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A few unrelated items...

Monday, July 18, 2011

My mother-in-law and I were looking at old photos on her computer yesterday and we came across this one from Christmas 2009...I don't think I had seen it before and I like it so I wanted to share!

I wanted to comment on some progress I've noticed in Body Pump...when I first started I could NOT do the lunges...I barely used any weight and I wobbled all over the place...Now I do lunges with one big, one medium, and one small plate on each side of the bar and have really worked on my form and balance to the point where I feel pretty confident during lunges.

So now I'm just starting to master another extremely difficult (for me) move...the plank! Depending on what exactly they have you doing during the plank, I can sometimes now hold it and do all the motions the entire time without falling, though it is HARD! I have a ways to go until I feel totally confident with the plank, but I have come a long way.

After that I will still need to master on-the-toe pushups and someday increasing weights for biceps and shoulders, but I definitely would prefer to use lighter weights and do the moves correctly for now. Besides, even with light weights I can definitely feel my muscles absolutely burning. I love Body Pump!!

I have read enough that I'm finally convinced to jump on the Vitamin D bandwagon - I bought a bottle of Vitamin D supplements (1,000 IU) this weekend and have started taking it daily along with my fish oil. So far I feel GREAT, but it could of course be a coincidence.

Last topic - I can't believe I never noticed before how closely tied my ability to control my eating is to my er...womanly cycle! First half of the month I'm generally feeling fantastic and have the willpower of a saint. Second half of the month is when the binge monster comes out and I put immediate gratification over any sort of horror I will encounter on the scale the next morning. Like clockwork. I guess noticing this is half the battle or at least the first quarter of it? I just recently switched into the 2nd half of the month, which for me is basically two weeks of progressively more severe PMS, UGH. And right on schedule, I ate pretty horribly this weekend - it's all in my tracker if you're curious, but let me just share that I decided to have chips and salsa for dinner last night, along with my 2nd ice cream of the day and two types of alcoholic beverages? WTF? But of course today is a Monday, and along with Monday comes a fresh start, and my eating today has been much better, PMS or not!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKNMOM 7/19/2011 9:22PM

    What a great picture!!

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COWBOYMAMA 7/19/2011 7:09AM

    I hear ya with the PMS thing, I did the same thing last week and she reared her ugly head yesterday and I can eat fine again this week! Congrats on your progress.

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PHD140 7/19/2011 12:06AM

    you are my inspiration~ lunges are my archenemesis (even when craftily disguised and renamed in yoga). I got into a good groove with them in the last challenge, but it never seems to last. I still feel like a wobbly mess these days. But you give me hope!

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PAPER_WINGS18 7/18/2011 11:12PM

    great picture ! What a good lookin couple you guys are =) UGH i hear ya on the PMS cravings. i am the SAME way. The last 2 weeks of the month are AWFUL. I crave everything under the sun. If you find a way to kick its ass, please share with me !=(

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SEEHOLZ 7/18/2011 9:50PM

    You rock Susan! I love me some lunges-LOL- even though I've stepped down... as in doing less on my legs, mainly to protect them from constant overuse!

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ZIRCADIA 7/18/2011 9:35PM

    GREAT progress with Body Pump! :D ROCK ON!

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FRIZGIRL 7/18/2011 8:30PM

    Looooove that pictures of you. You are gorgeous and I love your smile! I have to admit, planks are my secret weakness... and now it's even worse! Great job make making strides!

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BOOTS1221 7/18/2011 7:05PM

    I love that pic of you & Jess! You guys look great and so happy :) Great job kicking @ss at Bodypump. I've still yet to try a class, and I love reading about your success with it! Oh, and I def think *knowing* is half the battle, so kudos to you for recognizing your different eating patterns. You're doing great!

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SKYFYRE 7/18/2011 6:32PM

    Haha! I loved your dinner! I have totally done far worse! That is a great picture, you both look very happy, and like you are just having a great evening! Congrats on making strides in body pump! emoticon

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Doing Well

Friday, July 15, 2011

Just figured I'd blog since I hadn't checked in recently.

Buying the house is looking like a go - we signed the purchase & sale agreement earlier this week, and we're set to close on August 11! In the meantime, we are trying to save as much money as possible for all those expensive renovations!

I have been really consistent with my exercise - both cardio and 3x/wk Body Pump. I am starting to feel firmer and more muscular than I think I've ever been before. It's difficult to SEE this muscle because there's still a layer of fat on top, but I can feel it. I'm noticing it especially in my thighs (thank you squats and lunges!) but also my arms and chest...and even my abs and butt when I really scrutinize.

