RUSSELL1960   31,622
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RUSSELL1960's Recent Blog Entries

Six Months of Sailing Through Bumpy Maintenance

Monday, September 30, 2013

Well, today is the day! Six months have passed since Easter Sunday, March 31 on which I arrived at my weight goal of 173, having lost 50 pounds. The graph of my weigh-ins show that it has not been smooth sailing since then but rather a bit of a bumpy ride. One "wave" in particular shot me back up above 173 for a few days. Yikes! In fear of regaining and determined to beat the odds, i.e. the statistics which show that most people regain most or all of the weight after dieting, I set a strict goal for myself. I decided to go for 168 (55 pounds lost), that way I could keep my weight below 170, and then I decided to go even further and make 166 my target weight to give me a little "wiggle" room below 168. In other words I intend to keep the 55 pounds off permanently and so I want to stay in the 165-168 range. This morning I weighted in at 168 (let me say "drat" softly even though this is five pounds below my initial maintenance weight because I had wanted to be at my 166 - ideal, perfect weight for this six month anniversary). It may seem silly and overly self-critical but these little "soft drats" keep me focused and working to keep my "boat" steady on this bumpy lake of maintenance. I continue to weight myself daily and track my food and exercise most days to keep motivated. Spark friends are as important as ever - thanks everyone!!! However, looking at the big picture, how wonderful it is to be "in range" on this anniversary. I continue to be determined to hold this "boat" on the maintenance lake for another year and a half at which point statistically, I have a better statistical chance of staying fit for the rest of my life. I hope I can learn during the next six months how to smooth out the sailing and keep my weight within range more consistently. So I will celebrate today with healthy food from the garden and a good workout at the gym.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODS_TEMPLE 10/2/2013 12:41AM

    emoticon on your 6 months of maintenance! With your determination, you'll be 'sailing' along smoothly on that lake before too long... emoticon

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FEMISLIM 10/1/2013 8:49PM

    Great going!!

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PITDDRAGON 10/1/2013 11:15AM

    First, the term "soft drat" is great.

Secondly, I think those are the kinds of thoughts that keep you motivated. But try not to overthink the scale. More important is your nutrition and well-being.

Congratulations on six months!

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KING_SLAYER 9/30/2013 3:18PM

    Grats on the 6 months of maintenance. I think having those "soft drats" is a good tactic to help you stay on task. It's better than saying "oh well" and beginning to slip up!

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HEALTHIERKEN 9/30/2013 1:10PM

    Way to go, Russell! Bumpy maintenance is still maintenance and that's all good!

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AUNTB63 9/30/2013 11:46AM

    First of all...congrats on maintaining your weight loss for six small feat in this day an age. Kudos to you for celebrating with healthy foods and a visit to the gym. Couldn't think of anything better to do. Hope you have smooth sailing to beat the stats on permanent weight loss.

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TAICHIDANCER 9/30/2013 11:24AM

    Congratulations on six months of maintenance. Those bumps are small when you think about the health benefits of having lost over 50 pounds and having kept it off. Best of luck in the future.

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A Maintenance Anniversary Goal

Thursday, September 26, 2013

In a week I'll be celebrating six months of imperfect but successful maintenance. My weight has fluctuated up and down more than I would have liked during these past six months but has mostly been below my March 31 weight of 173. After achieving that goal of losing 50 pounds, I decided to get my weight below 170 and set a stricter target weight of 166 which I achieved, even dropping to 164 at one point. I switched to gardening as my summer exercise and while that has been great fun, I think it doesn't burn the calories like going to the gym. Also, I've noticed that its been harder to stay on target when traveling and attending conferences as I did in July and again in September. So at the moment I'm back below 170 but not back to 166 yet. My goal is to get back to 166 by my maintenance anniversary date - October 1. So I will go to the gym each day this week as well as keep up the clean eating/tracking routine and then I want to focus on trying to keep my weight more consistently on target during the next six months. However, I am thrilled that nearly six months later my weight is actually less than when I started maintenance (albeit not quite at my newer even lower goal). I continue to wear little medium shirts instead of XL... how cool is that!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASMARTERWAY 10/2/2013 8:11AM

    I'm an inspiration, heh? I'm chuffed that you think so. It's hard working out a lot and always trying to eat healthily and occasionally you want that blow out, but it doesn't happen often. I suppose after a while the whole gym/eating/healthy living becomes a bit of a habit and you don't have to think about it so much.

