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A streak that leads to strength

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

emoticon 91 weeks of at least 90 minutes of exercise per week. emoticon

Thatís my current fitness streak. And it would be much bigger if I hadnít gone through some terrible weeks of lower back pain prior to the last time I pressed the reset button here on Sparkpeople. Because when I last restarted my attempts to lose weight, back in June 2011, I promised myself that no matter what happened with my weight, no matter how good or bad my eating habits would be, I would do my best to keep exercising every week at least three times. I made a promise to myself that I would seek for all the health and strength and freedom of movement that years of living on the couch had stolen away from me. And I kept that promise.

The majority of my fitness minutes is exercise done at home. Working out at home is one of the things that helped me lose weight (combined with healthy eating, of course), is what filled me with energy, is what gave a new meaning to my everyday routine and itís what helped me Ė an unemployed stay-at-home-mom Ė stay sane! It wasnít an easy road. I had to fight boredom and loss of motivation. I had to educate myself on different ways of exercise. I had to make up for the absence of a coach by spending hours on reading fitness articles and watching videos here on SP. On the way I got discouraged, I fought injuries, I struggled with ineffectiveness, I was disappointed at the expected results that I was too anxious to see.

But I had a promise to keep.

A few rainy days spent in the comfort of your living room, reading and watching TV, donít make you a couch potato. You canít expect a few days or weeks of mild exercise to turn you into an athlete! So, I kept pushing. I continued trying on my own to regain my lost endurance and acquire a certain level of fitness. Yes, a gym or a personal trainer would have been much easier. But I couldnít afford that, neither financially, nor emotionally, neither in terms of time, nor in practical terms like having someone to watch over the kids while Iím gone. Two choices were available: be my own coach orÖ the couch!

Working out at home solves many issues. But is working out at home ideal for everyone? What are the positives and the negatives? How can we adjust it to our own unique needs and preferences? After 91 weeks of trying and learning, I thought I could share with you some of the things I learned during this fitness journey. The mistakes I made, the challenges I faced could be found useful by those of you that are now starting out on home fitness. I started taking notes on the things I would like to share but they were too many to fit into only one blog. So, Iíll have to divide them in more.

Let me stress out here that Iím not an expert and I canít offer individual fitness guidance and advice. My purpose is to share my own experience hoping that I could help someone who is just starting out or someone who is trying to overcome obstacles.

Making exercise part of your daily life is not an easy thing to do. Itís a road paved with sweat and soreness. Itís a road onto which you have to be guided by commitment.

But itís a road that leads to health and strength.

Itís a road worth taking.

Stay tuned!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMONEKP 5/2/2013 9:07AM

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KANOE10 3/19/2013 8:07AM

    Good for you making exercise a daily part of your life. You have figured how to do it at home and it is working!

My motto is never more than one day without exercise. I have done that for a year. I feel much better.

You are inspirational with your determination and your efforts!

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BAKER1009 3/14/2013 8:44AM

    emoticon blog Elle! Thanks for sharing your story! Yes, it is a road worth traveling!
I'm staying tuned!

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BLOOMINGLENA 3/14/2013 8:41AM

    Thank you my dear friend Elle for sharing what you experienced throughout your successful journey. I have learned a lot from you and keep learning. Thank you for the support and inspiration. I am so looking forward for your next blogs!

You are awesome my emoticon emoticon

Love you!

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Comment edited on: 3/14/2013 8:41:50 AM

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TAFODIL24 3/13/2013 11:33PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REBECCATKD 3/13/2013 10:22PM

    Wow! I am so impressed with your streak! You have promises to keep and miles (and minutes) to go before you sleep. Keep on pushing -- you're an inspiration!

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NEWCHINELO 3/13/2013 5:06PM

    You have done a great job!

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THOMS1 3/13/2013 3:35PM

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BEE2LE 3/13/2013 1:07PM

    Great job with your streak! I find working out at home is the only thing that works for me. Often, it means heading out my front door & taking a walk. Sometimes, it's sparkpeople videos. But, going to a gym has never worked for me. It's always a challenge w/ kids underfoot.
Thanks for your posts! So glad to read them!

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MARIONJEANA 3/13/2013 12:46PM

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 3/13/2013 12:46PM

    You're awesome! It's so hard to stay motivated when you work out at home. You've done GREAT!!!

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MRSJERRYBUSH 3/13/2013 10:35AM

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LOSE4LIFE47 3/13/2013 10:27AM

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

The weight loss tool that I love to hate!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

My relationship with the food tracker has been a love-hate one. I never liked the idea of writing down everything I eat, even though I had heard of many dietitians and nutrition experts who would recommend it. According to them and to many researches and surveys, it can highly contribute to everyoneís weight loss efforts.

