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Ask for Help if you Need It

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Last week I was having trouble getting back into the exercise groove. I wasn't waking up early enough, then after work seemed to always be busy. But for the past eight days, I've managed at least 10,000 steps, which for me is a minimum of 30-40 minutes of walking on top of daily activities.

So what's the difference? I asked my husband for help. I told him after the first two days, that I had a streak of two days over 10,000 steps, and I planned to keep it going -- whatever it takes. It has really helped me that the time change has extended daylight hours in the evening. I've been able to squeeze in a quick 30-minute walk after dinner when I needed that extra boost.

Tonight, he put the kids (ages 9 and 8) to bed at 8:30 while i was out walking. Granted, that doesn't take a lot of effort at this age, but in the past, he would have acted put out that i didn't stay in and put them to bed. Or maybe, it was me all along. Maybe I felt obligated to stay in the house and put them to bed. Either way, I sense a change. I've told him how important this stepping streak is to me, and he's been supportive of me getting in the fitness minutes I need,

We can't do it all by ourselves. We need our friends and family to support us and lift us up. We need to rely on them more. Think about the roadblocks in your life and the barriers to eating well and exercising. Tackle them one by one and ask for help. You'll be glad you did.

And if you are discouraged, don't quit sparkpeople. Instead, ask for help from your spark friends and if you've built any kind of network, you'll get it. My sparkbuds pull me through, day after day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISHA1015 3/24/2011 10:36AM

    Like you, it's hard to make "me time" because I feel guilty about it. But since the beginning of the year, I have made the effort because, dang it, I am worth it and I deserve it! Now when I come home, I immediately change into my workout clothes and then I go for my walk/jog. When I get done (about an hour later) my boyfriend has dinner ready for me. It makes sticking to my eating plan that much easier because he knows what I can eat, and if it is there to eat, I won't stray towards something else my mind thinks it wants. I'm glad your husband realizes how important this is to you, but more importantly, I am happy that you realize how important this is to you. emoticon

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JAMARIEHICKEY 3/23/2011 9:21PM

    Thanks for that reminder! I know that when I get down or too busy, I forget to lean on the people that would be there if I just took the time to ask! emoticon

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Let's Talk About Inertia

Friday, March 18, 2011

I am battling a HUGE case of inertia, so let's talk about it.

If you took high school physics, or even advanced college physics, you should be acquainted with Newton's law of motion -- an object at rest will remain at rest and an object in motion will continue in motion unless acted on by an external force. This universal law applies in places other than matter and gravity. Thinking about a big project but just can't get started? Blame inertia.

In physics, inertia is defined as the tendency for objects at rest to remain at rest, and for objects in uniform motion to continue in motion in a straight line, unless acted on by an outside force. Mass can be considered a measure of a body's inertia. In other words, the bigger an object is, the harder it is to get it going or to stop it once it starts.

Word Origin: 1713, used as a term in physics 17c. by Ger. astronomer and physician Johann Kepler (1571-1630), from L. inertia "unskillfulness, idleness," from iners (gen. inertis ) "unskilled, inactive," see inert. Used in Mod.L. by Newton (1687). Sense of "apathy" first recorded 1822.

Notice the use of inertia as a "sense of apathy" in the word origins paragraph above...I've never personally heard inertia used in that way, but I suppose it has at some point. How true is that, at least in the psychological sense of inertia? Because if there is something you care about, you will take care of it. If you don't care, or you're ambivalent, maybe you will but more than likely you won't.

I've been battling inertia all month with exercise. This object (my fanny) has been at rest, and it has tended to stay there. There are many excuses but no real reasons. So I won't defend them here. For the past three days I have set my fanny in motion, and I've gotten my exercise in. It feels great to walk, especially with the brilliant sunshine now that spring is here in South Carolina.

Now I have to keep it in motion. If my metaphor of Newton's laws holds up, then my exercise streak should continue until something happens (another force) acts on it. So all I have to do now is learn how to manage or decrease the power of those other forces, which include such mundane things as kid's activity schedule, my work schedule, bad weather (I confess).

New strategy: When I don't want to exercise, I am just going to try to fit in ten minutes. Hopefully if I get moving for ten minutes, I will find the hutzpa to continue. I've had a three-day streak of over 10,000 steps. I'm challenging myself to see how long I can keep it going.

Next time you are evaluating a habit, think about it in terms of inertia -- what are the forces acting against you? Manage the forces and let inertia work in your favor -- maybe, just maybe, that "streak" will be what keeps you going when you feel you can't go on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOOZINITNOW 3/20/2011 8:59PM

    Great blog! My fanny too has been at rest. Time to put it in motion and keep it there.

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JESSIKA_56 3/20/2011 9:43AM

    So proud of you getting 10k+ steps in!!! :) Keep up the hard work, and staying in motion will get easier and easier!

