Sunday, March 02, 2008
This is Cole. Short for Colette. She is my sweet little shelter dog. Well, she's not so little anymore. She's 80 pounds! DH and I adopted her 9 years ago as an 8-week-old puppy at the pound in Phoenix, AZ, and she's brought nothing but joy into our lives. She is a mix breed -- we have no idea of what. Care to venture a guess??
I know that many people buy from breeders and pet stores. That is their choice. I'm not going to get up on a pedestal in this blog about how many wonderful animals are available for adoption and sadly are euthanized every year for really no reason at all. I will just say that, for me, adoption from a shelter is the only way. Which brings me (finally) to the title of this blog.
Let me preface this by saying I do NOT work for Pedigree or have any particular personal interest in promoting them. Cole does like their food though. Anyway...if you have a dog, you can upload his or her photo to Pedigree's Million Dog Mosaic. For every photo that is uploaded, they donate $1 to help shelter dogs. It's easy and free, and you can see your baby's mug online! Cute idea.
Here's what you do:
click on the "adoption" link at the bottom of the page
click on "million dog mosaic"
Follow directions for uploading a photo from there
And by the way, if you wanna check out Cole in the mosaic, the code is: cole6.
Have a wonderful day everyone!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Today is my 33rd birthday! It is also my (third) goal date here on Spark. If you take a peek at my ticker, you'll see that I didn't make it yet again. I am 13 pounds away from my goal. But I want today to be a happy day, so I am trying not to focus on what went wrong. Instead, I will focus on the positives. This means reminding myself of the following:
- Last year on this day, I was 50 pounds heavier. Today, I'm not 13-pounds-that-will-take-forever away from goal. I am only 13 teeny tiny measly little pounds away from goal.
- Last year on this day, I ate a lot of junk food and was only just beginning to learn about portion control and healthier foods. Today, I can say that I make good food choices about 95 percent of the time. I am moving closer to my goal every day, even if the scale doesn't show it.
- Last year on this day, I hated exercise. It was a struggle to go to the gym. Today, I can say that exercise is a huge part of my life. I am fortunate to be at the point where I look forward to and cravemy workouts. What a favor I am doing for my body!
- Last year on this day, I would get tired after a simple 15-minute walk. Today, I am fit and in shape. I can run longer, I can lift heavier weights, and I can kick some booty with the moves I learned in Body Combat!
- Last year on this day, I couldn't run for more than a minute or two. Today, I am on Week 5 of the C25K program. Soon I'll be able to say that I can run a 5K!
- I CAN and I WILL make it to my goal weight.
Just for today, I am giving myself permission to eat anything I want. Hubby and I are going out to dinner later and I am not going to think about calories. Also, there is a cake shop that opened this month near my house. I walk past it every day but never go in. But today I went in for the first time and bought myself a birthday cupcake. I am going to enjoy every last bite. (Maaaaybe I will let hubby have 1 bite.) ;)
Monday, February 25, 2008
Over the weekend, I lost another pound. This pound is special because it's also a milestone. I have now lost a total of 50 pounds!!!
I don't know what amazes me most -- that I was able to lose 50 pounds, or that I managed to PUT ON 50 extra pounds (and then some) on this 5'2" body. In any case, I'm happy to wave goodbye to those pounds. I hope to never see them again until or unless it's for a pregnancy.
I cannot thank the people on this Web site enough -- from SparkGuy to his wonderful team that makes this site possible to my SparkFriends and this entire community as a whole.
I see the finish line ahead: 13 pounds to go!!!!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I was watching Rachael Ray's talk show yesterday morning and my ears perked up when I heard the words "Flat Belly Diet." This is the newest diet fad out there; the two women who created this diet work at Prevention magazine and have been all over the talk show circuit lately.
I am a skeptic by nature, so I've always been wary of crazy diet fads -- especially after joining Spark and learning so much about healthy eating and losing weight the *right* way. But admittedly, I was curious about how this diet can claim to shed belly fat in particular. The tummy is my biggest trouble spot. It just wants to hang out (literally and figuratively) long after the party is over -- like an uninvited guest.
