SHERRYLHBB   47,604
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SHERRYLHBB's Recent Blog Entries

Towards Motivation and the Magenta Dress

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

When I started working with a personal trainer I had a lot of weight to lose. I was highly motivated. But as the pounds came off I became increasingly more comfortable in my own skin. As my weight loss slowed, my trainer asked me what was motivating me to continue to lose weight. I told him that it was the same as before: I want to lose excess weight. His reply was that my “away from” motivation was no longer strong enough to overcome the much more comfortable state I was living in. He suggested I choose a “towards” motivation so, combined with my “away from” motivation, I would once again be spurred on to reach my weight-loss goals.

Just that morning, on the way to the gym, I passed my favorite clothing store and noticed a fabulous magenta dress in the display window. Now, by favorite clothing store I don’t mean one I shop in often. In fact, my size was larger than their largest size so, although I love the store’s merchandise, I simply stood outside and pined over all the beautiful clothes I couldn’t wear. Fitting into that magenta dress became my “towards” motivation. I took a picture of the dress and placed it on my fridge.



That specific magenta dress was eventually removed from display and sold, but I kept the photo up for what it stood for…one day fitting into a smart dress from my favorite shop. That photo seems to have been on my fridge for so long that I scarcely notice it anymore, but today I did. And I realized that I was there! I can go into that shop now and try on anything I like. I took a moment to pat myself on the back and, WOW, did that feel good!

Without realizing it I had reached my goal and moved on to a new “towards” motivator: running a 10K. I’m training for a summer run now, and expect to be ready on race day. I have a training schedule and, for the most part, am sticking to it. So today, as I noticed that photo of the magenta dress, I realized that it now represents not where I’m going but where I’ve been. I remember dreaming of a day when I could fit into the dress. It took a lot of time and effort, but it is no longer my dream; it is my reality.

Although the photo is no longer an image of something I am working towards, it is going to stay right where it is as a reminder of what I’ve achieved.

I hope your “towards” motivator soon becomes a milestone to remember.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CEEJAYLO 3/16/2014 11:30AM

    Pure inspiration and a lot of good old common sense.... Thank you Sherry emoticon

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SEATTLE58 2/11/2014 2:44PM

    Wow girl, you have done so good and are doing so good too, I have to say that I'm so proud of you for all your striving to better yourself!! emoticon You'll have to post a picture of your darling little dress for all of us to see that you've done it and you're in it!!! For a couple of years since starting this weight loss, I want to be in a size 12, a comfortable size 12 and not a tight, bursting the seams, size 12! emoticon I've had a darling size 12 outfit hanging up for a long, long time and have taken it down because it doesn't help my motivation any more. So I have another outfit that I can choose from a closet full of things that are too small now. I've collected size 12 gorgeous, dresses, skirts, jackets, etc., all in size 12 or smaller, from nice 2nd hand stores. And yes, I will get into them one day! Thanks for the inspiration!! emoticon Karen

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MINIUM 2/11/2014 2:08PM

    I love it!!! I'm so pleased to hear of your progress and your new towards motivation!
As to me, a little black dress wouldn't hurt... and being able to run a 5k under 30 minutes... and running the steep hill of the Paris-Versailles in a flash... and being overall, finally, happy to be in this body of mine.
Thank you so much for sharing!
Nan

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DARLENEK04 2/11/2014 1:43PM

  Awesome idea....I have an outfit I want to wear on my birthday
in May. I am so close to goal....but have been stuck here for
more than 6 months....I lost my momentum when my husbands
mother had a stroke and was in hospital and then nursing care
for 2 months...

I feel like your post was put here to kick me back on to schedule.

Thanks chick and you are looking super....are you going to find
another dress and buy it?????

Blessings,
Darlen
eK

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What a Difference 4 Years and 80 Released Pounds Makes

Friday, January 10, 2014

In a few short months, I will have been Sparking for FOUR YEARS! I wish today-me could have gone back in time to tell the newly-joined me that there are so many wonderful, life-changing experiences and accomplishments just waiting for her.


Me to Me: "Hang in there, Girl! You won't be like this for much longer!"

In under two years I lost about 60 pounds. A few more months and I was down about 70 pounds. Then, for most of 2013, I maintained my weight within a few pounds and ended the year still maintaining. Another remarkable happening in 2013 was correction of a life-long breathing restriction that I didn't even know I had. Able to finally breathe properly, I took up jogging in December and was re-sparked to tackle the remaining weight I still want to lose.


