SLENDERELLA61   164,939
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Reducing Stress -- the Car Edition

Monday, February 28, 2011

Reducing stress is a great way to reduce the risk of gaining back weight. Yes, it is possible to deal well with food when stressed, but it is definitely more difficult. Both Chris Downie's book, The Spark, and my recent read, the Beck Diet Solution, advocate solving problems to reduce stress in your life.

Several years ago I lost the spare key to my car. I can tell you it was a source of stress in my life that whenever I couldn't find my keys I'd immediately get more panicked. My thinking went something like: and I don't even have a spare! Several times I almost replaced the missing key. The days when you could go get a spare for under $2 kept going through my brain and I just could not bring myself to pay the price.

Well, this week I did. I had a coupon for $11 off which helped. It still came to $71 to get the spare and have it programmed to work on my car. I suspect it is a good investment in reducing my stress for my long term health and weight management. But I still need to keep up with my keys!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 3/1/2011 10:05AM

    Good move Marsha! I am a big believer that one of the biggest gifts that you can give yourself is the reduction of stress. I like to do things in advance for that reason. Yes sometimes things change and plans get messed up but generally if I have that spare key or a plan B or have finished my paper work early, my stress level is much more manageable and I feel so much better.

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MONTY68 2/28/2011 11:56PM

    Hi Marsha

Great blog, You have given a great example of something that doesn't have to be stressful. If we really pay attention to those things that give us stress, we find that what we stressed over could be handled in another way that eliminates the need for the stress. Congratulations on getting a second key, it also got me thinking that I don't have a second key to my car and also my condo.
Thank you for sharing this


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PERSISTANT123 2/28/2011 10:58PM

    You are worth the price of the new key. I find that when I left of set of keys with my daughter in case I locked myself out, I quit stressing about them. Just knowing I had a back up set relieved so much stress, and I rarely even misplace them now. The investment in de-stressing yourself is worth it!

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WATERMELLEN 2/28/2011 7:51PM

    Good thinking: I lose a purple suede glove this morning and was totally panicking until I found it again: car key is much more crucial!

Thanks for your supportive comments on my Beck blog: much appreciated (hated that 1 pound gain, actually . . . . haven't acquired the appropriate weigh-in attitude but I'm trying!!)

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JOYINKY 2/28/2011 3:18PM

    I know where you are coming from! That is money well spent!

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JHADZHIA 2/28/2011 1:23PM

    It is very stressful to misplace your keys without a spare. Good for you for finally getting yourself one. I have given my spare set of keys for my apartment to my Mom, so anytime I misplace mine, its a panic. So I have gotten in the habit of putting my keys down in exactly the same place every time I come into my apartment.
Good luck with finding and eliminating any other things that may be stressing you. You can do it.

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 2/28/2011 11:27AM


Stress is definitely a killer!

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Workout Coincidence

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Yesterday I enjoyed an MP3 treadmill workout from the Baptist Memorial Health Care web site, narrated by Wendy. You may want to download all these free workouts -- bike, walking, elliptical, abs, cool down, and maybe a couple more:

Wendy, whose last name I've forgotten, gives fitness tips throughout the podcast. Funny, but she went over mindset and behavioral strategies to overcome cravings that sounded very familiar. When she cited Dr. Judith Beck and The Beck Diet Solution, as the source, I realized it was no wonder. I've been working on that book for the past six weeks. Wendy also talked about Beck's chapter on changing our definition of fullness. What a coincidence! I was thinking about the Beck strategies and what I needed to repeat as I started the workout.

Wendy gave nutrition tips from the American Heart Association. She also talked about recognizing real hunger vs. emotional hunger. For that topic she cited the book Think Thin, Be Thin. Anyone read that book? If so, what did you think??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 2/28/2011 12:30PM