When I first joined Sparkpeople, I tried to use it for a couple of days. All products were in American brands and most measurements were in oz or packages which I had no idea how to convert to my own metric system. Already being negatively biased towards it, I found every little difficulty insurmountable and forgot about it. And I spent two years as a Sparker who would lose and gain the same couple of kilos!

I had already put exercise in my life for good and I was already considered a somewhat fit person but still the weight wouldnít come off. Thatís when I decided this ugly, despicable tool had to be given a second chance! But the difficulties still had to be surpassed in a way. And the perfectionist inside my mind started shouting: ďIf youíre going to do something, you have to do it right!Ē So, I started putting everything in the food tracker from scratch! The food labels became my second favorite reads, the best sellers of my weekly reading!

And the awful tool became an eye-opener! Suddenly it all made sense. Distorted idea of right portions, high fat content where you least expect it, calorie-bombs out of "just a treat"! The reasons I had put on so much weight, the reasons I couldnít get rid of it, my high cholesterol (ok, thereís a bit of DNA in that one), all the puzzle pieces fell into place. And I have to admit it. The food tracker, the tool that I love to hate, was my best friend in losing 19 kilograms.

No, I havenít kept on tracking ever since. I used it sporadically but it was still helpful. My feelings towards it are still mixed. I still ask myself the same question. What is the food tracker? Is it an indispensable tool for weight loss? Is it a necessary evil for maintaining weight? Is it an obsessive habit that in a weird way helps us balance our relationship with food? Or is it all of the above? I donít have the answer to that. And if you think you do, I would really like to hear it!

But I know one thing. Everyone who has had a hard time losing weight should definitely try it. It may not suit you as a weight loss tool, you might not become a dedicated user for life but it will definitely provide you with valuable information concerning your eating habits. Use it for a couple of days or for a week. But be honest with it. It will pay your honesty back by showing you the real reasons you canít lose weight. Mind you, it can be rude! But sometimes thatís what we need to realize our bad habits: a rude awakening!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NLYR20 8/7/2013 12:10PM

  I am having love/ hate relationship with food tracker. But as you said, it gives call in right direction. It will help to build smart habits...
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UNIQUELYME7 7/30/2013 8:52AM

    Your thoughts and feelings about Food Tracker mirror my own love/hate relationship with it. Sometimes I'm frustrated with not being able to get the exact food in to track the nutrients correctly, and often I think it takes too much of my time tracking everything. But the biggest truth for me is it's a shock to see how much those "little" snacks and bites here and there add up, especially in the evenings when the "what would taste good" feelings take over. I'm finding the time taken in recording every bite is well spent in making me face the truth that the weight not coming off and not feeling better about how I look is largely (pun?) the result of what I have put into my body. The truth hurts, but now is becoming healing through my Food Tracker and Spark People!
Thank you for sharing your journey.

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MADAMES 7/2/2013 6:21PM

    I finally figured out that in order to be successful I have to track! Having access to an online tracker that is free of charge is a real blessing for me.
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PJM1963 7/1/2013 10:00PM

    Good job! I did Weight Watchers three times and did well each time, but fell "off the wagon" for different reasons. Now, I can't get to the meetings, which is why I joined SparkPeople. That being said, one of the eye-opening experiences for me was just how powerful--and how much of a pain in the butt--it was and is to keep track of your food. It definitely keeps me responsible and guides what I'm doing at the end of the day. Keep up the great work and thanks for posting!

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NIGHTPHEONIX 7/1/2013 9:59PM

    I'm with you the measurements are hard because they tend to not be metric and I have a hard time doing it daily but It does help for I keep using it periodically to keep me on track and that seem to do the job. Congrs on what you have lost and good luck on reaching your goal. emoticon


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SCRIPTEDFLIGHT 6/30/2013 11:10AM

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SUPERSYLPH 6/28/2013 11:18AM

    I'm with you. I'm really bad at tracking my food, but it helps to see how I'm eating!

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MAD_WRITER_TAL 6/17/2013 1:29PM

    i had a similar relationship with the tracker for a long time, but when i re-started my plan, i decided i was going to implement it. its gotten easier to use the past few years as far as adding materials in from scratch and whatnot, and does give me good pointers on where i should shave calories off here and there. I've dropped a few pounds since using it again myself. it also makes sure i stop thriving in my ignorance and has me do something about it instead. You've preached to the choir here--i needed that today (hee hee). All the best to you and your journey--hope its still going strong!

