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Just a reminder :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This is a little something I wrote for myself but wanted to share with all of you:

"When things go wrong and you fall down, remember this: be kind to yourself. This is a long, on-going process. This is you changing your way of life and turning your back on twenty years of unhealthy eating habits. Change never happens over night. You're only human, you are bound to slip up and make mistakes and fall back into your old habits when you least expect it. This is reality, and in reality things rarely go perfectly and just as planned. Actually, this is the beauty of the whole process; it's an adventure, unpredictable, possibly filled with detours and potholes but also beautiful landscapes and discoveries along the way.

The most important thing is to keep on going. When you fall down, pick yourself right back up and keep on walking. There will always be a new day and every step you take brings you closer to your goal. Even if you are only moving slowly, you are still moving. Do NOT just stand still and let this opportunity pass you by. No matter how badly you mess up, it's ALWAYS fixable. You can always move on from there. This is a learning process. This is a challenge.

Don't give up.

That's what makes all the difference this time, never giving up on yourself. You deserve this. You deserve a new life filled with beauty, health and happiness. This is your chance. Don't let anything stand in your way. Always keep moving forward, despite the pitfalls and mess-ups. Building up a new life takes time, practice and patience.

Remember this: be kind to yourself, forgive, have patience, believe in what you do, move on.

Never give up."



I hope you all enjoyed it :)


PS. I'm down 4 pounds and I feel amazing! I didn't do as well as I would've liked this week and that's why I'm extra happy for the weight loss! I definitely did not expect it. I'm inspired and motivated to do better this week and keep moving forward!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 10/24/2010 11:12AM

    Great blog! This is something that I know I need to remember--it's so easy to get frustrated by lack of progress, or by all the mistakes I keep making... but you're right. We're human, we're not perfect, and it's a process. The important thing is that we don't give up!

Congratulations on the 4 lbs lost! That's great!

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LINDENSGIRL 10/23/2010 8:25AM

    Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing. You have the attitude for great things!!

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IUHRYTR 10/23/2010 8:11AM

    Four pounds is a terrific loss. emoticon I knew you can do this. Keep up the good effort and always believe in yourself. emoticon -- Lou

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Getting My Spark Back! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thank you all for your advice and insights on my previous entry. I have decided to follow my instinct and restart my SparkDiet. I definitely feel like it is the right thing to do and I'm sure I won't regret making this decision later on. So, bye bye Atkins - hello, SparkPeople! :)

Today has been such a wonderful day. Since it's been so long and I haven't really updated in a while, I feel like there's a bit of catching up to do! I have made a few significant changes in my life since last spring:

1) I quit my English studies in the University of Turku for now (I can always go back there in the future if I feel like it) and moved back in with my boyfriend in Lahti.

2) I am now studying something I REALLY, REALLY LOVE: journalism. I am so excited about my studies and I feel like this is something I can really see myself doing in the future as well. I love writing so this really feels very natural to me. It's such a huge difference compared to studying English at the Uni. Back then I felt like every day was a struggle and I didn't find what I was studying interesting. Now it's the complete opposite!!

3) I am so much happier than I was last year when I was living alone far away from my family and my fiancÚ, studying something I didn't feel passionate about. Now I feel like my life has turned around completely: I'm living together with Tommi again, I'm studying something I really love, and I don't feel sad or depressed all the time.

It's amazing how quickly things can turn around. A year ago, I would never have imagined I'd be living this beautiful life I'm living right now. I'm so thankful for everything and I feel really blessed.

The only thing that has not changed yet is my weight. It's still exactly the same. But I'm working on it, and this time I'm only taking baby steps. I feel like today was a huge success since I usually have a hard time on weekends (especially Fridays and Saturdays!). I was so proud of myself for having Greek salad and ciabatta for dinner instead of our usual Friday night pizza or taco routine. It's all about little changes like that! I don't feel deprived at all. I feel content and confident that this is going to be the next big change in my life: I'm gaining control over my food choices and losing weight in the process!

