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Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge - personal reasons

Monday, March 05, 2012

These are my personal reasons for wanting to "Tame My Sweet Tooth." Ongoing as I come up with them.

1) want to learn to fill the gap in my diet with nutritious foods, not empty calories
2) want to maintain my weight and keep the 8lbs I've lost off for good
3) Want to feel in control of myself, rather than having my cravings control me, so that when I do indulge, it is mindfully and purposefully

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SMILINGTREE 3/6/2012 9:24AM

    These are good reasons. I have thought about trying to eliminate sugar, mostly to see if it would make a huge difference in how I feel. Cutting way, way back on wheat did make a difference, but at some point it would be nice to stop eliminating, you know? Good luck with the taming. It can be rough stuff!

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MARVEEME 3/6/2012 7:58AM


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MICHSTATE 3/6/2012 6:50AM

    Those are great reasons!!!!:-)

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JENNYD97 3/5/2012 10:29PM

    good start...I was heard the other day (I think it was Dr Oz) that to help conquer your cravings have the things you enjoy (ie: chocolate/sweets) in small portions at times when you are not stressed, or sad or basically when your emotions are not getting the best of you. this way you get what you like without deprivation and you get it in portions that are good and break the cravings because you are not giving into them when your emotions are getting the best of you. I am sooo trying to get this to sink into my skull :)
Good luck!

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Goal Weight?

Monday, March 05, 2012

Lately I have been considering whether I should continue trying to lose more weight, or just keep focusing on building muscle. Once I hit 130, it took me about 2 and a half weeks to move down to 129, but then I quickly went back up to 130. Over the weekend I got down to 129.2, my lowest weight since January (I had been 129.8 before), but now I am back to 130.6. Obviously I know that the difference between that can be hydration, swollen muscles, etc.

It seems to me though that my body is pretty comfortable being 130, and right now I am satisfied with how I look in and out of my clothes. There are still places I want to tighten and tone but I am wearing smalls or extra smalls in my clothing and my pants size is a 4 or a 6 depending on the store. I'm at a healthy BMI. What has started to excite me more than seeing the weight come off is seeing how my fitness level is changing.

I wrote last time about how much easier running has become (at least for short distances). Sunday I went to Hot Yoga for the first time in a while. The first time I went, I loved it. It was challenging but do-able. I still had to step outside the room to cool down once during it though. The second time I went, it was murder. It was a different instructor but it was just... oh man, almost unbearable. I wasn't able to hold most of the positions for the time and I had to keep stepping out. This time though, the hour flew and I was left thinking I wished it had been longer. I didn't have to leave the room once to cool down.

Seeing my fitness level increase is something I have never done because I have not stuck with exercise long enough to see it change. So it's a new feeling to me, and it's so exciting. It's so much more rewarding than knowing I am X number of lbs. I'd say it's equally as rewarding as liking what I see in the mirror, but if you like what you see and if you can feel yourself getting stronger, do the measurements and the numbers really matter all that much?

Anyway, if I decided to stay this weight I would probably still eat a little bit below the number of calories to maintain it, and just see how my body does. I might continue to lose weight slowly, or I might stay the same. As long as I am getting stronger and keep building up my muscles, I think I would be happy with that. 124 or 125 would be awesome but being able to do 5 pullups unassisted would be even more awesome, IMO.

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    I think my goal weight is a fluid number. It changes. Not necessarily a bad thing. It is not set in stone.


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MICHSTATE 3/5/2012 7:36PM

    5 pull-ups would be awesome!!!! I bet you can do it too, if you train for it!!!!

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JAYDEE16 3/5/2012 1:58PM

    I'm within a few months of (prospectively, anyway) reaching my goal, and I'm starting to have some of these questions myself... I'm not sure how to know when I've gotten to the weight my body "wants" to be. But I'm also experiencing that mindset change where I'm not as worried about the scale, and focusing more on getting stronger and fitter. It's a good feeling!
Looks like you are doing fantastic! Congrats!

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FITNESSMONSTER8 3/5/2012 10:36AM

    I know exactly what your talking about. I am not at my lowest weight I have ever been at, but I am definitely the healthiest I have ever been. my endurance levels have never been this high. Feeling yourself getting stronger and healthier is awesome. Keep up the good work!!!

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SURLYGIRL 3/5/2012 10:03AM

    I am in the same place with regard to weight / fitness. My body is just really happy at 140. I have been down to 138, but I keep fluctuating from 138 to 142.

For me, I have decided to focus on fitness goals and see where my body weight / fat goes in a natural response to adding more muscle and increasing my cardio capacity.

