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How am I Going to Lose Weight?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yesterday I wrote that my weight had been sitting at around 168lbs since I've started my Eat Whatever I Want And Track It experiment, and I wrote that if I wanted to lose weight I was going to have to cut calories somehow. I got on the scale and saw 164.6. So now I've got my hopes up...hopefully not too much.

Is it possible that just simply tracking and trying to eat more high-volume low-calorie foods is enough for me to lose weight, without consciously cutting calories? That would be my DREAM SITUATION. I hate cutting calories!

I have a theory about my weight range. I think I am designed to weigh somewhere maybe plus or minus about 10 or 15 pounds from where I am right now. I think it wouldn't be too difficult to just kind of tighten the reins and get closer to the bottom of that range, just like it also wouldn't be too difficult to slack off and get to the top. But the further down my weight goes, the more susceptible I am to binges that will get my weight back closer to the center of my range, and at the other end of the spectrum, when my weight goes higher I'm more likely to gain some newfound motivation and find it easier to eat a lower-calorie diet that'll get me back down to the center of my range. So, I might as well just shoot for losing some, but not TOO much, because I'm not convinced I could ever maintain something too low.

I also think it's absolutely essential to have a plan that works with my lifestyle. I used to think I was only fully on track when I weighed/measured every little food item, down to the berries I put in my daily morning smoothies. Now, however, I feel that it's okay to estimate, especially with low-cal foods like fruit and vegetables, because even if I'm off I wouldn't be off by much. And I may overestimate one day, but underestimate the next, so it's all good. It's almost silly how much relief I feel when I just make my morning smoothies without feeling guilty that I'm not measuring out my ingredients! It's ridiculous that it took me this long to come to this conclusion!

Similarly, I used to feel that I was only on track when I had a basic eating template and stuck to it, even when I got particularly hungry in the late afternoon or evening and would have really enjoyed a little something extra but wouldn't allow it because I'd already met my calorie max. It is SUCH a relief that now I allow myself to have a little more if I'm hungry without guilt. I may not need it every time, but if I do, I'm going to allow it. I will no longer sacrifice feeling OK for weight loss.

Last night at the gym I did my usual 60 minutes on the elliptical plus five minutes cooldown, but for the 2nd time ever (first time was last week) I did the whole hour with miles that were slightly faster than nine minutes, and by the time I was done with the cooldown I'd gone 7.05 miles and burned 985 calories.

Knowing we were expecting yet another huge snowfall overnight last night, my husband and I both stayed at our own condos (we've been trying to move in together for a year and a half, but haven't been successful with the real estate market). I miss him!! But he worked late into the night and got up early to work this morning, whereas I went to bed at a normal time (1opm) and got the phone chain call at 5:30 A.M. that we were having a snow day (third snow day this month!) today so I went back to sleep until almost 10 a.m.!!! I really needed that sleep.

EDIT: I decided on a whim to go back and read my old blog entries...I have LOTS of them...and I discovered that it was EXACTLY four years ago today that I first used my nutrition tracker to track a day's worth of food! (I even went back and looked - I ate some bizarre stuff that day - red wine for breakfast? Chef Boyardee for snack? WTF??)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRIZGIRL 2/14/2011 12:32PM

    I think it is fascinating following your "eat what I want when I want it" blog. You definitely sound like you have a healthier mentality at least!

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TERRIANGEL 1/30/2011 1:39PM

    YES! It IS a huge relief to eat good, high volume low cal foods without guilt and without feeling the need to measure every morsel. I'm so pumped that you found this (at the same time that I found it, I might add...) and now we can watch the weight slowly and healfully fall off of us together. emoticon emoticon

And NICE JOB on the faster eliptical run. So cool!!

I'm hearing rhumors of another storm on Wednesday... emoticon

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FITGIRL15 1/30/2011 11:39AM

    Hi Susan! So glad to hear you are figuring out what will work for you long term! Temporary fixes don't last! Slow weight loss is a great idea!!!

I know you can do it too, I've seen you hit some pretty impressive lows! You gotta have faith that you will be successful with this!!!

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SPARKNMOM 1/29/2011 9:26PM

    Love this blog. I've always thought that being successful at losing and maintaining is all about finding what you can live with!

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SWEATONCEADAY 1/28/2011 2:30PM

    seems like you are figuring out what will work best for you. i only weigh/measure big stuff like pasta/rice/meat/cheese as i seem to over/under estimate those. i never measure fruits and veggies. i am glad the high volume foods seem to be helping you. i feel a lot of positivity from this blog about yourself and your journey forward.