Me after a 4.75-mile, 65-minute jog/walk on Jan. 2, 2014.

Just this week I passed the 80-pounds-lost mark. Woohoo! I'm not sure until I get there, but I think I might only need to lose another 5-7 pounds to be at an appropriate body fat percentage, and then back to maintenance. I can't wait to find out what else 2014 has in store for me.

What do you hope for in 2014?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEASIM1231 2/3/2014 1:49PM

    You look pro!

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SARAHSTEELIO 1/27/2014 2:05PM

    You are the inspiration I was needing today! I'm the just-joined me who needs the goal-weight me to remind me what's what! No more excuses for not tracking! I HAVE been kicking the sugar habit, thanks in large part to your advice: understanding the insulin response to sugar, and knowing that my body doesn't really need that AT ALL has helped get me off that precipice of addiction. I may not have lost as much weight as I'd hoped, but I am certainly taking in VASTLY less sugar than I used to, and I call that a step in the right direction. Anyway, you look FABULOUS and it's clear that you feel fabulous, too. Thanks for reminding all us newbies that there IS hope!

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TECH1960PS 1/27/2014 10:36AM

    Great job, emoticon emoticon

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SONYARODRI29 1/12/2014 3:47PM

    You're awesome!

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NOSNACKER-57 1/11/2014 4:49AM

    Wow congratulations!! You look fantastic and I'm sure the exercise makes you feel like a million bucks. I'm not a runner, wish I could but it only aggravates my back like crazy....but walking works for me :)

Are you at your goal weight?



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LMBARR1 1/10/2014 8:56PM

    The sum of small successes = BIG changes.
1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+
1+1+1+1
+1+1+1+1+1+1+
1+1+1+1+1+1+1+
1+1+1+
1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+<
BR>1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+
1+1+
1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+
1+1+1+1+1+1
+1+1+1+1+
1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1= 80!

(I don't know why this won't post right, but it is 80 individual pounds adding up to an 80lb difference on your body)

You are not the girl you used to be. You are empowered and shining your light, inspiring others to believe in themselves!


Comment edited on: 1/10/2014 8:57:56 PM

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CASTIRONLADY 1/10/2014 7:40PM

    Wow, you pictures tell the tale. What an encouragement you are!

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SUSANELAINE1956 1/10/2014 4:50PM

    You look great! And healthy. emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 1/10/2014 3:51PM

    AWESOME!!!!! congrats and you do look great. Glad you feel great too!!! HUGS

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MINIUM 1/10/2014 2:43PM

    What a wonderful journey! You are amazing and you look fabulous! I hope you'll achieve your goal and maintain forever, which is very likely!
Thank you for setting such a remarkable example to me.
Go, girl!
As to me, after reaching a steady weight for one whole year in 2013, which sounded impossible beforehand, I'm now ready to tackle my last few kilograms.
We can do it!

Comment edited on: 1/10/2014 2:44:41 PM

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PJMOMMATO3 1/10/2014 2:01PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STAY39 1/10/2014 1:54PM

    This is so awesome! emoticon

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MALAMI518 1/10/2014 12:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I hope for the same thing in 2014...to get to a goal that is a healthy body fat percentage and then maintain it. I think I have about 10-25 more pounds to go, but, like you, I won't really know until I get there.

I also hope to keep "running" and to pick up my pace.

You have done a great job!

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SOPHIELSMOM 1/10/2014 12:05PM

  Congratulations! It's inspiring to hear from someone further along on the weight loss journey. I've managed to lose 30lbs in 2013 but it was a slow and steady process unlike my previous quick losses followed by even quicker gains! I'm excited for 2014 too!


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BOB5148 1/10/2014 11:23AM

  emoticon emoticon

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PRINCESS_SOFI 1/10/2014 10:42AM

    emoticon

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MOMTOCONNOR2003 1/10/2014 10:18AM

    That is amazing congratulations on you success. I hope one day to be a success story as well.

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TATUM615 1/10/2014 10:16AM

    emoticon emoticon That is SO awesome... you look Terrific!!!

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CINDERELLABEAR 1/10/2014 10:15AM

    emoticon Great job! You look fantastic!

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 1/10/2014 10:08AM

    emoticon NO, MAKE THAT emoticon

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SEATTLE58 1/10/2014 10:04AM

    Wow... emoticon emoticon I'm so proud of you! Just look at the muscles in your legs! emoticon You're an inspiration to me! emoticon emoticon

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How I Know This Time Is Different

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How many times have I started a diet saying, “This time it’s going to be different. I’m going to lose the weight and THIS time I’m going to keep it off.” Well, I can honestly say that I’ve said that every time I’ve ever gone on a diet, including this time.

