NANCYANNE55   91,771
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NANCYANNE55's Recent Blog Entries

Video Blog Link on the Tools I Use to Stay Organized.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUCINDARW 4/12/2012 11:08AM

    How efficient! great blog and lots of good ideas. Lucinda emoticon

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GODZDESIGN95 1/11/2012 10:17AM

    Very informative..neat ideas too.

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CICI510 1/10/2012 2:59PM


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TOBESIZE4 1/9/2012 11:44PM

    Thanks. I will use you idea for the accordian folder. I have years of back issues of oxygen and m&f hers!


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HEALTHDUDE 1/9/2012 3:14PM

    This was informative, thanks for sharing.


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HELENAWF 1/9/2012 12:52PM

    Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful week! Hugs, Wendy

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ROCKMAN6797 1/9/2012 7:53AM

    Great video!
Love the organizational tips, very helpful.
Thank you for sharing!

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Binge Recovery

Friday, January 06, 2012

Okay, so you've done it- You ate way too much of the wrong stuff. And in the middle of kicking yourself and wishing you could go back in time, you are wondering "Is there anything I can do to help reduce the negative effects of this?' I have an answer for you, and that answer is "YES"! (And no, it does not involve the porcelain god and sticking a finger down your throat!)

This isn't going to be easy, no magic pill, but it will get most, if not all, of the garbage you just ate out of your system. There are basically three steps you will employ for the next 3 days:

1. Drink water like it's going out of style! This is NOT the time to shy away from water because you are afraid it will make you weigh even more in the morning. It's time to guzzle. It will give your cleansing organs a vehicle to carry all of that bad stuff (carbs, sodium, fat, chemicals) out of your body as fast as possible. The sooner they leave the body, the harder it is for your body to store them as fat. I'm not talking water toxicity levels, here, but make a concerted effort to drink more water than you normally would. And water- not diet soda or any other kind of beverage you would rather drink. Water. Water doesn't give your body one MORE factor to process and deal with.

2. Cardio like a mad person! If you have any extra time for additional cardio over the next 72 hours, just do it, no questions asked. I had a trainer friend of mine say that it takes the body 72 hours to turn unaccounted for carbs into fat. You are trying to get 'em accounted for with cardio! I have no idea if what he said was right or not, but putting as much time into cardio as possible for three days after a binge has helped me to keep the damage at bay. Cardio uses glycogen, which is what the body turns carbs into, for fuel. If glycogen doesn't get used for fuel, the body stores it as fat (future fuel). You want to try to stop that from happening

As an aside- Don't abandon your weight lifting routine, though! Lifting also uses glycogen, although not as much. Keep up the lifting routine the same, but raise your cardio level. Two or three 30 or 40-minute cardio sessions a day is not too much right now, if you can squeeze that much in!

Oh! And expect the next day to have kick-butt cardio and lifting sessions. With all of that glycogen now stored in your muscles you will be able to push harder than normal in your workouts. (Proving that every cloud truly does have a silver lining!)

3. Focus your diet for the next day on protein, with only veggies for carbs. It's Okay to have nonfat milk products. My guess is that after the binge you aren't going to be wanting too many carbs, anyhow. The next two days after that, go for small servings of things like oatmeal with breakfast and whole grains like 100% whole wheat or Ezekial breads and brown rice with lunch and dinner.

Why am I focusing on carbs? Because I am almost certain you didn't binge on turkey breast. You either binged on sweet carbs (cookies, ice cream, brownies), salty carbs (potato chips, crackers), or a combo (peanut butter, kettle corn). None of these combinations is scale-friendly when done in excess, and the only way to get rid of the weight gain is to get rid of the carbs floatin' around in your body.

And the next time, if you can think about it before you immerse your head into that vat of peanut butter again, remind yourself that a binge is 3 days of hard work to (hopefully) undo the damage. I've done this enough times that the thought of both the un-do process and the intestinal distress that is certain to arrive shortly after the binge has ended is almost always enough to stop me in my tracks. It's taken a couple of years to learn my lesson, but now I can almost always say to myself "Ugh! It's just not worth it!" and step away from the temptation.

Depending on your personality, when you get on the scale is up to you. I make myself get on the scale the next morning because I can't stay in denial if I'm looking at the (temporary) damage I've caused. Seeing a big jump motivates me to get right back on track! I also like watching the numbers come down over the next couple of days- It's interesting to me. But if you are the type it is just going to discouraged and want to dive into a bag of BBQ chips when the number is up, I'd advise waiting until after your 3-day recovery process is over.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSILVER94 4/6/2012 5:12PM

    Very helpful :) thanks for posting!

