STEPH-KNEE   80,643
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Fitbit/HRM/Motivational Tools DO NOT MAKE You Lose Weight...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

YOU make you lose weight! What you eat, how you move, what YOU DO makes you lose weight! emoticon emoticon Now before you get all crazy on me, I love these gadgets and motivational tools. I think they can be very inspirational and help to motivate you to make smarter choices, but that alone does not make us lose weight.

I am so tired of seeing people say "Well I really need to make a new motivational poster, and THEN I will start seeing the scale go down again..." Are you ridiculous?! emoticon While a new motivational poster might help ignite your Spark, the only thing that is going to get the scale going down again is what you do AFTER. It might motivate you to get back on track or get you out exercising, but it is what you DO that creates the results.

Another example, months ago I told my friend I was getting a heart rate monitor so I could see how many calories I ACTUALLY burn while exercising, her immediate response was "I want one", and her very next question was "what is it?" She has a case of the "I want to have everything you have, because you have lost 60 pounds and I lost 20 only to regain it and then 5 additional pounds". The difference is NOT the gadgets I have, it is how hard I work at tracking my calories and making an effort to exercise that has done it. Getting a heart rate monitor and not using it, or using it to track your calorie burn while you sit on the couch isn't going to do you (or in this case her), any favors.

With that said, I think these gadgets and motivational tools are GREAT and I these are the ones I have, but I did not lose any more weight after getting these things.

Fitbit emoticon : I love it, I love that it tracks my steps, sometimes it gets me out walking more but not usually... I still have cases of the "I don't wannas" and it doesn't make my walks any easier.

Heart Rate Monitor: I loved this at first, I still do, but I really wanted to see how many calories I am burning while exercising. I burn a lot less than the online calculators claim. I admit I haven't been using it at much, partially because I have a decent understanding after using it about how many calories I burn doing various activities.

Motivational Marbles: I love these things, they are pretty to look at, but I hardly remember to move the marbles at this point. I do it every other month when I've lost a good amount of weight to keep it current.

Motivational Quotes: Love these, they are around my house, they are inspiring and great to look at, but sometimes I go into my fridge and over eat even when some of these are plastered ON my fridge.

Woohoo Jar: I love the emoticon jar, I love to put stuff in it, but I have to do the work to have the woohoo moments to put in the jar.

Sparky emoticon : I have an amazing dog that loves to walk, but if I don't get off my butt to do it, then it doesn't really help lol.

Planner: I put heart stickers on the day I exercise and cupcake stickers on the days I severely overeat. It is neat to see my progress and track it, but I very rarely pass up a high calorie day in fear of getting a dreaded cupcake sticker. emoticon

Sparkpeople: emoticon This is the biggest tool of all for me, and it is one that I use each and everyday. I have the most amazing Spark Friends and I am thankful for each and every one, but as much as they would love to reach through the computer and smack the cookie out of my hand, it still comes down to me. But I will say that the amount of love and support I have gotten from this site has allowed me to keep going when I might have otherwise given up. emoticon

My point is, it's all you baby! emoticon Your time might be better spent exercising or making a meal plan than pasting your head on Jennifer Anistons body for a motivational poster. However, everyone is different, and if you need that poster/quote/tool to get out and get the job done by all means go for it.

And on the flip side of that if you are losing weight and getting the job done, pat yourself on the back! You are doing this because you are awesome, not because of anything you have or any tools you have found it is because you do hard work day in and day out and you are amazing! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ITISABOUTME 2/19/2013 1:06PM

    What a great reminder that we are the ones that can change"we" nobody or thing can do it for us!!!! Thanks for the great blog!!! emoticon

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BDH1970 2/19/2013 12:57PM

    Very true! This healthy lifestyle business is seriously hard work!

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PSCHIAVONE2 2/19/2013 11:54AM

    Very true, I can tell you that I get a much better workout when I use my heart rate monitor. I have set mine up to keep me in a workout zone. Between 145bpm and 165bpm. Also, when I look at my monitor I usually say "30 minutes was not that bad", and go on to do more. Without the monitor I usually dog it and only do 30 minutes. Sometimes technology can help.

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DIANNEMT 2/19/2013 8:26AM

    This is SO right!! I WISH I could find some magic way to lose the weight--or keep it off--but I have to not eat the cookie and I have to get up and move!!

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LISAN0415 2/19/2013 7:37AM

    I loved this blog, it should be a "Popular Blog Post"

One of my favorite quotes, and you pretty much said it here is:

"You are where you are today becauses of the choices you made or the choices you let others make for you" so choose wisely!

You are on the right track baby! Results are coming!!!