So why do I think this time really IS going to be different? Because, for the first time, I’m not on a diet just to lose weight. This time it’s not about the calories; it’s about being and feeling healthy.

On past diets, I followed the philosophy of “in order to lose weight, calories in must be less than calories burned.” Sounds pretty straightforward as far as a weight-loss strategy is concerned, but it allowed for too much wiggle room. I can be very dedicated and strong-willed to my diet-du-jour. In every case that I can remember I did eventually reach my goal weight (only to eventually put it all back on again and then some). However, willpower only works for so long when confronted regularly with circumstances requiring willpower. At some point the sadness or frustration or anxiety or boredom would overpower my dwindling willpower reserves and I’d rationalize that I could eat some [enter yummy calorie-laden food item here] as long as I exercised more to burn off the extra calories I consumed. I was even pretty good about following through with my plan, at least at first, but at some point calories in was not less than or even equal to calories out.

Since learning that my body cannot tolerate much sugar/concentrated fast-release carbohydrates, I have discovered that all the exercise in the world may burn off calories but won’t rid me of the negative physical and mental effects of too many carbs. I know now that if I eat a little bit too much I’ll probably start feeling agitated and possibly irritable and quite possibly a little acid stomach-y. I may or may not have cravings to contend with on the following day. However, if I give in to those cravings or really overindulge I begin to feel really lousy physically, mentally, and emotionally. In other words, I will start to feel as lousy as I used to feel for most of the years of my life. I now know what it feels like to have a body in balance. I like feeling this way. I don’t like feeling like a slave to carbohydrates (not all carbs, just sugar and dense carbs like potatoes, pasta, rice, and bread).

So that’s how I know this time really IS different. Since starting this diet, I’ve “gone off the wagon” twice (not including the occasional indulgence, but only the two really gung-ho carb-o-ramas). During those two episodes, I suffered intense cravings and binge-like behavior several days running (because of a string of “special occasions” and not, thankfully, depression or some other negative reason). But each time I recognized how lousy it all made me feel, so I recommitted to eating healthful foods that work with my body’s chemistry and not against it. Each time that I recommitted I’ve felt so much better Now, I generally try to choose foods for their nutritional content and not based solely on calorie count. I finally understand when people talk about food being fuel for the body. That doesn’t mean that food can’t also taste great and be very satisfying, but that it is nutritious first and foremost.

I finally feel in control of my food as opposed to how I used to feel for so many years of my life. I now appreciate the drug-like effects certain foods can have on me. Even so, I still have the occasional “treat,” but try to limit portions and frequency so as not to trigger cravings or other nasty side effects.

In the past, as many times as I said, “This time is different,” I’d been doing the same as before, but expecting different results stemming from optimism and new-found determination. But optimism and determination eventually disappeared as did my hard-fought weight loss. Now, my relationship with food is so very different from before. This time it’s not about optimism or determination or even willpower. It’s about taking care of me. My mind is no longer at war with my body. Body and mind have joined forces at last. That is how I KNOW this time really is different.



Me at 153 lbs on March 8, 2013.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY4ME 12/1/2013 6:46PM

    Well I sure need this, and as another reply said my skull is thicker. I went to a naturopath in feb. who got me to go gluten free, dairy free ( which was no probl as hubby is super lactose intolerant so we don't use much dairy) and SUGAR free. That was the hardest. I did so great for the first 3 wks, then she said I could add in some fruit, well it got to be more fruit than I should have which started the sugar cravings and carb wants.... Needless to say the 27 lbs I lost are again found and I am eating all and anything, now cos of stress. I had to retain a lawyer to help me get long term disability as they denied my claim after the 2 year mark. Only have had this lawyer 2 wks nothing happened yet and I am a nervous wreck.... Soooooo can worry for 2 - 3 years or try to lose the wt and feel better. Anwyway love this blog...a nd someday hopefully sooner than later (I really dont want diabetes or other health issues as have muscoskeletal problems now) I will LEARN and RETAIN! LOL

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LEASIM1231 4/24/2013 4:35PM

    My super-model of an aunt!

