NANCIER   27,047
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NANCIER's Recent Blog Entries

The experiment continues

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Four months into maintaining. I admit I haven't been around SP much the last couple of months, but I've remained mindful about what I'm eating and how much I'm moving. Exercise has become less about maintaining that number on the scale and more about maintaining a general positive outlook. It boosts my mood, and gives me a sense of accomplishment. I'm not exercising as much as I had been in the ways that I had been, but snow fall has provided me with plenty of opportunities for working out. I've started to schedule in time for the gym to get back into the running habit as the weather gets warmer.

I've stopping tracking calories but continue to measure portions. Measuring has been important - now that I'm maintaining and not trying to lose, the husband has chosen to buy all kinds of yummy chocolaty food treats. It would be easy to go overboard. Small splurges - mostly non-food inexpensive treats, like the occasional new tube of lipstick or a new song for my workout playlist- help keep emotional eating at bay. So I can't say that I've truly entered a lifestyle mentality of eating - I'm still thinking in terms of foods I can eat more of and foods that I shouldn't eat much of, but, in practice, I'm eating everything, enjoying it, and being mindful about it but not feeling deprived.

I still weigh myself several times a week and logging that weight here when it changes. I also stop in and have a look at how SparkFriends are doing - smile with those of you who are accomplishing your goals and learn from your experiences. Thanks for sharing those!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ICEDEMETER 3/2/2014 3:11PM

    Nice to see you, Nancie - and even nicer to hear how you are doing!

I have the feeling that it may not be a bad thing to stay conscious of "foods that I shouldn't each much of" as part of the permanent lifestyle - we've got to make our choices on foods based on *something*!

This winter seems to have provided a lot of us with a reasonable amount of unscheduled exercise, so thanks for the reminder that warmer weather will require a bit more scheduled exercise to match it.

Hope you and yours are well and happy!

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MJRVIC2000 3/1/2014 4:27PM

    Good For You! Keep up the good work! God Bless YOU! Vic.

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Looking back to move forward

Sunday, December 22, 2013

(Sorry-this is long...)
Given that thereís only a couple of weeks left in the year, I thought Iíd take a little time to think about what has worked for me this time through after several failed attempts to take this weight off. It's worthwhile to me to acknowledge what has kept me motivated so that I don't lose this motivation. For me, breaking a promise to myself or not completing a goal is just too easy. From prior experience I know that even deeply engrained habits can be destroyed with relative ease. Here are three habits that I know have made all the difference and that I will need to maintain moving forward.

1. Being accountable to something other than myself.
Every morning since early February, I've logged into SparkCoach for a visualization, to reflect on the day that has past, and to think about the day ahead. Since my 1 year SparkCoach subscription will be ending in a few months, Iím looking around for what will replace that habit. So for the last month I've also been going through my to-do list first thing in the morning to think through other aspects of the day ahead. This has been super useful during this hectic season. It has helped me to see how I can be more efficient when I've really needed to be. It has helped me find more free time to spend with my family and it's even helping me to reduce clutter in my home. Breaking down what needs to get done into manageable bites stops me from feeling overwhelmed, and that in turn helps keep emotional eating in check.

2.Making better-for-me food the easy choice.
The not -so-good-for-me foods will always be around - in my kitchen, at work, and when dining out. If the fruit, veggies, Greek yogurt, whole grains, and eggs are easier to get to than the deli meat, chips, crackers and cookies, I'm going to nosh on them preferentially rather than the food that's harder to reach for.

3.Taking care of (even pampering) myself
This one isnít so easy for me. Iíve always been pretty low maintenance and careful with my money. Then I went from low maintenance to almost no maintenance. My skin and hair were dry. I didnít feel well. I wasnít getting enough sleep. I was perpetually cranky.
Over the last 10 months, Iíve come to learn how important taking a bit better care of my skin and hair and wearing a little makeup are to my sense of well being. If nothing else, it boosts my confidence. I feel I present myself better. Getting to bed at a reasonable hour means that Iím in a better mood the next day. Part of taking care of myself is making time to exercise. These days, Iím not great about doing that, and I know I better get back to it - its become a daily entry on the to-do list. One thing Iíve learned is that feeling like I've pampered myself doesnít necessarily mean that Iím spending a whole lot of money or a lot of time. It just means that Iím doing things that support my sense of well being. That sense of well being also seems to keep my emotional eating in check.

