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Monday, March 29, 2010

I have had to accept some serious decisions this past month - I have to set priorities in my life.

My father is getting weaker and needs me more than before. His health is paramount to me.

My DH has to fit somewhere into my day. He shares the spotlight with my dad - I am there for whichever one needs me most at any given time. Dad is 87, DH is 88. They do not deserve to be at the bottom of my time.

For this reason I stepped down from one Class Team and just "disappeared" from the other (I am truly sorry). Today I must step down leading At Goal & Maintaining.

I am not quitting SparkPeople and will still be here and will try to assist anyone needing it. I just have to stop some of the "daily chores" that comes with SP (my fitness program is suffering).

If I am not true to myself, then I am not doing my spark program. I will not and cannot put this weight back on.
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I thank all of your for your wonderful comments! I will still be here - I just have to make sure I leave enough time for Dad & DH. And, I must stay on track with my program too.
Feel free to come to me with questions and for support. This is one reason I am stepping down - so I can be more available when needed.
YOU ARE worth this journey!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOPEYP 4/1/2010 5:33AM

I understand your priorities. It's tough taking care of loved ones as they age.
I caution you, though, to keep taking care of yourself as well. You don't want to get hurt trying to do it all. Take some time for yourself and get your fitness in.

Take care,
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SMB19191405 3/31/2010 10:03AM

    You are an inspiration to so many of us. We all understand committments and priorities. Do what is needed and take care of yourself. We are here for you too.

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LIVNFITNHAPPY 3/31/2010 7:34AM

    My prayers are with you and your family! Your priorities are definitely in order!

Obviously you must take care of yourself in order to take care of your Dad, your DH and anyone else. So, I know that you will be here on Spark as much as you can.

Let me add my name to the LONG list of those you have inspired and assisted in their Spark Journey! You have contributed immensely to my success and continue to be an inspiration. Anyone who visits your SparkPage will be inspired!!!

You can go do what you need to do for your family without any worries. This Spark Family loves you and that Love & Support is with you always.

Thank you for letting us know what's going on with you and support you too!!!
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CANDYGETNFIT 3/30/2010 10:47PM

    So sorry to hear of your dad's failing health! Your loved ones need you more than we do, even though I know you have helped so many on the teams you had to drop!!

You've been such an encouragement to me and I now know that tracking all I eat is so very important! I use that calorie counting book a lot too!

God bless you as you care for those you love dearly!

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CATHEITE 3/30/2010 12:29PM

    Our life situations are always changing, and right now is time for family. Thank you for all that you do for us, Linda.

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    Making wise choices is part of the Spark Journey; I'm glad you're doing so!

I just dropped several teams after reviewing first quarter performance in my Spark Journey.

The hard choices are not between bad and good; the hard choices are between better and best.


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DAWNWATERWOMAN 3/30/2010 12:32AM

    It is always important to be true to yourself. Isn't that what Spark People is teaching us? Love ya, Dawn

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SUPREME5 3/29/2010 10:45PM

DORENE emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/29/2010 10:38PM

    Do what you need to do for your family! They have to come first at times like this. I'll be here for you and I know you'll be here for me, even in spirit!
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I'm sure they both appreciate and love you so much!

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MEADSBAY 3/29/2010 9:51PM

    Linda- you have given so much of yourself to so many of us- please know how much we appreciate it and understand when your life pulls you in another direction.
Please remember to take care of yourself, my dear friend.
R> emoticon

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GRALLEN 3/29/2010 9:43PM

    First off, I do appreciate everything you have done on spark and all the wonderful words of encouragement you have given me. Second, I understand the need to take care of your Dad and your husband. Use Spark for how you need to use it and everyone will understand if you are not always available.

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ZELLAZM 3/29/2010 7:18PM

    Thank you for all you've done for your fellow Sparkers...I know you'll continue to be an asset to SP even if you don't have the time to devote right now. You've made a good decision.