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JESSICAPAGE 1/28/2011 2:01PM

    You are doing so well!! That is great. Keep up the good work. 8-)

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SKYFYRE 1/27/2011 10:02PM

    too funny about the red wine, maybe you had a late night?! Hope you get the condo thing sorted out, it has been too long!

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CARILOUIE 1/27/2011 8:17PM

    I feel the same way about measuring my food... it's obviously not the pint of berries that's keeping me from slimming down... the more likely culprit is the huge amount of cereal I pour into my bowl, probably underestimating by at least half what I'm actually eating.

Isn't it interesting to read old blogs and nutrition trackers? I haven't done the old nutrition trackers, but I think I'll have to do that soon!

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MEGSFITNESS 1/27/2011 5:13PM

    A Sus! You've had the epiphany that puts you where I want to be!!

I just need to get myself in check and get there.

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DAMIENDUCKS 1/27/2011 4:52PM wine for breakfast?! makes me wonder what's lurking in some of my old trackers...I'm sure I'd be horrified at some of it!

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SUSINOK 1/27/2011 3:47PM

    Woo hoo red wine for breakfast! That's awesome!

I bet you were logging a snack and didn't notice that the tracker always defaults to breakfast unless you change it.

I'm guessing it was Chef Boyardee and wine for dinner...? Great to see you on here again!

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TESS6166 1/27/2011 2:36PM

    Yes.... a healthy realationship with food that works for YOU is what matters... and is what we all strive for! Great job :0)

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ELFITZPA 1/27/2011 2:08PM

    Okay I've had some weird food combo days, but seriously, wine for breakfast?!?! That's the funniest thing ever. Glad your experiment seems to be working for you.

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SEEHOLZ 1/27/2011 1:03PM

    I like this plan- it's realistic, healthy and manageable- you are so much like me-- you need more a grey approach to eating!

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MBSHAZZER 1/27/2011 12:58PM

    Susan, I think that religious calorie counting only works if someone has a strict, short-term goal. In the long run, I think it sets people up for failure. Because... what happens when you've been weighing and measuring like mad for several days or weeks and then you get an invite to eat out? You either say no and feel deprived and grumpy, or go and think, "there goes all my hard work, may as well live it up".

Your approach is much more reasonable. I think eyeballing and estimating is fine, ESPECIALLY for HVLC (love it!) foods. I never restrict freggies... the fiber and vitamins are worth the nominal extra calories!

Stay warm and safe!

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ZIRCADIA 1/27/2011 12:56PM

    You are doing great! I think it's helping you develop that healthy relationship with food we all want. I'd say keep doing what you're doing for a while and see how it goes. :)

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I Just Feel Like Writing

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I forgot to mention in my last post that I've started taking fish oil supplements. This decision came after I read an article that suggested fish oil can actually REVERSE heart damage. If it's powerful enough to do that, imagine what it can do for a heart that's already healthy. Plus, one of the people who commented on this article is someone I respect (I don't know her personally, but I agree with her comments on lots of articles) and she said that she just keeps reading more and more reasons why fish oil supplements are a good idea. I always thought that just eating fish would be enough, but when I really think about it, how often do I REALLY eat fish? Not THAT often. The other supplement that seems pretty trendy right now is Vitamin D, but I haven't jumped on that bandwagon yet. I've gone through phases where I took lots of supplements (usually after reading a book that recommended them) and they get expensive, plus I never feel any difference.

So...what's your take on dietary supplements? What do you take and why? And just as importantly, why DON'T you take what you don't take?

My weight is still hovering around 168. I'm still just considering my current Eat Whatever I Want And Track It experiment to be temporary - just long enough to learn about myself and help me come up with a plan. I know that if I want to lose weight I'm going to have to cut calories somehow. I'm just hoping to make the cuts as small and painless as possible. I've been jotting notes on my Nutrition Tracker page (and I know for a fact that TERRIANGEL's been reading them because she comments to me on them! hehe) that might help me come up with a plan. Yesterday, for example, I was feeling hungrier than normal, so I ate about 2,600 calories, but I jotted down a thought that if I'd eaten just one bag of almonds (1.2oz) instead of two, and instead eaten more "freggies," my daily calorie total would have most likely been lower. So today in my cooler I packed only one bag of almonds, but I also packed a container of grape tomatoes and a yellow pepper.

