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My 6 month journey to flabbiness - It wasn't all bad.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

I havenít blogged in so long you might be concerned that I died in the middle of a juice fast. Not a chance!

By mid-September last year I was within a pound or two of my goal weight and feeling fantastic. Of course that isnít the end of the story, life goes on after weight loss and fitness goals are met, right? Apparently, and food is involved.

I bought a couple of plane tickets, grabbed my daughter and we flew off to visit my sister in the Midwest. My daughter had never met her and I had only met her once, but thatís another story. Itís beautiful there in September so we spent a week dining daily at different restaurants before coming back to the furnace that is the desert.

Here we are at the airport waiting to board:

When we returned my husband picked us up from the airport, we dropped off my little girl at her place in the city and made our way home. I was in the house for about an hour before I noticed anything out of the ordinary. From the kitchen I suddenly grasped that my living room had changed. The furnishings had been abducted and replaced with something that didnít even attempt pass itself off as an imposter. My husband, bless him, took it upon himself to replace our living room furniture. If you knew my husbandÖ well, hereís a little insight: His life motto has always been ďgo big or go homeĒ. And if you happen to already be home chances are heíll be going huge. He purchased a perfectly reasonable Robert Michaels sectional, reasonable if you live in a spacious warehouse converted apartment where space is a non-issue. This couch takes up the entire room. I will explain why this is my excuse for gaining a pound a month since momentarily.

My old living room was perfect with the exception of the couch. The couch was attractive yet uncomfortable so it was only utilized by our dogs, which explains the dog scented cushions. Then there was my La-Z-Boy recliner, which has remained, though it matches nothing. It is my La-Z-Boy and Iím not willing to part with it, sort of like Fraiserís dadís chair - sans duct tape and unappealing plaid burlap material. Then there was and still is the massive wood coffee table thatís just smaller than a twin sized bed. To recap: before I left on vacation there was a couch, coffee table and a chair, and that was it. Well, that was it for the typical furniture. Then there was my recumbent exercise bicycle, my Boflex weight machine thingy, my Boflex Tread Climber, and my beloved elliptical. See? Perfect.

I was not aware that there was a problem. With a living room full of exercise equipment you almost have no choice but to work out regularly. It encouraged me to watch more TV just so I could work out. Who of us couldnít use a little more TV time? (Honestly, I rarely watched TV until my daughter brought home a stationary bike.) I collected the pieces one by one so it wasnít a sudden change and my husband didnít seem to mind when new pieces showed up. In fact, he bought the Tread Climber for me for our 25th anniversary Ė because thatís what I wanted. (I must say, heís quite a catch.) At some point he must have decided that watching TV through the gym equipment was not his idea of practical anymore. After more than a quarter of a century together he knows me well enough to know that I would not have agreed. Being a fool for change he found my trip to be the ideal time to stash away all of my gym equipment. It now sits, probably covered in dust, in a spare room that was not being used because I managed to paint the walls the most obnoxious shade of beige/pink. It was not supposed to be pink. It is so bad that I cannot even bring myself to go in there to repaint. Now this room is my "gym". You can probably see where this is goingÖ

With my exercise equipment, including my beloved elliptical, all down the hall in a room that might as well be roped off from the rest of the house because the color of the walls infuriates me so much so, for some unintelligible reason, that I cannot even consider going in there to work out, I am steadily gaining weight. [Deep breath here. You may wish to go back and read that last sentence again.] Sure, I could have kept up with my daily walks, hiking, my yoga, my DVD fitness videos, but I did not. Well, not regularly; not enough to keep from gaining weight or to fight flab.

I let a huge Robert Michaels sectional defeat me. For 6 months.

Iím done being defeated, though. You will not catch me near that room down the hall with the obnoxious walls anytime soon but I have my free weights, my yoga mat and DVD player with library of fitness videos. And it turns out that there is still the great out-of-doors, the ideal place in which to take nice, long walks. Or hikes.

So Iím back and I am ready to RIP IT UP! I have missed you all and I would love to know how you are doing!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GREGGWEISBROD 3/14/2014 2:07PM

    The beautiful think about this journey, and the most powerful truth we can ever embrace, is that we always have another chance... another opportunity to stand up and take care of our bodies. I'm so dang proud of you for standing back up and coming back here to tell us about the last six months!!!

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MSLZZY 3/6/2014 10:31PM

    We are finally having more seasonal temperatures but that hasn't stopped me from taking long walks on mornings where it is below zero-without the wind chill.
I'd opt for that over a room that is totally unappealing. So glad you are back! HUGS!

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Maybe (for me) it's not so much the calories...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My body has been hanging onto its fat supply like there really may not be a tomorrow in spite of how hard I've been working to shake it. Well, I CAN shake it, and that's the point. I don't want it jiggling like that anymore when I do!

