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Halfway through the Spring 5% Challenge

Friday, April 13, 2012

I finally did measure my plates and they are 10 inches with a border around them. So really they aren't that bad after all. I think without the border they are 8 1/2 inches which is good.

We are finishing week 4 of the Spring 5% Challenge which is an 8 week challenge. Sadly but not surprisingly my scales went up this week. We've been busy and eating out a lot and we have birthday cake and candy at home. Not good. I have not been on the exercise bike and I have not done my strength training. You know what? All the tracking in the world won't help you if you don't get moving. I've been driving and running around but I haven't been getting the fitness minutes that I'd like to be getting.

So at the 1/2 way point I am down 1 pound. That's it! I had hoped to be down 4 pounds by now, but I'm not making it. I haven't quit though. I will keep going and keep trying. I have a 3 day weekend ahead of me and I am hoping I can get out of the house on one of those days and walk a 5K or 7K by myself. We'll see if I can manage it. Would be nice if the weather cooperated with this plan too.


The 9 inch plate challenge!

Friday, April 06, 2012

The Spring 5% Challenge has just posted that our next challenge is to use a 9 inch plate for our meals. I am smiling! I am not sure how big our plates at home are, but I'm sure they are too big. I am happy though because plate size, and bowl size, and spoon size have all been subjects of discussion in my home. My hubby is a BIG guy. He is on his own weight loss journey, and I will leave it alone. When we got married I noticed him using a bowl that I would consider to be a "serving dish" as a cereal bowl. He also uses tablespoons the way I use teaspoons for eating. I knew right away that both of these things meant he was eating bigger portions. We talked about it, and for a while we were doing really well with portion control, but it didn't last. Old habits are hard to break for all of us.

Meanwhile my mother, skinny, too skinny, mother is the opposite. She puts her food on plates that are about the size of a saucer. She eats her ice cream but she eats it with a baby spoon. In fact she keeps a collection of baby spoons in her kitchen specifically for eating ice cream with. I love that about her! :-)

So here we are on the cusp of the new challenge. The 9 inch plate. I eat out a lot, and I also use bowls (for oatmeal for example) so I will have to do some guestimating on this one. I do think I'll be hitting the Dollar Store though to pick up a 9 inch plate or two. That should be fun!

Good luck Spring 5% teammates! Let's get some Living The Good Life points this coming week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASTORRES1 4/12/2012 7:41PM

    That challenge sounds it is just what you NEED to get changes made at home!!! Good LUCK!!!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 4/10/2012 1:09PM

    Hope you are doing great with this challenge.

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KIMBERTA99 4/7/2012 12:30AM

    I just got up and measured the plates that I always use......8 inches!! My husband always puts my food on a large plate and I promply change it to my 8 inch one...drives him nuts emoticon!!

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ERIECANALGAL 4/6/2012 11:31PM

    Almost all my plates are 9-inch plates! Yay!

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DINGALLSTOO 4/6/2012 6:46PM

    dollar store here we come!

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HAKAPES 4/6/2012 6:31PM

    I also noticed that when I eat from smaller plates, I can eat less. I usually do this for buffet dinners, I took a small plate, and that's it. Works wonders!

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LOPEYP 4/6/2012 12:54PM

    Plates are just one more thing that has grown with serving size. My aunt gave me a couple old plates from the 50's I think, and I was amazed at how much smaller they are from the ones that I bought about 20 years ago. I can't even image how big the ones that they are selling now are.
Yah for your Mom. She's got the right idea!

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MINDY502 4/6/2012 12:48PM

    Cant wait sounds like a great challenge we can do this!!!

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BELTONWALKER67 4/6/2012 12:43PM

    I agree, this is a great challenge. I've been trying to downsize the dishes in our kitchen and looks like I'll be visiting the Dollar Store this weekend. We can do this!

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LESLIE_2B_LESS 4/6/2012 12:34PM

    This will be a great challenge! Good idea on going to the Dollar Store for 9 in plates!

Let's go Daisies!

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Wow! My blog got mentioned in the instructions for this week's challenge!

Monday, April 02, 2012

What a surprise! I wrote my blog about "groupings" before this week's challenge for the Spring 5% Challenge was announced. I had no idea that it was linked to in the instructions for the challenge until someone mentioned it. I just hadn't clicked the link on the post. I am so flattered! Thank you Team Leaders!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLIE_2B_LESS 4/3/2012 1:20AM


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MOTTAMAMALOU 4/2/2012 9:49AM


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BEATLETOT 4/2/2012 8:19AM

    Aww, you're a celebrity! =)

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WELLNESSME09 4/2/2012 7:49AM

    emoticon emoticon

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AJB121299 4/2/2012 7:46AM


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My little Spark secret- GROUPINGS!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Do you track your nutrition? Have you discovered "GROUPINGS" yet? They are different from recipes, and they are very handy. They make tracking very easy, especially if you tend to eat the same foods or make the same combination of things. For example I have groups for my vitamins, my coffee (with fat-free cream & sugar), and my peanut butter sandwiches (light wheat bread, low salt peanut butter). I drink my coffee and take my vitamins every day so having them set up as groupings saves me time with tracking.

I also have a grouping for a turkey pita/roll-up. With this one I have some options. I have 2 kinds of cheese, different wraps, and extra veggies in the grouping. What I do is add the grouping to my tracker and then use the "remove multiple foods" option to deselect the items that aren't part of my meal that day so that only the wrap I want is left behind, only the cheese I am using is left behind etc...

Another good one to do would be milk and cereal. I haven't done that one yet, but if you eat cereal every day that could be another time saver.

Today I added another grouping- SALAD BAR. This will make my life easier as well.

