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Looking back on February and getting prepared for new challenges!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Hi everyone!

It's been a while. I thought I'd give you guys a little update on how I've been doing lately. Everything is going great! In February, I learned so many new things about being patient and taking things one step at a time. I'm now off to a great start - and for the first time, I don't feel burned out or stressed about changing my lifestyle! It's amazing. I now realize how important it is to keep in mind that weight loss happens slowly over time, not in 24-hour slots (which basically means that, these days, when I go over my calories or eat something I shouldn't, I don't say: "Oh well, I might as well keep eating since I already messed up my eating for today!") It's incredible what a difference such a short time can make. I now know that small changes count - there is no need for drastic, dramatic changes that rarely stick. After all, I'm in this for the long haul!

In February, I lost two pounds and a few centimeters on my waist. My clothes fit better, I feel more confident and I'm building momentum for months and years to come.

I look forward to March and seeing my body and mind transform even further. My goal this month is to lose 4 kilograms (about 7.5 pounds) and firm up. I'm loving nordic walking at the moment - it's so much more effective and burns 20 % more calories than walking alone! That's part of my workout plan for March as well as swimming, yoga and strength training. I'm also logging in here every day and tracking my meals & fitness as well as the goals I have set for myself. I have a good feeling about this!!!

Oh and by the way, I feel so motivated because I took some before pictures in early February and now again a few days ago, and I can already see a small difference. I'm on the right track!

How amazing is that?

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAGPIE17 3/4/2010 11:57AM

    Good luck with your goal, and congrats on your February weight loss!!

Cheers,

Mags

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ZANNACHAN 3/2/2010 4:14PM

    emoticon

That's great news! I'm glad that Feb. went so well for you and it sounds like you're off to a great start for March as well!

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WALNUT5612 3/2/2010 4:14PM

    ...."when I go over my calories or eat something I shouldn't, I don't say: "Oh well, I might as well keep eating since I already messed up my eating for today!") It's incredible what a difference such a short time can make...."

I couldn't agree more. It pays to get right back on track asap!

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IUHRYTR 3/2/2010 3:38PM

    Yes, you are on the right track. All positive progress is good. Keep up the effort and it will pay off soon. -- Lou

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Feeling confident!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's amazing how quickly things begin to change once you start working at them. I've only met all my nutritional goals a few days in a row and yet I feel completely different: I feel confident that I can actually do this. It's such a great feeling!

Things are different this time because I am being more consistent than ever before. I remember days when I didn't feel like tracking my meals because I knew I had gone over my calorie limit - and that's why I was never able to change things. Because I never had to actually face my emotional eating patterns it was impossible to fix. Now that I have been consistently tracking every single bite I eat during the day, I was shocked to realize how much I really do eat when I eat whatever I want. I'm an emotional eater, there's no question about that. I eat when I'm stressed, sad, bored, excited, angry... It's NON-STOP! And, thanks to regular and consistent tracking, I now know my biggest problems when it comes to nutrition: carbs and fat. I eat way too much of both. (Correction, ATE. I don't anymore. I'm working on it and I'm doing pretty well, too!)

Tracking has helped me to identify my biggest nutritional downfalls. It's so much easier to work on them now that they have a name. I'm sure that as time goes by I will learn to eat a balanced diet with enough nutrients and calories. By adding a few servings of fruit and veggies every day and eliminating fatty foods, I'm off to a great start!



Obviously, I'll still be able to enjoy a small portion of ice cream every now and then.... ;) Haha. The picture was taken on New Year's Day.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 2/25/2010 1:05AM

    Awesome! And as Linda said, you don't have to give up all your favorite foods--just watch how often and how much.

I am glad that things are really coming together for you! I agree that tracking is one of the best tools that Sparks has to offer. I hate tracking my food--it always takes so much time!--but when I regularly track my food, it's really illuminating. It's not just emotional eaters who find that they eat way more than they expect! When I get really busy--which is nearly always--it's so easy to fall back on quick, easy food options--many of which are LOADED in calories. And when I don't track food, it's easier to let the easy options slide under the radar, so to speak.