On this diet, you are supposed to eat four 400-calorie meals a day. Each meal should contain a source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), found in such foods as olives, nuts, avocados and dark chocolate. They do NOT stress the importance of exercise. In "small print" they encourage exercise for better results, but they specifically point out that exercise is NOT necessary. (BIG RED FLAG alert there.) Also, there is a book you buy to follow this diet (of course), and online support is also provided for a fee (first three months are free). But who needs that when you've got Spark??????
This diet's fad factor is the emphasis on MUFAs. MUFAs, they say, are the key to banishing that belly fat. They say there is science to back up their claims, so I decided to do some research into it. Here is what Prevention.com says about the science:
"A new, cutting-edge study published in Diabetes Care in July 2007 and conducted by scientists at Reina Sofía University Hospital in Córdoba, Spain, placed a group of overweight people on 4-week diets containing the same number of calories but with different ratios of carbohydrate and fat. The plan rich in monounsaturated fats prevented the accumulation of both types of belly fat—without additional exercise."
So I Googled "Diabetes Care July 2007" and found the study in question.
Here is what I found out :
- The study was conducted on only 11 people, all of whom were insulin-resistant (hardly a sampling of the general population, in my opinion).
- The subjects' weight and body composition remained UNCHANGED for the duration of the study.
- The MUFA-rich diet prevented fat REDISTRIBUTION in the tummy area.
So, if their weight remained the same, it leads me to believe that the excess fat left the belly and got redistributed elsewhere in the body. If that is the case, what's the point of just shifting fat from one part of the body to another? I could be wrong in my conclusion...(*shrug*). If I am wrong, somebody please set me straight.
Here is the link to the study mentioned above so you can draw your own conclusions:
Bottom line for me is that I am still skeptical. I think it's a great idea to add more MUFAs to your diet, and I might try that. However, I am not going above my allotted calorie range just to eat more MUFAs. Rather, I may just "redistribute" my calorie allottment to eat more MUFAs and less saturated fats (which I usually do anyway). But I AM going to exercise and I am NOT going to buy this book and fork over more money to the fad diet industry.
But hey, if it works for some people, that's great! It does sound more reasonable and healthier than some of the other crazy diets I've seen (Cabbage Soup Diet, Hollywood Cookie Diet, etc.) If you've tried this diet or are planning to, I would love to hear your thoughts!
Monday, February 18, 2008
I don't know what got into me this past week, but I have been eating like a fiend and going way over my calories most days. Let's see, I have eaten pizza (twice), Mexican food, Indian buffet and sushi. I've also been drinking more than usual lately; hubby and I have been going to happy hour every Friday, and sad to say: I'm not stopping at just one drink. UGH! Why am I doing this? I know it's NOT good for me to drink this much or eat this much. And I've just been very hungry lately. I don't know why.
The scale so far has been kind. Thankfully I have not gained weight. But I am terrified that my body is somehow storing up these calories and in a few days, all of my indiscretions will show up on the scale.
So I have a plan for this week, starting today:
1. I am not going to eat more than 1300 calories a day. This is also one of the mini goals I have listed on my SparkPage. I have never been able to make it a full week at under 1300 cals a day. I would love to be able to type "GOAL MET" next to it.
2. I am going to work extra hard at the gym. Today, I am going twice. I already had my usual morning workout and tonight at 7 there is a Body Combat class that I will go to as well. Body Combat is SO much fun and I am looking forward to it.
3. I will drink at least 8 cups of water a day. I am getting my butt kicked in my MP3 Lovers team's February challenge because I don't drink enough water. Time to guzzle it down! I've had 3 cups already today, so I am on my way. I want to say "GOAL MET" for this too.
So this is what I am going to do, and I'm hoping that I can fend off any gains or maybe even lose a pound. We'll see.
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