Last night I roasted my broccoli and cauliflower, along with a few baby carrots and garlic cloves. I roasted them in sesame oil (thank you VIDABELA for that idea!) with some Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute, at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. I should have probably covered them - the broccoli florets got very dried out - but other than that everything came out delicious and satisfying. I also attempted to make Chef Meg's Nutty Noodles, which was not quite as successful. I couldn't really get the ingredients to mix well.

So at my brand new gym the main studio flooded yesterday, and Body Pump was held in the yoga studio instead. It was sooooo crowded and stuffy, but I survived. I still miss my old gym.

We're probably having yet another snow day or delay tomorrow. It's just past noon and snowing already, and supposed to keep going until tomorrow morning. Some teachers are complaining that we've been having too many days off, but I am a classic procrastinator - I'm loving the free days!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRIANGEL 1/30/2011 1:43PM

    That's RIGHT, I'm watching ya. hehehe... And you're doing so GREAT!!

Bummer about your new gym.

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SWEATONCEADAY 1/28/2011 2:34PM

    i have been taking vitamin d for the first time this winter consistently along with a multivitamin. i normally get SAD really bad and often ended up on antidepressants half the year. this year though i haven't felt SAD symptoms at all. when i tried fish oil supplements i got really sick. however, i am allergic to salmon and no bottles clearly stated what fish it came from which is frustrating. so i am only assuming it is from salmon since it made me so sick.

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LIVENLOVELIFE 1/27/2011 8:21AM

    I used to take supplements..and this blog reminded me that I should start again. I try to get the majority of my nutrients and vitamins from food..but there's just some things a girl needs more of! And one thing I've noticed is that I usually don't feel any sort of affect from them until about 3-4 weeks after taking it consistently. When I am taking them, I take a multi, fish oil, calcium, and now in the winter a Vitamin D.

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DAMIENDUCKS 1/26/2011 5:30PM

    I love this experiment! I'm really excited to see what you decide to do with all the info...

on the supplement front, I take a b-complex in the winter for energy (and it makes SUCH a difference) and then vitamin C & zinc (which I think minimizes my run-ins with the common cold). I don't take anything during the summer though, and I don't take anything unless I think it's actually doing something.

Comment edited on: 1/26/2011 5:30:51 PM

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SEEHOLZ 1/26/2011 4:01PM

    I still think that volume eating is sooo my thing too. And the only way to control that is to go freggie.

Great job on those notes and you deserve your snow days btw. I just hope the kids don't have a longer school year... that would suck!

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CARILOUIE 1/26/2011 3:54PM

    I love snow days too. We got out early today, and who knows what's going to happen tomorrow...

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MEGSFITNESS 1/26/2011 2:26PM

    I take a multivitamin when I remember to buy them/can afford them but that's about it. I'm not much for taking pills.

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ELFITZPA 1/26/2011 12:41PM

    I go back and forth on supplements myself. Right now I'm taking a multi, biotin/B7, glucosamine and fish oil.

- I take a multi because the nutrition book I respect the most encourages it and calls it "nutritional insurance".

- The glucosamine I suppose is just to be safe, considering all the running I do.

- The fish oil was recommended by my doctor since my cholesterol is a bit high despite all my exercise and healthy eating.

- The biotin is my most recent addition and I'm hoping it'll help my hair and nails.

But now I'm starting to wonder if perhaps I'm actually having vitamin D (and therefore calcium absorption) issues since I'm not getting my usual exposure to sun? I get plenty via my multi and my diet, but who knows? I've considered adding a D/calcium chew just until the days get longer but I feel like I'm just creating really pricey pee?!? LOL.

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ZIRCADIA 1/26/2011 12:24PM

    I think your experiment is going GREAT as well! Ditto ditto to Sharon! :) I am a classic procrastinator as well.... hahaha

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MBSHAZZER 1/26/2011 12:20PM

    Susan, I think this is a GREAT experiment! By eating whatever you want but also tracking it, you will definitely find a way to cut calories without feeling deprived!


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Overdue Update!

Monday, January 24, 2011

I've now been Eating Whatever I Want and Tracking It for over a week, and it's going better than I ever could have expected. I'm not sure if it's just the act of tracking what I eat, changes with my cycle, or something else, but suddenly something kicked in and my appetite isn't as big as it was before.