Praying for you today,

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FORMYDARLINGS 3/29/2010 6:58PM

    Linda. Each of us come to the table with our assorted priorities and baggage. You must do what is best for those around you and for yourself. While I know those teams will miss you, you can't lose 1 minute with either of the loves of your life. Be at peace,


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BRIGHTSPARK7 3/29/2010 6:02PM

    Linda, thank you again for being an inspiration in setting priorities. God bless you and your family.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 3/29/2010 5:56PM

    understood and God Bless You and Your Family

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ANNIEONLI 3/29/2010 5:23PM

    Linda...you and your family are the priority here...and as you can see, you have a ton of support in spirit. That being said, this time, if you need anything, all YOU have to do is reach out - we'll be here no matter what, and so will Spark. Wish I could help with the team, but my priorities are elsewhere as well and I hear you about things suffering because of a shift in the underlayment. Hang in there and be strong in the fact that you have a wealth of knowledge and an unending supply of Sparkbuds at your disposal to lend an ear if needed!

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TEENY_BIKINI 3/29/2010 5:21PM


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EMMABE1 3/29/2010 4:24PM

    We all need to set our own priorities, and you are doing that!!
You have been a great support to me - I know you will always be there for me - but I also know that you are needed more now at home!!
Take care Linda, and Thank you!! Remember we will always be here at anytime you need support too!!

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RISSASPIECES 3/29/2010 3:44PM

    You will be sorely missed. I hope that things go well with your father and husband. I know everyone here understands and wishes you the very best.

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PALESEPT 3/29/2010 2:37PM

Please take care of yourself and your family first! You're important to us. I wish I had something great to say to you, but everything comes out dumb. I wish you the best of luck!


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LIZZYP609 3/29/2010 2:24PM

    You have your priorities in line. I know you didn't mention it but I know you are also on that list. So you do what you have to do.

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VALERIEMAHA 3/29/2010 2:07PM

    Your priorities are perfectly aligned!

In solidarity,

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SHUCG1004 3/29/2010 1:53PM

    Linda, you have been so wonderful to all of us. Seriously. Thanks for posting and please let us know if we can help in any way. You, your father and your DH will be in my thoughts and prayers. Be there for your loved ones as much as you can. Be kind to yourself and take care of yourself too. Remember that the quality of the care you give others has to be equal to the quality of care you give yourself. Otherwise, burnout is almost inevitable and definitely quicker than usual. Remember that even 10 minutes a day can make a difference.


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KALIGIRL 3/29/2010 1:48PM

    Thank you for all you've done. Please take care of you and yours.

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Take care of yourself AND your family. We will keep each of you in our thoughts and prayers.

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I tried it - - - and it does seem to work!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

After reading Ruby-Doo's reply and re-reading her suggestion and the blog I tried something similar I think.

I don't know if this is what Ruby-Doo and her friend are doing - but here goes:

I eat 1800 calories daily (on average) and I burn 400 calories on average - so this leaves 1400 calories for my body to run on.

Is this what you and your friend are doing, Ruby-Doo?

I just changed my chart to 1.2 activity level (sedentary) and guess what?! It puts my BMR at 1187 and my Calorie Goal and my TDEE at 1424 for maintaining my weight!

The number changes but the end results seem to be the same so go ahead and do it! What have you got to lose but weight?

I thought of this either last night or this morning and this is the first chance I have to try it out and to tell you.

Let me know how you make out please? I really do care! It does seem a lot simpler if it works! Mind you, I was advised you must always leave at least 1,000 calories for your body to function. (I was told this almost 2 years ago by a wonderful lady who just couldn't explain it better. But it did get me started on Calories In vs. Calories Out.)


**edit: It isn't quite the same, but this doesn't mean it won't work. We are all different! With my 1.55-moderately active, I wind up with a Calorie Deficit - with the 1.2 sedentary I have a negative number - the difference is about 300 so I really cannot say which will work for anyone. What have you got to lose but weight and inches!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 3/26/2010 8:54PM

    OK, Linda, I just tried to "change my chart." The only way I could seem to do it was to go to the Fitness page and Change My Fitness Goals. I just took out the cardio. Is that what you did?