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LINDA25427 2/23/2010 2:27PM

    Congratulations emoticon emoticon
I read a article some time back that you don't have to give up your favorite foods just watch your portion size and how often you eat them and to always make sure you burn as many calories as you take in just to maintain. To lose 1-lb a week you need to burn 3500 more calories a week then you took in.
I wish you the best.Hope you have a great week .God bless. emoticon emoticon

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WALNUT5612 2/23/2010 12:45PM

    emoticon

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SOKKERNUT 2/23/2010 12:35PM

    emoticon Keep it up! emoticon

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IUHRYTR 2/23/2010 11:09AM

    Isn't progress motivating? Good for you in entering a new dimension on your weight loss journey. Still studying hard? -- Lou

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Progress

Monday, February 15, 2010

I know that I am making progress because...

...I am now taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
...I look for healthier options on the menu before ordering dinner.
...I simply don't want to miss my daily walk.
...I have begun to substitute unhealthy snacks with fruit, veggies and other low-calorie, low-fat alternatives.
...I don't feel stressed out about making these changes, but instead, I am taking things one day at a time.
...when I get a craving, I stop before I act on it. I try to figure out what caused the craving and if it's something emotional like boredom or stress, I'll deal with the emotion and skip the Snickers bar.
...I am learning to be kind to myself and treat myself as my own best friend. Not every day is perfect and we all make mistakes. My job is to encourage myself, not to beat myself up for every little mistake I make.
...I am beginning to find a balance between eating healthy and eating tasty. Not all delicious treats are unhealthy! And besides, if I decide to have a slice of pizza or a brownie, it's okay - as long as it's all in moderation and balance. If I know I'll have a high-calorie dinner, I'll eat a light lunch and walk 20 minutes longer to make up for it!
...I have finally realized that big changes don't happen overnight. It takes time, practice, and preparation. I don't want to rush it because I now know I WILL get there. I can already see it, it's right there, at my reach.

I could probably go on forever. I see myself making small changes and substitutions, and it makes me feel really hopeful and positive about what I'm doing. I am almost done with Fast Break, and I have to say I have really enjoyed it. It was truly worthwhile to take this time to get back to basics and remind myself what is important when making this lifestyle change. I am ready for tougher challenges now that I have a good, solid foundation to build lifelong habits on.

Motivational picture of the day:



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 2/22/2010 2:17PM

    Pretty amazing list of accomplishments--you really have made a lot of positive changes! And like Maki34, reading your list helped me realize that I, too have made more progress than I had realized--which I really needed, because it's been a rollercoaster couple of weeks.

Way to go!

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MAKI34 2/15/2010 7:46PM

    Wow you know what? Thanks to your list I now realize how much progress I've made too! We really are starting to change for good! Good For Us!

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IUHRYTR 2/15/2010 1:07PM

    Quite an eye-opening revelation, isn't it, that things can change for the better without us feeling worse for it? Quite a motivating picture, too. Keep up the good attitude and effort and you'll get to your goal. -- Lou

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Making the most of Fast Break

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

So, as you may or may not know, last week I re-started my program and returned back to Stage 1, Fast Break. I feel like I need a fresh start and there is so much I need to learn about taking this journey one step at a time. I really think going back to basics and making the most of these first two weeks can help me to get a great head start with my new healthy lifestyle.

Focusing on just three small goals every day is perfect in the beginning. When I first started the Spark Diet I always used to try to do too much, too soon. This time I'm not making the same mistake though! I'm not in a hurry.

Today, I put up visual motivators everywhere I can see them: pictures and motivational quotes on the fridge, the mirror, my closet and all around the apartment. It's so important to keep your goals on top of mind at all times. I feel like seeing my goals in pictures and words every day actually helps me to work towards them by making small changes and finding more opportunities to become healthier.