I obsess over the scale and am hoping that this new strategy will help me get over this issue.

Obviously, my advice to to focus on your fitness as well. After all, the ultimate goal is be healthy and fit which should lead to being happy with your body and your body image.

Good Luck to you and Congrats on all your success.

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LISAWMI 3/5/2012 8:41AM

    Wow, congratulations! I think I would focus on your fitness and getting stronger. At this point it is not the number on the scale, it is your overall fitness and how you feel. If you put on muscle that number could go up and it would be perfectly fine. Great job!

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Friday, March 02, 2012

Inspired by the weather and several of my Spark friends who are nearing completion with their C25K, I decided it was time to get back into the outdoor cardio. (Yes I know, I was supposed to have started earlier this week but that didn't happen. Irrelevant!)

After I put on my new workout leggings from Old Navy and finding that they fit me better than they did last Saturday, I was fueled with a burst of confidence. I put on my black sports bra and decided it was warm enough not to wear a T shirt over.

I have only been out in public one time before in only a sports bra and pants, which was to a Hot Yoga class, and I debated lengthily about whether it was a good idea. Today, however, my new pants fitting like a glove and looking awesome with my also brand new Nike running shoes, I didn't think twice. I knew I looked good.

Even though there were a lot of people out in the neighborhood, it felt great to have Luna by my side running again. I felt like a warrior, for the first time since starting to exercise again. Not sure why I always decide to start again from Week 1 Day 1 (something about the step-by-step nature of my personality I guess) but it was even easier than the last time I did it over. Almost laughably easy. I flew through the first run cycle and wasn't ready to stop, so I went through the first walk cycle and the next run cycle too. And at the end during cooldown, I decided to do a few sprints, just to see how fast I could go. It's amazing that I haven't actually been running, just doing elliptical, a little jump rope, and some Nike Training Club cardio workouts, but it has translated over into more power and speed running as well.

I guess this is the part when the endorphins kick in... when your body can actually handle the stress you're putting on it and instead you can just enjoy the cool breeze and the feel of the pavement on your feet.

After my last blog I realized, taking the advice of a good Spark friend, that I was just going to do what is right for me and my body. I might be holding steady at 130 but I can feel myself getting stronger and feeling strong translates into more confidence.

Another thing that helped me was I read today that the host of Body Rock is getting breast augmentation. Someone also implied that the previous host also had it done. I have to say I was blown away by the information. It just goes to show that you might as well love your body now because even if you were in the most amazing shape of your life, what is on the outside is NO substitute for self esteem. Wherever you are in your journey, if you don't have inner confidence, no amount of new clothes or muscle or sex or money is going to create it for you.

After my run, I looked in the mirror, and I have to say, I am liking what I'm seeing. I'm a healthy weight, my dermatology medicine is really helping my skin, I have pretty dark eyes, and my body has womanly curves. I know I'll have more days when I am doubtful and feeling low, but for tonight, I can see the champion inside.

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    emoticon You are a Warrior inside AND out! emoticon

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    Amen, sister! No amount of weight loss will automatically give us self-esteem. Such a great message! And congrats on your amazing run!!

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SUZZQ4LIFE 3/3/2012 12:51PM

    Good for you! You bring back the beauty and confidence that so many of us have to remind ourselves of. I love the "self talk." Thanks for sharing your awesome day with us. emoticon

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FITNESSMONSTER8 3/3/2012 10:23AM

    You should be proud!!! emoticon

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MARVEEME 3/3/2012 7:17AM

    Let that Champion shine through.

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emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I love this blog! And yes, I totally agree. Running has made me love and appreciate my body in ways that yoga or other mind-body activities were never quite able to.

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MICHSTATE 3/2/2012 7:15PM

    That is SUPER!!!!!!! You go girl!!!!!!!:-)

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Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge - cravings log

Friday, March 02, 2012

I am doing the SP Official Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge and one of the action steps is to record my cravings for this week. So this will just be an ongoing blog to document all that.

3/2/2012 11:38 AM - about 20 minutes before lunch. Reading facebook and the thought all of a sudden popped into my mind for something tasting like a graham cracker. Craving rating 4/10.

3/2/2012 3:32 PM - had a thought pop into my head about Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. Working on a report for work. Rating 1/10

3/2/2012 Went to Jason's deli and wanted soft serve chocolate ice cream. Got a small amount in a cone. It tasted really sweet, almost too sweet.

