SLENDERELLA61   162,259
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Spark Review - Streak Three

Saturday, May 01, 2010

When it comes to drinking 8 glasses of water per day, my current streak is only 6 days. However, I am at 96% overall, 169 out of 176 days, since November 7, 2009. Although Weight Watchers has reduced their requirement to only 6 glasses of fluid per day and there has been some research indicating that most people don't need 8 glasses per day, I consistently do better when I drink 8 glasses of plain water. By "doing better" I mean I am less hungry and meet more of my nutritional requirements. I also believe I have fewer headaches and am at a reduced risk for a recurrence of kidney stones. Even though I don't have an impressive streak going right now, I intend to keep and track the goal of drinking 8 glasses of water per day.

Do you find 8 glasses of water helpful?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 5/1/2010 11:42PM

    I am not happy if I don't get my 16 glasses a day. Generally, we have a dry climate here and throat and nose always feels dry and water is the only thing to quench the thirst. I also do heavy, sweaty workouts which leads me to drinking lots before and after. It certainly means I am not hungry very often and can stick with regular meal times easily.

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PEGGYANNSCH 5/1/2010 7:51PM

    I try to drink 8 glasses of water a day but sometimes it is hard

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WATERMELLEN 5/1/2010 4:25PM

    I probably do -- with caffeine in the form of black coffee!! (yup, do know this isn't optimal). Plus -- water in fruits and veggies. But -- almost never actually drink even one glass of water a day. Never have. And there are so many people on SP who absolutely swear by it. For me -- would mean even more mad dashes to the loo!!

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MONTY68 5/1/2010 3:07PM

    It is interesting that there is so much difference in what is the correct amount of water. When I started my plan I was told 10 glasses of water and nothing else counted towards it. So that streak is over a 1000 days, here on spark 348. I enjoy water and it would be difficult to tell a difference unless I really dropped down. I think the body would give as clue. You will make the right decision for your self. I love your streak comments


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RISSASPIECES 5/1/2010 9:49AM

    I drink several liters of water a day and have for a couple of decades. I contend it helps with a variety of I just feel weird on the days when I can not drink enough. I admit, when I told my GP about the amount of water I drink daily, he tested my blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C to be sure I was not diabetic...which I am NOT. LOL The only non-water thing I drink regularly is one cup of coffee in the morning. I don't drink soda at all and only occasionally drink tea, juice or skim milk. :-) It works for why fight it? Plus, my doctor and nurse said it was probably why I am healing so well from surgery.

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AQUAGIRL08 5/1/2010 8:03AM

    I find drinking 8+ glasses very helpful. In fact, I've become so used to it that if I don't drink at least that much, my system gets wacko and I don't feel well. Now I usually drink only water!

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WILD4STARS 5/1/2010 8:00AM

    I am pretty consistent at drinking at least 96 ounces per day, and have been for several years now. I have a 24 ounce container I use, I put a rubber band on it each time I fill it up and getting to 4 rubber bands is my notice that I've got my 96 ounces. Some days I have my 96 ounces in by mid afternoon and drink even more. I carry water with me everywhere I go.

I think it helps with hunger, I think it's just generally good for you. I'm so use to it now that on the rare day that I get behind, I can feel it. I feel thirsty and dry.

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UUCEEJAY 5/1/2010 7:34AM

    I also am trying do this. I have had a couple of UTIs and I think it was brought on by just not drinking enough water. I feel better when I drink more water. I'm amazed at how often I find myself feeling that I need something and when I drink a glass of water the feeling goes away. I just haven't been tuned into knowing when I'm thirsty.

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Sparkiversary Review - Streak Two

Friday, April 30, 2010

My second streak is to exercise 360 minutes per week. I'm currently working on week 27. I actually have 345 minutes so far this week. I don't plan to push to get in the last 15 minutes.

I don't think it is important that I exercise that exact amount. Right now I have two higher priorities: 1) to balance my calories in with calories out in order to maintain my weight and 2) not to injure myself. Based on recent complaints from my left hip and left shoulder, I believe moderation in exercise is called for. This is a streak that I can let go of right now.