I noticed a few weeks ago that my calorie intake was slipping into the too-much range. I discovered the "Calories & Nutrients Over Time" report and realized my daily average for June 2011 was around 2,700! No wonder I wasn't losing and was sort of slowly gaining. I also noticed that my averages for 1/11-5/11 ranged from about 2,200-2,400 and that I'd been slowly losing weight during that time, so I decided I'd better aim for around 2,400 or less. It took me a while to actually start meeting this goal. Here's my weekly averages lately:

6/12-6/18: 2,625 TOO HIGH
6/19-6/25: 2,540 TOO HIGH
6/26-7/2: 2,670 TOO HIGH
7/3-7/9: 2,625 TOO HIGH
7/10-Today: 2,150 YAY!!!

My weight had crept up to 158 recently, but this week I'm back down to 153. I'm still hoping for 145 eventually, but I like 153 a lot better than 158!

Gorgeous out and I'm in new workout clothes (I AM trying to save money, but the other day in Body Pump I had the embarrassing realization that there was a hole in the crotch of my workout shorts - YIKES!!!), so I cannot wait to get out there and run, yay!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

5FRUITSNVEGGIES 8/18/2011 1:05PM

    oh yes, you are buying the house! congrats!

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SPARKNMOM 7/18/2011 12:17AM're doing fabulously!! So exciting about the house. Best of luck with the renovations!!

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FITGIRL15 7/16/2011 10:47AM

    Hole in the crotch! LMAOOO That is too funny! I'm glad you got a pair of new shorts :)

Good luck with the house! Renos can be tough! But the house looks like it's worth it!!! Have fun!

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SKYFYRE 7/16/2011 4:01AM

    OMG! That is too funny Susan! Something that would totally happen to me! Hahaha! Glad you are getting on top of things! Cngrats on that house! Wa-hoo!!!

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ZIRCADIA 7/15/2011 5:11PM

    OH NOES HOLE IN THE CROTCH! Not good! hahaha :D Congrats on the house and nice evaluation of calorie trending!

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 7/15/2011 2:51PM

    Glad you're doing well! Very exciting about the new house!

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SWEATONCEADAY 7/15/2011 1:04PM

    that is so great about the house. i have increased my st too and i am feeling so much firmer. too bad i have that layer of blubber too,

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MBSHAZZER 7/15/2011 10:14AM

    Great news on the house! I am so jealous; we are still dealing with short sale stuff on our potential purchase, and nothing else interesting has popped up. Good luck with everything and remember to BREATHE and stay calm!

And yes, you are entitled to buy new workout clothing when there are holes in the crotch of the current ones! Budget or no! :D

Have a great weekend!

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TERRIANGEL 7/15/2011 10:12AM

    Have a good run!!

Chuckling at the hole in the shorts. Don't you love that??

I still am in awe that you can lose weight at 2,000+ calories. I am making progress at 1300-1400. I like your averages MUCH better. emoticon

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CRYSBROWN1 7/15/2011 10:01AM

    Congratulations on your new house, how exciting! Good report though to run. I need to get on that!

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Sunday, July 03, 2011

I've been hemming and hawing about whether to mention this on Spark for a while...but I'm just too excited not to...I think we're buying a house!! It is a big antique colonial up on a hill in a woodsy part of Boston....needs lots of work but we are going to throw our love and elbow grease into this place and make it an amazing home for us and our future family for years and years. I am just so excited!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

5FRUITSNVEGGIES 8/18/2011 1:04PM

    hello my lovely! i've missed spark and i am checking in with my friends from spark...did you end up getting this house? it's beautiful!

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TESS6166 7/15/2011 6:36AM

    Congrats!!!! How exciting for you, it is beautiful!

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KENSINGTONC 7/13/2011 8:46AM

    Oh my goodness congratulations!!!! Sounds like a dream location, too. What a wonderful undertaking, you'll have a great time and will be so proud of the home you and your husband create.

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DAMIENDUCKS 7/12/2011 5:40PM

    awesome!!! you won't have to worry about being bored with a project house!

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DAKDREW 7/11/2011 10:45PM

    It will be beautiful - old houses like that are the best :)

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STEFANIE822 7/10/2011 8:18PM

    Looks awesome!!

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CARILOUIE 7/8/2011 12:13PM

    Congratulations!!!! The house is beautiful.

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WAVEDANCER7 7/5/2011 9:33PM

    WooHoo! Congrats! The house will be that much more special to you after you put in all that hard work.

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HOPERY 7/5/2011 8:02PM

    Awesome! I love older homes that need elbow grease. You will have fun! You should search for this houses story.

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FITGIRL15 7/5/2011 4:53PM

    BEAUTIFUL, Susan! You are sooo lucky!!! I am very happy for you!