I'm not overweight anymore, I'm just not in ideal shape. Since I began my journey I did lose weight in the form of fat and I began to build some muscle. I am fairly happy with the progress, but thought for sure I would be further along by now. I am wearing the same size now as I was in April, which isn't a huge size, but still, with all the exercise and calorie counting/portion control I would have thought I would have seen more results.

Maybe it's not the calories I need to be restricting so much as the types of calories. I rarely eat dairy, but when I do maybe I should avoid fat free dairy. I eat a 90%+ organic diet, so maybe I should try to keep it closer to 100%. I eat mainly whole foods as it is now, but will occasionally have organic corn chips, pasta, brown rice or a slice of bread. I think eliminating any grains, whole grains or otherwise, for a while could help my body to cleanse. Maybe I need to juice more to cleanse my body of toxins that are being stored in what's left of my fat cells. What if all all those toxins from my younger days are being stored there and my body can't keep up with unloading them at the moment and needs a little boost? I can do that.

I know a lot of people don't believe in detoxifying/cleansing their bodies, but I think it's imperative to healthy living. Why I haven't seriously considered doing it myself before now is beyond me. All those years of smoking, drinking and taking Tylenol when I was younger are probably a big reason I am hanging onto the extra padding that I would love to get rid of for good.

I know, "maybe this" and "what if that"... I believe it's time I really gave it a shot. After all, what I'm doing now is no longer producing positive results, I think it's time to change strategy. That being said, I am also going to incorporate more strength training into my routine. No more messing around, it's time to get serious!

A new chapter in the journey for better health begins now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Can't wait to hear how it's been going. One thing that I've read, and again, I'm no expert in any of these things by far, but one thing I've come to understand is that our body needs fat and enough fatty acids in our diets for it to decide that it doesn't need to hold onto it's fat stores. I prefer to give my body just the minimum amount of fat in my daily diet, as fat is the most directly converted energy into actual fat cells, as are fatty acids. A elevated levels for these consistently, as I understand it, will directly relate into higher body fat. Not sure if you track fatty acids, or what kind of breakdown you aim for in terms of daily fat consumption, but it's a thought at least. Something to look into maybe. I understand though, it's easier for me at the moment because I have so much fat to lose. I'm very curious about the different kinds of body composition challenges that await me in the future. Good luck, Snic, you know I'm in your corner 100%!

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SPAMUNDY 8/17/2013 3:02PM

    This may be just what your body needs. I firmly believe t hat each of us is different and what works for one doesn't work for someone else.
At this point in my weight loss journey I'm eating very low carb meals. I eat all the vegies I want and moderate amounts of fruit each day. No bread, pasta or anything else made with flour. Starches that I do eat are sweet potatoes, corn, dried beans. I consume quite a lot of meat and moderate amounts of fat to get to about 1300 calories per day. If you're vegetarian its harder to get all the protein without having a higher carb intake.

Anyway, good luck in finding what suits your body best so you can feel great and look it too.

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INTHEGAP 8/14/2013 3:27PM

    The last time I was on a juice fast was in my 30s. I went for 21 days and lost weight and felt amazing. I do believe in fasting for both weight loss and getting rid of the toxins. I just can't seem to do it any more. My dad (where I learned all this stuff) was the same way. I remember him fasting for 3 weeks, on nothing but water, but still spry enough to shovel mountains of snow, when I was a kid ~ but he found it difficult when he got older, as well. Or, maybe we both just got lazy. lol

So ~ I am a believer. I was a vegetarian for a short while, I know (or maybe 'used to know') a lot about vitamins and used to eat a whole lot better than I do now. Then I had a problem with my jaw and now can't eat certain things. :( Plus, I am borderline diabetic. (People say there is no such thing but my doc insists there is!) But, to be honest, I just love food too much now to really give it my all, to be healthy.

But ~ I sure admire what you are doing. I wish you all the best ~ and keep us posted regarding all your changes, reactions etc. to this 'better way' of living. :)

Re: your answer to my post. Yep, you are really right ~ it is a lifestyle change, not a diet. It's just that returning from vacation to Day 1, and screwing up was NOT what I had planned. Imagine "forgetting" that I was back on program. lol Btw, it wasn't just a chip or 2. ;) But. today is going well. emoticon emoticon

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KNYAGENYA 8/14/2013 2:18PM

    Good luck. You can do it. I have faith in you.

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MTRACHEL 8/13/2013 10:33PM

    I love trying things to shake my system up, especially when I feel stuck and there is so much good information on cleansing out there. Sounds like you've thought this through. My only thought is this...the hardest part for me is remembering to love myself no matter what....that's what gets me through the journey.

