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Fun way to help shelter dogs

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HVNLYBODY 3/11/2008 4:13PM

    Awww im doing it right now...we have a dog we rescued who was a stray found wondering around the street of Louisianna afer the hurricane. Poor baby....of course now she thinks shes a princess!

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DD-THEOTHERHALF 3/3/2008 12:06PM

    Diamond says yea mom put my pic up too. DD

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ANNE7777 3/3/2008 11:49AM

    Awwwwh She is a doll, look at that smile!.......hmmmmmm, I would say Cole looks to be mostly Golden Lab, her leanness from-part Doberman. Part Beagle?--She does not look really tall...also a nice splash of Collie? I see the "working/herding dog" breeds in her! We had a pure Border collie--he was great but had lots of health problems....the mixed-breed dogs seem healthier later into their lives. I have had both pure and shelter dogs in my life...Nice blog for the shelter dogs!!!!! Peace--Anne

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    Cole is every bit as beautiful as a pedigreed dog.


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SAYRAH-M 3/2/2008 3:58PM

    I think that is a great idea. Where I agree with adopting dogs, I really wish that all dogs would sometimes be bought from breeders meaning they were planned and wanted. Also to make the breeds healthier. That said I think it is wonderful and great to support Shelters because we HUMANS don't take care to not let dogs breed when the puppies are not needed or wanted. I love dogs. And well loved dogs are the best friends a person can have. I will definitely get my three dogs pictures up on Pedigrees board. Thanks for passing on the information!!

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PIGLETSMALL 3/2/2008 3:35PM

    Aw! She's so sweet! Thank the world for people like you who take these lonely, beautiful animals into your lives. She looks simply adorable and very polite. hee hee. I love her scarf! How do you manage to resist those beautiful brown eyes? lol!

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DNJEN471 3/2/2008 12:47PM


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MOM2ACAT 3/2/2008 12:31PM

    She is beautiful!
I don't have a dog, but my parent's do, I will have to add her for them. They have a retriever mix, Cassie, who was adopted from a shelter on Christmas Eve about 7 years ago. She has a "cat sister" Lucy and they play and sleep together.

I've seen those Pedigree ads on TV for the shelter dogs; they always make me tear up!

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NITAINMN 3/2/2008 10:31AM

    Sorry! but, spark won't let me edit my entry. I love your little doggy, Colette - she is sooo cute!

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NITAINMN 3/2/2008 10:29AM

    Good for you! I have always adopted shelter pets- both dogs and cats. Sandy, my last dog was left abandoned at a supermarket. We did not want the responsibility of a dog again, having recently lost one to old age. I brought her home by evening when nobody adopted her as per the rescuer's instructions. They were to pick her up the next morning from outside my home. My DH fell in love with her and she became ours!!!! Thanks for the information on mug shots on line.

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    Cole is adorable! My guess on Cole is a German Shepard mix, based on the ears and her size.

My dog Sadie is in there too (Code Sadie159). I've always adopted shelter or rescue dogs. My heart belongs to the mixed breeds. Sadie was 7 weeks old when we adopted her in 2001. She is now a Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog.

Thanks for sharing this info about such a great cause! Dogs Rule!

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Birthday reflections

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.) ;)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 2/29/2008 1:09PM

    Happy Birthday and many happier returns of the day! You have the right attitude - make the most of it! Way to go girrl - love your perspective - so positive. Yes! focus on what you have achieved - not an easy task. Besides its better to get there slowly and surely along with safety than run like a hare with a diet. Now you have a healthy lifestyle to go along with your healthy attitude. Congratulations! Hugs, Nita

Sorry for repeating myself - spark goofed the first comment did not show up so, I wrote again and copied to be safe. When it did not show up again, I re- wrote by pasting only for both of them to show up! Feel free to delet this one..

Comment edited on: 2/29/2008 1:12:05 PM

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NITAINMN 2/29/2008 1:09PM

    Happy Birthday and many happier returns of the day! You have the right attitude - make the most of it! Way to go girrl - love your perspective - so positive. Yes! focus on what you have achieved - not an easy task. Besides its better to get there slowly and surely along with safety than run like a hare with a diet. Now you have a healthy lifestyle to go along with your healthy attitude. Congratulations! Hugs, Nita

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DD-THEOTHERHALF 2/29/2008 10:42AM

    What a great post. You have done alot in the last yr. You will see your goals in the future as well. Job well done.
Happy Birthday. DD

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MANDY626 2/29/2008 9:14AM

    Wow you are doing so amazing! Happy birthday!

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MARLIE13 2/28/2008 6:32PM

    Love the "last year" reflections. Congratulations and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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CHARVONNE30 2/28/2008 10:30AM

    Happy Birthday and you deserve the comparison - hoped you enjoyed your day.


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VIDABELA 2/28/2008 3:07AM

    happy birthday!! wow what a great perspective you have

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ITISTIME2 2/27/2008 6:19PM

    What a great 33rd birthday. It sounds like you'll have a great day and you certainly have the right attitude. Again, you're such an inspiration. We have spent 5 weeks in Key West but will be heading to Venice, Apalachicola), Pensacola, Abbeville, LA for a cajun fix, Clarksdale, LA (home of Morgan Freeman) for a junk joint festival, then on to Front Royal, VA for a few weeks to see my Mother and our house. The summer is yet to be planned. Keep in touch. Happy 33!!! Gisela

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MOM2ACAT 2/27/2008 4:38PM

    Happy Birthday!!!!

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SAYRAH-M 2/27/2008 2:48PM

    Happy Birthday what a great present you have given yourself in attitude and good habit development. The next 33 years will make you stronger and healthier and even that much better. Way to Go Birthday GIRL!! Congrats on being a winner at losing!!