Perhaps I should set a lower number, like maybe 180 minutes per week. That would be 6 days of an average of 30 minutes. I have no intention of becoming a couch potato. The reduced goal may help me stay on track. After I finish analyzing my streaks, I will develop a new set of goals and a new set of streaks to work toward. -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONTY68 5/1/2010 10:05AM

    Hi Marsha
I have a number of streaks going but I always look at the ones for walking, exercise, and steps. For me they are a reminder that although I am maintaining, I still have a lot of repairs on this body from years of neglect. My blog on is walking fun, showed the attitude I use to have. So these streaks I would keep for sure


Comment edited on: 5/1/2010 3:16:06 PM

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MNNICE 4/30/2010 10:16PM

    I agree that as much as we feel the desire to push ourselves, we also have to realize that moderation is better than not being able to do anything because we are grounded by an injury.

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PO_PAZZA 4/30/2010 5:41PM

    Still recovering from shoulder surgery two months later, I now know it does not pay to overdo parts of our body, thinking we'll get fit faster. My torn rotator cuff was likely caused by doing exercises incorrectly and too often. Instead of getting fitter faster, I got sluggier slower.

Good advice, Marsha, to show some restraint and to re-assess goals from time to time, before they re-assess us.


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KALIGIRL 4/30/2010 4:53PM

    It's great to revisit our goals as we change and grow - sounds like you've got a super plan!

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AQUAGIRL08 4/30/2010 4:34PM

    Moderation has never been my mantra up until recently. Like you, I hurt myself by getting too carried away with it. You are very wise to reset your exercise goals in order to protect your body. Good for you! Way to go!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMANDAJCD 4/30/2010 12:55PM

    Good choice, Marsha! I know my problem is knowing when to listen to my body when it says "WHOA!!!" and that resulted in me being benched for several months. Better to ease up now than to end up on sedentary orders... so sayeth one who knows, LOL.

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JHADZHIA 4/30/2010 11:25AM

    Hi Marsha!
You are doing great! I am anxious to follow you there, what ever works! Show me the way!
You are my inspiration!

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RISSASPIECES 4/30/2010 11:21AM

    It is so important to take care of yourself while you are injured. I do not think it is somehow changing how you feel about exercise to ratchet down your weekly exercise goals, but I do think it will start your streak tracker all over again. LOL I think mine is set at 180. ;-) I think it started out as a shared goal with a team...which is how I picked out the number. LOL

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/30/2010 11:00AM

    It's really important to listen to our bodies when they say "slow down". Good for you... I tend to be obsessive, and it was a great step of progress to find the balance to recognize that sometimes I need a rest day, and not to beat myself up for it.

So, kudos! emoticon

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6 Month Sparkiversary Review - Streak One

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I just passed the 6 month mark of being active on SparkPeople. SP has definitely been a great help to me. I am doing strength training consistently for the first time in my life, and I can see some results. I track my cardio and am at least as consistent as I've ever been with heart pumping exercise. I track more nutrients and eat as well as I've ever eaten, and far better than I have done most of my life. For the first time, I have drastically reduced my sodium intake. I drink 8 glasses of water daily. I make a real effort to get to bed on time. I have lost about 14 pounds since coming to SP. I did not set a goal to lose more weight. My emphasis was on increasing my strength and improving my nutrition. Losing down to my current weight was just a great side effect.

It is now time to review my program and perhaps make some adjustments. I'm going to look at each of my streaks, deciding which ones to keep and what new ones to add. I want my streaks to be motivating, a little stretch, not just a given. I want them to be meaningful in contributing to my health; not insignificant. I need fewer streaks, but more targeted streaks.

My first streak is to log in and spin the wheel. I have a total of 186 days, starting October 26, 2009. My longest streak is 174 days, from November 7, 2009 to present. I don't think I can delete this streak. SP tracks it automatically. But I log in to SP to get help and motivation, not to keep this streak going. If when we are traveling this summer the streak gets broken, so be it. Even though the points won on the wheel are kind of irrelevant, SP decidedly contributes to my health and my participation is meaningful. So this streak meets the criteria to continue anyway. I'll look at some of my other streaks in later blogs.

Are your streaks meaningful? Have you deleted any streaks because you had other priorities? What streaks are a challenge? Which ones have you struggled with and won? Overall, have your streaks motivated you? emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAGGYPANTS5 4/30/2010 3:13AM

    I think you have to work out what's important for you and stick to it. I've given up the points wheel as it seems a bit pointless(!!!) but continue to track food and exercise.