Maybe I need to read Ruby-Do's blog. Thanks for the help, Marsha

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SLENDERELLA61 3/26/2010 8:40PM

    Hey, Linda, that's great! One of the things I liked better about tracking on Weight Watchers was the ability to eat more on days (or weeks) I exercise more. I liked earning activity points.

Looks like you've found a way to be more flexible with SparkPeople. I don't like having to commit to a certain exercise program for the week. Life happens. And I usually end up going over what I predicted, burning more than expected. On the other hand if hungry, with your way then you can earn more food by exercising. Good thing. I'm going to go look for that place where you put in the 1.2 or 1.55 or whatever. Thanks. -Marsha

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LEEESA1 3/26/2010 11:35AM

    I believe that's where averaging comes in. I think Sparkpeople averages out your daily calories based on this formula and based on the goals you've put in to make it easy and so that you're not going up and down like that, although having said that, I also believe that's the premise for calorie cycling, another thing I'm going to look into at some point.

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SHUCG1004 3/26/2010 10:38AM

    Linda, so glad that you found an equation that is working for you. You're doing great! Thanks for leaving comments on my activity feeds and my blog. You're an angel!


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RUBY-DOO 3/26/2010 8:55AM

    Yes I believe that is what we are doing.
So everyday add your caloires burned to 1424. So If you go for a 9 mile walk and burn say 800 calories. Add it to 1424. 1424+800= 2224 for your starting point for the day. So you are essentially adding your exact activity number to the equation. From 2224 you create a deficit of 500 calories. 2224-500=1774. 1774 would be the calories you are aiming to eat for the day.
It is a difference from about 300-400 calories from the other method and I'm not sure it will work also. It is worth a try for me. There are also a few kinks in it as well. Like today is my rest day. My starting point is 1920 and I'm suppossed to create a 500 calorie deficit from that, which would take it down to 1420. I believe that is too low for me since I have a hard run tommorow. Today I'm just going to aim for around 1900 and just not have a deficit for the day. I think to be more accurate you would have to add in your daily calories burned like doing the laundry, dishes, walking the dog, but I'm not sure. I have starting adding extra things in. For example, if I walk to pick the kids up from school or walk to the store I'm now including that in my calorie burn.

I'll let you know if it's working for me.

I think the bottom line for me was I just wasn't eating enough calories to keep up and burn for my activity level.

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LEEESA1 3/25/2010 11:10PM

    Yes, that is exactly it! So then you would add your calories burned onto that 1424 and you would be eating approximately 1800 calories. All we did was rearrange the formula (and change the activity level) so it looks like this:

BMR x sedentary activity level (1.2) + calories burned - desired deficit = calorie allowance for the day

So instead of figuring out how much of a deficit you have, instead you would figure out how many calories to eat given a deficit that you choose.

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    now I'm even more confused but hope that it works for you. I did start looking at the calories in/vs out report and found that fascinating. I suspect I am not taking in enough calories but can't make myself eat much more than I am. Love ya, Dawn

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TONYAWC1976 3/25/2010 7:54PM

  I get what you are saying. I track my calories in a notebook and have around 1700. I wear a body bugg to tell me how many steps I take, and how many calories I burn everyday. I try to burn over 3000 a day. That includes all my trips up the stairs to get the kids or go to the bathroom. It seems to be working for me. I am not hungry, or fatigued. I know that 3500 calories is 1 pound, so burning that would burn a pound off. We all have to do whats best for our bodies. Good Luck. Tonya

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"Why can't I just use the sedentary BMR?" - a question I am asked a lot.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yesterday I read a blog that was identical to a posting on the message board at By The Numbers the day before. While identical, they were by 2 different members.

I am not going to say who & what exactly, but the gist of it was, "why can't I just say I am sedentary and use that as the basis for my BMR and eat less to lose more weight?"

You can. Of course you can. But you will not lose more weight by "reporting" less activity. You will wind up on a plateau and we all hate plateaus. The longer you stay at the plateau, the harder it will be to break it.