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JESSICA_STULTZ 2/18/2013 5:18PM

    I agree. It's not about the gadgets and motivation. You gotta do the work to get the results! I love the motivational things, but have to do the work even when I have no motivation at all. It really boils down to the fact that if you don't do the work, you will never see the results. I've been forcing myself to exercise lately.. even inside while it is yucky outside. I want so badly to see the scale drop. (Well.. this weekend was an indulging weekend so scale kind of went up.. but it'll be back down!) I thought about putting motivating things on the fridge.. but then decided that eventually it'd just be something that sits on my fridge that I don't even pay attention to or notice anymore because I am used to it being there. PS. Glad you got past that 212 mark. It's always good to see a drop after a long plateau like that!

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IJUSTNEED10 2/18/2013 3:31PM

    You are such a great attitude and you are also right a lot of people see on the surface what you are doing but not focus on all the work you are doing.

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SIMONEKP 2/18/2013 11:44AM

    You're right but take it easy on your friend. Try to remember how frustrating it can be to start or start over. Maybe you can invite her to workout with you and use your gadgets together.

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LOVESTOWALK49 2/18/2013 7:48AM

    I don't have expensive tools. I didn't have the gym until this year. Tools and access to a gym help, but the motivation comes from within. emoticon

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LYNNWANNABE 2/18/2013 7:25AM

    I liked the comments from your friends as much as I liked the blog itself.. it's very encouraging to keep pressing forward!

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JUDY106 2/17/2013 8:52PM

    This is true. I love the HRM because it shows how many calories you burn during and activity. It gets me moving more each time I do that activity. I push just a little harder each time.
I think using the SP tools are the biggest improvement to my change in my lifestyle. i love the people here at SP. No one else cares about how much food you eat or did not eat. Unless you are really serious about a change you could care less hearing about how someone is doing with their food plan. There are those out there that go to groups and claim to care, but don't, because they are not really eat the way they should or really not even trying, but go to the group to look good.
Here at SP you can find people that are really serious about how they eat and KNOW how hard it is to eat the right way when those other foods are calling you.

This has really helped me so much. I know it takes time and you are not moving when you are typing at the computer, but it is just as important to me as doing that exercising. They are both very important to my weight lost.

Oh, well i stop. Loved your blog.

Hugs, Judy

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    Yes, this is all true and you have an excellent point. Different things work for different people though, so I guess it is worth experimenting, trying different techniques, tools, and props.

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STARSUB99 2/17/2013 2:46PM

    You got it girlfriend - Its all about the connections we make - what we do day in and day out... you don't need no trinkets and tools - (although some are fun) - just a good stream of positive talk going through your head and the ongoing support of your friends inside and outside of sparkland.... You will succeed -

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JACOBSBELOVED 2/17/2013 1:12AM

    You hit the nail on the head: they are motivational tools. They will not suck the fat from your body (although that would be AWESOME!); you have to physically do it yourself. Of course there are tools out there that help us, and there's nothing wrong with using them, but don't expect the results to come solely from these gadgets like they have magical powers. Good blog. :)

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LRSILVER 2/16/2013 9:26PM

    Great blog. So True.

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HEATHERFREE 2/16/2013 8:08PM

    well said!

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    Great blog post.

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MAGGIEVAN 2/16/2013 6:50PM

    I agree with you 100%. thanks for sharing these thoughts.

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ANY010113 2/16/2013 6:17PM

    great blog, thanks for sharing,

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EMMAEKAY 2/16/2013 11:00AM

    They're all just tools - the marbles, the fitbit, the HRM, SP, everything. They're raw materials and how-to manuals. Unless you use them, and use them correctly, you go no where.

Amazing blog!

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RHONDALYN10 2/16/2013 10:04AM

    SO TRUE!!

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OLIVIANIGHT 2/16/2013 9:20AM

    I love all your gadgets and tools! But you're right, of course, in the end we have to get off our bums and move ourselves to get results.

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MELMOMOF4 2/16/2013 8:46AM

    very well said. thanks for sharing

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GRACEMCC45 2/16/2013 8:30AM

    Very true, Stephanie! All of it! These are all helpful tools, but a hammer and a screwdriver don't build a house - someone has to USE the tools to do it!

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ADARKARA 2/16/2013 7:57AM

    Very well said!

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AMCLELLAN 2/16/2013 7:08AM

    Wonderful Blog! So true!!! & you are doing an amazing job! Keep up the great work, you are amazing!!!

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    emoticon emoticon

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DAJAMOGU1 2/16/2013 5:48AM

    I had to laugh at this one. I have some friends who rushed out and bought Fitbit after I got mine and they could see I was losing weight. They came to me months later saying the Fitbit didn't help them at all. THey hadn't lost a pound even though they tracked their steps. I asked how many steps they did per day and they said they were only getting about 2000. They didn't walk, didn't exercise, and didn't track food. Basically, they wore it and hoped it would suck calories out?????