Sure, I could have done better calorie wise (ended up consuming 1890 calories today) but it also could have been a lot worse - and it usually is! Tomorrow is my next big chance to prove that I'm on my way to a healthy new way of life.

Maybe I'll skip the dessert and just enjoy some fruit and a nice cup of peppermint tea :)

Have a wonderful Friday night everyone! It's almost midnight here in Finland and that means its also bedtime. I need my beauty sleep! ;)

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARONA_P 10/19/2010 11:53AM

    I'm sure it is alot easier to make positive changes towards a healthy lifestyles when you are feeling satisfied in other areas of your life. That's wonderful to hear that these other changes are already having a positive impact! Glad to see that you are not letting a high calorie day drag you down - moving forward and make the best decisions you can!

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MAGPIE17 10/18/2010 10:35PM

    Awesome update! Glad you're doing so well! Keep the baby steps up and I'm sure you'll see results!

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ZANNACHAN 10/15/2010 6:03PM

    I'm so glad that things are looking up for you! I know how much you hated the English program--that it wasn't what you expected at all--so I'm especially glad that this new program is working so well for you! Even better, you get to be back with Tommi. Long distance relationships can be successful (my husband and I spent our first 3 years dating living 10 hours apart, as we were at different universities) but it's hard and even harder when you hate the program that you're in. So it sounds like all the way around things are going better for you!

I think you'll be a lot happier and, frankly, more successful (not to mention healthier) in the long run with the sparks diet. I'm really glad that you made that choice!

I've become a big believer in baby steps. Losing weight hasn't been easy for me, and I'm still struggling with bursitis in my hip. I had to go very slowly in my recovery--but it has worked and I'm making progress. My hip doesn't hurt all the time. I'm a lot more active than I used to be--yeah, there are still limitations, but I'm playing soccer tonight with friends--something I wouldn't have been able to do a year ago. I'm fencing tomorrow, and for a long time I thought I would physically never be up to that challenge. And yet here I am! All by baby steps.

Baby steps are also great for helping regain your healthy lifestyle balance, whenever you start sliding off that wagon (or fall off completely, as I've had happen more than once. Because they are small, they aren't so daunting, and yet they make a real difference and make bigger changes possible.

Best of luck! And I hope you have a great weekend!

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WENDYSPARKS 10/15/2010 5:08PM

    You are doing good!!! Good luck with your writing!! I enjoy tea also!! Take things one step at a time.

Wendy :) emoticon

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KAKIPOPUP 10/15/2010 5:05PM

    Here are some (((skinny vibes))) to help you keep on the right track!

Take care.

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IUHRYTR 10/15/2010 5:00PM

    emoticon on making positive changes. It's nice to hear how happy you are now. Fruit and tea will be a good dessert, much healthier than sweets. As you recognized, small steps turn into big achievements. Take it one meal, one exercise and one positive day at a time. Oh, you don't need beauty sleep. emoticon -- Lou

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Atkins or no Atkins? What should I do?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

So, I've been pretty desperate lately.

A few weeks ago, to my horror, I noticed that I had gained 15 pounds over the summer. I know how it happened, too. I was constantly craving carbs and sugar to the point that I was eating them all the time. I wanted to stop but I just felt like I couldn't. I hit an all time low with my carb-craze when I had to come face to face with my weight and the fact that I had begun to binge large amounts of food in secret again. I felt miserable and like a big fat failure. In addition to all of this, I haven't been active here on SparkPeople. Why? I guess it's because I was doing so badly. Crazy, right?! I didn't want to face the reality of my situation, I guess. That's when I should have come back here to get back on track again and to find support. I don't know why I didn't.