So, I am posting this for anyone interested - you have free choice about what you eat and how much you eat. You may report or not report the actual calories you are burning daily. In the end, you are the one who will either benefit or be foiled by your program.

You are the only one who will either lose the weight or risk giving up. The choice is yours.

When this happened to me in Oct 2008 I went to the Expert's Forum for Exercise & Fitness and was told I needed to start eating a minimum of 1600 calories daily. It wasn't easy for me but I had stopped losing weight for 3 weeks and I was asking for advice. I discussed it with my DH and we agreed together that what did I have to lose but weight?! While I only increased to 1550 at the time due to being involved in a challenge at one of my teams, it was enough to start me losing again. Once I started losing, I also made sure I accurately entered all my burned calories (to the best of my ability) and it was the last plateau I was ever on.

So I pass the ball back to your court - do you really want to pretend you are sedentary instead of reporting true calories burned daily?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHEITE 3/25/2010 9:33PM

    Thanks for sharing your extensive knowledge and experience with us. Your blogs are always so interesting!

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    I track truthfully. I choose LIFE not lying. I am grateful that you've addressed this issue. Great job on your success! Love, Dawn

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LEEESA1 3/25/2010 11:50AM

    I'm all about eating more food too! I had wondered why Sparkpeople only uses a 1.2 activity factor as their baseline daily calories for people (or why they didn't give you a choice of which factor to use) The sedentary 1.2 factor works if you're just starting out, but doesn't if you're an active sort of person. But, it also took me awhile to realize that if you put in your weekly average calorie burn in the "Fitness Section" Sparkpeople will increase your daily calories by the average amount you are burning (minus the deficit you put in under your weight loss goals). Brilliant! But not very intuitive... at least for me, but then it always takes me awhile to figure these things out. It seems so difficult to wrap my head around the "more calories" thing, but on the other hand I love the idea of eating more!

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KAROUSELL46 3/24/2010 9:12PM

    A person has to get honest with oneself in order to succeed. You have definantly succeeded and then some. You are emoticon!!......Karen

Comment edited on: 3/24/2010 9:13:49 PM

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    I took the leap of faith and added 400 calories to my meal plan on the advice of the "experts" - I felt kind of like, if I am not willing to listen then why did I ask?

It wasn't easy. And I heard from so many people that it just couldn't possibly work. So many people telling me that if I ate 1600 calories I couldn't lose another pound - but I not only continued losing weight, I lost 30 more than I could even dream about losing.

Well, DH & I made the decision together and it did work for me. Like me, you all will have to make your own decision. All I can relate is what I have lived through and I tell if it worked or didn't work. I have blogs where "I blew it" because it didn't work the way I thought it might.

The chart and the CDE information is not mine. The chart was made from information gotten here at Spark and made by a woman who sadly left the program without losing any significant weight.

I do wish you the best of luck! Nothing would please me more than everyone here at SparkPeople reaching their goal weights.


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RISSASPIECES 3/24/2010 5:05PM

    I was super, super active for a LONG while and eating a lot more. I spent an average of 90 minutes on the elliptical three times a week, plus bellydancing, yoga and walking. I will admit, at one point, I thought "an I exercising this much just so I can eat more?" I always calculated my WW points based on a sedentary lifestyle, because I am a housewife. I earned those activity points, so it made me feel better about using them. LOL

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EMMABE1 3/24/2010 4:21PM

    If one has been used to the older theory of the less you eat the more you lose, then increasing calories, the amount you eat is extremely hard!!
I know all about this from my experience, I was on a plateau, having had a long period of loosing, I accepted that I needed to increase my calories but I went into panic - I had to reduce them again, then gradually raise them again - but yes, - it works and yes, it is necessary to record it all correctly!!
As you say, what have you got to lose but weight!! And since weight loss or gain is a slow process - if things go wrong then there will always be time to fine tune ones program!!

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 3/24/2010 3:46PM

    This is a reason we are glad you are here. You are a helpful spark friend.

