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A small victory!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I just wanted to share this here because it was such a big step for me! So today I went to the movies with my boyfriend and I usually ALWAYS have the medium popcorn and a soda but not this time! I chose not to have any popcorn because I knew it would not look pretty on my nutrition tracker! Ha ha! :) I would have still stayed within my calorie range but I just decided to skip it.

That was the first time I skipped movie popcorn in I don't know how long! The thing is, I knew I would crave it less if I ate a healthy dinner just before we'd leave so that I wouldn't be hungry. When you're full you're obviously less likely to get cravings for unhealthy foods. My strategy worked and I'm so proud of myself!

I ended up having about 1,350 calories today. Tomorrow is weigh-in day and I have to admit I'm curious to see if the numbers have gone down since my last weigh in. Whether they have or haven't, I know I haven't felt this good in a very long time.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 2/23/2012 11:41PM

    Proud of you Annie. besides being so costly, movie treats are calorie landmines. It was good that you planned ahead and had a filling dinner. Next time, maybe even stick a granola bar or protein bar in your purse as a snack if you get hungry. emoticon for you! -- Lou

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NUSUSAN 2/23/2012 5:06PM

  I LOVE popcorn. I used to eat it every night after work when I was winding down. And not just a cup but the most of the popper. Yikes. I have only been on Spark for less than a week, but my trainer had told me to give up popcorn except for special occasions. So good for you. It is a tuff one to give up


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MEL5BRADY 2/23/2012 5:04PM

    Congratulations!!! I love your profile background!

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Mind Over Body

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Today was such a great day. I ended up consuming 1,270 calories which is definitely lower than usual for me - and I didn't even get hungry! I also worked out as planned. I walked to school and back (70 minutes) and did 30 minutes of strength training in the evening. I feel so amazing right now that I wish I could just bottle up this feeling so that I could take advantage of this energy even when the going gets rough (as it always does at some point) and I'm not feeling this great. Ha ha!

I stumbled upon this really great collection of articles here on Sparks called Mind Over Body. It focuses on making that transition from a diet to a permanent healthy lifestyle change and overcoming the most common obstacles that might surface along the way. It includes a collection of 10 interesting articles all focusing on different challenges and solutions. You can find it here:

I've read the first two articles now and all I can say is that they really hit home with me. The first one was about stepping up and owning your decisions and choices instead of playing the victim and blaming your mistakes on someone or something you can't control. I know I've been guilty of doing this before, and the article really made me think about taking responsibility for my own actions. If it's cold out and I don't want to go for a walk, I probably would have told myself: "It's too cold out to exercise" but what I should say instead is "I chose not to work out today because it was so cold." This prevents us from being powerless victims of circumstances and helps us gain control over our own life and realize that we are in charge of what we choose or choose not to do!

The second article was about measuring your progress with the scale. I know I have gotten a lot better over the past few years at using other measurements beside the scale to make sure I'm making progress. I used to be so obsessed with the numbers going down that if one day nothing happened - or even worse, if I had gained weight instead of losing it - I would get totally discouraged and feel like giving up. This is not a lifestyle mentality, this is complete diet mentality and I'm really happy I don't do that anymore. I know it's so depressing when you do everything right and the scale won't budge, but it's really important to keep in mind that it's just one tool for measuring progress. And it's got flaws. It doesn't tell us we are doing this great, amazing thing for our bodies by taking care of them better than we used to. It doesn't measure the change in our thinking, in our mood or in the way feel about ourselves. It doesn't notice how our clothes fit and it doesn't care if we can jog just for 10 minutes longer than we used to.

None of those important changes can be measured by the scale. Granted, the scale can be a very useful tool when trying to lose weight, but it shouldn't be the only tool we use. Taking measurements or just looking in the mirror and seeing our clothes fit looser is just as important - not to mention the positive changes in our behavior, mood and self-image!

I try to weigh myself only once a week and I take my measurements once a month. I also take progress pictures monthly to be able to really see the differences in my body. But I can tell you that these days, I also put a lot more emphasis on how I feel. And as I told you before, I FEEL AMAZING!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 2/22/2012 5:37PM

    That is more exciting news. Stay determined and positive! -- Lou

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Down 4 pounds :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm so happy to be off to such a great, encouraging start. After just one week of tracking everything I eat and how much I worked out, I am already beginning to see the numbers go down. I know I have a long way to go and I'm taking this journey one small step at a time. I will probably stumble and fall along the way, but I promise to always get back up and keep on moving towards my goal.