3/3/2012 Saw someone having cheesecake for dessert at restaurant. Wanted to eat some too. Craving rating 1/10

3/3/2012 - About 3 hours after lunch. Was hungry and thinking about what I could eat. Considered greek yogurt but all we have left is plain and then my mind went to the frozen yogurt in the freezer. Took a short nap and when I woke up, thought again about the frozen yogurt. Had a yoplait smoothie with almond milk instead

3/3/2012 - Someone had doughnut holes at a party. Meant to only have one, ended up having three.

3/4/2012 In Panera in front of the pastry case. Had a really small breakfast, then went to hot yoga. Craving level 7/10

3/4/2012 been craving a brownie for about an hour and a half now. Ate an apple at lunch but it didn't help the sweet craving. 8/10

3/4/2012 after craving sweets all day, went back to Jason's deli and had a sandwich with fruit and yogurt dip. Decided to get chocolate soft serve instead of the brownie to save some calories. It did help my craving. I am coming up on the second week of my cycle after my period, this is always the hardest week of the month for me nutritionally

3/5/2012 testing my patient. had been a stressful day. saw a picture of a clown and it made me think about birthday parties, which made me want some cake and ice cream. craving level 2/10

3/5/2012 had a craving but I can't quite remember what it was for.

3/5/2012 10:19PM Saw a picture of cupcakes online. Wanted one. 1/10

3/6/2012 8:04 AM had plain Greek yogurt for breakfast with one Tblspoon honey. After I ate it I wanted to eat more honey. Then someone on the radio mentioned donuts and I wanted one of those. I am still somewhat craving a brownie. I woke up hungry this morning, am still hungry after the yogurt. I feel somewhat stressed because I have begun to feel confused about what diet I should be following again.�

3/6/2012 still wanted a brownie at lunch. Had one at chickfila.�

3/6/2012 wanted more honey after work. Had some and a can of sprite. Had a stressful day and just did not care.

3/6/2012 Had another half can of sprite later with the chinese food we ate.

3/7/2012 Didn't eat breakfast - planned to fast today. Got too hungry. Was thinking of ice cream, more brownies, anything sugary I could eat at lunch. Found a packet of Lance Peanut Butter crackers in the cabinet and ate them. No longer had a need for sugar after that (They are sugary too though).

Just an update - 3/11/2012:
I have not had any cravings for sweets in the last several days. After that second week following my period, they always drop off tremendously. Also I formulated a new plan, which might be giving me excitement that sweets sometimes do in my brain, but for whatever reason, my cravings are gone for now. I have had some desserts/sugar since but it was not because I was CRAVING them and could not say no. It was because I chose to eat them and had the calories in my budget for them. I prefer that, for sure.


Just to Vent

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I think I'm going to try to follow the Spark People meal plans for a while. I swear these mind games I play with myself make me miserable. I go a few days feeling proud of my progress, hopeful, and then the winds change and I go a few days being unmotivated and gloomy.

I posted in the message boards about carb tapering the other day and someone pointed out to me that I am eating a lot of sugar. I know that's true. I started eating greek yogurt everyday, sometimes twice a day, to try to get my protein up. I think that might be one of the things that contributed to my plateau, in hindsight. For one thing it has a lot of sugar. For another, when I was doing veganism last year I think the thing that benefited my weight loss the most was giving up dairy. There's a reason pizza was my lent sacrifice. I am crazy for cheese. And yogurt. And for a long long time I ate cereal every day for breakfast. And I love ice cream. You get the picture. But doing veganism for only 2 weeks, I lost like 7lbs, and I wasn't going hungry. Another time I tried vegetarianism and didn't lose nearly as much; this leads me to think it was more the dairy than the meat.

So, yesterday I tried to eat low carb to try it out. Not no carb mind you; I would never do that. Just, trying to get my calories from vegetables, meats, and fruits (I would have had nuts but I didn't have any on hand; I know you've gotta have fats too - I did have dressing on my salad, I guess that had some fat). At the end of the day I had 300 calories left and I was STARVING. I had some oatmeal and a banana and felt better pretty quickly afterward. I read online that when you start doing low carb, it's normal to feel hungry because your body is used to sending out a lot of insulin, and now there's not as many carbs for it to absorb, so you're just left feeling hungry. That made sense to me.

But here's the thing... when I lost weight for my wedding, I was eating a carb heavy diet (cereal for breakfast, yogurt for lunch, regular type of dinner). When I lost weight on veganism, carb heavy diet. At the beginning of this year when I lost these 8lbs, carb heavy diet. I just don't eat a lot of meat or eggs.