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GODZDESIGN95 1/11/2012 10:00AM

    printing this off just for times like this....

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FITNESSMONSTER8 1/9/2012 11:46AM

    Thanks for the great advice!

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THEHONESTME 1/8/2012 2:38PM

    emoticon As always, that was very informative :)

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ROXIESHANE 1/7/2012 8:46PM

  Great post with lots of good information. Thanks! emoticon

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A-STRONGER-ME 1/7/2012 7:19PM


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TSANC01 1/7/2012 5:29PM

  Thanks for your tips and advice, it's exactly what I needed to hear today.

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CICI510 1/7/2012 1:55PM

    Awesome post!!! emoticon

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IXCHEL23 1/7/2012 12:07PM

    Thanks for the tips and advice! I don't know if I will ever recovering from binging but will keep trying.


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DENNYBUGS 1/7/2012 8:44AM

    Thanks, this will also help folks get back on track instead of having back to back days of over doing it!

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TOBESIZE4 1/6/2012 10:19PM

    I'm a newbie and have just read all your blogs. Great advice!! Thanks for inspiring so many to pick up the weights and just keep on keeping on.

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BOBINVA 1/6/2012 9:44PM

    Great advice. That is the way to do it.

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KMAYRES 1/6/2012 8:10PM

    great post. Thank you.

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ROCKMAN6797 1/6/2012 7:09PM

    Excellent advise, I especially like the part where you remind yourself of what you have to do if you do happen to binge, three days of H-E-Double Hockey Sticks! That alone would stop me!

Thank for sharing!


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MRS.CARLY 1/6/2012 7:03PM

    Great post!

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BERRY4 1/6/2012 6:56PM

    Great, helpful info...just a couple of weeks too late for what I messed up with in Dec.
(Too many magic cookie bars in a row + other candy, chocolate, ETC.) And now the scale is UP and now I know that giving in to daily "treats" is NOT ever going to work for me...EVER.

So I will consider the lesson(s) learned and do the WORK to drop the 10 lbs that came back. emoticon (a Fall mess up-- Sept. to Dec.)

Thanks for taking the time to provide perspective! emoticon

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TECAVINESS 1/6/2012 6:53PM

    Excellent advise. Why is it we always binge on things that are not good for us. Going to follow this the next time I fall off the wagon.

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Hotel Oatmeal Cooking 101

Saturday, December 31, 2011

I've learned it's best to pack all food possible if I want to eat well when going out of town, but particularly for breakfast and snack foods. They seem to be the hardest things for me to eat balanced and clean when away from home. But one thing has always stumped me: How to cook slow cook-oatmeal in the hotel room.

If I cook it in the microwave (either in my room or in the breakfast area) the hotel mug or paper bowl I use is never big enough to accommodate all of the bubbling that occurs in the cooking process and it boils over, making a mess.

And if I just add hot water to the oats in the bowl it never gets cooked enough for me. Instant oats would cook with this method, but slow-cook are the healthiest kind so that's what I start my day with.

Now, you might be saying that I should bring my own bowl. And that would be ideal..... Except I always forget. Always. If I'd remember to add it to my packing list I wouldn't forget, but I never do and have finally come to accept the fact that I never will. It's a mute point. I seem to have a bowl block. (And spoon block, but at least you can get plastic spoons from the hotel lobby.)

So we are back to my oatmeal cooking dilemma. And finally this time, I had my AHA! moment. It's so simple I wondered why I haven't thought of this before: Cook it IN the room coffee pot. Here's how:

Pour water into the reservoir of the coffee make. Use a bit more than you think you will need to cook your oats. (This is to compensate for steam escape and "Oh crap! That wasn't enough water!" issues.) Put the carafe onto the burner. Turn the coffee maker on. Let the water run into the carafe. At this point it should be scalding hot. Remove the carafe and put it on a heat-proof surface. Carefully take the lid off (most coffee makers won't let the water drip into the carafe without the lid on). Pour the water out until it's about what you will need to absorb the oats (for me, this is about 1 1/2 times the amount of oat I have- I like thick oats). Dump your slow-cooked oats in there and stir them with the hotel spoon, which you ran to the lobby to get while the hot water was running into the pot. Put the carafe back on the burner (which should still be turned on) and let it sit and cook for about 10 minutes, or until it's the consistency you like. Take off the heat and stir in anything you want to add (for me this is a packet of Stevia- I always keep a bunch in a baggie in my purse). I eat ir right out of the carafe because: #1- It has a handle, making it easy, and B.) I forgot my bowl, remember?