    Thank You for sharing

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JIBBIE49 2/27/2011 5:57PM

    There are so many books now using Judith Beck, PhD's work that I find it amazing. Dr. Beck is the daughter of the famous Aaron Beck, M.D. who developed Cognitive Therapy back in the 1960's for depression patients, so her work is based on his for the use of obese patients now.
The other person, Roger Gould, M.D. who wrote "Shrink Yourself" on dealing with emotional eating has a lot of "knock-off' writers now. His 12 week course has been taken by many Sparkers and they have benefited greatly. He says until we learn to deal with stress we will never keep the weight off.
I read ARTHUR AGATSTON, M.D.'s "The South Beach Diet" since he deals with Insulin Resistance/Metabolic Syndrome. He is a cardiologist who had patients dying on the American Heart Association Diet, so he worked with a nutritionist to develop a diet that he patients could lose weight and avoid heart attacks on and from that the SBD developed. He did NOT start out with any intentions of writing a "diet" book. His patients followed the diet and family and friends contacted Dr. Agatston wanting copies of the diet. From that the book developed. The recipes are there because his wealthy clients wanted to eat well even on a "diet" so he took his list of approved ingredients to the chefs of Miami Beach and said "Make some good recipes." So, you don't have to cook that way, but he just shows that you can have delicious food and still lose weight. Bill Clinton dropped 24# on the SBD.

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PAMAPPLE 2/27/2011 5:05PM

    I have a spark friend who has encouraged me to join as she is doing well on the program. I am reading Made to Crave and do the exercises at the end of each chapter. It reminds me that over-indulging in anything is not what God intended for us and to pray when we are tempted. The Beck Solution sounds like a good book to read to retrain your mind to think like a "thin" person. Since I was thin most of my life and now am enjoying and finding comfort in food, the pounds have crept up. Fortunately, we have tools and the help of God to get us back on track. Thanks for sharing the link! I think it will be motivational listening to the audio.

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JHADZHIA 2/27/2011 10:34AM

    What I nice coincidence that was!
Enjoy your workouts!
Have a great Sunday!

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MEXGAL1 2/27/2011 10:19AM

    Thank you for sharing this and have a wonderful Sunday.

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JOYINKY 2/27/2011 10:19AM

    Fun and reassuring when you see things coming together like this! Thanks for the link!

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WATERMELLEN 2/27/2011 7:58AM

    Love these coincidences: a clear indicator that the universe is unfolding as it should!!

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NANCY- 2/27/2011 7:45AM

    The world gets smaller everyday.
I haven't read Think Thin, Be Thin. But it sounds worth a read.
I'm thinking of checking out the bridal workout... though it's been 31 years since I was a bride.
Thanks for the link.

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AQUAGIRL08 2/27/2011 3:15AM

    I always think that if my tummy is growling and a glass of water doesn't make it stop and it has been several hours since the last time I had something to eat, I must be hungry. Otherwise, unless I've been exercising, it is an emotional response. If it's emotional, it's time to connect to someone or do something that will make me feel good or productive. Once I do that, the hunger feeling usually goes away.

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OPHELIA105 2/27/2011 3:05AM

I haven't come across The Beck Solution but it sounds very interseting. The book which really helped me is:

I also like the idea of the MP3s - as I really struggle with exercise I think listening to this kind of mp3 would help motivate me to remember why I'm there!

I'm off to find out about that definition of fullness now - I always find this an interesting topic as I was programmed to feel stuffed and bloated.

Also the different kinds of hunger - the tummy hunger vs the head hunger.

If tis the first one then eat something - if it is the second one then work out why its happening, what triggered it and develop strategies to deal with it. Such as acknowledge its there but also acknowledging I have a choice whether to feed it or not. And both of these actions have consequences. So which do I choose? And more often than not that is enough to leave it.

I do believe 100% that weight gain is all in the mind and by working with out mind we can re programme the way we think about food. I am not saying it works 100% of the time.

But there's no fun in perfection anyway...

Thnx for the blog

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Ready, Set, -----

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Now that I've finished the Beck book, what will I blog about?? My structure is gone! Oh, no.

Not to worry. I wasn't without words before and I can think of 10 things to blog about today! Which one to choose? hmmmm

Well, I went to FitNiche, a local fitness store, and had my feet and running analyzed. I have terrible bunions and a Morton's neuroma I've been trying to ignore for years and I think of my feet as terrible. I wore clunky, ugly corrective shoes as a child. For years. I was surprised to hear that I carry my weight evenly distributed. My natural run is a style that is easy on the knees. I don't pronate, but run with my feet in a neutral position. My arch is high so for $60 I could get a gel insert, but I found some good shoes (yes, expensive, but they were $20 off) that seem to provide enough support I don't need them.

