RUSSELL1960   34,095
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RUSSELL1960's Recent Blog Entries

I'm Pretty Proud of Myself If I Must Say So Myself

Friday, November 08, 2013

All right. Spark Guy gave the challenge today to give ourselves a pep talk. I actually have something to crow about. I went to an annual event last evening. I knew that the tradition was to have the table covered with all kinds of candy. This event used to be a sugar disaster for me of Lord only knows how many calories mindlessly consumed. So I planned ahead. I bought myself some sugar free gum to chew on. I almost never chew gum. But I thought, well if I'm tempted to eat candy I'll put some gum in my mouth. I did not want to eat any of the sugar. I eat dark chocolate only when I have time to savor it for all its worth and let it melt in my mouth. This was not one of those sacred moments. The table was laden with tens of thousands of cheap, empty calories as anticipated. I didn't want any of it. Even though people at the table pushed candy my way and encouraged me to eat - I followed my plan and chewed gum instead. I didn't eat a single piece of candy. All I partook of was a mighty fine cup of coffee. I actually came home hungry and enjoyed a healthy evening snack. If I must say so myself - I rock!!! I'm getting good at this!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOONSTREAM 11/29/2013 9:47AM

    emoticon way to plan ahead!

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PDQ1203 11/9/2013 8:40AM

    emoticon

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GODS_TEMPLE 11/8/2013 10:26PM

    I have a feeling your Solid Rock was helping you rock.

emoticon on standing strong!

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MSANITAL 11/8/2013 5:26PM

    You sure do rock.. way to go. love hearing how making little steps like this is a huge impact on your goals.. and you are willing.. keep up the good work

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JULIAMOONCHILD 11/8/2013 2:56PM

    You had an awesome night because it carried over (the good feeling of accomplishment) into the next day. Great Job!

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KING_SLAYER 11/8/2013 2:43PM

    Way to go! That's a pretty awesome accomplishment you got there!

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HEALTHIERKEN 11/8/2013 1:47PM

    Russell, you do rock! That was a major accomplishment, for sure.
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FOR_THE_DUDES 11/8/2013 11:08AM

    You do rock! I'm going to think about this tomorrow when I'm a family party with lots of temptations that I'd rather avoid.

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KARENE10 11/8/2013 9:25AM

    emoticon

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TORTISE110 11/8/2013 9:23AM

    I agree, you rock!! What a great feeling to be in charge of what you eat.

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A Month of Stability

Friday, November 01, 2013

Today starts a new month. I realized looking back that October has been a good month in terms of stability and consistency. Perhaps it has been my best since starting this journey in earnest 13 months ago. I've been in maintenance mode since March 31, 2013. Since then I've lost ten more pounds making a total of 60 lost altogether. I've gone from 223 to 163 and stayed there for the most part and it feels great. It was well worth all the effort. During most of my maintenance period, these past seven months, my weight has been "volatile" with lots of ups and downs, sometimes dramatic. Slowly, I keep learning and seem to be falling now into almost automatic patterns of making good choices. That is wonderful to see finally happening. I've moved into a "flexitarian" diet - mostly vegetarian and with a high percentage of the food coming from produce grown in our own garden. I'm doing much better at restaurants, looking almost automatically for the healthiest, low fat, low calorie options. I have more trouble at gatherings where there are lots of chips and cookies - these still tempt me to go beyond one or two. I know the holidays are coming and they will be a challenge but I am thankful to look back and see that my weight stayed consistently between 166 and 163 this month - mostly at 163 where it is this morning. I think I am finally getting the hang of this to the point that my weight is staying stable. At least it did this month. For those just starting out - it is really hard at first but with time the new good habits do eventually start to become almost automatic - although continuing vigilance is necessary to stay on track.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHIERKEN 11/2/2013 2:19AM

    A month of stability is a *wonderful* thing, Russell! Congratulations on your great success on this journey.
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GODS_TEMPLE 11/2/2013 1:59AM

    Well now...there can still be joy in moderation!

As King says, enjoy the Holidays with friends and family, but that doesn't mean you have to go overboard...I thoroughly enjoyed last Thanksgiving and Christmas while losing weight. The food isn't the important part...the fellowship and meaning behind the Holidays is.



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KING_SLAYER 11/1/2013 6:06PM

    Well said! Continued vigilance is important, you have to know when you're slipping and make adjustments to get back to where you need to be. I would say that you shouldn't worry about the holidays, you should enjoy them fully. You know what it takes to get rid of a few lbs when you start creeping up a little and Thanksgiving and Christmas are times to gather 'round the table with family and friends. So I say enjoy those times and the delicious foods that only come around a few times a year. After all, there's 50 other weeks that you can be super diligent about what you eat!