Looking this over, it becomes clear that this yearís journey has been about taking control over the way I feel about myself and finding ways of dealing with stress that donít involve food. Donít get me wrong - I still love food. Its fun and festive. I love the part it plays in developing community and family gatherings. Iím interested in the role it plays in culture, history, the economy, and its impact on our environment. But consuming it mindlessly sure didn't solve any of my problems.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RACEWELLWON 12/22/2013 1:00PM

    Wonderful Blog all of your mentioned goals truly make the difference but number three rings true for me - Taking the time to Fuel the Fire - means making quality time for me - emoticon a toast to a successful new year !

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MJREIMERS 12/22/2013 12:51PM

    emoticon I like your entire blog, but #3 is especially important, in my opinion. The little things can make such a difference in really influence #1 and #2.

I've always had to wear a little make-up. Eye liner on top and mascara. Add a little powder and I'm good to go. Without mascara my eyelashes are nonexistent and I feel frumpy. Little things to go a long way.

Keep focusing on you and how to keep you healthy. emoticon for your blog. It helped me refocus, too.

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UMBILICAL 12/22/2013 11:19AM


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December challenges

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Now that Thanksgiving is in my rear view mirror, I'm looking ahead to the next two events which could wreak havoc on my consistency: my son's birthday and Christmas.

So I'm doing what I can to avoid too much disruption, and re-focusing my efforts by participating in the #SparkTheSeason challenge (here's a link:
heres_how) For the next month my goals are:
*Weigh myself on Mondays and Thursdays.
*Go running 12 times over the next 26 days - work towards my 5k goal.
*Do a workout video on the days I don't run.
*Log my food & work at finding my maintenance caloric intake sweet spot.

The last one is probably my highest priority. Before Thanksgiving, I was continuing to lose weight eating in the middle of the caloric intake levels Spark was recommending for me. Weird as it may sound, right now, I'm finding it challenging to eat more than 1600 calories in a day. Its still early days for maintaining for me (what is this, week 4?) and I've still got plenty of tweaking to do as I settle into this new phase.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ICEDEMETER 12/4/2013 5:29PM

    Seeing as you've lost another pound since posting this, it sounds like a bit more tweaking might be in order! It's funny how much we get used to eating at a certain calorie level, and how challenging it can be to start increasing it.

I'm just grateful that I'm a happy carnivore, since I want to increase the protein right now and it's really simple to just increase portion sizes on meats without playing around with the rest of what we're eating. Other than adding more cheese or nuts, I wouldn't even know where to start with increasing calories on the rest of my meals...

Hope that you're figuring it out, and finding extra calories that you really enjoy!

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MJRVIC2000 11/30/2013 3:16PM

    Stay focused! Your future is always before you and never behind you. God Bless ! Vic.

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Morning after Thanksgiving rumination

Friday, November 29, 2013

Its the morning after Thanksgiving dinner with my husband's family. So much to be grateful for this year. Happy weddings, nieces getting into college, nieces and nephews gainfully and meaningfully employed; major health issues managed successfully. And me getting back to what I feel is a comfortable, healthy weight.

On Tuesday night, I was looking at pictures on my computer. Silly things that I had taken with the webcam with the lad sitting on my lap back in 2009.

And pictures I took to use for professional reasons in October 2012 when I was at my heaviest (note that this is me trying not to look as heavy as I did).

And so I took some more silly pictures with the kid that night.

Its like that weight gain over the last 4 years is a total blip in what I've recorded of myself. Confirmation last night when only one brother-in-law made any mention about the way I look - the comment was "Well look at you" - and that was it. I enjoyed the meal - lots of interesting veggies on the buffet as well as the traditional turkey/stuffing/gravy, and indulged a bit in the lovely pre-meal cocktail and locally produced chŤvre offered before dinner and small slices of pie and that super decadent chocolate brownie cheesecake afterwards. Dinner was in mid-afternoon and we left for home before the leftovers made their way out again. Phew. Honestly I didn't need an evening meal.

Following dinner last night, a few of our discussions really hit home the importance of exercising, for mental well being as well as physical well being. For the last couple of weeks, because of some developments at work and colder temperatures outside, I've been seriously slacking on getting in exercise. I've got options and the tools to fit it in, and in the course of this time through with Spark, I've learned how to fit exercise in with short bursts. Enough excuses.

This morning I feel like, though I may have exceeded my recommended calorie intake for the day, I enjoyed the meal mindfully and have renewed my commitment to make exercise a priority in my day. OK time to put this gorgeous morning and my polar fleece running tights to good use.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ICEDEMETER 12/4/2013 5:23PM

    The pics are great - and the lad is beyond adorable!