I ran the lake (almost 3 miles - and I ran a little extra yesterday for good measure) for the third time yesterday. Each time has felt better. Yesterday half the time I was truly enjoying myself! This is the first time I feel no reprecussions after - not a sore anything. My Senior Olympics 5K Road Race is two weeks from today and I'll be ready!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 3/1/2011 4:39PM


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AQUAGIRL08 2/26/2011 2:01PM

    I'd like to try Fit Niche too. Do they do walking shoes too or just running? I've heard that the right shoes make a huge difference. When I water jog it feels so good that there are times that I could stay in the water for hours. It is addictive!

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MEXGAL1 2/26/2011 12:36PM

    Good for you to keep up with the running and enjoying it to boot!
Keep up the good work.

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WATERMELLEN 2/26/2011 10:54AM

    Fabulous: PLUS lowest weigh-in ever!! Yay you!!

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HAPPYSOUL91 2/26/2011 10:29AM

    You are really doing great on your running, yes you are ready

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DONNAEDA 2/26/2011 10:26AM

    congratulations. They say that when your feet hurt everything hurts. Glad your feets are saying ah, wonderful

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NANCY- 2/26/2011 10:25AM

    Having the right stuff does make life easier. WTG for seeking out what you need.

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LAURELSPARK 2/26/2011 10:17AM

    Enjoy your running. It's too cold to run outside here (for me at least) but I've been keeping in shape by exercising in the basement.

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EDUCGRAD 2/26/2011 9:29AM

    So glad you were able to get the help you needed for your knee.I had not heard of this store is it is Raleigh?

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JOYINKY 2/26/2011 9:10AM

    Sounds like you have a great place to run! Good weather is coming too. Glad you've found the right shoes; important at any price! Fitting that you blog about the exercise side of this balancing act for awhile. Have a great weekend! Joy

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My Beck Tools "Cards" and New To-Do List

Friday, February 25, 2011

Since there was some interest I decided to include my improved Beck tools, "cards" that I read twice a day and my new checklist I use every evening, as a blog.

Beck Diet Solution Cards

Maintenance Advantages Response Card
1. Improved health: blood pressure, cholesterol, LDL, stronger knees, better back, less indigestion
2. Ill live longer and better
3. Feel energetic
4. Love being the size Ive wanted to be since I was a teen!
5. Enjoy clothes shopping and looking in the mirror now
6. Love feeling in control V got it most of the time (working on almost all)
7. My body feels good, especially around the waist, like during Zumba
8. Dont mind pictures, belt, taking off my jacket, costumes, tee shirts, cell at belt, etc.
9. Enjoy compliments
10. Comfortable in any seat V even airplane; less claustrophobic
11. None of the clothes in my closet are too tight!
12. Still wake up feeling amazed.
13. Dont dread facing the scale, even at the doctors office
14. Good role model for friends and family
15. Exercise confidently V dont flop or jiggle
16. Dont mind eating in front of people
17. Dont care if people know how much I weigh; I have less to hide in more ways than one!
18. Reduced stress about food decisions
19. Hubby wanted me at his reunion
20. Cravings reduced; like healthy foods; tastes have changed
21. Less dependent on what other think, I like me!
22. Enjoy playing with Natalie V and soon Gwen!
23. I feel wonderful about my accomplishment.
24. Im happier; much happier!

Sit Down Card
I sit down to eat because sitting will help me be more aware of what and how much I am eating. Sitting at the dining table is best, but sitting to eat is absolutely imperative V and sitting in the car does not count!

No Choice = No Struggles

Its Not Okay
Its not okay to eat unplanned food. Every time I give in to spontaneous eating I strengthen my giving in muscle. When I resist I strengthen my resistance muscle. I can eat most nutritiously and wisely if I plan my meals and stick to my plan.

Get Back on Track
I will do the best I can each day to eat right and live healthy. I will count and be proud of my binge-free days. When I overeat or dont follow my food plan, I will think through what happened to try to learn from it. I will stop overeating or non-compliance as soon as I can, forgive myself and recommit to my program. Ill grab a glass of water, track as best I can, Spark, read Beck cards, go for a walk (if appropriate), and otherwise demonstrate my commitment to healthy eating for a healthy life.