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This Does Get Easier

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It just dawned on me that its not so hard anymore to make healthy choices. When I first started on this fitness journey it was torture. Each choice was a struggle. I felt deprived. I craved the high fat, high carb, high salt, high sugar, and highly processed foods I was giving up. I couldn't imagine feeling satisfied on 1800 to 2000 calories per day. Exercise was torture. I was so out of shape. I got winded just thinking about working out and it was a struggle to get my body to move. I struggled to find time in my schedule to get to the gym. Our brains get programmed into certain patterns and so shifting out of them is really difficult in the beginning. It is interesting to observe however how that can change. After nearly 13 months of working at this I'm noticing that it really is getting easier. It was last October that I got serious about working at this. In six months I lost 50 pounds and since then in maintenance I've lost a bit more, almost 60 total now and I've kept the weight off for nearly seven months. Exercise is much easier now. I'm in much better shape. I still have to work at the diet and exercise each day. I still track my food and exercise almost every day. These patterns are becoming a normal and pleasant part of my life that I look forward to. I almost automatically select the healthiest of foods from the restaurant menus and grocery store aisles. I look forward to exercise which is part of my normal routine now. I am so thankful that this is now my life and I guess I just want to encourage those who are just starting out to know that it is really hard in the beginning but it does get a little easier eventually. At least that's my experience. My tastes in food have changed and my body has gotten stronger and I really am content with just 1800 calories a day most of the time and I really enjoy the new routines of my life which include a vigorous work out. So take courage. Its worth it and it does eventually get a little easier over time.
P.S. This has nothing to do with what I'm writing about but I can't believe its snowing today in October!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODS_TEMPLE 10/24/2013 3:53AM

    What's so funny to me is...I didn't used to have trouble eating, who knows how many calories...now, I often have trouble getting 1300 in during the day! emoticon And as you say...exercise is just a part of my day now.

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TIME-4-TINA 10/23/2013 5:20PM

    Your so right! I feel the same way. After yo yo dieting and being overweight for my entire adult life, I'm amazed to say that I like eating healthy and exercising. About six months ago I was telling another spark friend that one day it's like a switch went on in my head. I found that I no longer am tempted by things I was tempted by before. I can literally sit with a cup of tea and a granola bar while my daughter is baking homemade chocolate chip cookies and I don't even flinch!!

I too have lost about 50 lbs. I'm not where I want to be yet, but I look forward to maintenance. Because I know this time, I can do it. friend adding you!
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KING_SLAYER 10/23/2013 4:56PM

    You're so right! At first, changing how you go about your daily life is so difficult, but after a few months you finally get settled into new habits and routines. You just have to get through that initial, unpleasant stage.

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BEBARB149 10/23/2013 11:04AM

    Way to go! Your determination is awesome! Thanks for sharing your success.

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FEMISLIM 10/23/2013 9:12AM

    Great!

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KARENE10 10/23/2013 8:50AM

    Great Blog! emoticon

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My October Garden

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

I have really enjoyed our garden this year. This past week I've eaten a vegetarian diet almost exclusively of food harvested from the garden. Well, now that I stop to think about it, I did have one meal with salmon at a restaurant. Anyway, I have been eating beets, squash, okra, eggplant, peppers, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, kale, swiss chard, and a few raspberries in various combinations. Last evening I made rhubarb apple popsicles (a Spark Recipe) to snack on (the rhubarb but not the apples are from the garden). Yesterday I harvested a huge butternut squash that weighed 14.6 pounds - that will make a lot of meals and while it may be the largest it is not the only squash out there. I'm also getting some zucchini from a late planting and I'm looking forward to harvesting my popcorn in a few weeks. Our freezer is full of garden produce and the cupboards are full of canned goods. I feel really blessed to have all this healthy, organically grown food to enjoy and to continue enjoying through the winter. This also helps keep me away from more highly processed foods that are full of calories and the work in the garden is good exercise. So I'm just amazed that the garden is still producing so well in October even through its obviously slowing down with cooler weather and I admit it this has been a lot of fun for me. Oh, and I put three quarts of tomatoes in the freezer last night.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHIERKEN 10/19/2013 12:54PM

    Way to go, Russell! That must have been *some* garden!
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KING_SLAYER 10/8/2013 10:47PM

    Wow, it sounds like if the national grid were to go down tomorrow you'd be sitting pretty with a bountiful garden supplying a lot of food for you!

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GODS_TEMPLE 10/8/2013 5:41PM

    Sounds like you're reaping the fruit of your labors. Seems like there needs to be a celebration! emoticon (Exodus 23:16)

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KELLIEBEAN 10/8/2013 9:15AM

    Wow that's great that you have grown all of that. Sounds wonderful.

Congratulations on all of your achievements!

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COLLEENROSTE 10/8/2013 7:57AM

    scrumptious! such bounty, and satisfaction from healthy exercise yielding so much nutrition for you and your loved ones............ makes me long for days of yore when this was normal for everyone. you are blessed

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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 months....no 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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