Anyway, I got really desperate and started browsing the internet for some sort of a plan to stop craving unhealthy carbs all the time. I read about sugar and carb addiction, and eventually found the Atkins website. I have ALWAYS been extremely skeptical when it comes to diets like Atkins and have sworn NEVER to go on one. But after browsing through the success stories and reading about how amazing people were feeling after they had started the Atkins diet, I was beginning to actually think about going on the diet myself. I was desperate for a change.

I felt like it was the solution to all my problems. No carbs - that was exactly what I needed! Despite the faint voice of doubt I kept hearing inside my head, I decided to give it a try.

Today, I'm on my fourth day on Phase 1, Induction. During this phase, you're only allowed to eat 20 grams of carbohydrates a day, and it lasts two weeks. I feel very torn at the moment: on one hand, I feel like I should give it a try and not give up this time. On the other hand, though, I feel like this is something I'm not going to be able to do for the rest of my life. Sure, the amount of carbs is slowly increased to about 60 grams or more a day, but that still seems too little to me. I'm wondering what that will lead to in the long run; will I only end up binging carbs again? I've often heard that if you deny yourself something, it'll only lead to trouble.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't know if I can keep up with this diet and make it a permanent, healthy lifestyle. I'm afraid that if I lose the weight and manage to follow the plan for a year or so, I'll eventually get bored and go back to my old ways and gain all the weight back again, which is something I definitely do not want to happen!!!

The thing that worries me the most is that you're not allowed to eat as much fruit and veggies as I would like. I also do enjoy whole grain bread, dark rice and whole wheat pasta, but they are not allowed in the diet either. I don't know, I just feel like this is not sustainable in the long run, especially since I do love a cookie or a slice of pizza every once in a while... I wonder, will I end up binging if I stay on Atkins?

The other thing that I'm worried about is whether or not Atkins really is a healthy diet. They encourage you to get most of your energy from fat and also to eat very high amounts of protein. I've been trying to find an answer to this question on the internet, but all the studies say different things and there is no one definite answer.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! Should I stick with Atkins for now or should I follow the SparkDiet guidelines? What do you guys think? It's only been four days and I'm already contemplating this. I miss eating fruit and fiber rich cereal and plain yogurt. The thought that keeps going through my mind is that I don't think I want to give them up for the rest of my life.

I'd really appreciate your thoughts on this!!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 10/14/2010 12:42PM

    I highly, highly recommend going back to the spark guidelines. While I understand where the logic behind Atkins is coming from (eating too many carbohydrates results in blood sugar spikes and then crashes--ultimately leading people to eat more--as well as higher incidents of things like diabeties--it took it to an extreme I think is very, very unhealthy. Sure, over a short period of time it isn't so bad and can help you lose weight--the trick though is keeping that weight off while going to a more normal diet. Most atkin dieters get their weight back.

Problem 1) Atkins has VERY low levels of carbs, which makes it difficult to eat fruit (which are high in vitamins) and also carbs are essential for certain biological functions, especially fueling the brain.

Problem 2) Atkins is very high in protein as a source of energy. Problem is that if all the body's energy is from protein, the body will start breaking down it's own protein (muscle) for energy. Bad, bad bad. High protein diets are also hard for the body to metabolize, leading to long term kidney problems. Also, Atkins tends to be high in saturated fats, which contribute to heart disease.

Personally, I think you are far better off with the sparks diet, which has moderate amounts of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It's a more sustainable diet, and it's healthy. I found when I came to sparks that I did have to cut back on carbohydrates because nearly 70% sometimes of my calories were coming from carbohydrates while only 10% (sometimes less) of it was coming from protein--which explained my issues of blood sugar crashes. But I didn't throw carbohydrates out, I just reduced my over all quantity, focused on more whole grains and added some lean protein.

Maybe you don't want to use me as an example, because I've been losing weight so very slowly and suspect I gained weight over this summer (I haven't tracked food in months and things got really crazy so both meal plans and exercise plans were haphazard at best) but I also know that my over all health has improved significantly since I came to sparks and I'm fitter and stronger and, yes, thinner, even if I'm not lighter. Atkins may show you faster results, but I fear the long term consequences of what is, in my book, an essentially unhealthy diet plan.

