while on vacation! Sounds like you have 2 great plans in place for the next few mths. Good luck with your journey it's been great so far! Lucinda

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BABY_GIRL69 9/26/2012 6:32PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon God bless, Dee

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POPSY190 9/26/2012 3:00PM

    It's good to have a plan when challenging times are ahead. enjoy your holiday season.

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ME_B4_INSANITY 9/26/2012 3:00PM

    I know you can make it through the holidays on maintenance, mostlyl becase you are speaking of maybe 5 days of eating where you might not track, in a 95 days period not only can you maintain, you could probably lose a pound. Stay focused and you got this.

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BLUE42DOWN 9/26/2012 1:07PM


Sometimes we forget that one or two times over isn't deadly. Your 2300 calories isn't even the 3500 over necessary to gain a pound. What is deadly is not paying attention and letting "one or two" become "sometimes" and then become "often" until we're eating over more than we're eating in a healthy range. So emoticon for keeping track, for allowing for enjoyment of life while not letting it become a downhill slide!

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GOULDSGRANITE 9/26/2012 11:30AM

    emoticon emoticon

Congrats on your successful trip!

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POOKASLUAGH 9/26/2012 11:22AM

    Sounds like good goals to me! My goal over the holidays is just to maintain right now too. I still want to hit my 90-lb trophy before I go into brief (2.5-month) maintenance mode, but I hope to spend most of the rest of this year balanced.

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A True Confession

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUTUMNBRZ 9/24/2012 7:31AM

    It happens. I've done it. I am sure most of us here have. In the long run it is not that big of a deal. Just one day of abandon. I know for myself that the act of ALLOWING treats helps me NOT have them. If I am craving something for a while I have it. If I don't, if I force myself to be continually denied then I end up doing what you did. So I say the next time you crave a peanut buster parfait-get one. Eat one bite, half, or even all of it and ENJOY it. Doesn't sound like you enjoyed yourself yesterday at all.

Try not to worry. emoticon

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BABY_GIRL69 9/23/2012 3:16PM

    The heart wants what it wants. The next meal you can eat more vegetables & leaner proteins....God bless & enjoy everyday! Dee

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LUCINDARW 9/23/2012 2:59PM

    wow that sounds like a great bing but a one time thing. Now that craving is satisfied you can start over tomorrow! You don't have anything to worry about you are at maintenance level and should forgive yours self we all do it from time to time. You have been so faithful your whole visit so it will be ok. Take care and good luck on your journey! Lucinda

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POPSY190 9/23/2012 3:23AM

    I think many of us could admit to a similar transgression! Once you've had that first taste I think something in the brain is primed to keep on going. Almost impossible to resist that kind of compulsion.
No use beating yourself up about it! If it's another year or so before a similar episode you will be doing very, very well!
It's not the end of the world. Take care. emoticon

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_JODI404 9/22/2012 10:12PM

    Definitely do NOT fall into despair over this!!!

It is never as bad as it seems like it is.

Sure... you don't want to do this all the time. But the best thing to do is take any lesson there is to learn from it (if any) and move on. Just like you said... start fresh right away. Don't dwell on it, or beat yourself up.

A year and a half is a long time to want/crave something! Once I get a craving into my head, I usually try to go ahead and answer it. It makes it go away, and since moderation is fine, it works out ok. When we eat out, my husband ends up with 1/2 of my food most of the time. Unless something is portioned correctly -- which is so rare. Sharing desserts really helps me to have it, but not too much.

Take care and just put this right behind you. Tomorrow is a new day!!

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CORNERKICK 9/22/2012 5:48PM

  Been there, done that (unfortunately). If it's any consolation know that you're not alone. I appreciate your honesty! Hang in there!!

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GOTTAPLAN4U 9/22/2012 5:30PM

  A couple of days of perfect behavior and you'll be good as new.

So git er done.

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POOKASLUAGH 9/22/2012 4:59PM

    It happens. And the good thing is, you'll get past this. We all go through this from time to time, binges that just lead to a lot of calories. If you think about it, there are people who unknowingly get those peanut butter milkshakes from Cold Stone creamery, thinking they're a couple hundred calories, when in reality they are over 1600 calories. At leaast you know. You're aware. You're not running away ashamed. It happens. All you can do is move on from there, and don't worry too much. It'll all even out in the end.

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KATD13 9/22/2012 4:57PM

    Oh my, that was the binge of my dreams!

Yes it was a lot of calories, fat & carbs. And you know it wasn't good for you. Well, maybe it was good for the soul - lol.

Sometimes you just need to get it out of your system.

All your hard work is not lost. It takes 3500 calories to equals one pound of weight gain. So it's not like you're going to pack 10 pounds on, because of this. Of course, this isn't something you'd want to eat everyday, this was a one time binge.
You already know that you will do better tomorrow. Do not be too hard on yourself. Forgive yourself and chaulk this up to a learning experience. A delicious learning experience.

Big hugs, it's OK.

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