SHANTI66   7,120
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SHANTI66's Recent Blog Entries

Starting anew with SparkCoach

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hi. Well it's been about 3 weeks since I started checking in with SparkCoach. I've only missed a day or two and that's because I had/was getting over the flu. Yes, yes, the good ole summer flu. Today, SparkCoach suggested I blog about my successes (it's just a suggestion -- you don't have to do it). So why am I doing it? Because it scares the begeezes (anyone know how to spell that word?) out of me. SparkPeople encourages a lot of growth (or shrinkage!) and learning how to face our fears. So....

First of all, if you haven't tried SC (SparkCoach) 2 week free introduction, I'd highly recommend you give it a go. It's really helped to get be back on track (which I sorely needed) and provides a structure so you go through the same steps everyday, while your coaches' advice changes, as do daily visualizations, etc. I love the 1 min. visualization! They really get at the heart of what we're going through, whether it's about imagining how we would feel reaching our goals and thanking ourselves as we are today, or gathering up all the negative thoughts and feelings in our head and then exhaling them all out and imagining how our day will be different without them.

Once a week, paying Sparkers get to ask a SparkCoach a personal question, that gets answered within 36 hrs. Great turn around time, eh?! My first question was answered by Coach Dean Anderson, whom I just love, and he got me exercising for the first time in at least a year! Then I missed 3 days of exercise because I started a new diet and felt a total lack of energy (I've quit that diet and have started exercising again). His response to me was worth an entire year of SC!!!

And the discipline of checking in everyday and the motivation I get from the personalized messages is just what I need. I love SparkCoach! It gets me more involved in SparkPeople too, in ways I would not have been otherwise. For example, it challenged me to get involved in a SP challenge. I never thought I'd do that because my progress is often challenged by my medications, injuries, or illnesses. But, I found a different type of challenge I'd never guess existed and joined it. It's a 4 week cooking challenge. Now, anyone who knows me would be hootin and hollerin at this point because I NEVER cook. But here I am, about to learn, and not only that, in a structured challenge that will help me meet more SP and learn new skills. It's not that I eat meals out, I just happened to have a great husband who cooks. Now he'll be getting some long earned off time emoticon to play guitar.

One of the things I have learned as a result of tracking my food came yesterday. I had eaten well all day, exercised, SC'd , etc., For example, I had salmon and lots of cooked veggies for dinner, and my calories were right on. Then my husband asked me if I wanted an extra turkey sausage, I thought I was doing well and said, "sure, but just half" (they were big lunch style size) and I had some more light calorie wine. I later tracked those two additions and found out that they made me go over my caloric limit by 350 calories. And if I hadn't tracked them, or just did it in my mind, I wouldn't have thought much about those seemingly unimportant calories. But this time I could "see" that my choices had me go from goal to adding several 100 cals that I didn't even really want or need. I didn't know there was sausage left and I didn't really want one, I just thought it would up my protein. Instead, it just tasted oily and salty. The wine was nice, but I didn't need or really even want another glass. But they became my caloric tipping points all the same.

I think, as well, if I was paying closer attention to my food tracker throughout the day, I would have realized that I was at my limit for the day and just drank green tea, water, etc., if I wanted or needed something else. Turns out, last night, I didn't but packed on the calories, anyway. I really feel like this is a good learning experience because if I'm conscious of where I am progress wise, then I can decide if I want to go over my daily limits or just say no and stay where I am. It also makes a great case for writing now what we eat, when we eat it so we can see where we are when we need to make a decision.

So, I hope I've piked your curiosity about SparkCoach enough to give it a free try. And that you realize how sneaky those little extras can be by taking you away from you daily goal to somewhere beyond the great behind. Hopefully, my suggested strategy for avoiding this was helpful too.

I'd love to hear from you and learn your strategies for keeping within your daily calorie goal and more! Especially if this Blog helped Spark your interest in SparkCoach or if you're already there, how it's going for you. emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WENDYSPARKS 11/17/2013 9:18AM

    Blessings to you!! emoticon

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BOOKWORM27S 9/18/2012 11:54AM

    Great blog!

Tracking your food closely is the #1 key to weight loss success!

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RYDERB 9/17/2012 1:17PM

    Congratulations on your fresh start! Best of luck to you on your journey!

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MARTHASPARKS 9/17/2012 9:06AM

    Way to go, sweetheart! Great blog!

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WOLFKITTY 9/16/2012 10:14PM

    It has not piqued my interest in SpaekCoach, but I'm glad it worked for you.

Take care, an all the best in all you do.
Jocelyn

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What is a "Post-viral infection"?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hi guys. Haven't done much action on my end as I have had a cold/flu for over 3 weeks and have been totally exhausted. Finally my husband asked if he stayed off work yesterday (Friday) would I then go see the Dr. (not that I'm stubborn or anything)? I said yes and that was my diagnosis (see above). I got two corticosteriods for my asthma and my nose, and more ventalin. I can't sit up for more than two hours -- but guess what?? I can exercise! Dr.'s permission! Get all that gunk out of there (points to chest region). While 2012 is mine to lose, I'm not starting off doing it with an infection. Pneumonia and hospitals come easily to me. Can't wait to get up and going though. How is everyone else doing with their exercise plans? It's only 14 days since New Year's! Crazy, eh? Hope all is well.
Take care,
Autumn emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANTI66 2/6/2012 6:54PM

    Hey Brew! Thanks for asking. Turned out i had the flu and Today

Is. My first walk all year! It felt great because i'm FINALLY. StarTing to feel bEttet and it was suNny out too!