Now it's time for dinner (thai chicken soup, yummmm)! Later!

Motivational picture of the day:


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 2/9/2010 1:06PM

    Never hurts to start fresh. Sounds like you're off to a good start. Hang in there, one day at a time. You can do this. -- Lou

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ZANNACHAN 2/9/2010 12:50PM

    Good luck! I'm also going back to the roots--not really starting over so much as re-grounding myself, I guess. I think the 3 fast breaks are a great way to get re-focused when you're struggling. I'm working on gathering visual motivators, too.

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JRAY21 2/9/2010 12:32PM

    Good Luck! The visuals really help me as well, I put them all over my house. The pictures, along with finally getting rid of all the junk food in my house, really helped me move along.

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A-Z

Friday, February 05, 2010

I stole this from ZANNACHAN's blog! Enjoy! emoticon


A is for Age: 21

B is for Booze: I drink very rarely, but when I do I mostly drink either white whine or champagne (when I can afford it!).

C is for Career: Since I was a child, I've always wanted to become a writer. That would be a dream career for me.

D is for Dad's name: Arto

E is for Essential items to bring to a party: It depends, I guess. A bottle of wine, some flowers or good food. And myself, of course! Haha.

F is for Favorite song or music: I adore Beyoncé and especially some of her earlier songs from the B'Day album (Naughty Girl, Freakum Dress and Upgrade U just to name a few). I guess you could say she's my favorite, but I listen to all kinds of music such as Shakira, Alejandro Sanz, Gregory and the Hawk, Jay-Z... the list goes on!

G is for Goof off thing to do: Well, I do watch a lot of TV and I'm trying to cut back. Honestly, I could spend hours watching Sex and the City or Grey's Anatomy. That Patrick Dempsey is HOT! :))

H is for Hometown: I was born in a town called Lappeenranta in eastern Finland, but I currently live on the west coast, in Turku.

I is for Instrument you play: Piano


J is for Jam or Jelly you like: Strawberry!

K is for Kids: One day! I feel like I'm way too young to have kids at my age, but in a few years, absolutely!

L is for Living arrangement: An apartment for now.

M is for Mom's name: Leena

N is for Name of best friend: Amanda

O is for Overnight Stay in a Hospital: Once when I was 11 and another time when I was 14 when I got my tonsils removed.

P is for Phobias: I can't stand insects of any kind but for some reason, butterflies freak me out. I have nightmares of being covered in butterflies and feeling their little wings flapping against my skin... Just the very thought makes me a little nauseous! I'm also a little scared of birds and clowns. Weird, I know.

Q is for Quote you like: "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." I have so many quotes I like but this one just came to mind. Forrest Gump is an excellent movie.

R is for Relationship that lasted longest: I've been with my fiancé for six years and two months now. We've been engaged for almost three years now.

S is for Siblings: One sister

T is for Texas, ever been? No, but I'd like to go one day!

U is for Unique trait: I'm overly concerned with the freshness and quality of fruits and vegetables, and find it very difficult to eat a salad if I haven't made it myself.

V is for vegetable you love: I love bell peppers! And carrots are yummy, too.

W is for Worst traits: I have a black-and-white personality: life is either GREAT or ALL WRONG.

X- is for X-rays you've had: Gosh, I don't even remember. Lungs, ankle, foot... I used to always hurt myself as a child. I probably got all possible X-rays done by the time I was 13!

Y is for Yummy food you make: I had to ask my boyfriend's opinion for this question. He says I make yummy pizza, lasagna, thai soup and spaghetti carbonara.

Z is for Zodiac sign: Taurus

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 2/6/2010 2:23AM

    Cool. I'm glad that you borrowed it! It was fun to read your answers.

PS: I love bell peppers too. And carrots! Yum.

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IUHRYTR 2/5/2010 8:00PM

    No butterflies for a present. Got it. Interesting list. -- Lou

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