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WHITEANGEL4 5/28/2013 10:27PM

    I was not a fan of the food tracker when I first began, but over time it has become my friend

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BRADIA 5/13/2013 8:24PM

    Congratulations. I am also foreign but all the measurements also come ingrams and I have no problem doin kilos and grams.
But you do need at least an hour a day to keep a real good track of everything and read good articles on nutrition and all the stuff that is bringing me to my goals.

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CRUELMONTH 5/9/2013 11:09PM

    Tracking food is tedious, but eye opening. The accountability helps me to stop and think about what I am eating. After awhile I am also able to identify meals and snacks that help me reach my goals for protein, carbs, and fat. Love the nutrition profiles and graphs I can generate with the info I've entered.

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223DAISY 5/5/2013 2:10PM

    The hardest part for me is, it's time consuming. I find that if I know what I am going to have for a good part of the week then I will put as much in on Saturday's for the following week as possible. I do like that I can copy the meals for various days. Oh well everyone...Happy logging...

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WALKINGCHICK 5/1/2013 3:28PM

    Much like you I hate the food tracker, but using it really makes me think hard about what I'm eating, and why I'm eating it. This means that I don't eat as much cake as I used to, and that a whole lot of other food has become a treat again! Thanks for showing how helpful the tracker can be, and for reminding us of its importance! emoticon

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MAYBER 4/28/2013 11:47PM

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the food tracker
Have not used the one on SP do write down everything that enters my mouth your blog just may be the one that gives me the push to try the tracker so very much appreciate your comments
One day at a time
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GEORGE815 4/26/2013 6:40PM

    Yes its both tough and challenging to track nutrition daily. I have done this for about 3 years. After doing this for awhile, its one of the only ways to successfully keep an eye on it.

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RED_DEVIL_APRIL 4/26/2013 4:03PM

    I downloaded the app & I use it when I'm.on a hurry. I try to keep balanced & do a lot.better when I track.

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WORTHIT374 4/24/2013 9:12PM

    I resisted tracking the first time I tried to lose weight. It was that "you have to do this" factor, I guess. But then someone reframed it by saying, "I track my food to make sure I get to eat every point (WW) I'm allowed to have for the day!" After that, I didn't mind tracking!

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FATNHOGGY 4/11/2013 1:27PM

  Yes, food tracking is a drag! However, I have found that I do okay with just a list of food eaten each day---without the tedia of listing carbs, fat, calories, etc. It really helps just to know how much you are eating each day.

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VTCOWBELLE 4/10/2013 2:38PM

  Great blog. I too hate tracking my food, but I have been doing it obsessively now for about a year on paper, since I am not always on the computer every day. It is not rocket science to see that 6 crackers with cheese, 2 glasses of wine and a bowl (1.5 cups) of ice cream, that I had to write down after the broccoli, baked chicken, and other virtuous things is Not going to further my weight loss. It really helps you see how all those extra calories sneak in so easily. At least it makes me accountable to myself. Nobody is sneaking in at night and feeding me in my sleep.

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TROLLER7 4/10/2013 12:19PM

  You're absolutely right!!! I felt the exact same way when I first started last year. I started off strong, and slowly began to stop tracking. Now I'm trying to get back into the habit of doing it again to loose those last couple of pounds I need too. You're right, it does help you learn about you're habits though. Thanks for motivating me to start back up!

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DEENER20 4/10/2013 9:53AM

    "Is it an obsessive habit that in a weird way helps us balance our relationship with food?"

For me personally...I think this nails it.
I also educated myself as I went along....and that was an eye opener. I was NEVER the type to track food...and now I don't have a single day go by that I don't diligently attempt to track everything that enters my mouth.
AND, I have some fab results because of it.

TRULY enjoyed your blog!! thank you

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LESCANTOONOW 4/8/2013 9:21PM

  Hi! NUOVAELLE,

I've Tried The Food Tracker Method, And It Does Work. But Like You I Don't Do It Constantly. Although The First Time I Tried It, I Used It For About 6 Months, But Then I Slacked Up On It. Then I Would Use It For A Few Days, And Then Stop Again.
I Do Notice When I Use The Food Tracker Method, I Do Lose More Weight Than When I Don't Use It.
But, I Think We Just Have To Do The Best We Can, And If We Can Only Do The Tracking Once In A While, It's Better Than Not Doing It At All!

Keep Up The Good Work You Are Doing, And I Will Try To Do The Same.
WE CAN DO IT!

ALL THE BEST TO YOU,
MS. L. CARMEL (LESCANTOONOW)
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EMPIRECAT 4/8/2013 10:54AM

    Thanks for sharing your journey, and congratulations on your awesome achievements! I also have a profound dislike for tracking - not because I'm afraid of what I'll see because I'm very aware of what I eat - but because it does take time to do it. There are also numerous entries by people for the same exact food - which one do I choose? More time taken trying to determine the best one. Time is the biggest thing that keeps me from doing it. Will I try it again? Not sure.