The one downside to creating the groupings is that you can't choose the foods for your grouping from your "favorites". You have to choose them from the larger Spark list of foods so it can be harder to find the specific things you are looking for. However once you have your groupings made they are a great time saver.

Happy Eating AND Happy Tracking Spark Friends!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RLE817 5/26/2012 10:49AM

  I have discover the grouping in the nutrition sections,

my question is how do you delete a grouping or add to it?

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ANNIEONLI 4/2/2012 8:31AM

    Yes, indeed

BUT HERE IS A TIP. to create a FAVORITE foods grouping:

To use you FAVORITES in a group...first log the foods in the meal category using your favorites...then there is a button on the menu that sayd "CREATE GROUP" which will then take those favorites and put them in a new group for you with the portions and the products you put into your tracker or the oes you picked off of Spark's menu....all you have to do is name your new group.

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VIMVIGOR 4/2/2012 7:58AM

  Useful information, thanks.

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SEPPIESUSAN 4/1/2012 12:39PM

    If I eat the same things from day to day I love the copying one meal to another day feature.

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ADELCASALE 3/31/2012 9:40PM

    Good advice!

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HSMOM2FOUR 3/31/2012 10:03AM

    Love groupings, but hadn't thought of putting more options in there & then deleting the ones that I didn't use -- THANKS!! That's an awesome tip!!

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WINNIE1978 3/30/2012 8:29PM

    I love groupings!! I have grouped a lot of our favorite meals so I can add all the stuff with minimal effort! emoticon

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MAIDAMONTREAL 3/30/2012 7:47PM

    Great tip. I have a couple of groupings. I find though that the favorites works well for me too because once I find the food I am eating I can add it to favourites. I then go to my favorites and tick off everything I am eating at each meal. You can tick off as many foods as you can and select the meal. Also the recipe tab is good if you make a lot of Sparkpeople recipes.

Thanks for sharing and happy tracking.

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MISSFORTE 3/28/2012 3:15PM

    this is a great tool thank you!

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TARANITUP 3/28/2012 3:02PM

    Totally agree! I just recently started using this feature much more and I now enter recipes this way :)

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BEATLETOT 3/28/2012 2:50PM

    I create the groupings off and on...I know if I invested a little more time into it, they would be awesome!

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MINAH009 3/28/2012 2:49PM

    I love the groupings tool. I have a bunch of different breakfasts that I eat on a regular basis listed as groupings. It makes my morning routine faster and smoother!

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KKINNEA 3/28/2012 2:39PM

    Yes, I love groups for the same reason!

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ugh... hate the number on the scales today!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I exercised, stayed in my calorie range, and I was feeling really good but I stepped on the scales yesterday and they were UP. I thought it must be a fluke so I tried again this morning but they are still Up. sigh.

I think I know what the culprit is, and I'm sure you will all agree... it's TURKEY. Deli turkey isn't fried, seems fresh, but it is full of sodium and I know from looking at my tracker that I am over my sodium.

For the past month I have been losing weight, and really excited for Spring, but ugh.. I just wiped it out. I am back to where I was at the end of February.

On the plus side I am still lower than I was at the end of the Winter 5% challenge, so that is good at least, but what a lousy start to the Spring challenge. Hopefully I can turn it around for next week. I think some low-salt turkey will be on my shopping list today. I am already using low-salt peanut butter so I am confident that I can make the switch.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEMINISUE 3/24/2012 3:54PM

    Also nitrates in deli turkey. Try cooking a bunch of parsley in a soup kettle of water, boil about ten minutes. Enjoy hot of cold like a tea, free free to add artificial sweetener or/and lemon or lime juice. Also consider starting your day with 2 T juice squeezed from a fresh lemon or lime in a cup of warm/hot water. These two suggestions, should help you eliminate build up liquid in tissues and body.


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MINAH009 3/24/2012 12:55PM

    too much sodium always makes the scale go up for me. I've gotten to the point that I know that if I have some Chinese or pizza from a restaurant that the next few days the scale will not be my friend. On the plus side, I know it's not a gain of fat so that takes the edge off. Drink plenty of water and stick to your plan and your weight will be back to where it should be. Hugs

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WYO_CASEY 3/24/2012 10:42AM

    I hear ya - mine went up crazy high a couple weeks ago. :(

I think the switch to low sal turkey is a good idea

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SEPPIESUSAN 3/24/2012 10:38AM

    How frustrating! At least you know you probably haven't gained any fat lbs.

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BEATLETOT 3/24/2012 10:34AM

    Oh, girl, I'm with you. My weight went up this week, too. I didn't burn as many calories as Spark recommends this week with exercise, and I did go over a bit a few days...never by a BIG AMOUNT, but apparently by enough.

The measuring challenge this week should be good for us, I think!

We can do this!

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WINNIE1978 3/24/2012 9:57AM

    Sodium can definitely make the scale go up. The good thing is that if the weight gain is from sodium you should be able to lose some of it by drinking lots of water and watching your sodium a bit better.

I've recently had to up my sodium intake due to medical issues... I wasn't happy with the scale for a while, but I don't have much choice in the matter.

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ARGYLE-RUNNER 3/24/2012 9:49AM

    good detective work on finding that culprit - I know sodium is a scale buster for me, especially when I have things like Chinese and pizza - I often forget how much sodium deli turkey has - thanks for the reminder!

I think I might go back to cooking my own turkey breast - but that is risky too - they pump a lot of those full of a sodium solution to make them "plumper"

and emoticon on losing between challenges - I did not do so well with that

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JESSYVIRGINY 3/24/2012 9:09AM

    I to had that problem, the scale was my enemy for the last couple of weeks. I feel your pain, salt is everywhere emoticon and hard to avoid emoticon

but emoticon emoticon emoticon

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