Lots of trees and yard work... built in exercise room LOL :)

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SPARKNMOM 7/5/2011 2:51PM

    YAY!!! Thats awesome! Congrats!

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MOXIE-IN-MOTION 7/4/2011 8:42PM

    That is so exciting! And the house looks beautiful! Congrats!

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MBSHAZZER 7/4/2011 3:44PM

    AWESOME, Susan! congratulations!!!

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TERRIANGEL 7/4/2011 11:42AM

    WOW! Congratulations!! It's fun fixing up a house. HOW EXCITING!!!!

It's in Boston? Hey, at least you'll be driving in the right directions to and from work. LOL!!

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KSTYLEFITNESS 7/4/2011 11:09AM

    I love really big houses! Congrats to you!

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SEEHOLZ 7/4/2011 8:46AM

    How cool! I know you've been waiting to find just the one you like and within your price range!


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SKYFYRE 7/4/2011 7:48AM

    Looks so BIG! Congrats!!!

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SWEATONCEADAY 7/3/2011 11:15PM


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GERMANPICKLE 7/3/2011 10:48PM

  What a wonderful plan for two newlyweds! And a beautiful home!!

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FRIZGIRL 7/3/2011 5:25PM

    awwww love love love this house! Are there more pictures anywhere for us to see? Maybe a listing? It looks great, and Mat and I definitely bought a fixer upper... it's worth it!

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ZIRCADIA 7/3/2011 5:10PM

    Beautiful!!!! :D Congratulations!! :D

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FITBECKSRN24 7/3/2011 11:16AM

    thats awesome! hope you guys get it!! =)

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HELSANANGEL 7/3/2011 11:13AM

    That is so awesome!!!! My husband and I went house hunting yesterday and there are lots of opportunities for love and elbow grease!!! HAVE FUN!!!!!! It'll be awesome!

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HARRINGTON5 7/3/2011 10:48AM

    WOW, That sounds fantastic. Working on it yourself will surely make it your own and give you memories for years into the future. Congratulations!

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BLUEANGELLK 7/3/2011 10:22AM

    Congratulations!!! I am sure you will have fun making this house your home. You'll have to have us all over when it's done. Just kidding!!!
Congratulations again!!

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Did you know you can run a report that shows your weekly or monthly average calorie intake? Cool! Now I've always been rather proud of the fact that I can apparently eat a lot more than the average Sparker and still lose or maintain, but I've been thinking that recently I've been eating TOO much and this is certainly not the time of year I want to see weight slowly sliding back on...I want to be at my goal weight at some point this summer!! I know exactly what I have to do to get there - get my average calorie intake lower!

Monthly averages:

January 2011: 2,400
February 2011: 2,240
March 2011: 2,200
April 2011: 2,400
May 2011: 2,300
June 2011: 2,700 (so far)

I was losing weight between January and the middle of May. In the middle of May my weight jumped back up a few pounds and has been bouncing around in the lower to mid 150s ever since. It is clear to me what I need to do - I need to get my average calorie intake back down to the 2,200-2,400 range. That should NOT be a difficult task - that's still LOTS of food!

Easy! I want to see my goal weight (145) at some point this summer!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRIANGEL 7/4/2011 11:40AM

    Hey, that's cool. Of course, I think to have an accurate monthly average I need to log in more than once a month. :)

Nice job with being half way to where you want to be!!

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MRS.NG.06 6/30/2011 5:05PM

    great job hon, keep up the good work!!!!!! xoxoox

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SKYFYRE 6/28/2011 8:56PM

    Had no idea! That's great, do it!!

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FITGIRL15 6/28/2011 11:09AM

    You have a killer fast metabolism, Susan! Seriously!!! Take advantage of that and you'll be looking sleek and amazing in no time!

Woo Hoo! Just in time for the beach :)

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HOPERY 6/27/2011 8:06PM

    Cool! I will have to look for that. I often average mine myself. I find that easier to look at and then don't get upset if I eat over one day.

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New Baseline

Monday, June 13, 2011

Before SparkPeople my normal weight range used to be the upper 160s to lower 170s. It used to be normal for me to not exercise very much and to overeat frequently.

Once I found SparkPeople the roller coaster began. I tried very hard to develop new habits and lose weight, but over several cycles that were each several months long, I found myself returning to the unhealthy habits I'd had before, and I'd get back to my 160s-170s baseline.