Oats, protein powder, apple, and pepitas for some healthy fats:

Word of warning: Do NOT put the dry oats in the container before the hot water drips in. You'll burn the oats to the bottom of the carafe before enough water gets in there to lube them up. No, I didn't do this. I may be too dense to remember my bowl but I DID at least manage to have enough forethought to keep from destroying the carafe and making the hotel smell like burned oats.

To wash I rinsed all the stuck gook out in the room sink. Then, in absence of dish soap, I filled the reservoir to it's top margin and ran the water through again, let it sit heating for a few minutes, then turned the coffee maker off, poured the water out, and put the carafe back into the maker to let the hot water steaming off to both dry it and do a bit of a sterilization job on the carafe.

And if you have a traveling partner who wants coffee..... well........ he's either going to have to wait or you can send him to the lobby for the stuff at the free breakfast bar. ;-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Great idea!!!

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CICI510 1/3/2012 2:01PM

    Now that is awesome!!

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*ERICA* 1/3/2012 1:15PM


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NIKKI_28 1/2/2012 8:41PM

    simply brilliant!

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KOOZIE1 1/1/2012 11:23PM

    you are just too darn AWESOME to send this. Oatmeal is one of the only 3 foods that I can't stand, but I enjoyed reading the entire thing. You are crafty and kind to share.
Rock on!

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ALLYTHEATHLETE 12/31/2011 10:37PM



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ROCKMAN6797 12/31/2011 4:19PM

    What an excellent idea! I usually will bring some protein bars but having a hot breakfast, especially in a cold area, would be great! Thank you for sharing!

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A-STRONGER-ME 12/31/2011 12:42PM

    Summer Oatmeal - 1/3 c rolled oats; 1/2 unsweetened vanilla almond milk; 2 T. raisins; dash of cinnamon; let soak over night; stir and enjoy!!

no cooking involved!!!!

And Nancy,so why did you take your computer on this little R&R??

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MISSYGEEN 12/31/2011 11:10AM

    Thank you, thank you. I travel a lot for work and don't get to enjoy oatmeal that does not have loads of sugar. so I opt for my eggs in a mug. This at least gives me some variety. I also love the recipe with it. By the way, I usually wash things out with the complimentary shampoo since I don't use it to wash my hair.

Here's a mug you can keep up with emoticon. emoticon

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HDHAWK 12/31/2011 9:39AM

    What a great idea. I take oatmeal packets on motorcycle trips and motels have them lots of times, but they are usually only tolerable.

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My Suprising Weight-Loss Side Effect

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Er... I'm about to talk about menopause, here, so any of you men who are uncomfy with the subject may want to skip this blog....

Is it just us ladies (and very brave men) now? Okay.... then I can proceed:

One very interesting and unexpected side effect I have experienced with losing weight and getting fit is the disappearance of the side effects of menopause I had been experiencing. I didn't make the complete connection until I read in one of Tosca Reno's books that she also has had no menopausal side effects since improving her lifestyle.

I'm assuming this has something to do with the hormones that fat produces. Reduced fat means reduced hormones, which could mean reduced symptoms. I also wonder if regular exercise plays in somehow. But I'm not at all an expert on this subject, so really, what do I know? I'm just grateful the night sweats, severe mood swings, and horrible headaches, among other things, are gone.

At 45 I don't think I've passed through "The Change" entirely. But I started showing signs of pre-menopause 11 years ago, and at this stage of the game I have cycles perhaps twice a year (more than you wanted to know about me, isn't it?), so I think I'm getting close. This also means, though, that I am at the point where I should be at the worst stage of symptoms, and instead I'm getting pretty much nuthin'. No complaints from me!

My quest for fitness surprised me in a lot of ways, but I think this was the biggest one. I'd be interested to hear if it happened for you, too. And if you are still in the process of, or considering, improving your health, maybe this will give you one more motivating reason to keep on course!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRANESTAR 1/7/2012 8:46AM

    Thanks for sharing this. It def inspired me to go on working out at my best.