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LMBARR1 4/4/2013 4:43PM

    Wow,wow, wow! You look incredible. Only tummiless girls can wear hip huggers well and you can!
I loved your blog. I am learning the same things, only my skull is thicker. When I bang it against the wall enough times, I will realize that what I think I want temporarily is not what I want for tomorrow or long term. I am really noticing the craving connection and am finding it is way better to stay away from foods that cause cravings, than try to fight through them. I usually don't win, which just re-enforces the negative cycle. But...I am improving and learning by my mistakes. I hope to catch up to you someday soon!

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SUSANELAINE1956 3/20/2013 11:55AM

    Well put. I feel the same way. You look great in your picture.

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FAVALL 3/20/2013 2:01AM

    Thank you for sharing the details of the foods you eat and the body reactions. This information was very helpful. I am trying low Gl diet, too,, but still having trouble cutting out the other items. Your story gives me hope that a diet cleanup my be the ticket to sucess for me, too.

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DARLENEK04 3/19/2013 7:01PM

  I am on a Gluten free diet and it is working for me when nothing else did.
I could not lose weight no matter how hard I tried, how far I walked, how
many calories I cut. I have lost and I am just curious...have you had your
Thyroid checked in depth? Several of your symptons are hypothyroidism
symptoms...so I was curious.

DarleneK

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SENIOR62 3/19/2013 5:59PM

  You look great. Whatever you're doing it's working.


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SUSIEPH1 3/19/2013 5:02PM

    How wonderful you look and how fantastic you must feel .
Wll done for learning the secret ..
We must listen to our bodies .It is never about the scales ,it is all about how we feel and how our body reacts ... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LADYJAY714 3/19/2013 4:59PM

    You look FABULOUS!!! emoticon

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NOSNACKER-57 3/19/2013 4:43PM

    Wow, nice blog...and you look fantastic!!!! and have come a long way!!!!! So inspiring...I'm doing the low GI lifestyle....as you know :)

Comment edited on: 3/19/2013 4:45:28 PM

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MKELLY72 3/19/2013 4:03PM

    You look fantastic, and I love your new way of looking at weight management! I made a similar revelation (and I continue to work toward new ones) about this journey, and I believe that has given me the confidence to continue my success. I have work to do yet, as I still feel that I flirt with a dangerous attitude toward sweets myself--but most of the time it's under control, and when it's not--I reach out for help instead of accepting defeat and succumbing to it.
Way to go!!
Michelle

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MINIUM 3/19/2013 3:38PM

    You look absolutely beautiful! It's so nice to see such a big smile on your face! It makes my day!
While reading your blog I was thinking about 'mindful eating' which I'm reading about at the moment: body and mind united is what it's all about.
As I get older (and wiser!) I don't see food as I used to either. I'm putting my fork down between each bite and it's making me appreciate it much more. That way, I naturally eat less. Amazing what such a small change can do to my vision of things!
Have a wonderful evening!
Nan

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The Cravings Beast: Why Moderation Is Not For Me

Thursday, February 21, 2013



Just last week I was approaching the 80-pounds lost mark, bumping up to it, actually, when I went off the rails and gained three pounds in the past week. Granted, some of that weight is probably water retention, but it’s not the total weight gain or even any weight gain that is troubling. What scares me is how I got here.

I learned that for me to have any control of my weight I have to control my cravings. When I crave, I constantly think about food, particularly sweet foods, and can only be strong for so long, usually caving when overly stressed, frustrated, or sad. I struggled with the cravings beast for years, thinking I lacked willpower, thinking I was weak to obsess over food day in and day out. I also felt agitated on a regular basis. I would feel uncomfortable in social situations and mentally review, blow-by-blow, all the wrong things I said or did. I felt socially inept and anxious and thought it was another character flaw confirming how weak and worthless I already knew I was. I was depressed* for most of my life, running on an emotional roller coaster with the troughs being the norm. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t seem to get control of my internal life. What I never knew, from puberty until last year, was that NONE OF IT WAS MY FAULT!!!

I learned that, for me, sugar is a drug and all those nasty mental struggles were primarily side effects of a diet far too high in easily digestible carbohydrates. I know this might sound crazy, but what if I told you that all of that nastiness virtually vanished (along with a lot of weight) when I gave up certain foods?

My discovery came about when I modified my diet to, hopefully, speed up weight loss. I had a very strong desire to eat junk food every evening after dinner and, generally, to have something sweet with my afternoon coffee. I knew that all my efforts during the day were not going to add up to much if I ate back the calories in the evening. Although I was tracking my food and staying within my daily calorie range on most days, on the days I gave in to my cravings I could easily eat over my cumulative calorie range for the week. To put a stop to this forward-backward progress, I decided that I should set aside the idea of eating sweets in moderation and see if I could more easily stay within my calorie range over the long term by making a black-and-white rule to not eat any sugary foods like cake, candy, ice cream, pastries, etc. No meant No. No slippery slope. No decision-making. No sweets, period!