Keep up the good work! emoticon

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SAPPHIRAE 4/8/2013 7:41AM

  Wow, I have been struggling with the same issue with the trackers on Sparkpeople. Everything is in US brands that I don't recognise and I battle to calculate the portion sizes (I have no mental concept of what an ounce is, I can do the maths but I still have no instinctive feeling for these quantities, whereas I can guesstimate a cup or quarter cup or whatever). Perhaps I need to try again, be more persistent, and add local foods to the database to use too.

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BHEALTHY4ME1 4/7/2013 3:38PM

  Tracking has been very helpful to me. It is so easy to think that you are doing fine on your calorie intake until you actually add it up & compare it to your calorie output. Mmmm...maybe that's why I can't lose weight? emoticon

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KAB7801 4/7/2013 9:29AM

    I did not like at first but now I love the accountability knowing before I eat that "cheeseburger"I'm going to have to track it really helps

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NELLYARGY1 4/7/2013 4:46AM

  I have the same problem, it is very difficult for me to convert, I have no idea of the brands mentioned and i try write down a journal of the food I eat which of course it is not the same and it is very difficult to calculate the calories. I don' t think I can use this tool although I believe it is useful

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POPEYETHETURTLE 4/7/2013 12:41AM

    There are a few days out of the month I don't use it for every meal, but being overweight AND an Insulin dependent diabetic gives me a very strong reason for using it regularly.

The meals that I don't use the tracker on are usually already know the carbs on the meal.

Then I just multiply the carbs by 10% (for me) and I get the units of Insulin I need.

I am considered to be "Tight Control" and by A1c for the past five years has averaged 5.9 (anything under 6.0 is considered "normal").

After battling diabetes for 30 years, every day and every night, I don't feel "normal". I can say, however, I still have all the feeling in my feet and fingers, I have no diabetic lesions and have no diabetic vision problems.

I think that the food tracker has definitely made it much easier for me to keep track of carbs that my body can't convert to energy without lots of help.

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LADYPYE 4/7/2013 12:03AM

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OLSKOOLGIRL 4/6/2013 7:42PM

  What a surprise for me to see this blog in my mail box. I have yet to really track here with spark people. Different reasons, new to site, lazy etc. But what is so coincidental is the fact I just had dr appt and when talking with the dr about my weight and my struggles he suggested I journal. Opening this blog and reading has now got me thinking I should really try and get this going and start being accountable to ME. thanks for the well written blog and congrats on the loss.

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DOCAHOLL 4/6/2013 5:26PM

    Such a great blog! Well written and oh so true! Congrats on the 19 kg!

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MAJONES1225 4/6/2013 3:58PM

    I truly agree with you. But I do have to say since I have been using the tracker it has made me realized that some of my favorite food was not good for me. It helps me to eat more healthier food. So, I will still continue to use it. It really works for me.

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SINGLEMOM501 4/6/2013 11:48AM

  I am using the tracker to find what I have in the house as close to possible as the tracker. I am going to make a grocery list from the meal tracker that I can buy when I get my food stamps on the 14th. Then I will have plenty of food for the meal tracker.

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1SALLY2 4/6/2013 10:16AM

    I track and the thing I find hard is getting my counts correct. Most days I am right on/near my calories, another day 100 over, the next day 200 or 400 under. emoticon

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AMANDACOETZER 4/6/2013 7:23AM

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WESTERNSAGE 4/5/2013 11:37PM

    Several years ago I read that a major survey of weight loss systems showed that keeping a food log was the single biggest aid in losing weight and keeping it off. My general practitioner (GP) and cardiologist have both been after me to lose weight. But I found the looking up and writing down process too time consuming and tedious. Last September my daughter told me about SparkPeople and the Food Tracker. What a godsend! The Food Tracker has made the process manageable and, like so many who have already written, I found it an eye opener about portions and calories. I'm a slow loser (being 66 years old doesn't help either) but I have stuck with it. I know I could lose more weight faster but I would have to cut to below 1200 calories a day to do it. So I have accepted losing about a pound a month. Best of all, I can't wait to see my cardiologist this coming mid-May to tell him about SparkPeople. I'm sure he gets frustrated telling people to lose weight but not having a good way to tell them HOW. SP and especially the FoodTracker saved my life and I hope I can pass it on to help a lot more folks.

Oh yes, the exercise tracker helped me realize how many calories I do - or don't - burn with a particular exercise. It's a good balance for the Food Tracker!