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MSLZZY 8/13/2013 9:37PM

    It sounds like you have given this a lot of thought. Do what is best for you!

Comment edited on: 8/13/2013 10:12:55 PM

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ALICEART2010 8/13/2013 9:29PM

    It sounds like you are doing everything right!

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10 things every woman MUST know about ovarian cancer

Thursday, July 25, 2013

This is an interesting article from Mirror in the UK and important for ALL women to read. Here's the link:

Sneak peak...

It's known as the 'silent killer' but now campaigners are trying to make a big noise about one of our most common cancers.


This is the fifth most common cancer in women

Although ovarian cancer is technically classed as a rare cancer (the common ones are breast, bowel, lung and prostate) it still affects around 6,700 women each year in the UK.

Risk varies from woman to woman and depends on how old you are, your genes and your lifestyle.

A woman has a one in 50 chance of developing the disease over her lifetime, according to charity Target Ovarian Cancer. But the risk rises as you get older, with four in five cases occurring after the age of 50.

Read the article (link above) for facts 2 - 10.

Take care and keep Sparking!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHYFEMMEKAT 7/30/2013 3:32PM

    Thank you for sharing this. My last partner had ovarian cancer and was at Stage 4 before it was diagnosed. Thank God my ex is still around.

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DESERTJULZ 7/29/2013 9:48AM

    Thank you. Every woman should understand this info and discuss with her gyn.

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INTHEGAP 7/26/2013 3:40PM

    Thanks so much for sharing this article. It is very important! Reminded me that I have my mammogram scheduled for next week! Have a fabulous weekend, Nicole! emoticon

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KNYAGENYA 7/26/2013 2:01PM

    Thanks for posting. I am now 3 years cancer free from cervical and ovarian cancer because it was found early.

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GEMINISUE 7/26/2013 8:40AM

    Thanks for sharing, this was quite interesting!

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JAM03476 7/25/2013 1:10PM

    Alsways good to have new info! emoticon

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LIZ324_NYC 7/25/2013 12:54PM

    Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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LADYVOLSFAN1954 7/25/2013 12:49PM

    Thanks for sharing that important information! Hugs

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MSLZZY 7/25/2013 12:31PM

    Great information for women of every age. Thanks for sharing! HUGS!

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Breakfast of champions!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It was so beautiful, but I forgot to take a picture. I will describe it instead... it was a small mound of organic, gluten free cooked steel cut oats sitting in a periwinkle colored Fiestaware bowl covered in organic blueberries and sliced organic strawberries with a splash or two of coconut milk, organic of course. A pinch of salt made it perfect.

I sat next to my husband and thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast. He was having the same thing but he also brown sugar in his and a slice of Ezekiel cinnamon raisin toast with Earth Balance melted on top. I noticed he was pushing a lot of his berries to one side of his bowl. I asked him why and he said it was because they weren't sweet and they were making him gag. What!? Mine were super sweet and I didn't have sugar in mine. I tasted his and it was sickeningly sweet to me. I was surprised at how much different our taste buds are.

I used to have a raging sweet tooth, but I have managed to completely kick that habit. I haven't enjoyed sugary things in several years simply by cutting them out and eventually adding fresh fruit back into my diet. I don't miss those things and have a very good relationship with sugar now.

Starch is completely different story...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GREGGWEISBROD 7/30/2013 3:53PM

    I think part of it too was having the sweeter tasting sugary things in his bowl. I know when I eat berries on their own, I think they're super sweet, but then when I eat them with ice cream, the ice cream is much sweeter and so the berries taste sour. Sounds like a super yummy breakfast!!! :-D

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INTHEGAP 7/26/2013 3:54PM

    I 'know' I commented on this. Glitch? Maybe. :)

Anyhoo ~ I'm happy for you that you've kicked the sugar habit! That is a huge hurdle! Your breakfast sounds so yummy! For myself, the only way I can control the sugar, is by letting myself have some, every day. If I don't, I will 'pig out' on it before bedtime. I know that about myself and although not ideal ~ at least, it helps me cope with it. Plus, I've cut out a LOT that I used to eat. I used to drink Pepsi every single day - now, barely ever. So, small improvements I will accept gladly. :)

Comment edited on: 7/26/2013 3:55:21 PM

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MTRACHEL 7/24/2013 8:26PM

    Breakfast sounds delicious! I'm so glad you will be a part of the butterfly team this time around. It's easy to follow and the accountability really helps for changing habits.

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MSLZZY 7/24/2013 5:31PM

    He sounds like my DH! Everything has to be so sticky
sweet and he can't understand how unhealthy it is. I
grew up a long time ago and I am waiting for him to
see the light LOL!

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DESERTJULZ 7/24/2013 4:46PM

    Yep! Our taste buds really do change! Your breakfast sounds very patriotic (in color, at least!)

