SLENDERELLA61   155,830
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SLENDERELLA61's Recent Blog Entries

Fresh Fruit Plate

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Today for lunch Natalie and I each had a fresh fruit plate. We enjoyed low fat cottage cheese with blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, and grapes. It was truly delicious and enjoyed by both of us. Somehow it seemed very special today.

I used to have a fresh fruit plate at least one lunch per week. I had gotten away from it and forgotten. Natalie asked for blueberries for lunch and it reminded me. It almost seemed like an old friend who had returned! Isn't it wonderful when something that is really healthy is so tasty and satisfying? -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 5/26/2010 8:16PM

    Fresh fruit is delicious! I love the way you made a "special" lunch of a fruit plate and cottage cheese for Natalie and you. She is learning to choose fresh fruits and veggies because of it. Way to go!

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WALKINGANNIE 5/26/2010 4:17PM

    Sounds yummy Marsha. Blueberries are a daily staple for me and I often have low fat cottage cheese. It's great that Natalie is learning to love these foods while she's so young and impressionable.


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DONNABRIGHT 5/26/2010 8:24AM

    I do fruit for either breakfast or lunch several days a week - whatever is in season and I'm still waiting for some yummy peaches this year.

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JHADZHIA 5/25/2010 11:04PM

    Good for you! I have my fresh fruit every day! I would seriously have withdrawal symptoms if I didn't!. I love just about anything with cottage cheese! Good on Natalie for wanting something healthy!!

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FREELADY 5/25/2010 10:59PM

    Sounds so refreshing! I had never eaten blueberries until last year. Now I enjoy them!

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Food Tracking for Maintenance

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I have tracked my food all but maybe 10 days since December 1, 2008. I used to track with Weight Watcher paper journals. Now usually I track online @ SparkPeople. For a while I did both. When I go visit my mom in S Dakota (her summer home) in July, I'll probably use paper trackers .Some days I'm fanatic about measuring portions and sometimes I just guess.

I usually track perfectly (or close enough) for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and morning &/or afternoon snacks. I often, though, don't bother to track after supper. If I'm going to have a problem that is when it happens. This week I went over my calorie range twice and I didn't track all of it either time.

However, I suspect my SparkPeople calorie range for maintenance may be too low. Or else I'm underestimating my exercise (calories burned) or overestimating my portions (calories eaten). I say that because I have just realized that I am maintaining or even sometimes losing when according to SparkPeople I shouldn't be. Despite eating over my range twice this week, I had my lowest weigh in yet.

If I would get a heart rate monitor to track my calories burned and track 100% of my food I might be better able to figure out my correct calorie target. However, I haven't had a month yet that I have not exceeded my calorie target range at some point. I've had weeks, but not a whole month. So it is probably better if I aim low. Yet, even thought I am still a healthy weight for my height, if I keep losing I could go under. (My BMI of 20.2 is within WW's healthy range of 20-25. SparkPeople, though, lists 18.5-24.9 as the healthy range. But I feel thin enough now.)

Anyway, tracking does help me stay on track. But perhaps I could be doing it better.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TBRANCH2 5/23/2010 9:53PM

    maybe you keep losing because you are so very active and are like an energizer bunny...and I say that in a GOOD way! I envy the energy that you have!!! Keep up the great job because, like the others have already said, you look terrific!!

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AQUAGIRL08 5/23/2010 9:41PM

    Tracking helps to keep me honest too. Like you, I have a problem tracking after dinner. Whatever you are doing, you must be doing something right because you are very successful. You look great and say you feel good too. Keep up the good work!

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WATERMELLEN 5/23/2010 4:14PM

    I do have to track -- and I do have to eat at the lower end of my SP range to maintain. Just have a super-efficient metabolism, I guess *sigh*: more useful on a desert island than on the dessert islands most of us inhabit!!

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WALKINGANNIE 5/23/2010 4:33AM

    I suspect that the science behind SP calorie recommendations can't be 100% accurate because our individual metabolisms are probably as individual as our fingerprints and irises.

Like you, I track as a matter of routine but, unlike you, I'm pretty sure that I would gain weight if I ate above the lower end of my SP recommended range, although SP is lower than some other 'scientific' guidance that I have read.

For all maintainers, I think it's about finding what works for us. Your SP formula probably has to be adjusted by a 'Marsha factor'. The great thing is that you will have all the reports on your calorie differentials, etc. AND the benefit of your experience of how things have worked for you.

Comment edited on: 5/23/2010 4:34:08 AM

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KALIGIRL 5/22/2010 9:55PM

    I agree that tracking keeps me 'on track', so I don't worry about exact measurement in either food or exercise. I am still weighing almost daily and as long as the scale number stays in range, I think my less than accurate approach works.
(Sounds like it works for you too...)

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    You are only human.

I do track 100% of the time but once in a while we must guess.