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NIKKIJ55 4/5/2013 11:04PM

    That tracker helps keep me accountable and understanding what I am eating. Love to hate it too..

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KIPPER15 4/5/2013 9:44PM

    Tracing for me is a necessary evil.

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LOLAJO54 4/5/2013 9:14PM

    emoticon m emoticon emoticon emoticon Jo

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NEWTINK 4/5/2013 9:13PM

    love this emoticon

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GINIEMIE 4/5/2013 8:07PM

    I personally think that all ingredients/foods should have grams and other measures as needed. I personally prefer using grams as it is more precise and I am in the US, but have lived and visited in Belgium at various times in my life. I like the metric system as it makes so much sense.
I try to use the food tracker often for the reasons you listed, plus I have to watch my sodium intake and it helps me with that too.
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ONUTHIN125 4/5/2013 6:50PM

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FYRAM45 4/5/2013 6:32PM

    I fully agree it is a love / hate item, especially the "Distorted idea of right portions" my morning mug of coffee, which I thought was one cup, turned out to be two! Yep...gotta love it, it's an eye opener! emoticon


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CORNERKICK 4/5/2013 6:14PM

  Love/hate relationship? So true!

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PANIK257 4/5/2013 4:30PM

    If it wasn't for the food tracker I would never lose weight. I am terrible at judging what I should eat. I agree though I hate it just a little. ;)

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WEIRDSUE 4/5/2013 3:30PM

  I LOVE the food tracker! In fact, it's the only tool that I'm using from Spark People. I've lost weight in the past when I was younger by simply jotting down the foods I'd eaten, but didn't keep that up. The food tracker does much more than that, though. It tells me how much nutrition I'm getting. And since I'm getting good nutrition because I'm eating balanced meals, I'm not that hungry or stupid because of low blood sugar and I should be able to keep with it! I'm not doing the weigh in thing, but I do notice that the clothes that were tight aren't as tight now and I don't need my bra extender any more (hopefully, that was back flab lost)!

Been on it for over a month now & I'm still gung ho and haven't eaten even one cookie!

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MOTHEPRO 4/5/2013 2:02PM

    emoticon on losing 19 kilos!

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HEALTHYSLIM2 4/5/2013 2:02PM

    Amen to this!
When I tracked, I lost. Exercise alone isn't doing it!! emoticon Now, I need to track again!

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WRITINGDIVA1 4/5/2013 1:56PM

    I hear you and feel your pain. Using it is kinda like waxing your eyebrows. A touch of pain in the moment, but fabulous afterwards. Thanks for the reminder. I will definitely get back on the tracker.

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KRISTINEJB 4/5/2013 1:35PM

  Without the food tracker, I would not be able to lose for any length of time. I just don't realize how many calories I'm actually eating without it. Two nights ago, I had been too busy out and about all day to track anything. Got home, ate dinner, had a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich. I was really wanting another one until I sat down and tracked everything I had during the day. I then realized I was already at the top of my calorie allowance for the day! My desire for that second i/c sandwich disappeared. Had I not tracked, I would think 'it's only 150 calories', but it would have put me over. I'm usually at the lower end of my calorie allowance, and I feel full. I'm not always in a mood to sit and do the tracking, especially if I put it off. But, it's absolutely necessary!!

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Coping strategies for emotional eaters.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Thank you 5% challengers.
Thank you Sparkfriends.
A big thanks to all of you who read my last blog about old habits and emotional eating and took the time to comment. This is a tough subject and any kind of support is welcome and truly appreciated.

Many of you asked about my strategies on fighting emotional eating. So, Iím back to clear a few things out.

Starting with the need to put a label on our cravings. Not all of them are caused by our emotions. Sometimes we just crave something simply because itís one of our favorite treats and we havenít tasted it for a long time. This is absolutely normal and thereís nothing wrong about that. So, in order to clarify the difference, an honest discussion with ourselves always helps. I have already shared with you my own defense system towards cravings. You can find the blog here:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5086494


Many times, our cravings are driven by overwhelming emotions. We search for comfort to our souls through the easy way of following the orders of our taste buds. Itís easy to tell the difference. We usually crave a whole category of foods and not a specific treat. And if we let ourselves indulge, we eat way more than we should, we lose all self control and we usually only realize the quantity we have consumed after itís all overÖ Thatís how emotional eating is.

Good news! Gaining control over this can be practiced. And we can get better at this. Maybe even perfect! (If you manage to, donít forget to share your secret!)

The first thing you Ďd better do is face your emotions and take them out of your system. Talk about them with a friend or get to the source of them. This could bring you all the solutions youíre seeking in theÖ kitchen, fridge or pantry! Unfortunately, this is not always easy. And for most emotional eaters this is exactly the reason for whatís happening to them.