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KAT321123 7/24/2013 3:10PM

    It's really amazing how quickly we can change our tastebuds by cutting out processed sugar! I've had the same experience with salt -- things that taste plenty salty to me don't taste salty enough to others and I know that wasn't always the case. Nice work changing your habits and curbing that sweet tooth!

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Calorie ranges based on fitness tracking?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I believe I have made a mistake. I thought it would be a good idea to switch, but I was immediately alarmed when I saw this, after not even having exercised yet today:

Your Daily Calorie Goal: 2,351 - 2,701
Remaining Calories Today: 1,933 - 2,283

Whoa... WHAT??!!! Before I switched it was 1200 - 1500 daily and I was eating, on average, 1300 calories per day and not losing weight. I keep gaining and losing the same 2 - 3 pounds (feel free to look at my exercise and nutritional trackers) in spite of my efforts. I will be gaining quite a bit of weight if I eat within the ranges above. Good grief, that's double what I normally eat!!! Once my FitBit starts falsly logging activities again, it must be slow today, my recommended range will be over 3000 calories for the day. *sigh*

But I keep hoping FitBit Flex and I will eventually get along. I keep trying. It logged 1000 monthly fitness minutes for me after 1 week. 500 would have been more accurate, though.

Maybe because it's a new feature the bugs haven't been worked out quite yet. Did anybody have a similar experience switching?

I know, it sounds like I'm always complaining. I don't mean to, I am a very happy and positive person. This just seemed worth mentioning/questioning.

Happy Wednesday!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRANDMAFRANNY 7/24/2013 8:00AM


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A_BIT_AT_A_TIME 7/18/2013 5:17PM

    Just wanted to say - a couple of days ago SP said they are working on making it possible to switch back since so many people would prefer to have the option - it was on one of the daily Sparkblogs - there wasn't a timeline for when they'd be done but they are working on it

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DAISY443 7/12/2013 1:53PM

    I was glad to read your post. I have now decided not to switch, I hope your tracker works out for you in the long run!

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LADYVOLSFAN1954 7/11/2013 5:39PM

    Since you can't switch back, I stayed with the old system.

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MSLZZY 7/11/2013 5:17PM

    Once you switch, you cannot switch back. I decided to just stay where I was.

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KNYAGENYA 7/11/2013 1:02PM

    I've decided to keep my tracker right where it is.

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VANESSAVOS13 7/11/2013 12:28PM

    I think the fitbit calorie range is totally bogus.... I stick with my 1,200-1,500 and usually burn approx 1,900-2,300 cals in a typical day depending on whether or not I exercise. If I do add in some extra exercise I find myself with a 1,000 calorie deficit in a day which means that I could end up losing 2 lbs in the week. It took me some fiddling around with as well, matching them up and what not. I find that fitbit's calorie range is too high for me. I also find that when you add extra activity and it adds in your fitbit entry that it over-calculates the fitness. Good luck to you, I know how frustrating it is!

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GREGGWEISBROD 7/11/2013 11:06AM

    What does SparkPeople say should be your calorie goals, just out of curiosity. I am so happy to see your food and exercise tracker out! :-D Looks like apart from replacing calories on some days with wine, you do an incredible job of being consistent! I have done quite a bit of reading on alcohol and the effect is has on our metabolism. You might want to consider that into your daily routines, as it could be hurting your ability to lose at this point. Just a thought. P.S. you are gorgeous! :-D

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LIS193 7/10/2013 6:40PM

    Confusing, right?
Before I started "The Plan" I was barely maintaining around 1000 cals and felt hungry a lot of the time, leading to eating an extra snack and therefore a gain.
On the Plan I ate a lot of healthy fats and I was horrified to see that the cals came to 1600 a day!! Oh my!! Still, I started losing and losing some more and now I am at my goal weight for the first time in 7 years. I still eat around 1400-1600 cals a day but the biggest change is that i found I was reactive to wheat. Since eliminating that I can eat pretty much what I want and still maintain.
Long story short... it's NOT the calories, it is WHAT you eat.
For me 90 cals of bread = gain but 500 cals of steak = loss
It's all about chemistry..

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CLAIRE_LEFT_SP 7/10/2013 4:24PM

    FB has always calculated in your BMR, which SP did not Now it does. Were you able to read the original post? It does a decent job of explaining why your calorie requirements can change throughout the day.

Here's a link to the post just in case.


The outstanding question I have is should we continue to track exercise activities (swimming, strength training...) in SP or do we need to switch to all fitness tracking in FB. The way this aspect of the change is not clearly explained in the above article. There is a thread in the FB team discussing the issues. Here's a link to that, too.


Hopefully, everything will calm down soon!

FitBit Users Unite!

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