It was incredibly hard to stick with my plan. I suffered cravings something fierce. But black-and-white doesn’t allow for grey, so I endured and found that my cravings lessened and eventually subsided. On one warm evening, my husband wanted a Magnum ice cream bar. I love those. I had been craving-free for weeks. I thought I could handle eating one little treat so I joined my husband and happily had one delicious ice cream bar. The next day I had to fight sugar cravings all day. By the next day I felt better again, but learned a lesson. A few moments of sensory delight just wasn’t worth feeling lousy and mentally obsessed all the next day. My body obviously could not handle junk food. So I returned to my “No means No” policy and got right back on track.

Strangely, I still wasn’t losing much weight. I think I was making up for the “missing” calories by eating more carb-rich foods like pasta, potatoes, and breads. I was eating within my calorie range consistently, but weight loss was very slow. At least it was finally headed in the right direction, though. But better than finally being on a downward trend weight-wise, was the alleviation of so many other “symptoms.” My agitation and, hence, my “anxiety” was greatly reduced. My mood swings seemed to be less dramatic and less frequent. My self-defeating self-talk was not nearly as prominent. Best of all, my cravings for food were very low. I was no longer obsessing over food 24/7. I barely recognized my internal self. I wondered which parts of “me” really were me and which were driven by the effects of certain foods.

My weight loss stepped up and my other symptoms improved even more when I eliminated carb-dense foods such as bread, pasta, and potatoes from my diet. (More on my diet specifics in a later post). At that point I also noticed that I had no cravings and very little appetite. My appetite only arose when I felt genuine hunger. At other times I really had no interest in food other than knowing intellectually that it would taste good if I did eat it. Without the cravings beast it was easy for me to choose health and a slimmer body over eating food for recreation. No willpower required.

So now to this past week. It started on Valentine’s Day. My husband and I had cake and ice cream after dinner. It was super yummy, of course. The next day we went on an out-of-town trip for four days. Being out of my routine and facing tempting foods while suffering post-deliciousness cravings, I ate fries (x2), hash browns (x3), baked potatoes, toast with jam (x3), cookies (x?), ice cream, candy (x2), chocolates (x4), alcoholic cider (x2), scones with jam and clotted cream (x2), sugared tea, fudge (x2), a meringue, barbeque sauce coated ribs, and onion rings (along with other good food choices). I was beyond obsessed with food. I couldn’t seem to control myself. The cravings were so strong and so constant by the end of the trip that I suffered from cravings for several days after returning home.

The strength of the cravings was not just from eating the initial cake and ice cream. Although I did crave after that, it was giving in to those cravings that caused stronger cravings, which set up a vicious cycle that I gave in to (giving myself mental permission, at first, with the excuse that I was on vacation, deserved it because I had already lost a lot of weight, and would get back on track after returning home).

On my third day home I am finally not craving sweets and feel like my new-old self again. The last few days have been REALLY hard. But I learned a few good lessons. My body still can’t handle sweets, so “No” must still mean “No.” Eating junk is NOT worth the suffering it causes both in weight gain and in feeling lousy mentally and physically. Oh, did I mention that mental symptoms such as food obsession, anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression, self-doubt, and negative self-talk all reared back with a vengeance? By the end of the trip I was a grouchy, irritable, pouty mess. My poor, poor, patient husband. At one point he even pleaded with me not to keep eating cookies, telling me I didn’t really want them, but I really, really did. I caved and he gave up trying to reason with my cravings beast. Now that I am once again out of the clutches of the food fog I really can’t believe how truly compelled I was to eat and eat and eat.

Willpower? More of it would only help until cravings get to be too much. But eliminating the need for willpower? That makes all the difference. Without cravings, I feel sane again.


* I had under- or untreated depression since puberty, but was put on effective antidepressant medication mid-2011. Although generally effective, too much sugar can override the anti-depressive effects, leaving me feeling very low emotionally.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOSNACKER-57 2/25/2013 5:54PM

    Wow girl, I totally understand...you joined the Low Glycemic team and I have found that since I stopped eating mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, subs, potatoes, pasta by the bowl full, I feel fantastic! I have 30lbs to loss but I feel like I'm skinny..all these years the bloat, having sugar or foods that turn to glucose fast only makes the body want more, and more and more. So glad you have found your way back from the depths of sugar hell. Our food manufactures made it perfectly to addict us all...

