Friday, August 13, 2010
I recently read a post from a Sparker who shared a concern perhaps many of you may have, so I decided to create a helpful (I hope) blog on how to do that. The main concern was that she wanted to track the time of her snacks as opposed to them all lumping together at the bottom under "Snacks" in the Food Tracker as if she had eaten all those snacks in one sitting. Valid concern I thought. Below is how I would go about it. I provided instructions with pictures to make it as simple as possible. Hope it helps!
Go to your Nutrition Tracker www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/nutritio
Scroll down to the bottom where is reads "CLICK TO ADD/EDIT EXTRA MEALS" and click.
It will take you to the following page, where you can click on "Add an Extra Meal Category". As you can see from the screen shot below, I had previously used this function to track my supplements in their own category.
A small window will pop up where you can enter your new category. In this example, I used "Mid Morning Snack". You could be more specific and title it "10:00 am Snack" or whatever you choose. Though I think only certain characters are allowed because I tried "Mid-morning" with a dash the first time and it wouldn't let me use a dash. You may have to type "10 am" or whatever.
After naming your new category, click on SAVE SETTINGS.
The next screen will show your new category.
You can continue to add more for afternoon/evening snacks, desserts, or whatever else you want to track. All your new categories will appear at the BOTTOM of your Nutrition Tracker after "SNACKS". Unfortunately, they cannot be added in between the standard BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER, and SNACKS categories established by SP, which I think would be super convenient, so hopefully that feature becomes available. BUT you can arrange the order they appear in at the bottom by dragging the titles here in the edit screen before clicking on "SAVE SETTINGS".
After you click "SAVE SETTINGS", your new categories will appear at the bottom of your Nutrition Tracker in the order you designated.
And that's it!
I also use this feature to identify special events, like if I go out with friends and have drinks, or to track all my supplements in a separate category. You can create categories for whatever you want really.
Here's a snapshot of my added categories:
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
So I started SP in February 2010 and ate VERY healthy and exercised EVERY day February through May 2010, and lost no inches and only 2 lbs. Went to the doctor and discovered a whole list of problems with my metabolism and how my body reacts to food, particularly carbs. Duh! I knew that, but everyone kept telling me you can't live on low carb, you have to eat healthy. Well, it didn't work. I wanted to lose 20 pounds between Feb and May for my Vegas trip at the end of May. By the first week of May I had only lost 2 lbs and was so angry. You can check my logs, I ate soooo good and exercised regularly. The trainer at the gym and my doctor couldn't believe it, they all kept saying I should've definitely dropped at least 15, if not 20+ lbs the way I was living. Anyway, in a panic I low-carb crash dieted (stick to what works, right?), and lost 11 pounds in 9 days, just before my trip. I was satisfied with that =)
Now..... since getting back, I haven't been watching my carbs. I haven't been stuffing my face either, but I also stopped exercising regularly. My gym membership expired on June 13, 2010, and the renewal price was double so I didn't renew. I wasn't tracking what I ate or logging into SP at all for that matter. I cook most of my food (mostly healthy, nothing fried, lots of clean foods, very little processed foods), and do not eat fast food, but my body is so sensitive that just a little starch or sugar (even natural sugar in fruit) causes me to gain quickly. So I really have to watch it, and I haven't been lately. And i went back to diet pepsi and drank much less water as a result. Sure enough this all took it's toll and from June till now (about 10 weeks), I have gained 20 pounds!!! GOOD LORD! The kicker was that my wedding ring wouldn't fit. So last night I decided to get off my fat ass and DO SOMETHING about this. Just before bed last night I read this quote while browsing Facebook:
"Today you will look into the mirror and ask yourself; 'How bad do you want it?' From the moment you commit yourself to your purpose; every positive action will lead you to progress. Each milestone or achievement will become the next building block. Everyone you lift up with your grace will appreciate your endeavors. The world will open up and you will perceive her beautiful treasure."
STARTING TODAY I am going 30 days with no to low carbs to kick start my weightloss. I am starting (again) Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I will get on that treadmill every day for at least 10 minutes, and increase my time and incline as I build up endurance/resistance. I will cut out the "whites": sugar, rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread. I will add back in whole grains, fruits and veggies gradually. I will wean myself back off diet soda and commit to drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day. And I will make every effort to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
Today is the beginning of finally losing this weight! IT WILL HAPPEN. WATCH ME!
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Until recently it had been months since I stepped into a gym, even though I prepaid for a year membership, and knew I needed to go regularly. When I joined SP just 3 weeks ago I had recently learned that in those 4 months of not working out and not eating right I had gained 14 pounds! I gain weight very easily thanks to my screwed up thyroid and a host of other hormonal problems, including being pre-diabetic, so I really have to watch it and not let myself go.
On February 15, 2010, I stepped into a Kickboxing class with a friend of mine and O-M-G!!! I barely made it through and thought I was going to die. My face was beet red and my heart was pounding through my chest--you could literally see it. My legs felt like jello and I wasn't sure I would live through the night.
Apparently, since it was a holiday and the class was smaller than usual AND the instructor did NOT see my hand go up when he asked if there were any new people (I was the only one that night), he decided to take it to the extreme. He asked us all to get steppers and a matt, which is not a regular part the class according to my friend who had taken it before, though it had been a long time for her. It was INTENSE and non-stop for an hour. Full of plyometrics, high intensity aerobics, sit-ups, squats, and push-ups. He had us down on the ground doing push-ups, then bouncing up to a squat, then doing some crazy grasshopper move into the air, all in the same 8 count. He literally lifted his feet a good 5 feet from the floor from a squatting position!