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PHEBESS 10/14/2010 11:07AM

    I did Atkins on and off for years - it started messing with my kidney function. So my suggestion is, you could do Atkins for a short time. But not as a lifestyle. You probably also want to talk to your doctor, to make sure there isn't a physical reason you crave carbs and sugars.

Good luck!

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SHARONA_P 10/14/2010 9:03AM

    I have to chuckle a little because if this atkins diet is prompting you to crave fiber rich cereal, yogurt and fruit then maybe it IS having a good impact! I think for most people, denying yourself something specific only encourages you think think about it ALL THE TIME! I know it does for me, like the candy corn sitting on my desk right now that I have told myself I will NOT eat! :) personally i think Atkins can work for some people and will help that person lose weight but it is not a well balanced plan, which is what the SP guidelines aim for. Maybe a good plan for you would be just to focus more on a switch from sugar rich complex carbs to whole grains and sugars from fruits and such. I cookie or a potato every now and then won't ruin your progress. but it's all about balance and indulging once in while, not all the time. that's what makes it indulgence. :) when you have cravings for something in particular, set that aside and make plans to indulge maybe at the end of the week. often when we don't give in to that craving right away, the craving will wain. if you really want it two days later, plan for the indulgence. The build up of waiting a few days can make it taste even better. and you'll be rpoud of yourself for the control that you used.

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MAGPIE17 10/14/2010 7:41AM

    I wouldn't do Atkins; your body needs carbs to function, and cutting them out or down doesn't sound like the right thing to do to me.

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PAYGIRL1 10/14/2010 7:39AM

    Hi!
Well Like you I have gained and lost over the years just to gain it back again. Last year I came up with a screwball idea I wanted to run. Me, fat girl running LOL! I started the couch to 5k plan or the c25k plan-same thing and I started to change. I stopped craving Twix candy bars and Mountain Dew. It was the weirdest change I have ever gone through. I am also a carb freak. I hate to run by the way, thought I was going to die every time I went to run on my new program. Then one day I ran, thought I was going to die and my breathing evened out. It was amazing!!!!! I had changed myself, I had changed my eating habits, I had changed my body.

On my 3rd 5k I was hit by a car and haven't really been able to run since. I am devastated. I gained 12lbs back within 6weeks time. It was horrible. My doc said to try and loose weight(yeah, duh I was until the guy slammed his car into me!!). Really no diet has worked for me. I was so low and felt so bad I tried the Ideal Protein diet from my doc's office. I like you am not a big believer on depriving myself of anything. I have stuck to the plan and have lost over 30lbs in 10 weeks and have not craved carbs. I feel better(my back still hurts like crazy) but I feel better about me.

The thing I realized is I don't deprive myself. I have changed to enjoy my salads, chicken, beef, veggies and my family has changed with me. My kids now eat veggies, fresh steamed. The protein drinks are an easy and that is what I need now. Next year I should be at the weight I want to be at and I will stick to the healthy eating habits I have learned. We still go to McDonalds I get the grilled chicken sandwich, no mayo or tomato extra lettuce and add onion. I make the sandwich a wrap and don't even eat fries, they taste like cardboard.

As long as you feel like your doing something against your will you won't change. You posted to change. It doesn't matter how you get to you goal, it is a matter of when you get there. Recommit to yourself now, don't wait to get hit by a car to realize you are worth eating healthy. You are worth the effort it takes to become healthy and you are worth the results of when you are healthy.

I hope these encouraging words help with your journey.