Oh ya and what kills me is that all the low fat foods they tell you to eat are a NO NO red food on the Glycemic index e.g., pretzels and rice cakes..anything puffed is not good.....

Comment edited on: 2/25/2013 5:56:25 PM

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GOING-STRONG 2/23/2013 9:22PM

    Sugar is highly addictive for me also... and alcohol also tends to give me sugar cravings. If you don't already read the blog "300 pounds down" you should check it out. You can find her on google. She is also a sugar addict and writes wonderful blogs about how she is overcoming the daily challenges of living with this issue. So far she has lost over 200 pounds.

Best to you and YOU CAN DO IT!

emoticon

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JOYOUS1917 2/23/2013 12:11AM

    I KNOW of which you speak for sure. I KNOW I cannot take the sugar demon out of the box and play with it....I LOSE everytime. Freedom from the obsessiveness is really a great feeling. I have basically given up on grains entirely. If I have something in thast line it would be rice or a slice of Ezekiel Bread and only rarely. I basically have protein and veges and fruit and yogurt. With other addictions, people can quit cold turkey. With us we have to take our 'issue' out of the box 3 to 5 times a day, every day. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SILLIJILLI 2/22/2013 11:28AM

    You have perfectly captured my experience with cravings and sweet or starchy foods. Once I have given in once, it triggers a cascade of cravings that leave me regretting so much! Thank you for expressing it so well, I hope this will help me to better resist that "one bite" that leads me on a slippery slope to a binge!

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LAURAB_143 2/22/2013 9:42AM

    Wow! This is so honest and eye opening. I find myself very much relating to your story. I crave sweet so much. Like 3 or more times a day. I sill start a plan and try to figure out some way to have my chocolate. 3 times in my life (Lent last year, and 2 times while trying very low carb) I have totally given up chocolate and after a week or so the cravings were gone. I could pass it up. My mouth still wanted it, but I could say no. Maybe it is like a drug. I will be reading more of your blogs and looking forward to new ones. Continued success to you!!!


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DAYHIKER 2/22/2013 9:15AM

    Thank you for a great blog post! I can relate very well to what you are saying and it makes me want to start a sugar free streak! emoticon

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LOLABLACK69 2/22/2013 2:35AM

    Thank you for sharing! These last few days I've been fighting cravings also. Not so much, to be honest, and I managed to dismiss them. One time I couldn't fight it off, and I had a bite from a candy bar. Wasn't that bad to deal with in the end, but it didn't occur to me that it could be because I previously had some sweets (also a Valentine's weekend...). You made me think about how my body also works. emoticon
Good luck with your struggle! Keep up the good work. emoticon emoticon

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SUSIEPH1 2/21/2013 9:33PM

    Loved your very honest blog .
I have eliminated all sugary foods from my eating plan and have felt so much better ...
I found a article once that talked of Sugar as sweet poison .. and that is just so very true ...
Sugar and Sugery foods are addictive .. and should be avoided at all costs.
You will have a hard time to start with, but it will be so worth it ..

Thanks for posting ... ( I have liked ) as this blogs needs to be a motivational blog
Good luck in the future ..
Hugs Susie

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DARLENEK04 2/21/2013 7:35PM

  Good for you, for recognizing that sugary junk, no matter how good,
triggers an insane desire to eat.......anything.......I am on a gluten
free plan right now and it has worked wonders for me. I no longer
crave stuff regardless of whatever it is/was....and I also no longer
have weird mood swings, and no acid reflux anymore.

Once you quit all the bad stuff, and you realize how bad it was making
you feel, you realize you would rather skip it.
WISE YOU..................

Darlen
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LEASIM1231 2/21/2013 3:28PM

    Good blog? Where did you go on vacation? I want to go there for that yummy food! Oops, I guess that wasn't the point of it! It sounds so harsh to say no sugary things, but good that you know what triggers some of those nasty feelings!

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CUPKAKE137 2/21/2013 1:24PM

    Wow.... thanks for sharing.