The Scale is a Helpful Tool
The scale is my friend. It gives me feedback that I need to maintain my weight. It is very important that I understand, though, that the scale gives incomplete and, at times, confusing or unhelpful feedback. If I stay focused where I need to be focused, on my eating and exercising, I will be fine. In the long run, the scale will give me the feedback I need. Overreacting, exaggerating, or negative fortune telling in response to the number on the scale is not helpful. I understand that weight fluctuates. If my weight goes up three pounds -129 or more over two weeks -- then I need to take action (fewer calories/more exercise). If the fluctuation is less AND I have been eating right, there is no reason to worry.

I believe I will maintain my weight loss because I have the skills to do so, including:
1. selecting healthy foods.
2. selecting appropriate serving sizes.
3. tracking my food.
4. enjoying cardio exercise.
5. continuing my strength training habit.
6. comforting and calming myself with means other than food.
7. tolerating hunger and cravings.
8. getting right back on track when I slip.
9. asking for help when I am struggling

Make a New Daily To-Do List V for the next 6 weeks, March 1 V April 12

I read my Advantages, NO CHOICE, Its Not Okay, Get Back on Track, Scale & Believe Response Cards
I planned my food for tomorrow
I monitored everything I ate in writing right after I finished eating
Every time I ate, I sat down and ate slowly and mindfully
I ate only to mild fullness
I gave myself credit whenever I engaged in helpful eating behaviors (do it at monitoring and when resisting)
I took steps to reduce stress
I did spontaneous exercise today
I did planned exercise
I reminded myself that hunger is never an emergency
I tolerated a craving or used anti-craving techniques (pg 127-133) rather than giving in
If I overate or strayed from my food plan, I got back on track immediately
I said, Oh, well, or NO CHOICE, whenever I wanted to eat something I was not suppose to
I responded effectively to disappointment or to ideas of unfairness
I used 7 Question Techniques to respond to my sabotaging thoughts & made corresponding response cards
I experienced negative emotion and didnt turn to food for comfort
I took steps to enrich my life
I prepared myself for weighing in

Make new To-Do list on April 12th or 13th!

Strategies that didn't make the list that I will remember for when the going gets tough:
* arranging my environment with tempting food out of sight
* contacting my diet coach
* turning down food not in my plan
* eating wisely when I eat out

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNRISE14 2/26/2011 8:40AM

    emoticon emoticon

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GODS_SERENITY 2/25/2011 11:45AM

    Great list of ARC cards and sabotage cards! Thanks for sharing!

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NANCY- 2/25/2011 11:35AM

    Thank you so much for sharing your cards and list.

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 2/25/2011 10:54AM


Are you a "Beck" Girl now?

You are a winner!!

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HAPPYSOUL91 2/25/2011 9:56AM

    Excellent, I can't begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed and learned during your series!

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DONNAEDA 2/25/2011 9:30AM

    you go girl

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JOYINKY 2/25/2011 8:52AM

    Awesome blog! Definitely a favorite and one I'm sharing with a struggling friend. You are an inspiration!

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JHADZHIA 2/25/2011 8:49AM

    You have really made this program your own! All your hard work has really paid off. Thanks so much for giving us such useful information :)
Keep up the awesome work and have a fantastic Friday!!

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KBEHUNE 2/25/2011 8:47AM

    Very helpful ideas! Good luck to you!

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WATERMELLEN 2/25/2011 8:17AM

    Marsha, this is so thoughtful and so helpful. I have immediately copied, pasted, saved -- and will have it for thoughtful review.

Have to say -- must feel good to be the "trophy wife" at your husband's reunion!!

And: found your "scale is a helpful tool" thoughts particularly wise. I'm training my brain in that direction!!

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Beck - Day 41 Completed & Day 42 Plus the Last 2 Chapters

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 41 is about Making a New Daily To-Do check list. I did that, and I have 18 items I will check off daily from March 1 - April 12. At that time, I will review the check list and undoubtedly simplify it.

Day 42 is titled Practice, Practice, Practice and is the last one of the days of activities. It has one very important concept. It says that rough patches are to be expected and that they are TEMPORARY! I know in the past sometimes I have given up because I thought it was just too hard. I believe had I kept doing the best I could each day, I would have gotten through the tough times with little, if any, weight to lose.