I think maintaining for as long as you have is awesome!

I tried a HRM but the same exercise had inconsistent amounts so I just went back to the SP Fitness Tracker estimates.

I think you are doing great!

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DONNABRIGHT 5/22/2010 7:44PM

    I have hope that I will get there some day.

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MNNICE 5/22/2010 7:30PM

    Same with me -- despite eating peanut M&Ms, cookies, and go over calories several times, I have been maintaining and losing. Not a bad problem to have, though! But then I have been still using the 1200-1550 calorie range, and I SHOULD be eating more, so maybe finally our bodies/metabolism have actually changed.

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WILD4STARS 5/22/2010 7:02PM

    From the outside looking in, it sure seems like whatever you're doing - you're doing it RIGHT! You look great! You have good energy and enthusiasm. It's all good.

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I Prefer to Eat More

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I had a minor injury and had to cut back my exercise to allow my hip to heal. So I had to cut back my calorie range target in order to maintain my weight. My hip is now healed and I have added the calories back in.

I know without I doubt that I much prefer to eat at the 1500-1850 calories per day range than the 1330-1680 calorie range. In order to eat that much I need to burn 1910 calories per week. As long as I'm feeling good, that is undoubtedly my best option for feeling good, strong, and satisfied. -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TBRANCH2 5/20/2010 9:56PM

    Glad to read that your hip is doing better!! See you Saturday at the team spa day!!

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UUCEEJAY 5/20/2010 9:55PM

    I feel the same way about wanting to exercise so I can eat more. Funny how that calories in calories out equation really works to keep your weight steady. I could never get it balanced before, but now with tracking, I think I've finally got it. emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 5/20/2010 4:35PM

    I love the way you look at things and make a conscious decision about what you want to do! You could teach me a thing or two!

Comment edited on: 5/20/2010 4:35:44 PM

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JHADZHIA 5/20/2010 2:06PM

    That is great Marsha! It is nicer to eat at the higher calorie end rather than the lower, way more options! Keep up the wonderful work! we are all learning from you along the way!!

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KALIGIRL 5/20/2010 1:18PM

    I'm with you - love my walnuts, red wine and chocolate!

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AMANDAJCD 5/20/2010 1:13PM

    I agree. I'm happy to be eating at mid-1400's rather than right at 1200 (which is what I ate while recovering from some stress fractures). I burn 700 calories per week exercising at this time (still recovering, LOL), and I'm so glad I can just get out there and MOVE and EAT again :)

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WALKINGANNIE 5/20/2010 1:06PM

    Vive la difference!!

I prefer a 1400-1700-calories-a-day range and rarely get past 1500 these days. I'm never hungry. As you know, walking is my main activity. It's not as physically challenging as many people's exercise programmes - that I admire hugely - but I enjoy it and know that I can be consistent.

I used to eat many more calories - and did next to no exercise at all in the old days.

It's so good that we can find what suits us and I'm glad that you're back to doing things the preferred Marsha-way.

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MERALO 5/20/2010 11:54AM

    Glad you're back to exercising again!

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MONTY68 5/20/2010 11:53AM

I agree with you about more food, It also gives more choices and ideas. The calories burned average 272 a day and that should not be a problem. How were the calories last night, could you have increased anything or did it fit in with your new idea of calories?
Knowing you, Your decision is a good one.

You are doing fantastic and I love reading your blogs.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Buffet Success

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I attended a buffet today. Several people commented that it was a difficult place to eat wisely. Not for me.

I passed up the plain white dinner rolls. As far as I'm concerned they are nothing special. And then I didn't need the butter. So two down.

The deserts were cupcakes and other assorted pastries. There would have been a time I would have wanted one of everything - and might actually have had two and a bite of someone's third one. But didn't really look tempting today. Three down.

There was a salad of baby greens and assorted lettuces. I filled my bowl. The cucumbers and tomatoes were on the side and I got my share. Skipped the croutons. No low fat dressing, but I took about one tablespoon of the Italian dressing. It tasted good. Feeling positive.

The main dish was meatloaf. I took about two ounces. I'm pretty good at guessing measurements now. It tasted supper salty to me so I didn't want a second serving, either. I've really reduced my sodium and I'm used to it now. Doing okay.

There were fresh green beans. I filled half my plate with green beans. Nobody looked at me funny. There were plenty. I could taste a little salt on them, but if there was butter or fat I couldn't taste it. They were yummy. Very good choice.

I took about 1/3 cup of mashed potatoes. I didn't need anything on them. They tasted heavenly to me, even the couple of lumps in them so you know they are real. Fine.

And they had sweet and unsweet tea. I asked the server for tap water instead. I'd already had coffee and didn't want to overdo the caffeine. Plus I needed more water. Another good choice.