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RUBY-DOO 3/24/2010 2:39PM

    I really do not want to eat less calories! I think I'm not explaining myself well. I just want to be more accurate and maybe explore different ideas. Here's what I posted on Lisa's blog.

I think instead of multiplying by 1.5 the idea would be to just multiply by 1.2 and add your actual calories burned into the equation making it more accurate. So instead of doing the general number of 2400 you would get the exact calories burned for the day. Our Bmr is 1600 x 1.2 = 1920 and from that number add your calories.
For example, on really heavy exercise days when I burn 1500 calories I would add that to 1920 and have a starting point of 3420. 1920+1500=3420. And from that number create a deficit of 500 calories. So on that day I would aim to eat 2920 instead of 2400. On days when I only burn 300 calories I would take 1920+300=2220 and create a 500 calorie deficit based off of that. So I would aim for around 1720 calories.

It's just an idea Lisa and I were exploring. Not sure if it's right but it's an interesting concept.

I really apprieciate your advice! One because you've been there and done that and two you have talked to hundreds of people about weight loss.


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SLENDERELLA61 3/24/2010 2:38PM

    Wise words! Good info. Thanks for sharing your experience. -Marsha

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MSLZZY 3/24/2010 2:32PM

    Not going there!

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Do you love you as much as I love you?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I started having heart flutters and knew that was the beginning of heart problems, just like my dad.

I am type A blood which means very thick with extra platelets and I have tiny veins which means a little plaque would stop up my veins pretty badly. When I put all the information in I just knew I had to take the weight off. I also realize this is no guarantee that my heart will be ok.

Sadly my neighbor got cancer of the appendix and came closer to dying than we like to consider and her doctors told her to walk as much as she could, as often as she could and I promised her I would be walking right by her side.

This is my motivation, my secret button. She has walked me from 1 mile daily to 9+ when the weather was warmer and I know we will be doing it again this summer. The good news is she is still with me and my heart flutters are gone, along with 90 lbs of me!

Whatever it takes, we do it. You need to decide what is most important to you. Do you want to be off medicines? Breathing easier? Free from the dependence on junk food? Use it to help you stay on track.

I know you can do it. But my knowing this won't help you - you have to believe it too. You must have faith in yourself and forgive transgressions so you can love yourself enough to get back on track when you slip, and we all slip sometimes. Temptations are all around us. Sometimes we reach and grab instead of just saying no. It happens. But with free choice comes the chance to get back on track every day.

I love you. Do you love you too? I sure do hope so.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    This was a really great blog. I'm going to bookmark it and read it again later.

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LOPEYP 3/25/2010 5:44AM

You are an inspiration. Yes I love me and you!
Thanks for watching out for all of us.
emoticon emoticon

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_VALEO_ 3/25/2010 2:55AM

    Wonderful loving blog!

Love you Linda. emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/24/2010 1:26PM

    Great blog and such a critical question.
I hope others read this and find their trigger.

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WRITERGIRLMEL 3/24/2010 9:30AM

    What a wonderful blog! (And, yes, I love me. That's why I'm here and why I won't give up. And I rather like you too for being a good SparkFriend and giving us this wonderful post to read.)

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2BG2FT 3/24/2010 9:04AM

    What an amazing individual you are and I'm blessed and thank God that you chose me to be a friend.

You are truly an inspiration you blog was something I needed today.

Thank you,


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and yes, I was yelling!

Thanks for the powerful statement and yes, Linda, we love you too and I'm working of the rest of that question!

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MSLZZY 3/23/2010 10:46PM

    I love you, too! You inspire me to be better, do more and stay on track! Believe and have faith in yourself. Words from a very wise woman. Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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SB1398 3/23/2010 10:39PM

    emoticon Blog, and thanks for all your inspiring comments on my blog(s)

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ANNIEONLI 3/23/2010 10:29PM

    Great blog my friend!!! Well said!! emoticon

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GRALLEN 3/23/2010 10:13PM

    Wow, this is a great blog!!