Here's a quick summary (rounded to the nearest hundred calories):
Sat. 1/15: 2,700 cals (Day 1)
Sun. 1/16: 3,600 cals
Mon. 1/17: 3,100 cals
Tues. 1/18: 3,000 cals
Wed. 1/19: 2,700 cals
Thurs. 1/20: 2,500 cals
Fri. 1/21: 1,800 cals (snow day! I was home by myself all day and didn't binge!)
Sat. 1/22: 2,600 cals
Sun. 1/23: 1,700 cals!

So as you can see, my daily calorie totals have been shrinking without any intervening. The only change I've made is that I'm trying to eat more freggies. Fruits and vegetables have SO MANY FEWER CALORIES than fatty and processed carby foods! It's kind of like discovering a store with significantly lower prices than other stores. You can buy (eat) so much more!

At the grocery store this weekend I didn't have my shopping list planned out exactly like I normally do - I did have the ingredients I needed for my recipes (two of Chef Meg's recipes from but I also had a line for "freggies." I figured I'd see what the store had to offer! Here's what I ended up with:
*pre-sliced cantaloupe
*red grapes
*a bag of fresh broccoli and cauliflower for roasting
*a bag with one yellow, one red, and one orange pepper
*grape tomatoes
I think that's it, in addition to my normal apples and clementines. I didn't want to get TOO much because I don't want my fresh produce to go bad before I eat it all. There is still a learning curve here - I'll figure out how much I can buy with practice.

With all of this, plus keeping up my workouts, plus TOM, plus a little stomach issue yesterday, you'd think my weight would have dropped more but I've been stuck at 168 for the past several days. At least I'm not at 171 like I was at the beginning of this experiment.

It was negative five degrees (F) this morning as I was driving to work - holy coldness!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STEFANIE822 1/24/2011 11:03PM

    Great update Susan!!! I love that you are incorporating more freggies in!! If you like apples, they last for weeks without going bad or mushy! I usually get a big bag of them and am good for 2 or 3 weeks. Carrots and pineapple also stay fresh for a while..just some extra ideas because I also tend to buy WAY more than I can actually eat before it goes bad.

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LAKETV 1/24/2011 10:58PM

    trying the same thing and realize ... wow, I'm not hungry. I have been reading more which is good but also sucked into too much time playing on facebook but its also not a snickers in hand!

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VIDABELA 1/24/2011 10:03PM

    yay! sounds like its going great!
i'm a total supporter of the "eat whatever you want and track it" method. thats how i've been doing it too..i think it feels a little less restricting than planning it all out and trying to follow that. though, i've never really tried that method.
good luck!!!

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CARILOUIE 1/24/2011 6:37PM

    I think the freggie thing is a great idea. I tend to eat tons of cereal, and I know it would be better if I just had some fruit... I think I'm going to take your lead and fill up on more freggies!

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MEGSFITNESS 1/24/2011 5:50PM

    Wow, great results, Susan!

brrcold. It's so dreary today...

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ZIRCADIA 1/24/2011 2:48PM

    Sounds GREAT! :D

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FRIZGIRL 1/24/2011 2:45PM

    ohhhh I've never roasted cauliflower before! I will totally have to try that! How do you season it? And I think it's great that your body is learning what calorie range it needs. Great job!

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GREEKSPARK 1/24/2011 2:10PM

  Good work!!! Love the comparison to a shop's sale - so true! Keep on going!

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SEEHOLZ 1/24/2011 12:50PM

    Great update- I think you are on the right track to being happy with your eats and healthy at the same time.

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MBSHAZZER 1/24/2011 12:13PM

    Susan, I'm so glad to hear the experiment is working out! You know yourself better than anyone else, so you definitely need to go with what works! Kudos on the snow day, too!

Stay warm... I've been hearing about your cold temps in the NE and WOW!!! That would make me want to stay in bed all day!

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Vegetables and other High-Volume, L0w-Cal Foods: My Solution?!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

First, a huge thank you to those who took the time after reading my last post to write me some really thoughtful advice tailored just to me. The bulk (pun intended) of the advice seemed to be pointing me toward one direction: eating high-volume/low-calorie foods, especially vegetables.

Of course I already knew that I should be eating vegetables, but if that common-sense concept was already working for me, I wouldn't be struggling with my eating, now, would I! Here are my thoughts about this:
*If I eat high-volume/low-calorie (I'll call them HVLC) foods, I will feel full on fewer calories.
*If I eat HVLC foods, I might get hungry again sooner than I would if I ate something rich....but that's OK - I can just eat MORE HVLC foods! Eating veggies all day long likely yields a lower total daily calorie intake than having a few big processed-food snacks.
*I need to make HVLC foods more appealing so that I'll choose them over whatever processed snacks I happen to find.