Comment edited on: 2/6/2012 7:01:22 PM

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BREW99 2/6/2012 1:54PM

    What is that? emoticon Hope you are feeling better now that it has been a few weeks.

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RYDERB 1/24/2012 12:14AM

    Hope you're feeling better by now, and if not that you're feeling better soon! You know, whenever you feeling strong enough to start your Tracy program, I'll start over from day 1 with you if you want me to. We'll get through those first 90 days together!
emoticon

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MARTHASPARKS 1/15/2012 7:48PM

    We were both crushed at the same time. Glad you're back. I Sparkmailed you.

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MYOWNHERO 1/15/2012 4:16PM

    It will feel sooooo good to get moving again, won't it! Hope you feel tip top ASAP.

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HIKINGSD 1/15/2012 12:27AM

    Gosh, it seems like Jan 1st was soooo long ago!

Glad you are feeling better. Hope it stays that way :)

I have been doing well with my exercise goals for the month. Thank you for asking :)

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To argue with my favourite band

Sunday, January 01, 2012

January 1, 2012. 230 lbs. The heaviest I've ever been. How did I get here? Why I just came back to (almost) where I was before. In December of 2010, I was at my sister-in-law's (total sweetheart) and I was feeling some anxiety for some reason and I started to binge a bit after having successfully had that under control for a good while. I had even done an aerobic DVD for 3 weeks straight and gone walking regularly too after years of inactivity. 2010, until late December, had been a successful weight loss year. Back to Dec. 2010, I kept saying "I'll stop sneaking food tomorrow" or "It (this food) doesn't matter because I've already good off my diet today." And it didn't end there. I've been struggling with that one small slip all 2011. I lost weight, got down to 208 (my lightest in a while) and then in the past six weeks, I've gained 25 lbs because I've been eating like a 7 year old set free in a Candy Barn for a month and a half. My behaviour baffles me. I even did Yoga teacher training during this binge episode. Before then, I had been juicing (loved it) (highly recommend Kimberly Synder's book) and eating well. My stubborn metabolism had turned a corner and weight loss had become easy again. No matter how much sugar I threw at it, it kept me at the same weight. If I did go over my magic number, I'd stop desserts for a day or two and back I'd go, down again.
Well, it is New Year's Day, Jan.1, 2012 and I'm reigning myself in. I'm not on a diet I can fall off. For instance, we still have some of my favourite dessert left in the house, and this year I've decided that I'm not going to throw it out in one full swoop. I ate some of it today, had an English muffin (whole wheat) with cashew butter, and a homemade beet plus a bunch of fantastic veggies. For dinner, I'm going to have a reasonable portion of vegetable lasagna (again, not what I'd normally have on the first day of the year). But my husband made it for New Year's Eve, and it is one of my favourite dishes (whole wheat noodles emoticon and is something I want to eat today. Oh, and I've had massive amounts of water! Yum.
So to sum up, what I want to say is if you've been off your program last month, create a clean slate and to start ANEW. It's disheartening when you have to work 25 lbs hard just to get where you already were a mere 6 weeks ago and you have a few more 25 lbs to go. The other thing is to take it easy on yourself. Remember the 10-20% rule: Eat well for 80-90% of the time and make the remainder really count by treating yourself to things that you love.

All the best to you and Happy New Year,
Autumn

BTW If anyone has any insight as to why I ate 25 pounds worth of desserts in 6 weeks, even while taking yoga teacher training, I'd love to hear your hypothesis! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOOKWORM27S 1/7/2012 11:24PM

    I have been researching serotonin and the effects on the brain. It seems that when our brains do not receive a balance of these chemicals (serotonin and dopamine) it sends out uncontrollable impulses to binge on foods (usually sugary treats) to induce a rush of these chemicals to level us out again. But it turns into that vicious binge cycle that I know all too well! Visit my blog from today to see some of this info I have discovered. I'm not a medical professional, but I have observed these effects of serotonin on myself.

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HIKINGSD 1/3/2012 12:54AM

    I have never been good about recognizing sarcasm in writing...so if that is what it is I am sorry for my reply :)

To me it sounds like emotional eating. I have been there and it is a daily struggle. Try to be aware of why you are eating. Are you hungry? Bored? Anxious? What do you feel when you are eating (fill in unhealthy item here)? Try to find a way to recognize your emotion when you are eating.

I associate healthy food with feeling good. (I should mention that I am mostly vegan and when I do eat animal products it is never dairy). There have been many times that I have wanted to eat a nice greasy cheesy pizza. BUT what stops me is knowing how I am going to feel 20-30 minutes after eating that and that it will take my body 3-4 days to get back to where it is happiest.

You can do this. Don't stop looking for answers.

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MARTHASPARKS 1/1/2012 8:46PM

    Autumn, you are a hoot. Let's see why eat all that sugar; boredom, trigger foods, fatigue, the I'm fat anyway so what the hell does it matter, theory, David working a lot, tis the season, not feeling that great, boy this tastes great, tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll do it tomorrow - there are hundreds or reasons and excuses. You know how to do this...baby steps. Put one foot in front of the other and walk the path, doing the next right thing.
PS Congrats on your first blog. It was great, open and honest - very you!

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SHANTI66 1/1/2012 7:49PM

    Thanks! Happy New Year's day! Hope you have a great year emoticon

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MYOWNHERO 1/1/2012 5:19PM

    You can do it!

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