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JHADZHIA 4/30/2010 1:55AM

    I am not much of a goal setter or pay attention to streaking. One day I found I could not spin the wheel. When tech help had finally got around to it, the next, day, my spin streak was broken. Too much happens outside of your control to worry about it. Not having access to a computer in Hawaii for 12 days broke all my streaks, although I was faithful to drinking water. I was drinking lots of water long before I ever found Sparks. I am not a specific goal setter. I have only one plan, full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes! The results will be what they will be. I learned not to sweat the small stuff. Life is too short to nit pick! I don't need any more stress in my life or worries. This is why I will only weigh myself once a week at the same time and day. I am not going to get into microscopic scale watching every little ounce like some people do.
I don't even know what my ideal weight should be. I think it should be based on body fat %, whether I have too much or not. I won't know that until I can finally get back to Curves, At the rate my elbow is going doesn't sound like any time too soon :(
Good luck with your goals!

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RISSASPIECES 4/29/2010 10:12PM

    I had to let most of my steaks go based on two surgeries in the last year. LOL That said, I do like to see them. I think my longest is for getting 8 glasses of water which is a SLOW water day for me. :-) Congrats on your Spark-a-versary! I passed three years in November...and I am just as active now as I was three years ago...that certainly says a lot for the site!

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/29/2010 7:07PM

    Happy Spark-a-versary!

I weed out my streaks periodically, too. One I have trouble keeping is the one about X hours of sleep a night. It's rare for me to rub more that two or three days in a row together.

One I'm proudest of and has kept me motivated the best to do something very good for me: today is my 123rd day (I'm the Count from Sesame Street) with no bubbles! I had my last diet soda at Christmas Dinner, which we held on December 27th.


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KAKIPOPUP 4/29/2010 6:46PM

    I've deleted a couple of streaks because it was too easy to achieve them. I like my streaks/go als to be a mild stretch, but not too far ahead of where I am. It is a delicate balance.

My streaks do motivate me - knowing that I will break my streak if I do (or don't do) something will usually get me to where I need to be.

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Eight Days to Greater Confidence

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It has been eight days since I reduced my exercise in order to allow my minor hip injury to heal and reduced my calorie range in order to maintain my weight while exercising less. It truly has been eight good days. Although the results are decidedly preliminary, it appears that I don't have to workout 90-120 minutes per day to maintain my weight. At least for this past week I was able to do it in 30 not so vigorous minutes. So, I may have quite a few more choices about how to live my life at goal weight than I previously thought.

I was somewhat scared to reduce the exercise, but I feel more confident that I can handle whatever comes along. If I decide to go back to work, I am not going to give up. I am not going to assume that I am going to gain weight. I am going to adjust my food (calorie intake), my cardio exercise (calories burned), and keep strength training. I will also remind myself often when stressed that food is the answer only when hunger is the question. -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 4/29/2010 5:37PM

    I overdid the exercise last spring and had a stress fracture in my heel that took forever to mend. When you hurt yourself by overdoing it, it isn't worth it. Everything in moderation right?

It sounds like you've got a good handle on your goals. Good job! If you do go back to work you now have the skills to stay with your program. I like the way you've thought about this ahead of time. Keep up the good work!

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KALIGIRL 4/29/2010 2:09PM

    Sounds like a blessing in disguise. Amazing how an injury can move us in another direction, yet one that allows us to grow.
Congrats on maintaining in a new way!

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NOTSPEEDY 4/29/2010 10:23AM

    Marsha, it sounds like this was a good learning time for you. We can all benefit from your experience. Thanks for sharing.


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MONTY68 4/28/2010 11:38PM

It is a exciting time when we go on maintenance. Like you said, we have choices in what we eat and exercise. I continue to walk a lot because as I said in my blog the other day, that it for me is fun. But I can plan the day also. One thing I won't do is quit tracking. for me it is so important. I know that you will enjoy and I found the only thing different( and I mean from a stand point of everyday living like others) is being so aware of what calories I am consuming. So enjoy your new journey, you are an example on how to reach a goal.


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JOHAL52 4/28/2010 11:17PM

    Great insights Marsha. When I was recovering from surgery last year, I followed a similar plan--reduced calories for reduced exercise then as I increased my exercise, I went back to a more "normal" eating pattern.

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JHADZHIA 4/28/2010 9:07PM

    Well done Marsha!! I certainly am not at that place yet. Exercise, exercise, exercise is still my mantra!
Keep up the great work!!! You are showing me there is hope for me yet lol.

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PERSISTANT123 4/28/2010 7:54PM

    Great insight. As you have more confidence in your ability to maintain, I too believe that when I get to goal I will be able to maintain!