Now, since March 2011, I've been mostly hanging around in the lower 150s. I think I've found my NEW baseline. The healthy habits that I've tried for so many years to make permanent may finally be sealed in. Now, it would be weird for me not to exercise almost every day (but when I do skip a workout it's no big deal). I eat mostly healthy but allow splurges (mostly on weekends, but really whenever the opportunity arises), and I track/guesstimate every single calorie I eat. I may see a couple days where my calories are into the 3,000s or even lower 4,000s, and my weight will go up, but then I'll go back to my usual routine with my calories in the upper 1,000s to lower 2,000s and my weight will drop back to the lower 150s. (OK, this pattern describes most weekends lately!) I may choose to try to lose more weight beyond this, but I feel like with permanent healthier habits I may have managed to reset my set-point weight range!

EDIT: This is a photo from June 5, 2011 of my husband and me hiking at Mt. Wachusett. My reaction to this picture is that I don't think I look skinny, but I also don't think I don't look particularly fat. I'm glad my stomach doesn't stick out, but I wish my hips/thighs weren't so wide. I also noticed (not so much in this picture but in some of the others from that day) that I'm developing wrinkles around my eyes. Getting old!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GERMANPICKLE 6/25/2011 5:58AM

  I admit it - I looked at your picture and then read your blog.
You're reaction is wack ;) Mine was "wow, she is looking gooood"

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FITBECKSRN24 6/21/2011 12:17PM

    you look GREAT for 150!!! =)

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SPARKNMOM 6/21/2011 8:55AM

    I think you look fantastic :) Hope all is going well!

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LIL_EZZY 6/19/2011 5:10PM

    what I see in this picture is a gorgeous woman who is perfectly in proportion. Who has great legs I would kill for and nice slim arms. I worry about the lines around my eyes too but obviously we are very happy people otherwise we wouldn't have them from smiling and laughing all of the time. emoticon

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HEALTHYCHIC 6/18/2011 11:01AM

    150s!! Well, maybe that's your good weight, because, if i looked like you do, i'd be pumped!! but i empathize, we all have goals for our own bodies. Healthy is definitely the goal.

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SKYFYRE 6/17/2011 3:02AM

    Um, HULLOO??? You look smoking hot!!! emoticon (A refreshing drink to cool you off ;)
Well, Hard work does pay off and like I have told myself so often, weight loss is a math equation, and really not a very complex one. Great job on figuring out how to make the math work for you!!

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NO1JESS 6/15/2011 5:15PM

    You look good!

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SEEHOLZ 6/15/2011 3:42AM

    I think it's 100% success to come to a weight range - a range is much healtier than a single number anyways I think- that you can't only live with, but feel at peace inside. Are we EVER truly happy with how we look? Even when I was skinny, I thought I was fat in places--- I don't know. That part is part real and part in our head- at least for me.

I agree with the others though - you look fit and definitely not fat by any means. The fact that you can eat whatever sometimes and then get back to eating healthy is HUGE... and your success shows- seriously. It's even cooler than your mind is catching up and you don't see yourself as fat :-)

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CARILOUIE 6/14/2011 9:38PM

    You look great!
And I'm noticing the wrinkles around my eyes, too. I think it just means we smile a lot.

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MBSHAZZER 6/14/2011 11:40AM

    You look wonderful and FIT! Skinny is not really a good look, unless you have a professional staff of wardrobe, hair and makeup people with you at all times.

I love that you have a new normal! It's great to have healthy habits that are now second nature to you, and it's also very healthy to realize that if you eat too much one day or skip a workout, that doesn't mean everything has gone off the rails.


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FITGIRL15 6/14/2011 10:45AM

    You look GREAT, Susan! By NO MEANS do you look FAT! OMG... that's ridiculous!!! You look healthy and fit, Darling!!!

Congrats on resetting your set point! Doesn't it feel wonderful to have that kind of control of your weight?

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FRIZGIRL 6/14/2011 8:47AM

    great job with a lower reset weight. Sometimes I have to copy pictures to paint and change the pixels or size to be smaller in order for spark to post.

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HOPERY 6/14/2011 12:03AM

    So great that your habits have changed and you are reaping the rewards. On a side note, if I ate the amount of calories you eat on any day I think I would be seriously obese. You are lucky to be able to eat that much! Enjoy it!

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HELSANANGEL 6/13/2011 11:21PM

    That's awesome!!! emoticon

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ZIRCADIA 6/13/2011 11:18PM

    I know you don't look fat - I've seen you at this baseline range and you look great and healthy. :) Sure, you have been skinnier, but skinny isn't really the point, is it? You're beautiful and healthy and strong and you have a great baseline of healthy habits now. WOOHOO!

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SWEATONCEADAY 6/13/2011 9:30PM


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COWBOYMAMA 6/13/2011 9:15PM

    Good for you. I have been on the same roller coaster. I really need to get back into eating right and exercising. Sounds like you have a great plan. SUmmer is hard because there are so many picnics and not so healthy food options.

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