So, the next step is simply to shift focus. Take all your attention to something else. Try to empty your mind of everything else and focus on the one activity that could help you.
My first choice is exercise. A fast workout with your favorite music background can work wonders!
A walk outside is also a good choice especially if itís sunny. The fresh air and the warmth of the sun can really help us think clearly and lift our mood.
A hobby that we like and can keep our mind and hands occupied could prove our best ally at times like this. Photography, scrapbooking, quilting, find something that suits you and take it up. Mind you, though, there are two traps here. One is the kitchen. For many of us Ė including me Ė cooking and baking are among our favorite hobbies. This can be disastrous if you canít keep control while handling the ingredients! Also, youíd better stay away from monitor-based hobbies like anything on the internet, TV or gaming. Fixed eyes on the screen can make us munching without even realizing it sometimes.

And yet, there are times that nothing will work. But that doesnít mean that we donít have to try. Each one of us can experiment with the things that they think will work for them. And as I said in my cravingsí blog, even if you let yourself indulge in the end, chances are that all this self-talk and all the things you will have tried will minimize the ďdamageĒ.

I really hope Iíve helped some of you who are facing the same problem. I wish you can create your own strategies and really find ways to win this battle.

Always keep in mind that whatever you do, it has to be something that you can practice for life. Maintaining a healthy weight is something youíll have to try for the rest of your life and the sooner you realize that, the better. I recently read one of the best blogs on maintenance from WATERMELLEN, a successful maintainer who really has lots of wise feedback to share with all of us. Whether youíre at the beginning of your journey or youíre close to your goal, this blog can definitely give you a good idea of what to expect afterwards.

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5271389#c
omments


Thank you for reading. Keep on Sparking!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VIXSTERLU 3/12/2013 2:23AM

    Great stuff! Thanks for sharing :)

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FLDEEZ 3/8/2013 9:28AM

    I've been browsing your blogs (after the initial link from your "popular blogs" post). Great words of wisdom - thanks for taking the time to post! These emotional eating strategies are especially helpful. Thank you!

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STARDUSTGR 3/8/2013 5:13AM

    Emotional eaters! Unfortunately I am one of them and its very difficult to handle with it....but as Jillian says "you are so much stronger than you think"
Keep going girl!!!
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REBECCATKD 3/6/2013 7:45PM

    Ah, focusing attention elsewhere. There's the crux! Sometimes I have to force myself to leave a room -- even as my insides are whining for the bad decision.

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HAKAPES 3/6/2013 5:53PM

    Great ideas.
Thanks for sharing them!
Helps to tackle cravings differently.


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02SERENE 3/6/2013 4:02PM

    I read this blog and want to reread it and reread it again because you make a lot of good points in a simple and real way. Thank you.

My blogs are mostly works in progress to stay honest just in bits and pieces so I appreciate constructive writing such as yours that you are also manifesting in your life.

Best wishes. emoticon



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ANNIEONLI 3/6/2013 2:57PM

    BRAVA!!! Very well said emoticon And it is so true...it is an ever evolving, ever learning, lifelong process to realize, but it can be done with awareness and some tools and tricks of the trade!
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PS - thanks for the sparkgoodie too - it made me
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BEE2LE 3/6/2013 7:54AM

    Thank you for the blog! I also read your other post. Mindful eating is a difficult task, but something that can be practiced. Thank you!

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TINAJANE76 3/6/2013 5:19AM

    I totally agree that our cravings can come from different sources. How I manage my desire for treats and my desire to eat to fill emotional needs are completely different, the latter being much more complicated. Thanks so much for bringing this issue to light.

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VIXSTERLU 3/6/2013 2:36AM

    Great stuff! Thanks for sharing :)

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TRAVELGRRL 3/5/2013 4:04PM

    Great blog! Thank you for writing. And I love Watermellen's blogs, she really tells it like it is. (Even if I don't want to hear it!)

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MICKEYH 3/5/2013 11:24AM

    Thank you for sharing this. I can feel your pure kindness and concern for You SP friend here on this blog. You are so right about this blog. for me, Night time TV watching seems to trigger my emotional eating. So I am trying focus on my attention to elsewhere. This is still working progress but so far so good. Take care and have a nice rest of your week.

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Old habits die hard.