How to Make High-Volume/Low Calorie Foods More Appealing so I'll Choose Them Over Whatever Processed Snacks I Happen to Find:

*First and foremost I have to realize that a healthy lifestyle involves making choices and that sometimes I am going to have to choose the less immediately gratifying but healthier item. In other words, suck it up and do it.
*Having said that, however, there definitely are things I can do to make HVLC foods more appealing. As Terri pointed out on my last post, I don't have to stick to just clementines and apples (she knows my menu so well!). I've been buying those because they're easy single-serving snacks to carry around and track, and they last pretty well in the fridge, but how appealing is your fourth apple in one day, anyway, especially in January when apples are far from their peak quality?
*I will start looking for a variety of really appealing HVLC foods at the grocery store. For example, I've recently discovered baby bell peppers, which are adorable and delicious, but so far I've only used them in recipes. I'm sure they'd make great snacks. Other suggestions are definitely welcome.
*The way vegetables are prepared makes a difference in how much I want to eat them. I'd gobble up roasted vegetables, for example, so I need to become a good vegetable roaster and start doing that more often!
*One of my big hangups in the past when it came to getting creative in eating a variety of "freggies" (to borrow a term I've seen other Sparkers use) was that it was more difficult to track than just, say, an apple. But since I'm talking about crafting a long-term healthy lifestyle that works, I need to let go of that worry because here the benefit (loving "freggies") clearly outweighs the negative (tracking imprecisely). A lot of people consider vegetables a "free food" when it comes to tracking. I could just guesstimate my veggie tracking, knowing that being a little off with something HVLC is still going to most likely be more accurate than being a little off with something processed and calorie-dense.

Sooo...I guess my mission needs to be finding High-Volume/Low-Calorie foods and preparation methods that really appeal to me, and to combine those with a touch of self-control (because let's face it, there are still going to be times when I really would rather eat the processed junk - there's that tough love thing) and a balanced approach, using my Spark nutrition tracker as a guide to make sure my balance is pretty good. And it's progress, not perfection.

A few other random comments:

Anyone else use "Spark" as a verb? I've even got my husband doing it, as in, "Are you going to Spark that ice cream you're eating?" (He means, of course, entering a food into my nutrition tracker.)

Yesterday after school I drove through the slippery slush to the eye doctor's office. My eyes are fine and my prescription hasn't changed, but I really wanted new frames just to update my style. I ended up choosing a pair of tortoise shell Calvin Kleins and I can't wait 'til they're ready! :) Imagine WANTING to wear your glasses!

After Body Pump last night I figured I'd do an easy elliptical workout. I ended up doing 6.4 miles in 65 minutes, and was super proud of myself for getting to the point where THAT is an easy workout. Yay.

Just as I'd suspected, my daily nutrition goals (especially sodium, calcium, and fiber) seem easier met on weekdays than weekends, mostly because I prepare most 0f my own food during the week. But I'm still coming in at the high 2,000s to low 3,000s for daily calorie totals.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKNMOM 1/22/2011 11:28AM

    "Spark" is definitely a verb!!!

I am like you...I need to make HVLC foods more easily accessible for myself through out the day. I'm still struggling to stay on track.

New glasses are SO fun!! I try to get new ones every couple years and it's like Christmas LOL!! You'll have to post a pic of your beautiful self with new glasses!!

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MEGSFITNESS 1/21/2011 6:27PM

    Haha.. I love being sparky and sparking. Totally a valid verb.

I also love wearing my glasses (which I just said as 'weight' I literally wrote "I also love weight." ... hm.) ANYWAY! My glasses are kind of a dark honey brown color--they're from Elizabeth Arden and have little diamond-like chips on the frame where it goes from the lense to the bow. The shape of the lense is like a soft trapezoid. They're not quite rectangle and certainly not circular.

ON to freggies!!
To be perfectly honest, I still struggle with freggies but mostly because I don't KNOW a lot of them. But, here are some of my faves:

Apples (honeycrisp are more expensive but I find that I actually enjoy EATING them. Other brands (like braeburn) are more affordable but I end up throwing them away because they're not as good)

Bananas (but I'm so picky! The skins have got to be yellow w/ no dots and the flesh needs to be firm!)

Celery (Top w/ peanutbutter (full fat) and raisins (another fruit!) for ants on a log. Top with cream cheese (sparingly) and raisins for ants on a snowy log!. Top with craisins instead of raisins and you've got fire ants on a log! You get the idea.. Mix it up :)

Carrots (with pine-nut hummus! yum!)