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OFFDREA 1/3/2012 6:42PM

    Well this is great to know for when the time comes!

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ISHIIGIRL 1/3/2012 6:21PM

    I am 47 and I absolutely believe that exercise helps to reduce menopausal symptoms. If I don't get in some cardio or heavy sweating I get the night sweats and hot flashes. As long as I am consistently working out I usually don't suffer. The main problem I am having right now is conquering belly fat. I really feel it is tied in with sugar,so doing a no sugar challenge has helped in. Just started one this week. Thanks for sharing.

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LISALGB 12/18/2011 10:13PM

    I've been perimenopausal for a couple of years now (I'm 45). I would love to lose the side effects especially the hot flashes and the night sweats. As I continue on my weight loss/fitness journey, I'll take note to see if I might be as blessed.
Thanks for sharing!

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BLACKJACK67 12/13/2011 8:19AM

    Good for you, although I can't add anything to it!! Have a great week!

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HDHAWK 12/12/2011 10:35PM

    Thanks for sharing Nancy. I am just starting to get back on track to lose this weight yet again. I was tested in Oct. and haven't started the big M yet, even though I'll be 53 in Feb. I know it will help if I'm exercising regularly and eating better. Just one more reason to get and stay healthy!

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*ERICA* 12/12/2011 12:46PM

    Nancy, I have not experienced anything like that yet (but then again, I'm not even 30 yet emoticon) But this is amazing information to know...and learn from!!! You really are an inspiration and a wealth of knowledge. Thank you for passing this on!!!

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JENNIFER_67 12/11/2011 9:55PM

    I'm 44, but I haven't started experiencing any symptoms yet. But you've given me hope that improving my health now might help me avoid the worst of it.

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BOBINVA 12/11/2011 5:56PM

    Glad you are not having severe symptoms.

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ERICA071678 12/11/2011 3:20PM

    I'm 33 but I appreciate you sharing your experience. This is helpful to me.

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MISSYGEEN 12/11/2011 8:38AM

    Not there yet but thanks for sharing. That is encouraging for staying the course. I too have had an unexpected side affect. As I was enjoying a massage I noticed that the lower part of my back no longer bothers me and hasn't for a long time. The massage therapist explained what some of the muscles do and it makes since that my weight loss is the reason for my back pain disappearing, I get a lot of questions from people about my weight loss and how I do it. Now I can add that a healthy lifestyle can help relieve symptoms of menopause. Good news.

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DIVEGODDESS 12/11/2011 7:34AM

    My first thought was Menopause? You're too young to be going through menopause! I really thought you were 10 years younger, lol but you really seemed to have started perimenopause earlier than most people. I had no symptoms of perimenopause until my periods got irregular about 2 years ago. Nothing else, no hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings or weight gain. I also never had PMS, ever. It's great to know that this is connected with a healthy lifestyle. I think fat cells increase estrogen and lowers progesterone, and I think it's the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone that causes the symptoms. Great to know about Tosca. She's over 50 and she's beautiful. She's one of my role models.

Thanks for writing this, more women our age need to know this.

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LIMASTAR 12/10/2011 10:24PM

  Menopause is a journey that every woman will make sooner or later. For me, it started when I was 50 and by the time I was 60 reached the "end of the line". I was fortunate in that I did not have the night sweats, headaches, or most of other related effects. I did experience the occasional "flush", but that was it. Weight gain was also a problem, but an ignored one until the doctor suggested it was time to consider taking meds to lower my cholesterol.

Cholesterol was never a problem for me until I reached menopause. It had always been at the very low end - High HDL & very low LDL. Asked the doctor for 30 days to try to do something, during which time I basically eliminated beef from my diet & started eating oatmeal at breakfast. I dropped 20 Pts. and improved my values.

That was the beginning of my healthy living style search. It took me a very long time to lose just 10 lbs. By searching the internet, I found several exercise sites and eventually Spark People, to help me lose the rest of the weight and to live and eat healthy. It's not impossible, but it does require commitment to reach your goals.

My Christmas goal is not to gain. So far, I've been doing all right. I had a great Thanksgiving and am looking forward to Christmas with friends. I enjoyed my Thanksgiving dinner with family & friends, but was mindful of what I ate, enjoying every bite. I will do the same for Christmas dinner - enjoying the food, but not over indulging.