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    The happiest of days to you! You ROCK! Not just today, but every day.


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PIGLETSMALL 2/27/2008 2:25PM

    Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear sweet friend, happy birthday to you! I hope you're having an excellent day and are really enjoying yourself. You deserve to let your hair down and relax today. You have achieved so much in the past year! You are a true inspiration to us all! Hugs, Helen xxx

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DRUMGENIE 2/27/2008 2:08PM

    Happy Birthday! I really liked how you pointed out all of the positive changes you have made in a year! Its just absolutely amazing! I say, You go girl, enjoy that cupcake!!

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Goodbye 50 pounds

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!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BFITNHAPPY 2/29/2008 11:44AM

    oh my gosh..congratulations! That is awesome! I came by to thank you for your encouragement..glad you understand about being a morning exercise dh really doesn't since he is the opposite. You look terrific and are an inspiration. Thanks for being part of the Stir Up team

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UP4MORE 2/28/2008 11:46AM

    You look amazing - Congrats on all of your wonderful success - I cannot wait until I hit the big 50 ( loss!)

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DNJEN471 2/27/2008 9:50AM

    CONGRATULATIONS! You are awesome!

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CHARVONNE30 2/26/2008 3:06PM

    YOU GO! Congratulations and melt the last few off!

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SEATTLESPARK 2/26/2008 2:35AM

    Oh my gosh!! I saw your blog title over on the team page and came here to read.

WOW - You are awesome and so inspirational!

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ITISTIME2 2/25/2008 8:41PM

    How wonderful!!! Congratulations on the acheivement and all the effort that went into it. Knowing that you can do it must feel wonderfult. You go girl!!!

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ANNE7777 2/25/2008 6:35PM

    YAY!! GO MdTweety, I am very proud of you! Keep up your hard work!! Peace--Anne

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PIGLETSMALL 2/25/2008 4:38PM

    Woo Hoo! I'm so pleased for you! Wow! 50lbs is an amazing amount to lose. You must have a new wardrobe already! lol! A huge congratulations to you my friend. Hip Hip Hooray! I hope you're going to celebrate and do something special for yourself. You deserve a treat after all your super hard work! Hugs, Helen x

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RUNNINGSLOW 2/25/2008 3:47PM

    That is AMAZING!!! Congratulations on your continued success.

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MRS.LAND 2/25/2008 3:46PM

    WOW! That is awesome! Great Job! I cannot wait till I can post that blog! HOpefully by the end of this summer. We'll see. Anyway, congrats!

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BRANOWEN 2/25/2008 3:42PM

    Congratulations! That's amazing, and you're so close to your goal! XOXO - Liz

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    Way to go! Many congrats! You and I both have 13 lbs left to go. Race ya! ;-)


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What are your thoughts on the Flat Belly Diet?

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 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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEARTOFGOALED 2/22/2008 8:28AM

    I'm skeptical, too. The name "Flat Belly Diet" sounds so enticing, doesn't it? But my sense is that the only part of the diet that really works, albeit temporarily, is eating to avoid bloating. Belly-bloat can make a tummy look bigger, though I still think weight loss and abdominal exercise are the only real, permanent solutions. Great blog, MD!!!

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BLONDEGIRL10 2/21/2008 10:23AM

    I am with YOU on this one! Thanks for sharing the info and your thoughts on the "diet", I agree whole heartedly with your assessment. I am surprised too that Prevention would endorse something like this? Hmmmm.

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SAYRAH-M 2/20/2008 7:32PM

    Very interesting. I tend to trust Prevention, so I am sort of surprised by this diet. I am not jumping on it but will be interested in seeing the results as time goes by!

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STEPHBONTHEGO 2/20/2008 6:03PM

    I appreciate all of the research you did on this and I tend to agree; nothing like good 'ole fashioned healthy eating & excercise. Interesting thought though...getting ready for a big 1-time event; wedding, etc...perhaps eating MUFA rich foods for a bit prior might help flatten out what we've got to work with!

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    Excellent blog! I recently saw the Prevention book on this diet at the grocery store checkout and was skeptical, too. I don't belive you can spot reduce. Some of us are just unlucky about where it lands.


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CHARVONNE30 2/20/2008 4:10PM

    I am skeptical about it too - especially not calling for exercise. Thanks for the research.

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PIGLETSMALL 2/20/2008 2:19PM

    Hi Sweetie! Wow! You've certainly done your homework! lol! I love this blog. There are so many diets out there, it has become utterly confusing at times. But you can never go wrong with spark people and eating heathily. You are already on your way to success. You ARE a success. Have an amazing day my friend, Hugs, Helen x

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Eating too much

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRIGGIE 2/18/2008 5:13PM

    Way to go getting back on track. I think we all steer off now and then.
The first acheivement I think is seeing we have fallen off and push ourselves to get back with it. That would be first "goal met"..smiles

You can do it

"keep on keeping on"

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RUNNINGSLOW 2/18/2008 3:57PM

    Way to hop back up on the wagon! I am doing the same thing...I'll hop up with you!

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PIGLETSMALL 2/18/2008 3:25PM

    It's so good to be honest about what we're eating. It's the only way to face up to it. Good luck with your plan. I know you can do it. Look at what you have achieved so far, my friend. Woo Hoo! You're an inspiration! As for burpees I had to search it on the internet to find out what they were. It involves standing up then, bending down and putting your hands on the ground, and kicking both feet out so it looks as if you're about to do some press ups and then you jump both feet in and stand up again. It's sooo exhausting. Hugs, helen x

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    I've been binging, too. Cookies. And party food at Sister's bridal shower. And prime rib dinner at Mom and Dad's. And leftovers the next day. Today is a new week. Well, for me, tomorrow is because its a long weekend. I'll join you in your recommitment.


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