I always go into this envisioning myself as cut, ripped, whatever. And maybe that is part of why I keep giving up on it. It's not enough for me to be skinny, I want to be ripped. But let's face it, how many people achieve that? I know it's possible, but I'm starting to see it involves eating a lot more protein than I am willing to eat. I don't see how protein shakes and protein bars can be that great for you to eat regularly. I mean they're definitely not "whole foods."

So back to the whole diet thing. When I think about the way I should be eating, I just get so overwhelmed I want to scream. I work full time and when I get home I'm so tired I don't want to spend hours prepping food. That's what led us to get into the habit of going out so often in the first place. It all comes down to organization, I guess. I know there are a lot busier people than me in the world and they seem to handle it. But for some reason I can't.

So the vegetarians are telling me I don't eat enough fruits/vegetables, and the Paleo people are telling me I eat too many carbs, other people are saying it's too much sugar, and it all just makes my head dizzy. There is SO much conflicting information out there - The Omnivore's Dilema, The China Study, Wheat Belly, whatever book it is that Paleo people follow, all these quote-unquote scientific studies and they all tell you to follow a different diet.

/sigh I know I'm rambling. I want to post these amazing blogs about how many hundreds of calories I burned each day or how I overcame my temptation for chocolate, but I just feel so defeated lately. I guess gaining back that inch on my body and the lb on top of it really did throw me for a loop. It's just perfectionism, rearing it's ugly head. As I said, it's not enough to be skinny to me. I want to be cut. But that's just silly, because I have neither the time nor energy to put into that kind of dedication. And why should I? Isn't it supposed to be about getting healthy? Whatever that means. Of course we all talk about caring about our health, but let's face it, when you're in your 20s and have never had any sort of health problems and dont know that many people who have, it's hard to project that as a big motivator. It just seems abstract.

Sometimes I think what I really need is mental health treatment, the way I always let my mind defeat me this way. Although most people in my family are fat, only one has health complications from it; what they do have, however, is a history of mental illness. I'm afraid when it comes to genetics (especially those for your brain), there isn't much you can do in the way of prevention.

I don't expect a lot of inspirational comments here. It's just that this blog is the only place I have to get out my thoughts, and these are my thoughts, such as they are.

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    Some people think they have the solution for everyone. Just listen to your body and be patient to figure out what will work for YOU. emoticon

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TONEDTORI 3/2/2012 12:51PM

    If you are a vegetarian, consider making your own green drink. I went through a 3 week cleansing and was uncertain. The green drink cleanses your pallet and desires for sweets as well, but consistency is the key. I am not 100% off sweets, but I don't eat them as much, and I sometimes eat them under stress. There are many recipes out there. After exploring, you can email me for my recipe if you want. Water is also good for cleansing the pallet. Best wishes,

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    I empathize - it feels like every "expert" wants to write a book and tell everybody to eat a certain way. And people get to be very passionate in defense of the way they choose to eat (paleo, gluten-free, raw, vegan, low carb, low fat, whatever!) I've just decided to go with my own convictions (I've been vegetarian since age 12, and it just feels "right" to me), and conduct my own experiments to let my body tell me how it feels when I eat differently. I'm planning to eventually try a gluten-free experiment, and maybe a dairy-free experiment (although I was vegan, for about a year, and eventually gave it up because I felt like my energy was too low). But right now, my lower-carb experiment is working for me, so I'm going to stick with it until I'm ready to tackle a new potentially-healthy change! I think it's a pretty good medium, for me, to eat 50% carbs - that's still very high carb, compared to what "low-carbers" eat... but it's lower than MY baseline carb intake, so it makes me eat more protein and less processed food (that is usually so packed with sugar/carbs). Good luck to you!

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STLCARDSFANS05 3/1/2012 11:01AM

    listen to YOUR body. Really get in tuned to it. when i'm doing the right things for my body, mind, and spirit i know it. if something is a little off, i take a look around and find what it might be. it is a journey. stay strong park sister! emoticon

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    You know why there are so many different diet plans out there? It's not all marketing - it's because no one diet is the end all, be all for everyone. Different things work for different people.

If you've found in the past that cutting out dairy worked for you, try it again and see how you feel. Part of the benefit of tracking is information. You have all this information that you can use to analyze your results. If something's not working, tweak it. There's no one right solution for everyone.

The way I see it, your introspection on what works and what doesn't will ultimately lead to your success.


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MARVEEME 2/29/2012 9:10PM

    The number one killer of people in the world remains one thing that we all can cure.

It is poverty.

Plan your work and work your plan, you'll figure it all out for sure!

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