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KRISSYDUNN 2/21/2013 1:09PM

    Excellent blog! I am also a sugar addict. I am currently on day 55 of no sweets, (cake, ice cream, etc) or chocolate. The first few days were tough, but I no longer have cravings. Substituting a baked potato with equal, cinnamon and light butter satisfies my need for sweets. A few years ago I went a year without sweets and thought I could handle just a little cake. The cravings immediately returned and, just as you described, I went totally out of control. I am in the process of losing the weight I gained from that and I now realize I must treat this as a true addiction - I will never be able to eat sweets in moderation and so I choose not to eat them at all. The peace of mind I feel is so worth it. emoticon

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DONNA5281 2/21/2013 12:51PM

  emoticon blog, it brought things to my attention.
Most of what you wrote sounds like me. I have many days that I don't want to eat, then at other times I can eat all day long.
Thank you for sharing.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MKELLY72 2/21/2013 12:03PM

    Good for you that you have identified a strategy that works for you. Sugar is a binge trigger for me too, and I think of it like a drug at times myself. I want so much to do the moderation thing--and I can most of the time, but every so often, it triggers a binge that leaves me feeling physically like crap and emotionally too.
Thanks for blogging this.
Michelle

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CUTIECAT1 2/21/2013 11:40AM

    it's as if you are writing about me...i have those same cravings...how did you stop?

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SEATTLE58 2/21/2013 11:33AM

    Wow, it's like I can see myself being all you wrote. I'm definitely a sugar addict! I try to eliminate it completely in every form and then I cave with just a little something and that seems to trigger all over-eating of everything. Portion control is the problem then. Buttered popcorn is a problem then. It just seems to be open-season for everything!! Thanks for a super good blog, well said. It's like you brought to light what has been in the back of my mind for so long, with needing to cut out sugar entirely to conquer all these other triggers. Now I'll try harder to face it more!! emoticonfor the extra boost! emoticon

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RAEHIPPYCHICK 2/21/2013 8:47AM

    This is very interesting - my mum and I are very similar... if keep off the sugars we are fine, but even a little can set us off on a binge, when I am capable of eating a full pack of cherry bakewells (my current downfall!) but if we stay clear we don't miss it much at all

I'd not thought about it affecting depression though - that makes a lot of sense to me now I look at my habits and how I feel

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QUAIL75 2/21/2013 8:33AM

    Good for you for eliminating the sugar beast! I also struggle with it and I'm able to do pretty well most of the month but around my period all bets are off! I have horrible cravings and all I want to do is eat chocolate, cookies, cake....

I'm working on it though and am back on track. emoticon

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MINIUM 2/21/2013 8:18AM

    How interesting!
Similarly, on my 30-day raw challenge last May, I experienced a similar thing: because I had to eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies, all the right types of foods, I didn't have any cravings. When I felt like having something else, though, it meant it was time for me to eat a piece of fruit. Then I was ok.
I've had an Indian manufactured meal for lunch today, which is very unusual and, boy, do I feel it! I'm sluggish and sleepy this afternoon... Some day I'll remember how this kind of food makes me feel like BEFORE eating it. One lives and learns!
I'm so glad you're feeling so much better - way to go!

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Exercise Is Good for the Body and the Mind

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

I cannot believe the responses that I have received from my last blog post. I am overwhelmed in a very good way! I knew SparkPeople is a community of supportive and generous people, but I was still bowled over by the incredible amount of support, encouragement, and warmth that I’ve received from so many of you. Sparkers are truly incredible people. I hope to respond to many of you, but given the large response it might take a bit. But please know that I appreciate each and every comment, SparkGoodie, and email.

A number of people have asked me to share something about my diet and exercise plan that helped me to achieve the weight loss I have so far. I’m planning on writing several blog posts about some of the components that I found to be very beneficial to me. This first one is about my exercise schedule.



If you read my previous post, then you know that I’ve been working with a personal trainer since September 2012. Before working with my trainer, I had been exercising four to five days a week, often for several hours a day (back-to-back hour-long exercise classes or a class followed by an hour on the treadmill). I didn’t spend any time on the weights, because I wanted to burn calories and that meant cardio, right? Wrong.

My trainer explained to me that high-intensity or long-duration training has its place, for instance training for specific athletic events, but such exercise can be counterproductive to weight loss because when the body is stressed it releases stress hormones, which can interfere with a body’s ability to lose weight.

My trainer started me on a program to do cardio and weights three times a week for one hour total each day. I am to warm up for ten minutes (either treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine, or cycle), then do 20 minutes of cardio (same), followed by 20 minutes of weight-bearing exercises (which vary day to day and week to week, often focusing on activating as many muscle groups as possible simultaneously such as walking lunges while moving an overhead medicine ball from side to side or doing squats while balancing on a BOSU ball and moving a medicine ball on a diagonal, twisting side to side), followed by five minutes of cardio on a different machine, and then, finally, five minutes of stretching. On the other days of the week, I’m supposed to take long, vigorous walks or other activities that get the heart rate up. And, besides regular living, that’s it.