Sounds like you've got a whole freezer full of healthy living! Get back to the gym and you'll be an impressive contender for that 'Inspiration' title yourself!


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FEMISLIM 9/27/2013 8:43AM

    Totally cool!!!!!

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TINAJANE76 9/26/2013 5:22PM

    Congratulations on six months of maintenance--no small feat!

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GODS_TEMPLE 9/26/2013 3:06PM

    emoticon You can do it!

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KING_SLAYER 9/26/2013 2:32PM

    Congrats on the upcoming maintenance anniversary! Sounds like you've done a real good job of sticking with it despite having to travel and attend conferences, two things that throw most people off course!

Medium sized shirts? I use them occasionally for bandanas or dust rags! I don't think I'll ever get into a medium, unless I wanted to dress like a sausage!

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NUTRON3 9/26/2013 9:20AM

    keep it up

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PEZMOM1 9/26/2013 7:48AM


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Confession - a Crescendo of Eating

Monday, September 09, 2013

I prepared for the conference by banking calories. I got my weight down to my perfect ideal weight - 166. I decided that I would only join the conference for the lunch buffet. For breakfast and supper, I packed oatmeal and low calorie garden foods to prepare in our room. I did indulge in the desserts at the buffet but made good choices in the buffet line. Occasionally, I did more snacking in the evening than I really wanted to. I did some modest exercise in my room and joined the conference 2.5 mile hike that had been planned. All well and good. On the way home, we stopped in to see our daughter and to celebrate her birthday. I splurged on a Thai restaurant meal and left stuffed. The next morning at my parents' home, I enjoyed Mom's cooking and a full breakfast of sausage, pancakes and toppings. I continued to eat through the day and snacked to the point of discomfort in the evening. Sunday followed with two church pot luck meals - I did not follow my intention to stick with vegetarian choices. I had fried chicken and desserts and in the evening at the Caribbean cross-cultural gathering, enjoyed rice and beans, spicy meats, chips and salsa, and homemade desserts. I didn't stop even then but continued to eat into the evening, again to the point of discomfort. So like a piece of music building in a crescendo to a resounding climax I have not maintained the discipline I had hoped to keep while away from home. It seems to me that some feasting on special occasions is a reasonable part of healthy living. What I don't like is the way I tend to set all discipline aside on these occasions, thinking I'll get back to my routine tomorrow or when I get back home. Through careful planning and preparation, I did do better during the week of the conference than I have done in the past. But I allowed myself to lose control during the weekend activities. Its harder to keep tracking calories and exercise while traveling on the road but checking in regularly as a way of reminding myself of how I'm doing and of my goals would probably help me catch myself sooner before hitting such a disappointing crescendo. I'll give myself a day to get the salt out of my system and then tomorrow I'll post my weight to see how much damage has been done. Today, I start working my way back once again to my maintenance goal.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODS_TEMPLE 9/10/2013 12:58AM

    Live and learn... Just like losing the weight, and figuring out maintenance, everything takes time. emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/9/2013 10:08PM

    It happens. Just get back on the horse. It sometimes takes me a couple of days to ease back down to my preferred calorie ranges, but as long as I avoid sugar and try to limit access to temptations I can usually get there.


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DANCINCAJUN1 9/9/2013 2:44PM

    it is so hard when out of town and traveling .... at least we get stuffed earlier now than we did before we starting eating properly ! emoticon

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EVIE4NOW 9/9/2013 10:37AM

  High sodium count is why I hate eating out any more. It's bad when it's hidden but even worse when you can taste the salt.