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GRAMPIAN 10/14/2010 6:41AM

  Why not talk to your doctor? emoticon

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IUHRYTR 10/14/2010 6:17AM

    I can understand your frustration. Weight seems so easy to put on, doesn't it? But no matter what we eat or when we eat it what determines our weight are the total number of calories we take in and expend. If you're uneasy about Adkins so early into the program perhaps you should follow your instincts, stop and try to plan to stay within the calorie range that the SparkPeople weight loss tracker can set for you. You already know the importance of and enjoy fruits and veggies and fiber. I wish the best of success for you Annie. Let us know what you decide. emoticon -- Lou

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EVILKLOWN 10/14/2010 6:02AM

    All I can tell you is what I do ... I eat anything I want but I manage total calories. It works just fine. Good luck to you.

Comment edited on: 10/14/2010 6:02:41 AM

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DISMOM3 10/14/2010 5:53AM

    I've done NO research on this, so I'm not trying to respond as any kind of expert. But the one thing that jumps out at me from your blog is that YOU don't think this is a good idea. You don't feel that it's healthy, or sustainable. You think it will lead to binge eating later.

My advice is simple. Trust yourself.

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In need for some encouragement and positive thoughts.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's been such a long time since my last entry.

A week from now I'll be sitting on a plane with my mom and my sister, on my way to the beautiful island of Corfu, Greece. When we booked the trip, I visualized myself being a lot thinner and in control of my eating when we finally go there. This was almost four months ago. Today, as I am sitting here writing this, nothing has changed. I haven't lost any weight, I'm still the same size, I still struggle with over-eating and, right now, I just feel plain miserable. I feel so sad that I wasn't able to lose weight before this vacation that I have been dreaming about for so long. What happened? I don't know. Maybe I put too much pressure on myself and my expectations were too high.

The thing is, I'm afraid I won't be able to enjoy the vacation at all now that I haven't lost any weight. AND I REALLY WANT TO. I'm afraid I won't feel comfortable going to the beach and wearing a bikini, and I'm really worried I'll keep comparing myself to my little sister who is a different shape than I am and 20 pounds lighter. There are times when I feel really beautiful and confident and love my curves, but there are also times when I don't even want to go outside or be seen in public because of how disgusting I think I look. I don't want to ruin this vacation for me or for any of us.

Right now I'm wondering if there is anything I could do to make me feel positive and happy and less self-conscious. I was actually thinking of going on a liquid fast for the rest of the week before our vacation to feel better about myself but, honestly, I know that's just not a good, healthy solution.

Any advice, encouragement or positive thoughts would be GREATLY appreciated at this point. I'm so desperate to get over this right now.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 6/2/2010 8:09PM

    I think you look terrific. Hope you had a good trip. Have any pictures you can post? -- Lou

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KANSASC 5/29/2010 3:39PM

    I'm a little late seeing this blog. I just wanted to say that you are absolutely beautiful the size you are now! Even if you don't see it... I promise it's true. Having said that, I know how it feels to look into the mirror and see something different from what everyone else sees. I have lost 40lbs and I STILL look in the mirror and see a fat girl! It all boils down to the fact that YOU will always be your biggest critic. I know that is true of me.

I hope you can enjoy yourself in beautiful Greece even if you are still struggling with your weightloss goals. I will be praying for you.
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MARLA97015 5/22/2010 2:05PM

    Wow, enjoy your trip. The food in Greece for the most part is really good. Watch your portions and load up on vegetables. Just zero in on having fun and eating healthy. If you want to try a rich desert, try cutting it in half and save the other half for the next day.

Tell yourself you are worth the trip and enjoy it. Have a great trip.

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JBINAUSTIN 5/21/2010 10:03PM

    Have great trip! You'll have a great time, no matter what you weigh. As the others said, eat lots of healthy Mediterranean food.

Remember to plan for healthy plane travel.

Drink lots of water and juice, even though it means you have to "bother" people when you get up to visit the loo. (They need to get up to get the blood moving anyway.)

Get up every hour and walk around the plane. You can do lunges and squats in the hallways where you have something to lean on or grab onto (in case of turbulence). I always feel silly doing yoga pose (the standing ones, like Warrior and Tree) near the restrooms, but it makes me feel better.