Grapes (small and seedless are my fave because they take longer to eat)

Oranges (I peel them before I get to work so that they're easy peasy)

Green peppers (why are they cheaper than red or orange or yellow?! not fair! Wash and slice and put in a baggie/container before you go to work so they're easy peasy)

Sugar Snap Peas ('nuff said)

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CARILOUIE 1/21/2011 10:18AM

    I like wearing my glasses, too. And I just bought a new pair a few months ago, but I'm already wanting a new pair!

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VIDABELA 1/19/2011 11:32PM

    lately i've been obsessed with dipping veggies (particularly romaine leaves and lightly steamed broccoli) into SESAME OIL. sesame oil is SO freakin good!! i just use about a tablespoon or less, crack in a little black pepper, some sea salt and dip away. it feels more like a treat than "i should eat my veggies"!

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TERRIANGEL 1/19/2011 10:05PM

    Mmmm, roasted vegetables, espeically with some fresh time and rosemary. I"m with ya on that one!

I've never heard Freggies before. I like it!

And using Spark as a verb. That's great! I haven't done it, but I have a feeling I will...

You're on a path to greatness here, girl. NICE workout, too!!

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SKYFYRE 1/19/2011 6:15PM

    Go Susan! Spark it up! I hope you can incorporate HVLC foods as often as possible, choice is an interesting thing isn't it? Ugh! You can do it!

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ELFITZPA 1/19/2011 6:11PM

    I desperately need new glasses - mine literally snapped in half last week when I knocked them with my laptop case because it was so cold. They were really old but really cute and my only Kate Spade purchase ever. Jealous!!

So I've been readig your blogs but I've been a bit MIA on commenting the last few days (being sick kills my motivation and makes me feel like the last person who should be giving advice) but I think you've landed on a great idea. I used the same idea over the summer, thanks to some homesickness-related weight gain during my first 5-6 weeks in the UK. Here's a few things I snacked on, added, substituted, etc.:

- Cucumber slices, celery sticks, green beans, baby carrots

- Replaced large pieces of fruit with smaller ones so I could eat more often

- Spinach (or whatever green you prefer) as a grain replacement at dinner. Anything I'd normally serve over rice, pasta, quinoa, etc. was just plopped on a TON of baby spinach. I'd cook up my lean protein and veggies, season them however I normally would and save ~100 calories a meal plus it boosted my evggie intake, which is never a bad thing. It certainly added up over time.

It also helped that walking was my main source of transportation but was it Sqinkly who mentioned that Americans are basically exercising or sitting on our butts? She mentioned just adding more movement throughout the day to boost non-exercise calorie burn and I think it's a GREAT untapped area for most of us.

Anyway best of luck. I know how emotional and stressful it can be and am actually dealing with it myself. I gained a couple pounds over the holidays and was finally gaining some traction before I got sick and put myself almost back to square 1. It's frustrating but you've just got to keep on keeping on!!

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FRIZGIRL 1/19/2011 6:05PM

    Ohhh I love roasting veggies with garlic powder :) and sometimes a little cayenne pepper too.... yum

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DAMIENDUCKS 1/19/2011 4:13PM

    love this plan! I'm excited to see how it goes! I keep packets of flavored instant oats handy as snacks (not super low calorie, but a super filling 150 calorie snack on occasion!)

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ZIRCADIA 1/19/2011 4:11PM

    hahaha are you going to Spark that ice cream? Love it. I use it in reference to things like I'm really sparkin it up! or something. Feeling Sparky. But yeah. I think the idea of going for a lot of HVLC foods will be great! :D

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MBSHAZZER 1/19/2011 4:05PM

    HVLC, I love it!!! I do really think this can work for you!

Some suggestions - baby carrots - I can snack on these alllllllll day! Find fruit that's in season. I'm not sure what you have in your area, but here in Florida, we still have melons available... I cut one up over the weekend and have been eating fruit salad all week - melon, clementine, sliced bananas (add lemon juice to keep fresh), pomegranite seeds. You could also try frozen fruit. And I think pineapple may be in season, too!

I batch cooked some collards over the weekend (you could do this with kale as well) - sauteed onions and garlic, cut up collards and a can or two of tomatoes with the liquid. Simmer till the collards are soft, about 10-15 minutes. I have been eating this over some brown rice and chickpeas. My lunch today (a HUGE bowl of this) was about 300 or so calories and I am seriously stuffed.