Monday, March 04, 2013

This weekís 5% Challenge calls for blogging on a new habit that weíd like to develop.
Iíve been thinking about it over the weekend.
Iíve spent the last two years forming new, healthy habits. I think Iíve managed to establish many good ones like drinking lots of water every day or making healthy choices when it comes to food. I cook my familyís meals most of the time using fresh, healthy ingredients. I work out at least five days a week and I try to grab every opportunity for more exercise like walking instead of taking the bus when I can, or choosing the stairs instead of the elevator. No, Iím not always perfect but when I slip I follow my own strategy which leads back on the right track. Of course there are many habits that Iíd like to establish but theyíre not fitness-related and they would be irrelevant to the challenge. So, I chose to focus on an old bad habit. One that is not dead yet. And I really donít know whether it will ever be.

Iím an emotional eater.

Itís the one thing that has created all the difficulties during all my weight loss journeys Ė and my perfectionism, but Iíve managed to tame this one. You see, Iíve never been a person who talks about her feelings. My friends know very well that when something bothers me, Iíll prefer to keep it ďboilingĒ inside me than to talk about it.

Iíve tried many times to pinpoint in my past the exact time period when I started to ďeatĒ my emotions. I canít. It feels like it was always the case. Whenever anger, frustration, disappointment, loneliness, fear, boredom, despair would become unbearable, the solution would be food.

When I started putting the rest of the puzzle pieces in order Ė healthy food choices and exercise Ė using the resources at Sparkpeople, I thought I was done with emotional eating, too. Was I wrong!! I just needed a few emotionally-challenging events to awaken the beast again. And I was back to square one fighting it from the very beginning.

Of course the battle is different now. Iíve laid out plans and strategies. I have weapons ready to face it. I can see it coming. I can recognize the triggers before they happen.

But still, the habit Ė if you can call this a habit Ė is not dead. And a part of me believes that as long as my emotions are alive, it will be, too. And now that everyday living becomes more challenging and the emotions become more overwhelming, Iím not sure for how long Iíll be able to fight it effectively. I may not speak about my countryís situations and our problems much over here, but, honestly, how can anyone cope with not being able to dream anymore?

So, Iím not focusing on a new habit but rather on an old bad one. Because, letís face it. In order to establish new, healthy habits, we have to get rid of other, bad, old ones. If, for example, your goal is to drink more water, you have to stop grabbing this can of soda every time youíre thirsty. Just an example.

And in case the title of my blog has kind of discouraged you, Iíll leave you with a more optimistic note.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIRECOM 3/8/2013 2:16PM

    I have read that you have to consciously do a new tactic at least 8 time for it to become a habit. Not sure if that is correct, but repetition is the key.

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BLOOMINGLENA 3/8/2013 7:06AM

    We have to fight the same beast but now we are at a different stage of our journey and you have reached your destination. I want to read your next blog on strategies!

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KANOE10 3/5/2013 7:46AM

    Great blog. You do need to get rid of the old habits. You have developed strong healthy habits to aid you in doing this. Great job.

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NASFKAB 3/5/2013 5:13AM

  great

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BEATLETOT 3/4/2013 11:45PM

    Hmm....looks like the blog tomorrow ought to be strategy!

And I admit I'm saying this because I want to read your strategy, so I can use it myself. And see the feedback you get!

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REBECCATKD 3/4/2013 10:02PM

    Yes, old habits do die eventually. Let's get the beast back into its cage!

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 3/4/2013 1:36PM

    Being aware is truly important.

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IAMAGEMLOVER 3/4/2013 10:50AM

    I would love to hear your strategy. Are you keeping unhealthy snacks out of the house? Do you have planned snacks ready to go? Do you have fresh fruit and veggies cut up and ready to munch on? Do you chew gum? Do you brush your teeth when you want to snack? What are your strategies? emoticon

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MICKEYH 3/4/2013 10:14AM

    Great blog!! You are so right about this. I am with you on this one. Old bad habit must die!! Good to see you coming out from your shell. Thank you for sharing. (*^^*)

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HONDURASDONNA 3/4/2013 9:06AM

    I really liked the thought and effort you are putting into the blogging exercise as well as into changing your life. emoticon

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BEE2LE 3/4/2013 8:26AM

    Great blog. I think emotional eating is a problem a lot of us have. If you don't mind sharing, I would love to hear some of your strategies.
I love your quote. Thanks!!!

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TRAVELGRRL 3/4/2013 7:57AM

    This is a problem for me as well. It took me a long time to even REALIZE I was an emotional eater, but when you yo-you endlessly over the same 5-10 pounds and never move forward, you gotta ask yourself why!

This is a tough nut to crack, and I wonder if we can EVER do more than have plans, strategies, and procedures to deal with it. But if you have any epiphanies be sure to blog about them, and good luck!

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HAKAPES 3/4/2013 6:49AM

    Very interesting read!
And happy you decided to tackle this long time habit.
You mention strategy - what is your strategy?