Yes, it does work if you do! And I mean work! Fitbit motivates me to walk so I can more steps (and compete with friends online) and climb more stairs, but it does not move for me!

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BETHIEBOOPS 2/16/2013 4:16AM

    YOU ARE AWESOME! Such a brilliant post. So many times, I've heard others (and myself!) say "Oh I'll start eating better once I..." or "I just need to get a gym membership/new shoes/HRM etc to start exercising" but we don't NEED anything but to DO the things that need to be done (eat well, exercise). Such wise advice.

Thanks to pinterest, it's easier to look up work outs than it is to eat a cookie. But reading a workout is not the same thing as Doing the workout and not eating a cookie does not mean eating well.

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MERRY_XMAS 2/16/2013 3:39AM

    You are absolutely right! No matter what we do, if we don't put effort to it, technology can't help us. Even people who have surgeries gain all the weight back, because it's in our mind!
Nobody can help you but yourself!
emoticon emoticon

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Sparky Has Given Me Back My Spark...

Friday, February 08, 2013

I wish I could take credit for Sparky's awesome name, but it's the name he came with. Although I did comment on the fact it was the perfect name. I decided when I got him that I would make a deal to walk him everyday that I did not work. I have only had him a little over a week, but I have been true to my word, and today he really pushed me to get it done when I didn't want to.

I had a headache, I wasn't feeling it, I just wanted a lazy day. I have NO idea how this dog knows it's time to walk, it MIGHT be because I change my clothes into different pants, but I don't even have shoes on yet and he knows. Two days in a row now, when I have come down the stairs to put on my shoes before I take him, instead of going to the couch, he goes to the door and he does a whine like "what's taking so long"? We do a minimum of once around the block which is like 1.1 miles, and I hope to be able to build up in the future. Although I'm a little worried about the plate in my leg, I think I stepped wrong a little while ago and now it hurts when I take certain steps. Hoping it is nothing and will go away soon... Sparky needs his walk. :)

Nothing will keep me more accountable then these sweet puppy dog eyes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEATHERFREE 2/12/2013 10:49PM

    Thats sooo great! I feel bad for my pups they get fat in the winter cuz I won't take them out in he ice and snow for walks, but the roads are starting to clear up and we will be back out there!

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GEMINIGEM6 2/10/2013 1:43AM

    What a cutie! Nothing like furbabies to warm the heart! :)

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WIFEALF2 2/9/2013 11:16PM

    glad you have a good walking companionship to heep you company on your walks..they are awesome that way!!!have fun...

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MERRY_XMAS 2/9/2013 1:56PM

He's adorable! You take care of him and he take cares of you!


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LISAN0415 2/9/2013 12:25AM

    awww, makes me wish I had a dog!

My cats just motivate me to get back into bed...

They look so comfy, and warm and cute, I always just want to crawl back in!


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MAGGIEVAN 2/8/2013 11:11PM

    Cute dog and good on you for staying true to your word. I am sure the walk is just as wonderful for you as for him. Keep on keeping on!

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    he's adorable and they truly do LOVE to walk !! He'll keep you moving..... How could you disappoint that face ???

too cute of a blog !

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JESSICA_STULTZ 2/8/2013 6:01PM

    Having a dog would definitely be a good motivator. After all, they do need their exercise too! I used to love taking our dog for a walk when I was younger. Now all we have is a chinchilla.. and I don't think walking her would work very well. I hope Sparky pulls you right into Onederland before you even realize it happened. I'm sure you'll be able to walk farther once you've gotten used to walking as much as you are.

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GRACEMCC45 2/8/2013 5:02PM

    Awww he's a sweetie!! What a great companion!

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LRSILVER 2/8/2013 2:19PM

    I love the puppy motivation.. Go sparky!!

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    I love the look in his eyes! He seems like such a sweet boy! I'm glad Sparky is in on this, too, and he makes sure you take him for his walk. Not to mention, how could you say no to that face?

I hope your leg is fine and it was just a minor misstep. :)

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JULIANEASHLEY11 2/8/2013 2:05PM

    Dogs are the best encouragement and make AMAZING workout buddies emoticon

He'll keep you accountable!

Keep up the great progress emoticon

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NIKKICOLE83 2/8/2013 1:26PM

    Sparky is so handsome! Maybe I need a motivator? My fiance has been begging for a dog but I am so worried about the time commitment.

Maybe you should buy a knee brace. Just to stabilize it while you walk.

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BETHIEBOOPS 2/8/2013 10:22AM

    Aww!! He's simply adorable! And it's so sweet that you guys get to bond over your walk- remember to build slow- especially if your injury is flaring up. No one wants to be hurt twice :)

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ATTACKFATCAT 2/8/2013 10:09AM

    Awww, sounds like he's a pretty smart pup. And what a great motivator to get you out and walking even if you don't feel like it!