Here in Finland, today we celebrate the Finnish equivalent of Mardi Gras called 'Laskiainen'. On Laskiainen, we eat these:

It's a sweet cardamom bun sliced in half and stuffed with strawberry jam and whipped cream. They are sooo delicious! I have been staying on the low end of my calorie range today just so I can have one for dessert today and not go over my calorie limit. It's all about moderation! :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 2/21/2012 9:26PM

    Annie, that is exciting news about your weight loss. That you planned ahead for the delicious looking dessert is commendable and is one more bit of reinforcement as you head for the next one pound loss. Good going! -- Lou

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WALKINGRED 2/21/2012 11:47AM

    Congratulations on your -4! Keep tracking emoticon

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GUSGUS02 2/21/2012 10:50AM

    That looks wonderful! Happy fat Tuesday!

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It's all about the small changes

Sunday, February 19, 2012

All in all, I had a great, healthy weekend! :) On Saturday, I ended up going over my calorie limit but I made up for it today (my tracker says 1,470 calories!) so it's not so bad. I definitely struggle more on weekends and it's sometimes difficult to fight off cravings and come up with low-calorie alternatives that satisfy my sweet tooth.

I know that, for me, craving unhealthy foods is purely mental at least most of the time. This weekend I tried to focus on avoiding those cravings as well as I possibly could. I drank a lot of water, ate lots of fresh produce, divided my meals evenly throughout the day so that I never got too hungry, I consumed enough calories, I cooked delicious meals... And yet, come Saturday night, like clockwork, I started craving for chocolate. I tried waiting it out. I tried keeping myself occupied and having fruit and berries instead, but nothing helped.

I then made a conscious decision to have a small chocolate bar (as opposed to my usual binge feast) and it definitely satisfied my craving without being too destructive. Had I eaten a little less during the day, I might not even gone over my calorie limit.

What I realized, then, is that I need to have one day per week when I'm allowed some 'guilty' treat. I know myself and I know I'll go nuts and eventually cave and eat way more than I should, so I think it's best to enjoy these treats in a controlled way. In moderation. Besides, a small amount of chocolate once a week will not wreck my diet. I used to eat chocolate every day so I guess it's not even realistic for me to expect to eliminate it from my diet altogether! And I wouldn't even want to, to be honest.

It's all about the small changes. It's about making conscious decisions and staying accountable. It's about enjoying everything in moderation, and about finding LASTING ways to change my existing lifestyle in a way that is realistic and doable. I want to make this a long lasting lifestyle change that will stick with me forever.

Small changes (like having a small chocolate bar instead of a whole bag of mini chocolate bars, or one small serving of low-fat ice cream instead of a giant bowl of the full fat variety) eventually end up being those big, life-altering changes that make the difference between a diet and a healthy lifestyle. And I need to keep that in mind!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEEPSOUTHGAL 2/19/2012 7:17PM

    Anything can be a part of a healthy diet, it all comes down to balance.
Looks like you did well emoticon

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IUHRYTR 2/19/2012 6:19PM

    Too many people believe they must deprive themselves of foods some so-called experts claim are "bad' for us but all that does is make us want that food more. It is better to give in now and then an get it out of the system and ad it into our daily calorie totals then to be so focused what we "can't" have that we obsess over it. Experts often get it wrong. Keep trying to find things to do on weekends that break the old habits and build new ones, one positive day at a time. -- Lou

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Weekends are a challenge

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weekends have always been challenging for me. Over the years, I have gotten so used to my 'weekend routine' that it seems very difficult to break the habit. While most people my age (I'm 23) like to spend their weekends partying, I've never been the one to go out and party. The highlight of my weekend has, for years now, been Saturday night spent watching movies and eating pizza or some other high-calorie, greasy food on the couch with my boyfriend... Not to mention having some chocolate or ice cream for dessert!

It's now 7:40 pm here and I can't even begin to describe how badly I'm craving pizza and chocolate right now. I feel physically ill. All I can think about is food and I'm not even hungry. I've already eaten all the meals I had planned for today and I'm now at 1,500 calories. All my meals were healthy and nutritious, so I shouldn't be craving any more food. It's just a mental thing, I know...

I guess I'll just have to wait it out. I'm just in a really bad mood right now because of my cravings. Any tips on how to fight them??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAGGIEX3UK 2/19/2012 11:19AM

    Hmmm i face the same situation too. How about going for a piece of fruit? If you are craving something, let it be something healthy and nutritious. Sometimes when i feel that way, i chug some water down or channel my cravings into a mini workout.

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IUHRYTR 2/18/2012 7:35PM

    There are many articles here with tips on how to redirect our cravings. What has helped me is to do something else for 10-15 minutes -- clean house, walk outside in the yard, sort papers, anything to see if I'm still hungry after that. if so, then to drink water and have a piece of fruit, making it last and enjoying every small bite, thus giving my stomach time to realize it is full. Past bad habits are what we need to overcome if we are to be successful. Would stopping the stay inside on Saturday nights help? Maybe get out to a movie or bookstore or library or somewhere not associated with past food choices? Hang in there, Annie, one choice at a time. emoticon -- Lou

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