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BESTSUSIEYET 4/28/2010 7:46PM

    Good news - and good insights, Marsha! Glad you shared!! Keep on letting yourself heal!

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RISSASPIECES 4/28/2010 7:05PM

    I have been there...I cut back my exercise significantly before surgery...then total bed rest...and I am just now getting back to a regular schedule. :-) I not only maintained, I it can be done. LOL Also, my hope is that now that I am kicking things back up a little, I might dip down a little more.

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 4/28/2010 6:34PM


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WATERMELLEN 4/28/2010 5:56PM

    For me at least 70% of weight loss/maintenance is calorie control: I can't exercise enough to stay slim . . . sadly, I'm confident of that!!

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WILD4STARS 4/28/2010 5:16PM

    I love the last part of the last line, "Food is the answer only when hunger is the question." Very powerful. Food is NOT the answer when boredom is the question, when anger is the question, when upset is the question. ONLY when hunger is the question. Jumped out at me - Mmmm.... , guess I maybe should look at that.

Thanks so much.


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WALKINGANNIE 4/28/2010 4:50PM

    Thanks for sharing this experience. It builds other people's confidence as well as your own to know that we have some choices.

It's so good to know that you had a good 8 days despite your injury.


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Coffee with an Old Friend

Monday, April 26, 2010

I went to lunch with an old friend recently. It was great to see her and get caught up. I remember her as a big coffee drinker who loved real cream in her dark roast coffee. I was surprised to see her drink black coffee. She commented that she had vowed to go with fat free drinks only. Fat free coffee?

Of course, she is right. Cream (or half and half) does have a lot of fat. But somehow I'd usually thought of it as a minor indulgence or something just a little richer than milk. I never thought of the cream as fat. At home I always use skim milk, but when I'm out I often put a little (1/4-1/3 of a creamer) in my coffee, just lighten it up a bit color wise and taste wise.

From now on I'll be more aware that the cream is fat. And if my friend can go with fat free drinks, I just might be able to as well.

(PS Teeth whitening progress to be addressed later.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMANDAJCD 4/27/2010 8:16AM

    I almost always drink my coffee black. On occasion, I'll add some skim. And even more rarely, when I have some heavy cream left over from baking, I'll add a dollop of that. It's an indulgence, pure and simple LOL. And I mark that "dollop" (max 1 tbsp) in my calories... because "leftover" cream or not, it counts!

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DONNABRIGHT 4/27/2010 7:34AM

    Those little things do add up, don't they!

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WATERMELLEN 4/26/2010 8:34PM

    Old dogs, new tricks: old friends, new approaches!! (Do love my coffee: but black!)

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WALKINGANNIE 4/26/2010 5:51PM

    Glad that you enjoyed your reunion Marsha. It's great to meet up with old friends.

I avoid cream (because of gallstones) but love adding a small amount of warm skimmed milk to my morning coffee - made strong from fresh grounds in a cafetiere. Caffeine is one of my remaining weaknesses and I love it!!

Hope you had fun with Natalie.

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PO_PAZZA 4/26/2010 5:38PM

    Isn't it great to catch up with old friends? Often we can pick up right where we left off. I guess that's what made them friends in the first place.

I had always loved half and half in my coffee and couldn't abide fat free milk in it. My way around it is that now I foam up fat free milk with my coffee machine's steam unit. Then I dollop it on my espresso or coffee. It's rich, creamy and devoid of fat. The great thing is that non-fat milk foams better than milk with fat in it. I would use it even if I weren't trying to watch fat intake. Here's another little trick I learned from an Italian friend. After steam/foaming the milk or using those little battery-operated frothers like Aerolatte brand, if you pop the cup in the micro for 10-12 seconds, it billows way up.

Cheering you with a cuppa.

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AQUAGIRL08 4/26/2010 5:26PM

    I don't drink coffee any more but when I did, I always made sure that some sort of creamer (skim milk, non dairy creamer etc.) was in it. I found that the coffee was easier on the tummy that way.

I'm glad that you got to see your friend. Catching up on what has been going on is so much fun. And that part is fat free too!

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    We need a certain percentage of fat in our diets - regardless of where it comes from.

So pick and choose what is best for you!

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AZURE14 4/26/2010 3:31PM

    I drink my coffee black for the same reason, although it hasn't helped me get out of the rut I'm stuck in. Still trying.

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