But all that is not the craziest part. The craziest part was that I planned to do all again the following Monday. Insane, right? So the next Monday we went again and invited another friend who works out regularly and is in pretty good shape. This time the class was full and the routine was “regular”, but still an intense workout. My “fit” friend who has taken a few kickboxing classes before was sweating like crazy and giving me that “Is he crazy?” look that I had on my face the week before. Afterwards, he said it was a really hard workout, not your average kickboxing—even turbo kickboxing—class, way more intense than his Advanced Step class that he usually takes on Mondays. He now takes this class with me instead. For me, it was way easier than the week before and hearing him complain about the intensity of the class, and how sore he was the next day, made me feel good—DAMN GOOD! And, the fact that I burn 800 to 1000 calories in just one hour is awesome. Next Monday couldn’t get here sooner!
Well, I couldn’t wait for Monday, so I tried Zumba that Wednesday since I had heard so many good things about it. WHAT A FUN CLASS! We did salsa, merengue, samba, and some hip hop. The funnest part was doing the Cha Cha Slide! It was a great workout and I was sweating like crazy, but most of all it was so fun! When it was over I wanted to do it again. I never knew I could burn 500 to 800 calories in an hour doing something so fun. That’s incredible!
I worked out a few more days that week, at the gym and at home (doing Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred), and very quickly learned to love exercise. I used to dread the gym and my treadmill at home, but it’s true what they say, “Do what you like.” Exercise has to be fun or you won’t stick with it. Find something you love, anything, even gardening and do it regularly. You’d be surprised how many calories you can burn.
So, this past week after Kickboxing on Monday night, I stayed for yoga afterwards, and loved it too. I have taken yoga many times before and I have always felt so relaxed, refreshed, and balanced after each class, but taking it after kickboxing was even better. So now I’m filling up my weeks with 2 hours of cardio and strength a day. I never thought I’d say this but I’m becoming a fitness junkie. Thanks, SparkPeople!
I am so glad I joined. With SparkPeople’s easy food, fitness, and water tracking, I am having a good time losing weight. I have lost 7 pounds in these last 3 weeks, and I feel great. I do not feel deprived, like I used to on low-carb diets and other quick fixes. I have learned to really pay attention to what goes into my mouth and how much. Before SP I never realized I had such a portion control problem. The best part is the iphone app! It makes tracking so easy. I have quadrupled my water intake because of that nifty little app. I have always known I need to drink more water, but until joining SP I was never this committed. It really forces me to drink water. It’s like a game I’m playing against myself and I’m out to win. Got keep up my streaks, gotta earn those points, gotta stick with my goals. It’s fail-proof for competitive types like myself. Love that water tracker!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I gave in to temptation last night and snacked on everything...cheetos, popcorn, twisty grahams, a bowl of cereal, and m&m candies! All of this AFTER eating dinner. I feel so guilty now. I went over my suggested daily calorie intake of 1200-1550 by a good 100 calories. In my mind I felt I deserved it for working so hard lately and keeping up with that grueling weekly kickboxing class, plus I was bummed that I had been working so hard and eating so well for the last 3 weeks only find I gained 3 pounds at my last weigh-in. I know that it was probably muscle, or water, or even hormones, but I was still upset about the numbers. I know I need to learn to not be a victim to the scale. I know I should've just waited 15 minutes for the cravings to go away instead of giving in. I know I should've had water (Damn, why didn't I do that? It usually works.). I know in the long run what I'm doing is good and will lead to permanent weightloss over time. I know all these things, yet I used these feelings as an excuse to eat what I was craving last night, but deep down I knew it was wrong.
The night-time snacking is the worst for me! I have a very bad habit. All I think about between 8 and 11 pm is what I can munch on in the house. I am very good all day and stay on track. By the time I leave work I've usually only consumed about 600 calories or less and all of it very healthy--whole grains, lean protein, fruit and veggies, and LOTS of water. I get home and make a healthy dinner, but about an hour later I start raiding the cupboards and obsessing over food. It's insane!
I have to break these bad habits or they will continue to sabotage my weightloss efforts. Today is a new day. And I am back on track. I will be strong tonight! I have to keep moving forward.
Friday, February 12, 2010
I gained 60 pounds my freshman year of college due to a hypothyroidism and have not been able to shed it (and keep it off) for 15 years now. In 2003 I did a low carb diet and lost 57 pounds in just 3 months! I kept it off for 6 months until my boyfriend (now husband) was in a bad car accident and hospitalized for 3 months. During those three months I gained 30 pounds. The following year I got pregnant with my second child and gained 40 more pounds. I'm back where I was again and can't lose this weight. I recently tried low carb/good carb again, for a month, and added 5 hours of cardio a week. After 30 days I had only lost 2 pounds (no loss in inches either), and became so frustrated, I gave up. What used to work no longer does, so I'm looking for something new that hopefully will! I'm pre-diabetic and have PCOS and hypothyroidism, so I need a low GI diet. Sugar, bread, and pasta will make me blow up like a hot air balloon!
I'm here mainly for MOTIVATION to exercise daily, and help with craving CONTROL. Laziness, chocolate, and ice cream are my demons. It's time to expel them!
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