Exercising, especially Strength Training has really helped me to lose the weight and more importantly, keeping it under control.

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Weight Lifting for the Very Overweight

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Weight lifting is beneficial for just about everyone, but if you have a lot of weight to lose there are some special precautions you need to take.

First of all, bear in mind that your body is lifting weights every day just by moving around. Think about it: If you are 100 pounds overweight, that's literally lifting 100 pounds of weight every time you walk. For this reason you need to start out with very light weights, if any at all, because your bones can only take so much. As your strength goes up, of course, you will be able to lift more. But you will probably also notice that as your body fat goes down you will be able to lift heavier weights, also. This is because your body is used to lifting that much already, so adding more to your weights is simply asking it to do what it is used to because it has been doing it all along. You will surprise and astound your weight lifting friends with your quickly increasing strength while you shrink before their very eyes!

Also, proceed with caution before raising the amount of weight you are lifting until your body weight starts moving down, and increase the amounts gradually when you do. Because bigger bodies have more tissue to get oxygen and nutrients to, the heart already has quite the job. Adding weights to this increases the load to the heart and internal organs. You want to get the heart used to the added demand before you ask even more of it: We don't want you passing out with heavy stuff in your hands!

This should not discourage you from lifting weights if you have quite a lot of weight to lose, though. There are added benefits that make it still very beneficial to you. Two of the biggest benefits are: 1.) Muscle burns more calories at rest then fat, so you will lose weight quicker if you make some of that scale weight muscle instead of fat. And 2.) You will have a much more attractive body under there when you DO lose weight if there is some muscle to it, regardless of whether you are a man or a women. Ever see someone who loses a lot of weight but looks like a bag of bones? Nor exactly the look most people are going for. Don't let that person be you!

So start with no weights (particularly for arms). You will still be getting an excellent workout! Then increase the resistance slowly. Before you know it, you will be a bonafide weight lifter well on your way to that shapely, fit body you've always dreamed about. It really CAN happen, and the cool thing is that the power is all in YOUR hands!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OCDFULLTHROTTLE 12/13/2011 10:19AM

    I am extremely obese. I recently joined a gym for women and go 3 x a week. I like their classes. They do use weights. I bought my own 1 lb. weight, cuz the 2lbs weights there really gave me flare ups. Today, I am using the 2 lb. weights in the entire workouts, the one pounder is no longer challenging. I still cant do many moves but I modify them to what I can do. I like your blog. I saw another persons blog and he mentioned you. You really are a success story. I am making my own success too. Thank you for posting this blog

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MISSYGEEN 12/13/2011 10:07AM

    What a thoughtful blog. When I was in the obese category I could not do the triceps dips it felt like I was going to pull something. I did other triceps moves like throwing the ball over head(not the correct term). Now I can do them without feeling like I'm going to pull something, However dips are still a #*^@%. I shared a personal trainer, it was cheaper for the pair than one on one, and I felt like such a whimp because I could not handle the same amount of weight as she but this may explain that. I have a friend who is just starting out and I will pass this information along. Thanks for sharing things that you have learned with others.

emoticon I'm giving you the Paying It Forward award.

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PINKBEANBOO 11/30/2011 11:10AM

    Great blog!

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LOIDAEG 11/30/2011 10:53AM


Ive been lifting weights for a little while now. Just toning. Nothing too heavy but my trainer will be taking me through some weight lifting this month, december. I'm looking forward to it! I want to have that body I want. So as soon as I lose the rest of my fat I'll have something nice under neath :) I'm already seeing muscle in my arms! Loving it!

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EDWARDSC393 11/30/2011 9:39AM

    Hi, I lost 20 pounds doing cd,s, a toning band, and weight machines first. Still clinically obese, but now I,m lifting intermediately, forunate for me, I had muscle memory, Like seeing the muscles as my fat shrinks! A lot of overweight people can do modified work-outs too! Right on Nancy! Cherie

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MSFITBODY 11/30/2011 6:25AM

  Your posts and advice are always right on time! emoticon

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BARCLE 11/29/2011 9:55PM

    emoticon blog with fantastic, easy to follow, sensible advice emoticon

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GREGINPROGRESS 11/29/2011 9:31PM

    Hmm... Pre-Spark when I was over 225 and first started losing, the gym staff was surprised at how fast I progressed to heavier weights on the leg machines. I'd always wondered what caused that. Maybe this blog explains it. Thanks!

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