As far as roasting goes, I LOVE winter squash! Buy a few different kinds (I love butternut and also this one that has blue-green skin - buttercup, I think). I peel with a veggie peeler, then cut into chunks. Toss in a bowl with some olive oil and dried herbs to coat, spread on a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam and roast @ 400* till tender. You could toss in sweet potato, carrots, peppers and red onion to the mix. Make up a big batch and keep in the fridge all week!

Let us know how this works out!

Your new glasses sound awesome! I wish I could wear glasses and look fashionable, but my prescription is soooooo strong, nothing looks good. So, I stick with contacts! :D

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SWEATONCEADAY 1/19/2011 4:05PM

    this is what i have been pretty much doing since i became a sorta vegetarian (still eating dairy, eggs) a couple of weeks ago. not having meat as an option has made me have to think a lot about what i am going to eat and prepare more. i haven't been feeling terribly hungry even on days when i have large deficits as i believe i am eating a bigger volume of food. i really should have taken a picture of my lunch today. it was 600 cals when i tracked but it was HUGE and super filling. i have been using a lot of beans lately and using them as "meat" in things i normally prepare with meat such as fajitas, pasta sauce, soups. when i am making a batch of something i make sure i have enough for leftovers. i used my left over beans from last night for my lunch today. i am not a salad person. i haven't had one salad in the last couple of weeks. another low cal high volume food i have been using is egg whites. i saute a bunch of veggies up (onions, peppers, kale, muchrooms) and then at the end i dump in the egg whites and stir together until cooked - lazy omlette. i sometimes add cheese but not normally.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hi, I'm into Day 4 now of my experimental Eating Whatever I Want And Tracking It. Here's what I've found so far:

*Just as I'd suspected, I'm having to guess at amounts so I could be really off in my tracking.
*So far my daily totals have ranged from the high 2,000s to the mid 3,000s. This is lower than I'd guessed, especially given that most of these days have been non-work days. However, I could have majorly underestimated - who knows.
*My macronutrient percentages have been showing too much fat and not enough carbs or protein.
*Compared to where Spark says I should be, I've been above range for calories, fat, carbs, and sodium. Yesterday, when I had an omelette for lunch and stuffed shells for dinner I was also majorly above for cholesterol.
*I've been within range for fiber, but this is an area in which I'm normally off the charts when I'm controling my eating.

*I've been feeling really good physically - plenty of energy for high-powered workouts and mostly good moods.
*I get a little bit hungry sometimes, though of course not as often or as urgently as when I'm controling my calories. I get a little bit stuffed after some meals, though sometimes I feel like I could eat again very soon after a meal. Other times I don't want to eat after a meal.
*I haven't wanted to get on the scale much. I don't want to see my weight going up and up and I'm suspecting that's what's happening.
*I'm glad I finally bought myself pants that fit me at my current size so I'm not constantly squeezing myself into something uncomfortable and unflattering.
*I haven't lost my desire to look thinner.

Areas in which I could improve:
*Stuffed shells for dinner last night? NOT a smart choice. I'm usually good about picking something relatively healthy off a menu, though I'm not always good at having some wrapped for later after I've eaten enough!
*I could drink more water.
*I could eat fewer junk food snacks and commit more to fruits and vegetables.
*I need to be extra cautious when it comes to situations in which I usually overdo it: eating at my parents' house, eating at home (often in bed/in front of the computer!) when my husband isn't home, and eating at restaurants.

More to come!

In other news, yesterday my mom and I took a yoga class! There is a new studio that specializes in yoga for seniors/people with mobility limitations near my parents' house, so I offered to keep my mom company while she tried it out. I was hopeful that this would become a "thing" for her. Unfortunately she gave up after the first few poses though, and chose to just watch. She said that her limitations with her new knee (she had a knee replacement in August '10) and her arthritis were bothering her. I wish I knew how much of it was just her not being used to pushing herself. I think both my mom and the instructor could have done a better job at modifying the moves so my mom could have participated more.

Now I'm off to my eye appointment. I hate eye appointments! I can never sit still when they get up close with that big scary machine.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKNMOM 1/19/2011 12:18PM

    I'm loving following you on here. Love your insight and openness!

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SEEHOLZ 1/18/2011 11:03PM

    I can appreacite this experiment. I think I have taken somewhat of this experiment throughout 2010- and even though I didn't loose weight, I evened out and my crazy binges have been very dormant - thank God and knock on wood. It's risky, yet getting away from diet mentality is very liberating, so I think this is going to be good, at least from that perspective. I am totally following your progress and thoughts patterns, because I can definitely relate to those thoughts/feelings.