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/23/2010 9:32PM

    This blog entry is a true inspiration! Thanks so much for sharing, Linda!

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RISSASPIECES 3/23/2010 9:22PM

    I do love myself...that is why I quit work and dedicated my life to getting healthy a few years ago. :-) At some point, I had to decide what I wanted more, a new car or my health. I am still driving the same '99 Saturn and it was the right choice. ROFL

Thanks for sharing. Sometimes we get hung up on the aesthetics. :-) emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUPREME5 3/23/2010 9:17PM


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EMMABE1 3/23/2010 9:16PM

    So true - I know which path I have chosen!!
I'm glad that you feel better after the effort it has taken you!!

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WATERMELLEN 3/23/2010 9:04PM

    Great blog, heart-felt message! We're glad you made those important changes for yourself: it's inspiring to all of us.

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SLENDERELLA61 3/23/2010 9:03PM

    Profound and beautiful! Your neighbor was and is lucky to have you, and perhaps it was more than luck that brought you two together. Perhaps it was more than luck that put me in touch with you, too. Thanks. I love you, too, and yes, I am learning to love me as well. Love, Marsha

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Back on track - yet again!

Monday, March 22, 2010

I just seem to have "off" days when I cannot get out to walk and/or my dad falls again.

Yesterday was both.

However, I knew I would have no problem staying on track today and I didn't! I even have a healthy CDE for the day, 595, and ate plenty of freggies!

Life is good!

**edit: I am still maintaining but around 122 - up & down & up & down emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHEITE 3/23/2010 8:35PM

    Up & down & up & down... yes, I understand. It's not easy. Congratulations on riding those waves so well!

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    Linda, YOU ROCK! emoticon

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MIKAEELA 3/23/2010 2:18PM

    All the best to your dad! I'm glad to read that you stayed on track today! You are strong! Keep up the good work and inspiration that you are to many here!

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MUSHYMEW 3/23/2010 2:16PM

    Glad you are able to stay positive and keep going - good job! ~^..^~

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MRSPOTATOHEAD83 3/23/2010 12:39PM

    Awesome! Keep it up!

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_VALEO_ 3/23/2010 6:29AM

    Sorry to hear about your dad. How is he now?

But you're doing great! Keep up the good job!

Comment edited on: 3/23/2010 6:29:37 AM

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LOPEYP 3/23/2010 5:09AM

    Some days just don't turn out as planned. Sounds like you made the best of it though. emoticon

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    God bless you for caring for your dad. I know it's not easy being a caregiver.

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WRITERGIRLMEL 3/23/2010 2:42AM


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SKYGIRL21 3/22/2010 10:29PM

    It is so good to have a day of success so we can be on top of the world and know what it feels like. Makes all those other days that we struggle worthwhile.

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MSLZZY 3/22/2010 9:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/22/2010 9:40PM

    Glad you had a good day!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 3/22/2010 9:31PM

    Sorry to hear your dad had a fall yesterday. Hope all is well with him.
Way to go on taking such great care of yourself today!

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    I'm sorry that your dad had a fall yesterday and that it was a tough one for you. Glad that today has been better. Bright blessings to you for a wonderful week. Love, Dawn emoticon

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RUBY-DOO 3/22/2010 8:42PM

    emoticon Sorry you had a bad day yesterday.

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/22/2010 8:34PM

    Way to climb back up! Good for you. emoticon

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GRALLEN 3/22/2010 8:28PM

    We all have "off" days. However, as we have learned here on Spark, we just pick back up and keep going.

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TIPYRAIN 3/22/2010 8:28PM

    Happy to see things went your way today!!!:))

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SEESALLYRUN 3/22/2010 8:25PM

    Glad you had a great SP day!! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 3/22/2010 8:21PM

    That's the way to maintain and keep your sanity!! Good for you.

Sorry your dad had a rough day. My stepmom had Parkinson's and fell way too often. It was rough on everyone.Hope your find the right walker or equipment to keep him safe. -Marsha

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