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SWEETNEEY 3/4/2013 6:36AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Getting older. Healthier. Fitter.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

We can count our age in many ways.
We can count them in days. In experiences. In smiles. In knowledge. In happy moments. In people weíve met. In goals weíve reached. In dreams weíve realized. Or simply in years that weíve been on this earth.

Today I choose to count my age in terms of fitness. After all, this is Sparkpeople. Thatís why weíre all here right?

I look back at my younger years and realize that in terms of fitnessÖ I was quite old! There are so many things I can do now that I couldnít do back then.

I can do ďmaleĒ pushups. Maybe no more than 10 but perfect ones!

2 minutes of jumping jacks. Maybe more.

Perfectly lined-up planks and reverse planks. For more than a minute.

I can run. Maybe not fast or for long. But Iím getting there.

I can go up all the stairs of our three-storey building. Running!

I can dance with no need to take a break every 5 minutes!

I can play with my children. Chasing them around without huffing and puffing and being out of breath all the time!

I feel strong and healthy. Fitter than Iíve ever been in my entire life.

Today, on my 37th birthday, I choose to celebrate just that. And I couldnít have done this without SP and the precious support of my amazing Sparkfriends.

So, on your next birthday ask yourself: ďHow old would I feel if I didnít know how old I am?Ē
In terms of health and fitness, do your best to feel younger than today.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 2/20/2013 10:09PM

    Happy (belated) birthday, Miss Elle! 37 is a FABULOUS age and you, my dear, are in fabulous shape. What a gift you have given yourself, and your loved ones, by working so hard to be so fit and healthy. emoticon emoticon

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BESTSUSIEYET 2/20/2013 9:53PM

    Happy Birthday, and Happy Fitness! You are doing great, and encourage so many! Have a great Friday! And a relaxing, fun weekend! Will you be snowed in? Looks like much of the country is going to be cold & wet!

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FITFORMYFAMILY 2/18/2013 9:52PM

    I feel like you gave US a gift for YOUR birthday with this blog. You are such a good motivational writer! I'm very proud of you for your accomplishments and happy that you seem so happy with being fit! Happy Birthday!!

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TINAJANE76 2/18/2013 6:18AM

    As TRAVELGRRL said, this IS most definitely what our healthier lifestyles are all about. I'm right behind you on the birthday front and wish you all the best for a happy and healthy year! Happy Birthday!!!
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TRAVELGRRL 2/17/2013 5:35PM

    Your blog totally highlights "what it's all about!" Love it. Thank you for sharing.

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REBECCATKD 2/17/2013 2:53PM

    Happy Brithday, New Starfish!! So glad I get to mentor you! You've already succeeded in so many ways. Let's push forward to even more!

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MICKEYH 2/17/2013 12:12PM

    You are able to do lots of things now!! Congrats and Happy Birthday !!

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AEROBISAURUS 2/17/2013 11:33AM

    Love it!! emoticon

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MJREIMERS 2/17/2013 11:07AM

    emoticon and what a great gift you've given to yourself! Enjoy this time with your kids and celebrate all that you've done! Not only for yourself in terms of health, but also for your family. emoticon Have a GREAT day! emoticon

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KANOE10 2/17/2013 10:03AM

    Happy Birthday! That is a perfect way to celebrate your special day byt celebrating your fitness! You have make great strides in conditioning and staying healthy. I love the way i can go up and down stairs now compared to years ago.

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LADYFROMTHEWOOD 2/17/2013 9:00AM

    Happy birthday! What a great way to think about your age. Here's to getting younger!
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ARCHIMEDESII 2/17/2013 6:55AM

    emoticon

Happy Birthday !

Well, I hate to say it, but some days... I do feel my age. eh-hem.

However, all in all, I'm in better shape today than I was when I was a teenager. I firmly believe that regular exercise and a healthy diet can take years off our lives and reverse the aging process.

Oh, if you ever get the chance, you should check out this website.

www.realage.com

They have an online test you can take to determine what your "real" age is versus your true age. You might be 37 years old, but because of your changes to your health, you might now be 27.

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BLOOMINGLENA 2/17/2013 5:24AM

    Happy birthday my sweet Elle! You look fresh and young and fitter than ever before! Thank you for the support and inspiration and I hope I can make it to achieve my goals by the end of the year! Love you xxxxxx

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NASFKAB 2/17/2013 5:17AM

  great way to put it

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CLAIREINPARIS 2/17/2013 4:03AM

    Woohoo, this is a great way to count your age!
Happy Birthday dear Elle, and thank you for being always so encouraging and inspiring!
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