The weight training is important for muscle tone, endurance, and strength, but also for building muscle, because muscle keeps the metabolism up thereby burning more calories throughout the day. Cardio is good for burning calories immediately and for keeping the cardiovascular system strong and healthy.

So I’ve shared with you the ideal. The truth is that I’ve hardly been to the gym in over a month, because I was suffering from a severe cold for weeks. Over a one-month period, which included Christmas, a trip to California for five days, and becoming one with a Lay-Z-Boy as I recovered from my nasty cold, I lost six pounds. How was this possible? Because I was still eating according to my diet guidelines (with a few exceptions, such as Christmas when I ate what everyone else was eating just in small portions). You may argue that I lost muscle, and you might be right, but I know I lost fat by sight, feel, and measurements.

My trainer says it and that month confirmed it for me: weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. If you exercise more but don’t adapt your diet, then you may just increase your calorie consumption to match the extra calories burned. On the other hand, if you control your diet and you exercise, each additional calorie burned is one less calorie you have to carry around on your body.

Not exercising is not ideal, but if you can’t exercise much or even at all for a period of time, as I couldn’t for over a month, don’t despair. A lot can be achieved by eating a healthy diet alone.

That being said, I missed my gym sessions while I was recovering. I missed the feeling of strength and achievement, growing confidence, and pride for following through with something that I know is good for me. I’m just getting back to the gym on a regular basis, which feels really good. I like to think that my exercise efforts are helping me to lose weight, but now I understand that weight loss can be achieved independent of my exercise efforts and that exercise is important for the physical and mental benefits regardless of whether or not weight loss is a result.

As a parting note, I want to be clear that this is my experience and what has worked for me while under the watchful eye of my personal trainer who corrects my form regularly. Also, I am writing from memory and, although I believe all that I’ve written is correct, please make sure that whatever exercise you do is right for you.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATHIC2 2/10/2013 8:13AM

  Great info and a great program you have put together!

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FALLNTENN 2/9/2013 7:35PM

    Thanks for sharing information you have learned about weight loss and health. Congratulations on surpassing your original weight loss goal. Keep up the good work.

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MINIUM 2/8/2013 2:49AM

    Thank you so much for sharing! I can't wait for your next blogs.
Have a great day!
Nan

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KRISSYDUNN 2/7/2013 2:57PM

    Thank you for this post, it contains a lot of useful information. You are an inspiration and I look forward to many more of your blogs! emoticon

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LOLABLACK69 2/7/2013 4:34AM

    Well, I kind of knew about strength training, but I'm somwhat lazy with it. I just focus on diet and cardio. I'll try to incorporate everything with time.
Thank you for sharing! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEATTLE58 2/6/2013 11:43PM

    Thanks for all you wrote and you are doing so well. I admire you so much! Thanks for being someone whom I can really look up to! emoticon emoticon

emoticon
Karen

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LMBARR1 2/6/2013 6:45PM

    You are so inspiring! You have achieved so much! emoticon

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DONNA5281 2/6/2013 4:50PM

  emoticon for posting this blog!

It was very helpful!

emoticon

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RITAROSE 2/6/2013 4:12PM

  Very helpful, thanks!

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ROBYNROSE26 2/6/2013 3:41PM

    Great Post!

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SUSIEPH1 2/6/2013 3:15PM

    Thank you so much .
You have put into concise words what I have been saying for a long time .
It is mostly what, emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon and how much we put in our mouths that is the deciding factor in weight loss.
We do need to exercise but we do not have to over exercise.
I am liking this blog because everyone needs to read it .
Particularly those, who like me, are disabled .
Hugs Susie.

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SAVTA4 2/6/2013 2:43PM

  Thank you so much for sharing, and writing so clearly and honestly. It is sooo helpful to have such clear info. I look forward to reading about your diet, especially since you stated that it is 80% of the effort!!! Good luck and good strength and continue to feel better.

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MKELLY72 2/6/2013 2:42PM

    Great post! This is basically the regimen I (try to) follow. I definitely agree that it's 80% food and 20% exercise. The fact also remains that most of us can't sustain a super intense/super frequent exercise routine without experiencing burnout, which is why I like to stay in the moderate range--I can keep that up!
Thanks for posting!
Michelle

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MILLIE5522 2/6/2013 2:36PM

    emoticon I loved this....so inspirational and well written!

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