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DAWN_B 3/19/2011 5:19PM

    Great motivational blog! I notice the law of motion at work in my exercise schedule as well.

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APIRLRAIN888 3/18/2011 10:16PM

    solution! MIX IT UP!!!!! lol simple but effective! running all the time just got me no where.... 160 for 6 month! the day I started swimming, spinning p90x things happen!
burn same cal, eat same food!! but working different muscles!!!

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ELISHA1015 3/18/2011 2:34PM

    Wow! I loved your post. It was witty and intelligent and had a good moral. :) I never realized inertia had "apathy" associated with it either (and I am an English degree graduate). Thank you for teaching me something today. And as a side note, my inertia has been rolling for about 2 weeks now. The only "force" that will get in my way is me. Keep yours rolling too!

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Belly Fat Cure - 3 weeks in

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

So, What have I learned? I can't tolerate sugar.

Sugar is absolutely toxic to my body. I had been fairly faithful to the concepts on the belly fat cure if not completely strict, and was losing about two pounds a week. Then I had two (regular) pancakes Saturday morning with a little bit of syrup - probably about 20 grams of sugar, is my guess, but my husband wanted to fix pancakes for the kids.. Then we went to my sister's for a big birthday dinner. She had barbecue pork, which was without sauce, I went light on the sauce and ate no bread with it. Well, that was a tolerable choice after such a disaster of a breakfast. So far so good....

Then, my niece had cooked a strawberry cake from scratch...She's 13, and I couldn't pass on her efforts, right? And my brother's fiance made two chocolate pies, she would have been offended if I didn't at least try her pie....

Bottom line, Lord only knows how much sugar that ended up being on Saturday, but I could immediately tell. I popped back up two pounds, felt nasty and bloated all day Sunday, and just now had it drop out again. My intestines hold onto sugar.

What I learned is that all of the bizarre fluctuations that I've had with my weight are perhaps due to sugar and carbs instead of sodium like I thought.

So that was my experiment. Now I know. Even the occasional sweet-bite will put me out of sorts.

I have trouble saying no to sweets if they are around and it's a social eating event. I don't bake sweets and generally don't have them in the house. But if I'm at an event where there is cake or dessert, in the past I've permitted myself to have a small piece. After all, I don't eat them that much, right? That was my logic. Now I suspect that is what has held me above 200 for so long.

I was careful to watch portion sizes and generally tried to avoid fries . But the food choices I made were loaded with hidden sugars. Ketchup, sauces, salad dressing...Freezie pop before bed, no fat, right? Only 60 calories or so....Umm.......Pure sugar. Then top that off with the natural sugar in fruit and there you have it. Every loss was followed by an immediate bounce back up and I was doing it to myself.

So, I'm working on this faithfully, trying to pinpoint the areas where I fall back and have products loaded with sugar and I've found a few solutions.

Now my answer when dessert is suggested in a social setting is that I can't tolerate that much sugar any longer - it makes me sick. Why not? It's true. That will work well when I'm in a situation when I don't feel comfortable sharing the fact that I am on a new eating plan (I refuse to say diet).

As a further bolster, I have given up all desserts and sweets for Lent, which is another good answer when someone is offering me such nonsense. I've given up sweets for Jesus -- how does that sound? Surely they can't argue with that?

This morning, 202.4 -- Three weeks ago 207.2. You do the math! That's enough motivation for me.

I love all you sparkers!!!!! Keep the faith!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAWN_B 3/11/2011 9:07AM

    The same thing happens to me! Great job - paying attention to what our bodies do and how they react to what we put in them is so important and also so helpful. Way to go!

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ELISHA1015 3/10/2011 9:15AM

    Although you don't need an excuse to tell people, I think giving up sugar for Jesus is wonderful! Isn't it amazing how once we eliminate the enemy we can finally hear our body talking to us? The sugar kept you "muffled" for so long that you never realized who the real culprit was. I am very happy for you that you finally figured it out and that you are well on your way to a healthier, and happier, you. emoticon

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LOOZINITNOW 3/9/2011 12:57PM

    Great job on conquering the sugar and a weight loss! I loved when you said that you are doing it for Jesus. That's a pretty darn good reason! emoticon

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  Good Blog! Thank you for bringing sugar to our attention. I too feel awful if I eat too much sugar so am glad for your blog. Your reasons for refusing desserts sounds good to me. Most people understand if you are sensitive to a food or giving it up for lent. Keep up the awsome weight loss!! You are doing great!
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KJWILSON211 3/9/2011 9:48AM

    I did the same thing on my birthday, kids bought me a fudge cake I had 2 small pcs over a 12 hr period and the next day felt like I had drank a bottle of rum, I had such a sugar hang over won't do that again!! It still amazes me that I use to eat so much sugar and survived, I definitely couldn't do it now!!
Keep up the good work it'll pay off in the end.