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MEGSFITNESS 1/18/2011 5:34PM

    Eep! Don't let the machine scare you... it's for your own good. I -hate- getting my eyes dialated, though... and the glaucoma test.. and the puff of air thingie... *shudder*

Ah, anyway ^^;;

I'm glad to hear that you're feeling well, but I've got my 2 cents to add of course lol..

unsolicited advice in 3...2...1:

1) Pack up a portion of your food BEFORE you start eating it--that way it's out of sight, out of mind. You eat with your eyes as much as your mouth and so if there's still food left on your plate you'll want to eat it. If you have the server bring a box first: problem solved.

2) Really try to balance out your protein vs. fat/fiber/carbs/sugars etc. It'll help you to feel full longer and stabilize your blood sugar levels. When I was tracking on spark, more so than the calories in vs. calories out I tried to make the marks for nutritional content... that way when I eat calories they're nutrition dense and not 'wasted calories'

One suggestion I got from the fitness instructor here at work is to have veggies be the main portion of your meal and then eat your meat as a side and your side (potatoes, pasta whatever) as a side--instead of having meat be the main portion of the meal.

I'm curious to see how it goes before you start to make changes again though. Hopefully your husband is done being a grumpy gus and will be supportive of your efforts again.

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FRIZGIRL 1/18/2011 5:03PM

    i also love this experiment and am really interested in what you will learn about your own body through it all. Good luck at the eye appointment! Yuck... they're the worst!

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CRYSBROWN1 1/18/2011 4:15PM

    I like this experiment, I think it is telling you a lot about what works for your body or not. I like the idea about adding more veggies & then making portions of bad stuff smaller. I have to try that on the weekends where my cheat days are out of control!

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YAYPRIL 1/18/2011 3:38PM

    I love your objective, scientific approach to eating whatever you want. :) It seems very level-headed and healthy (love this wording: "areas in which I could improve"). Also, that's awesome that you tried a class with your mom! Is this a big step outside her comfort zone? When I lived closer to my mom (we're 20 minutes away now instead of 5), we worked out together all the time and it was so much fun!

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TERRIANGEL 1/18/2011 3:27PM

    I totally agree with MBShazzer. It's what I was going to in volume, eat things you like, but make sure most of the meal is veggies. Ie: cover 1/2 the plate (and make it a big one!) with salad, 1/4 of the plate with2-3 stuffed shells, and either fruit (to show your m ind you're eating something different) with either fruit or a slice of really healthy, grainy bread. You'll still feel stuffed, you'll still be able to eat the shells when you want them, and your tracker will show much fewer calories!

We know you are one of those extremely lucky peeps who can eat high calorie counts (I mean, WHO but YOU loses weight on 2,000 calories a day, you lucky thing), so by eating what you are "craving", but smaller portions of it ALONG WITH big portions of veggies and/or fruit, you might feel satisfied and full. JUST a thought. Please don't take offense if you don't think it's a good idea.

Also, clean eating doesn't just have to mean apples and clementines. As long as it's minimally/un-processed, it's probably good for you and can be worked into any diet.

Your plan is so interesting!! I like that you pretty much knew what you'd find. You/we are very in tuned to what we put in our bods now...I think all the practice we've had on Spark is the reason for that. Love it!

Good luck at your eye apointment. I can't deal with the glocoma drops. Never let them do that or I may vomit on the doctor's shoes.

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ZIRCADIA 1/18/2011 3:05PM

    Yeah, I was going to say what Sharon said - basically that when the fat is higher, you're eating more calorie dense foods probably, which means less volume for calories. I am definitely a volume eater. Sometimes I eat what I want in a smaller amount and fill up on some kind of caloric fluff food - like popcorn or veggies or whatever. Anyway, I really like the idea of tracking and observing the way things go naturally so you can learn from how you feel, etc.

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MBSHAZZER 1/18/2011 2:52PM

    Susan, this has been a great experiment!

A few thoughts... I am a volume eater... I am not satisfied with a small portion of something very rich. So, I try to eat as "clean" (ie, non processed) as possible and load up on the veggies. This approach may help you since you mentioned junk food snacks and feeling stuffed. Next, if you guys eat out a lot, it makes sense to watch what you order; however, if it truly is a "treat", I think it's OK to eat something you wouldn't ordinarily eat.

Sounds like your plan is working so far!

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