Chapter 11 is When to Stop Losing and Start Maintaining Weight. It is very different from Weight Watchers, where you start adding back in maintenance points (calories) when you hit a pre-set goal. Beck has you lose until you naturally plateau. She tells of the concepts of lowest attainable weight vs. lowest maintainable. Several pages are devoted to people who don't think they are thin enough. I think I'm thin enough, so doesn't relate to me. I think my 126 is a maintainable weight, but I'm just going to have to live at this weight and see. I know if I choose to eat more or exercise less I could gain a few pounds and still be healthy. Beck advocates not just drifting to a higher weight, but sitting down, preferably with your diet coach, and writing a new plan including how many additional calories you will eat or how much you will reduce your exercise and then gradually achieve the weight that goes with that lifestyle. I'm sure that would make you feel more in control than just gaining weight.

Chapter 12 is How to Stay at Your New Weight. Beck advocates writing new Maintenance Advantages Cards. I realize that is what I wrote from the beginning, even though I had a couple pounds to lose. I went ahead and re-worded and strengthened all my "cards" and put them in a Microsoft Word file. I may print them on card stock and cut them, but I think I might like having pages instead of a bunch of cards to shuffle. I like that it is so easy to edit or improve them when they are saved. If there is an advantage perhaps kinesthetically to actually writing them, well I've already done that. Beck advices to recommit yourself if you gain three pounds. Sounds like a good idea to me. So if I hit 129, I'm back to full program. Beck says to anticipate the effort that maintenance requires, realizing that occasionally it will get difficult, but it will get easier again then. She advocates eating consistently, about the same amount of food -- a little more on special occasions -- and for the most part limited options of food. She says that successful maintainers usually have three breakfasts, three lunches, eight snacks and eight dinners that they usually rotate, although they do not stick strictly to these as limits. So she suggests creating menus. I think I eat a wider variety, but I do not think it is a problem for me. I do like the idea of creating two months' worth of menus with shopping lists. That is on my To-Do list for the year 2011. I have no illusion that my hubby, the grocery shopper, will stick to the list very well. We'll always be working in whatever is on sale!! Nonetheless, I want to create these delicious, nutritious menu plans and then deviate from them.

Should any of my SparkFriends, especially fellow Beck SparkTeam members, want to see my cards or my To-Do list, SparkMail me or comment below. I'd be glad to send them to you.

This has been a wonderful adventure. I've learned so much. I'm going to take off a couple days and then go back. I want to identify the chapters and exercises that I need to repeat. I hope this book becomes a reference that I reach for whenever I need to improve my thinking about eating and exercise! I appreciate those of you who have followed me on this journey. I appreciate your support more than you know. -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 2/25/2011 1:30PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PERSISTANT123 2/24/2011 1:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 2/24/2011 10:25AM

    RE: Chap 11: my sister advised me to go as low as my body would go without negative effects - like dizziness. So Beck sounds like that to me.

RE: Chap 12: I like the 3 lbs "panic" attack, lol. SP says 5 but the other sister always used 3 lbs as a range.

Awesome! Thank you for sharing your journey with us!!

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NANCY- 2/24/2011 8:41AM

    emoticon Marsha!!!!

I have revisited Dr. Beck's program to strengthen skills, or learn what didn't sink in before.

Thank you for sharing your journey.
Thank you for the offer, I would love to see your Beck Cards.

You are....

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WATERMELLEN 2/24/2011 8:39AM

    Wow!! You've finished with a flourish which is beyond heartening to those of us following in your footsteps!! I'd very much appreciate your offer to share the materials you've pulled together.

I do tend to eat the same things (with variations: eg different veggies in my salads, different seasonsings in my soups) day after day: so long range, this is likely very workable for me. And in the "intense focus" blinkered stage, I needed the glimpse of the future "enrichment".

Thanks, Marsha.

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JHADZHIA 2/24/2011 8:06AM

    And I have really appreciated you sharing your journey with us Marsha. You have gone beyond the Spark program to bring us new ideas and aids to losing and being able to maintain weight. Very inspirational that you keep trying to improves areas even though you are already successfully maintaining.
Shows there are always areas we can improve on, keeps our programs fresh!
Keep up the great work!
And a great big:
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOYINKY 2/24/2011 7:55AM

    Marsha, You have done an amazing job with this journey! Congratulations and Happy Maintenance! Joy

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SUNRISE14 2/24/2011 7:28AM

    emoticon emoticon

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