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  Good Morning SCMamaJones! I'm so glad to see your great insight. Sugar is my downfall as I love to bake cake from scratch. Also homemade breads- haven't done that in a while.
It's so hard to pass up the goodies, but I know you can stay focused. There's a light at the end of the tunnel - good health. emoticon

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2PONDS 3/9/2011 9:37AM

    I too have found that sugar is my ENEMY!!! I am pre-diabetic & did not want to go full blown dietetic, so gave up my wine (and i am a wine maker!!!) also became aware where the hidden sugar is. I was not a sweet eater just a homemade cookie once in awhile My blood sugar is now the good range, due to food choices & exercise. I just wish that I could track sugar on my nutrition tracker. BTY I melted off 14# since Jan. KEEP UP THE GOOD NEW LIFE STYLE!!! emoticon emoticon

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CWHANK 3/9/2011 9:17AM

    Thanks for posting. I think it is wonderful that you can pinpoint your problem area. You know, I have reached the point, that I don't care what people think. I am very polite but say "No thank you" to the foods I know that is a trigger problem to me. Like you, I have quit dieting. I am on a lifestyle change for life. I got serious with my logging my food in August 2010 and I have lost around 30 lbs. But the important thing is I am keeping it off by my new life plan. I am not where I need to be. Exercising is my hang up. But I am taking the stairs instead of the elevator (small steps to a healthier me). Keep up the good work. You are so worth it... emoticon

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    Very good insight!!! It might be my problem as well. HMMMM......Thanks. emoticon

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One Year on Sparkpeople.....Not where I should be, but not where I was

Thursday, March 03, 2011

This is long... so bear with me...

A three year weight loss journey....

A little bit about my story.... In January of 2008, I had noticed I was having chest pains. I weighed on average 217 or 218, which at 5'2" is a lot of weight to carry. I started exercising and trying to watch what I ate, and tracked my weight religiously. I lost about 5 pounds. Then, over the summer, I stopped weighing in. Check out the graph below....The green line disappears in August. Football season started, and with it every weekend was taken.

Fast forward to January 2009. A little bit better off, but not much. Started the year at 215, with a fast drop because most of that was water weight. Hung around 210 for a while, popped back up to 215, went on a low-carb diet in November, then stopped weighing and paying much attention because it was fall, kids were back in school, and everything was crazy. Are you noticing a trend yet?

January 2010 started the year off a little bit better, again, dropped holiday weight fast, then settled in around 210. I joined Sparkpeople March 3, 2010, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made concerning weight loss. I finally broke 205 in May, hovered around the same, then stalled out at 200.2. Now, those of you who have tried to break 200 know what a mental barrier it can be. I stalled, then fall hit -- again. Exercise dropped, stress went up, and before you know it was I was back up to 205, pushing 207.

But, thanks to Sparkpeople, this January, I was at 205 instead of 215, and I feel better about myself than ever. I weigh religiously every day...because I have a graph to maintain. I have decided to track my average weekly weight on sparkpeople. Since I'm in my early 40's, my hormones are going crazy, and my cycles are all messed up, so my daily weight is anybody's guess. So I graph it.

If you noticed my purple line, I'm actually dropping some weight right now. This morning I weighed 202.6. On February 15, I popped up to 207 because it was "that time". How's that for crazy ups and downs? But starting February 15, I began drastically cutting sugar and carbs. That has really helped, and I feel like for the first time in months that changing eating is showing results. I won't say 200 here I come -- because I've said it before in this forum and been wrong -- but maybe it's just around the bend.

Now there are those of you who will say that muscle weighs more than fat, and it does. And I was a size 20 in 2008 and now I'm a size 16. I can also walk faster, I have completed two 5k races, two fund-raising walks of around 3 miles, and I am stronger. But all of that stuff is difficult to track. If I can fit into a size 14 for my brother's wedding in April, that will be awesome, even if I'm still over 200. But it would be nice to see my weight begin with a 1 instead of 2. Really really nice.

So, despite it's ridiculous infomercial name, the belly fat cure seems to be working for me. In another blog I'll talk more about the kind of things I'm eating these days -- this is already a dissertation.

SPARK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESSIKA_56 3/6/2011 9:50PM

    Woohoo, you are doing great! You are on your way!

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TEENY_BIKINI 3/5/2011 7:18PM

    Congrats, gorgeous.

You are doing fanatabulous!!!


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APIRLRAIN888 3/3/2011 7:45PM

    you said at least not where you were! and you are at lowest! keep at it!!!

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BBGYRL4 3/3/2011 4:52PM

    Congratulations on your 1 year sparkversary!! You're definitely making progress, keep up the great work at you'll get to your goal soon!!