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Garden Day

Monday, August 26, 2013

Today was my day off from work and I couldn't wait to get into the garden. Gardens are a lot of work but I need the exercise, I enjoy it, and the food is quite the treat. Today we harvested and canned 21 quarts of tomatoes. Nine of those quarts (and four additional pints) were spaghetti sauce made from tomatoes and other veggies from the garden (including some of my jalapeno and poblano peppers - we like the sauce to have a little heat). I also tried a new recipe and made pickled radishes. I had 14 cups of sliced radishes from the garden to do something with. I love picking okra from our garden. The plants are about four feet tall now and the blooms are beautiful. We also have sweet corn in the freezer from the garden. Later this fall I'll harvest the popcorn, spaghetti, hubbard, and butternut squash and reclaim the yard which the squash vines have taken over. Our eggplant, swiss chard, and peppers (sweet and hot) are all still producing. I have bags of edamame in the freezer. It looks like I'll get one artichoke (a new experiment). This evening I planted one of the cold frames for fall and winter greens - spinach, lettuces, and more swiss chard. With a glass cover for the cold frame (to be used later when the nights get cool) I'll hopefully be able to extend the season. All these organically grown vegetables make for wonderful, healthy eating. I'm keeping my weight under 170 which is just great! I have maintained my weight for five months now (I recovered from July's travel and conference weight gain) and that's a good feeling - I will make my goal of keeping the weight off for two years and then for the rest of my life. I have to keep working at it every day, some days go better than others - but the garden has made it fun. It is satisfying to eat the food I have grown myself and since vegetables are low calorie foods, I can eat quite a bit and not gain. So that's what I've been up to in my free time. It's been a good summer for gardening.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 8/27/2013 7:38AM

    Your garden sounds wonderful. I love pasta sauce made from our garden tomoatoes.

Great job on keeping your weight off for the last 5 months!

I know you will reach your two year goal.


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ASMARTERWAY 8/27/2013 3:20AM

    Sounds like a lot of work but reaping rewards. Healthy diet too.

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GODS_TEMPLE 8/27/2013 1:10AM comment posted twice. emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/27/2013 1:12:48 AM

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GODS_TEMPLE 8/27/2013 1:08AM

    How is your asparagus doing?

Daniel 1:15-19

The Message (MSG)

14-16 The steward agreed to do it and fed them vegetables and water for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked better and more robust than all the others who had been eating from the royal menu. So the steward continued to exempt them from the royal menu of food and drink and served them only vegetables.

17-19 God gave these four young men knowledge and skill in both books and life. In addition, Daniel was gifted in understanding all sorts of visions and dreams. At the end of the time set by the king for their training, the head of the royal staff brought them in to Nebuchadnezzar. When the king interviewed them, he found them far superior to all the other young men. None were a match for Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

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Naked Corn on the Cob

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I love this time of the year when the garden is producing all kinds of fresh vegetables. Our silver queen corn is an especially wonderful treat. However, with added butter and salt the calories start to mount up. It doesn't help one bit to join our Mexican friends by eating it slathered with mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. So what can one do? Most spark people (on the nutrition tracker) seem to feel that an average size serving of corn on the cob has 80 calories but with butter that total can move up to 130 or even 150. This almost doubles the calories. If a person goes for two servings (and who can eat just one ear freshly picked from the garden?) the multiplication starts making corn on the cob a potential diet wrecker. So I thought how can I enjoy the bounty of our garden without losing ground on my weight - thankfully there's a lot of corn out there that needs to be eaten :) Well, I've been intrigued with the Spark People idea of eating food naked (i.e. without all the calorie loaded condiments). So as an experiment I decided to try our garden fresh corn just the way God made it (except boiled). It was really good. It was interesting to be able to taste all the flavor of the natural corn rather than have those flavors overpowered by the butter. I eat two ears typically, 160 calories, along with the rest of the meal. It works for me. I like it and I like the idea of enjoying this treat without all the extra fat and calories. So anyway, since when does corn have to be buttered?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FEMISLIM 8/18/2013 3:10PM

    I simply love it!!

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GODS_TEMPLE 8/17/2013 4:56PM

    Sending you a video to show the best way to cook it, so you don't lose all the nutrients in the boiling water.

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ASMARTERWAY 8/17/2013 11:08AM

    Vital accompaniment to corn on the cob: Toothpicks and dental floss!

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YMWONG22 8/17/2013 10:50AM

  I like to have my corn on the cob au natural or lightly salted. Yum. emoticon

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MRSJERRYBUSH 8/17/2013 10:10AM

    Or salted, for that matter!

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