It's great to hear that you had a really good Thanksgiving, and that enjoying the day gave you such positive reinforcement of what you want your lifestyle to be.

So - how did the cold-weather running gear work?!?

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KELLIEBEAN 11/29/2013 10:17AM

    That's nice how you focused on what to be grateful for! Great pictures.

Enjoy your run!


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New season=new challenges & new goals

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Moving from fall to winter, daylight savings, making the move from weight loss to maintenance...the last few weeks have been full of changes. Getting up in daylight is a welcome change; driving home in darkness not so much. With colder temperatures, I find that my motivation to go out and run or walk has completely evaporated. Poof.

With it being colder outside and darker in the afternoon, I feel chilled and when I feel chilly, I want comfort food. Also, my job, which has a seasonal nature, has gone from being moderately active with a good amount of walking and standing to being more sedentary - and super busy with database, file management, writing, and administrative projects. My office desk sits in front of a window, and the wall doesn't have the best insulation, so by the time afternoon rolls around I'm feeling downright cold.

So here's what I'm doing to avoid emotional eating and giving in to the desire to become a tater tot:

1. Layer and bundle up.
Long underwear is my friend. I can put extra layers under my winter coat now. I used to have a fleece vest that I would wear for extra warmth at work the last time I had lost this weight...gotta find it again.

2. Come to work prepared for needing an afternoon snack.
Rather than packing one large apple with my lunch, I now pack 2 small apples - one for lunch and one for afternoon snack. Last week I also took a short walk to the coffee place down the street for a cup of decaf and a square of some lovely dark chocolate.

I did learn this week that I've kind of lost my taste for commercial dark chocolate. A second trip to grab and afternoon decaf, I ended up getting a Dove dark chocolate bar. It was creamy, to be sure, but sweeter than the better stuff found at the coffee place slightly further away,and didn't satisfy me quite as well.

3. Prepare for winter sports.
I signed my son up for a nordic skiing league. He's in love with cross country skiing ever since he went with his school last year. I've only been twice in my life. I figure while the lad is out with the gang of kids, I'll improve my own skiing skills. To ensure that I'll be able to get up with ease after the inevitable falls, I'm working on skater squats and other lower body strengthening.

4. Work on upper body too.
As a shorter term measurable challenge for myself, I'm working on moving from doing modified push-ups to actual push-ups. My right shoulder has never been all that healthy, so I'm taking baby steps, doing one set of full push-ups and then sets of modified ones as part of my 7 minute circuit challenge.

5. 7 minute circuit challenge!
Since I haven't been great about getting to the gym at lunch time recently, and I'm not great about getting up to exercise, I'm finding that the 7 minute workout
is something I can squeeze into my evenings. Short and tough.

Most evenings I stop at one circuit; sometimes I do two. And the app I use to time the intervals (you knew there had to be some sort of tech carrot, right?) has some fun achievement awards.

I need to do a better job of getting to the gym or getting outside to do cardio three times a week, too. I find that a work out at lunch time leaves me less hungry in the afternoon than no work out. I know that may not make a whole lot of sense because theoretically I should need more calories, but I think I can stay better focused on my job after I've had a change of scenery and have moved around more.

So that's the plan. Because work's become a bit more sedentary, there hasn't been much of a change between my suggested calorie intake for loosing weight and my suggested intake for maintenance.

Have the changes in the season affected what you're doing too?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ICEDEMETER 11/9/2013 7:31PM

    Does having a snowball fight on the side of a mountain count as a "change in activities"?

Sounds like you've got a great plan in place - way to go! The only things I would suggest are:

- buy a heater for beside your desk (seriously - best darned investment I ever made)

- if you have a microwave at work, consider slicing up your afternoon snack apple, sprinkling it with cinnamon (and maybe 10g or so of shredded cheese) and nuke it for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes --- it's amazing how much more satisfying it is when you've been feeling chilled (that's actually my current morning snack)

- if you don't have a microwave available, then maybe consider a small, wide-mouthed thermos that you can fill with either soup or one of your yummy veggie / bean stews for an afternoon snack instead (a good one will keep stuff warm for 6 hours or more)

Taking up x-country skiing is awesome! Not only is it fun, a great workout (your thighs and butt will feel it), and should be a blast to spend time with your son --- it's also a great excuse to go shopping for the right gear! Now, if you combine it with geo-caching and pick yourself up a good GPS... it could even have a techie bonus!

Thanks for the timely lesson in how to slide seamlessly in to maintenance --- I'll be remembering this when I get there.

Hope you and yours are having a fabulous weekend!

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LALMEIDA 11/9/2013 7:21PM

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