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JAMIELOGICAL 3/3/2011 3:59PM

    I love charts and graphs. It's great that you've been tracking your weight for so long and can go back and examine these patterns. You will get to Onederland eventually, but I think you are right not to put too much stress and pressure on it. Back when I was approaching 200, I set a specific date goal and that was a big mistake. Although I actually met the goal, I was more relieved than excited and I realized that I had take some of the joy out of the experience by building it up so much in my mind.

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LATTEGAL 3/3/2011 3:07PM

    Great blog and I think a lot of us are in your shoes...we lose some gain some and up and down. Spark has been great for me too and finding friends who are going through the same journey. I wish we all could see that we can look smaller even if the scale does not show it when we exercise and eat right. Great Job!

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EUGENERUGOSA 3/3/2011 1:05PM

    great job! I feel off the belly fat cure diet & need to get back at it asap - I felt so much better when I limited my sugar intake.

congrats on 1 year with spark!!

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KJWILSON211 3/3/2011 10:38AM

    Keep up the good work you'll get where you want to be,it all takes time and you'll never fail as long as you keep trying. emoticon

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DROSS0616 3/3/2011 9:52AM

    Congrats on your progress. You are heading in the right direction. Keep up the good work!
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LOOZINITNOW 3/3/2011 9:09AM

    You are making progress! emoticon

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    Keep on Sparkin'! It works!


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SUPERCLAM 3/3/2011 8:46AM

  Keep it up! You're doing great!
Slow & steady wins the race!
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VICKYMARIEC 3/3/2011 8:45AM

    I love that you are so positive! AND you clearly see the non-scale victories! We've all been there and can walk right with you. Keep up the great work!

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SHARALEV 3/3/2011 8:45AM

    Your positive attitude inspires me! You are an amazing woman! Keep on sparking sis!

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Belly Fat Cure - Day 7

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I cheated last night. After staying true for almost 6 days, I gave it up last night. After an on-plan breakfast, lunch and snacks, I had a marathon evening. I left work at 4:15 to go get my kids, who were 45 minutes away from my work because they stayed with a family member since they were out of school for President's Day. By the time I got home, it was 6:15 and I had to be at a church committee meeting by 7:15. So we picked up Arby's, and I ate a roast beef sandwich and fries, with a little bit of sauce. So higher on carbs and sugar both for that meal.

Then I came home from the 2-hour meeting wired and exhausted at the same time, so I unwound with a beer, chips, and a few chocolate pieces. So when I blow it, I blow it.

One of my goals is to learn how to handle stress better. The meeting at church wasn't exactly confrontational, but it was intense, because a lot of serious decisions have to be made and ramifications could be big. I probably could have taken a bath to unwind instead of drinking the beer, but my husband wanted to hear all about the meeting.

Turns out this morning that part of the reason that I was on edge last night is I was *surprise* getting my monthly visitor a week early. (aside - I hate perimenopause)

Having said all of that I'm not discouraged. This new eating plan is definitely good for me. I've generally had more energy, I've felt more like exercising, and I feel like my body is processing its waste more efficiently. I just need to make sure and plan ahead for these "tight-schedule evenings" where I have events.

So I'm taking my lumps for my cheat day and moving on. After this hormone filled week shakes out, I'm hoping to post a big loss.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BMASON1948 3/12/2011 11:52PM

    I have a sweet snack that I make when I feel like a very decadent treat- I melt two squares of unsweetened chocolate in the microwave. Add two packets of truvia, two tablespoons of cream cheese and a tablespoon of ricotta. Mix together and top with some ready whip. All but the ricotta have 0 Carbs- so it is all belly fat approved. It takes seconds to make and it keeps me on track. Hope this helps next time you feel the urge to fall off the wagon. emoticon

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BRENDA056 2/24/2011 10:44AM

    That's what this blog is get you back on track! emoticon

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KJWILSON211 2/23/2011 10:49AM

    An idea you might want to try is to check the various fast food nutritional info so the next time you are short on time and hit the fast food places you already have an idea of what to order that is with in the bfc guide lines. Like at mcdonalds a 10pc nuggets and a side salad is a 2/2. not the best dinner but still within guidelines. You just need to check them out,that way you are prepared when you need it. Good Luck!!

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LATTEGAL 2/23/2011 12:04AM

    Just have to take one day at a time and dont beat yourself up which you did not do. You can do this!

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APIRLRAIN888 2/22/2011 1:20PM

    sometimes we need moments like this to show us we still need to focus and thing about what we put in our mouth! not suto pilot yet!!!! I was this close to picking up the chip bag! but I promised to be good this week, and have 2 friends to be accountable here

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DWUEST0326 2/22/2011 12:53PM

    Just hang in there and pick back up right where you were at. Just a minor bump in the road.

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