It's a long way to Greece. You're probably going to have to eat some airline food. Ask n advance for low-fat, low-carb, or kosher meals, to improve your odds. Also, take a high-protein granola bar or two as insurance, in case you hate the food on the plane. And take your own healthy snacks in your carry-on luggage, so you can cheerfully turn down the fatty or sugary snacks offered by the airline.

While you're hanging around terminals waiting for planes, walk around the terminal and go up any stairs you come across. Take the stairs instead of the escalator. Walk instead of taking the moving sidewalk.

Have a great time. Post some pictures for us.

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ZANNACHAN 5/21/2010 11:25AM

    What the other said--start eating well, getting enough sleep, drinking water, etc. now--focus on healthy foods and being active, getting fitter and healthier rather than thinner. If you try to go for an unhealthy rapid weight loss, you'll potentially screw up your metabolism in the long run and you'll feel crappy, fatigued, and generally miserable--and weight lost rapidly like that is less likely to stay off. Better to take it slow and focus on being healthy.

You don't have to lose 20 lbs to be beautiful. You're beautiful now.

So go out there and have fun! Every time you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself, nip it in the bud and focus on something positive--that you're beautiful, that you have curves, that you're smart, fit, friendly, whatever. And relax and enjoy spending time with your mom and sister in Greece!

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PHEBESS 5/21/2010 10:52AM

    1. Greek men like curves. Trust me, you will get more attention than your sister will. We lived in Greece for a year, and I had to fight men off. (I was about a size 16.)

2. Focus on eating well - not a lot of oil or fried foods, lots of salads and fruit and fish. Greek food is based on those items (and grilled meats and chicken) - make this vacation your turning point, when you start eating the right kinds of foods. Don't eat American, eat Greek. A little feta goes a long way. And skip the overly sweet baklava, instead have fruit or a coffee.

3. Walk everywhere. Make a commitment to walk all over Corfu, make this your exercise on the trip. Keep track of your time so you can log it in your fitness tracker when you get back.

4. I do #2 and 3 when I travel - and I never gain weight, and sometimes lose. Just keep walking more than you eat.

Now get on that plane and have a fabulous trip!!!!!!!!!

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PMADDEN136 5/21/2010 9:21AM

  You still have a week. Start today. Eat healthy today! You won't be where you wanted to be, but you will have started to be good to yourself and you can feel good about that!

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C25K Week 2/9 - Personal Challenge Day 10/60

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I wanted to give you guys and update on how I'm doing with my personal challenge and the Couch to 5K program! Everything's going really well and I'm now on Week 2 of C25K! Today it's time for my very first Week 2 session which consists of a warm-up walk and then 20 minutes of alternating between 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking. Should be fun and challenging! Last week when I went jogging my left leg hurt a little but it's okay now so I'm hoping I'll be able to run today. It's important to stretch, warm up and cool down every single time. I know that now.

Also, today is Day 10 of my Personal Challenge and I'm still going strong! I haven't skipped any workouts and I can already see my arms getting more and more toned (since I've been doing more push-ups etc. over the past few months than ever before!). It feels great and it's not at all too exhausting or tough. Sometimes I feel lazy and try to come up with an excuse to skip a workout, but I know I'll only feel miserable afterwards. And sure, my intake could have been better this Easter - but it also could have been A LOT worse! I'm happy with how I'm doing. This is all about making life long changes, not quick fixes or unattainable plans. Small substitutions, more exercise, more healthy meals, smaller portions - that's what really counts!

OH, and HAPPY (belated) EASTER to all of you! :))

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAGPIE17 4/7/2010 3:04PM

    Great job! I love seeing the change in muscle definition...it definitely tells you you're on the right track!

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ZANNACHAN 4/7/2010 11:06AM

    emoticon That's fantastic!

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IUHRYTR 4/7/2010 6:27AM

    emoticon emoticon to get ready for Greece. You can do this. Keep up the good effort. -- Lou

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