But I did have to have an indulgence. On the table as part of the centerpieces there were Dove promise chocolate candies. I had one to finish my meal - 42 calories, I think, and well worth it.

So I feel very good about my buffet today. Definitely did not feel deprived. I enjoyed every bite, the program, and the company. I'm glad I went.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 5/20/2010 5:10PM

    You ARE in control Marsha!

By the way, as a diabetic I measure blood sugars often and have found that plain white bread / dinner rolls have a worse effect on my readings than some much more obvously sugary foods.

Your buffet management shows how habits and tastes change. You're a great role model (and definitely not a roll model).

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AQUAGIRL08 5/20/2010 4:33PM

    Way to go Marsha!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EILEENV3 5/20/2010 2:01PM

    Way to go. emoticon
Thank you for the suggestions.
My weakness at buffet's is also chocolate.
I will be in Las Vegas for several days. Have decided if I do a buffet to grab the desert plates. Usually I have two large plates with different selections (inc veggies) followed by choc. brownie with choc. ice cream topped with choc. sauce. Think parts of those brownies may be still part of the dimples on my thighs.

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KALIGIRL 5/20/2010 1:26PM

    Congratulations on your choices. Isnít our enhanced sense of taste wonderful? I personally canít wait to savor a fresh tomato.

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JHADZHIA 5/20/2010 12:15PM

    Well done!! Great choices!!
I have never eaten dinner rolls at a buffet, I absolutely detest white bread, so flavorless and soft!! But I would find it hard to pass on the desserts, especially if they have my favorite -date squares or lemon pie. You did fabulous!! I am not so good as guesstimating. I hate trying. Just have to use those relationship sizes like Sparks gives you - a deck of cards for one meat serving etc.
No wonder you are doing so well! Keep up the great work!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DONNABRIGHT 5/20/2010 8:46AM

    It's all about choices, isn't it!

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MONGO2TEN 5/20/2010 5:49AM

    Yay for you! I've found buffets are usually pretty easy for me. I remember a time when I'd eat myself sick. Now I enjoy them so much more:)


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WILD4STARS 5/20/2010 5:34AM

    You're an inspiration to us all.
emoticonHappy Sparking, Vikki emoticon

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MERALO 5/20/2010 4:08AM

    Isn't it amazing how our tastebuds change? I can also taste the bad things now...that used to be so "tasty" in the past! And I can smell it too!

Great stuff on not depriving yourself, its so much more rewarding to have what you want, but still keep control...way to go!

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LIBRATAH 5/20/2010 12:29AM

    Wow! You did awesome. I am still avoiding buffet style dining. emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/19/2010 11:53PM

    WOW! Very impressive. Good for you. Good job!

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MONTY68 5/19/2010 11:22PM


That was an exciting experience and you really thought it through and I would say that you had a very good dinner. These are the type of experiences that allows one to make wise choices. Congratulations.
P.S. A Dove chocolate is exactly what you needed to finish a great meal.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/19/2010 11:25:58 PM

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JAMER123 5/19/2010 11:10PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

So glad you were able to stick to it!!

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Learning from Our SparkFriends

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The new Secrets to Success section of SparkPeople has become a real favorite of mine. I love reading what other people have found helpful. One thing I didn't figure out until today, though, is how to find the Secrets to Success that a specific SparkFriend has posted. Just find the following URL, and type in the person's screenname after the equal sign:

So, should you be looking for my Secrets to Success, you would find it at:

Happy Sparking! -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILD4STARS 5/19/2010 6:12PM

    emoticonYou're the best!
emoticonHappy Sparking, Vikki emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 5/19/2010 2:08PM

    Thanks for this information Marsha. Your secrets are helpful and I already 'liked' quite a few of them. It's good to be able to access ones that I'd missed.

I'll also look out for those submitted by other friends.

emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 5/19/2010 8:57AM

    I continue to marvel @ the way Spark refreshes this website and keeps us engaged.
Of course it helps when people like you post such great secrets.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DONNABRIGHT 5/19/2010 8:56AM

    Good to know.

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UUCEEJAY 5/19/2010 8:27AM

    Thanks for the info! The secrets to success are helpful, emoticon

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MONTY68 5/18/2010 6:50PM


Thank you for showing us how to get into your secrets, I know they have to be fantastic emoticon emoticon

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 5/18/2010 6:49PM

    I just read all your posts to Secrets of Success. They are great and definitely something for me to apply and/or think about. I specifically like the one ...where you treat weight loss like a job. I never thought about it like that. Thanks so much!

emoticon emoticon


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A*L*P* 5/18/2010 6:19PM

    emoticon emoticon

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AMANDAJCD 5/18/2010 6:11PM

    Good to know that!

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WALKERSSS 5/18/2010 5:53PM

    Me too. I get so much inspiration from spark pages. Your little girl is just precious. Happy Sparking and much success to you.

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