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CHICAT63 2/8/2013 9:40AM

    emoticon yep they keep us going ! No matter, once you get going you're ok !

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JUDY106 2/8/2013 9:32AM

    How sweet!!! I am so glad you have a friend to walk with.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PUNKY100 2/8/2013 8:33AM

    Awwwwwwwwww, see this is one reason why I wish I had a dog...they can push you like no human can. :-)

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ADARKARA 2/8/2013 8:01AM

    I think dogs are better at telling time than we are! He's so cute!

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NANNABLACK 2/8/2013 7:27AM

    Sweet dog!

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BOGUSANNIE 2/8/2013 6:53AM

    My dogs will go to the drawer that their leashes and collars are kept and scratch at them and whine.

And they do know routine... They are smart like that!

I thought you gave him the name Sparky.... Now that I know you didn't it makes me 1000% sure he belongs with you!

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Recommitting To My Weight Loss Journey...

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

So this may sound silly, because I have been consistent on Spark over 10 months, I have tracked everything religiously, I am participating in a BLC Challenge which I do take very seriously, but I am recommitting to give this 110% again. If you are on my BLC team, I don't want you to think I've been slacking the last couple of weeks emoticon but I know where there is room for improvement.

The biggest room for improvement for me is my food choices! I also need to eat more frequently with more snacks and more HEALTHY choices. I have always been honest about the fact that my food choices are not always the best. I can be a very lazy person, and I needed something EASY to take to work. So that meant lean pockets, easy mac, etc. As I said, I am under no illusion that the highly processed foods are healthy, and I never made that claim. But when I was 272 pounds and eating fast food all the time, ANY sort of food change that was less than 3,000 calories pretty much resulted in weight loss. It was quick and painless for me, and it made it easy for me to stick to because it took no real effort on my part.

But I think I am finally ready to take this to the next level and focus more on the nutrition aspect. When I eat healthier foods, I can eat more for the same amount of calories and feel full longer, which often prevents me from overeating. Am I saying I will never have another easy mac again in my life? Well no, not exactly, but I want to make the nutrition part of my lifestyle change my new hobby.

By that I mean I want to try healthy foods that I've never tried before. I want to start making meal plans. I want to start COOKING and trying different healthy recipes. I did that for a while and I loved it but then I got lazy again. I felt a sense of pride when I actually planned my meals and wasn't just grabbing what was quick and easy. I also thoroughly enjoyed some of the recipes and they were fun and enjoyable to eat.

So, I am done being lazy. I am done hovering in the same weight range. I know that all calories are not created equal but now I need to start applying that to my life. Out of pure boredom I will be reading The Revolutionary Shred Diet by Dr. Ian Smith, and I may take some tips from his 4-day diet book that I already have. Please don't think I am hopping on the fad diet bandwagon, that isn't my intention. I think after being over 10 months in it shows that I am committed to this as a lifestyle change and I am not looking for a "quick fix" or anything by following some of the meal plans that come with these diets. I am just using them as a guide for healthy eating, for also learning proper meal timing and getting reacquainted with what a healthy meal looks like. Because as I said, eating what I've been eating does not resemble anything of a healthy meal (most of the time).

I just really needed to type this out and put it out into the Spark-verse to just really solidify my recommitment to a healthy lifestyle and to take my journey to the next level. If I ever want to see Onederland and that ipod, I really need to step it up big time. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVESTOWALK49 2/12/2013 7:52AM

    I'm a cook. I did it with small children and a full time job. I rarely eat processed foods. Once you get in the habit of cooking, you'll find that you have the time and enjoy it. I can make homecooked meals in less than twenty minutes which is as long as it takes to make processed food. Enjoy the journey. Best of luck.

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LYNNWANNABE 2/12/2013 1:56AM

    One of the things I do when we shop is as soon as I get home, I put everything into one size servings. If I've got pretzel sticks or Baked chips, I weigh out 1 oz and put them into baggies, I bake a tray of chicken breast and cut them up into 3 oz servings and freeze them in the little baggies [BUT, putting all of them in a BIG ziplock freezer bag], I buy those plastic glad containers and I make 10 servings of Chinese stir fry [freeze them] and if I want different flavors I leave the seasoning off until I microwave them and I've got 5 or 6 bottles of flavoring. I've even made rice and waited for it to cool and put 1 cup servings in those baggies and froze it.. works great! You can learn to make your own Fast Foods and processed without all the bad ingredients.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You should check out SP Chief Meg's recipes, they have a gal right on this site who helps with fast and easy recipes. Cook and freeze your own TV dinners!!! emoticon

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EATVEGAN 2/10/2013 2:14AM

    You are doing so great. Keep moving forward. You are such a success story in the making.

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BOGUSANNIE 2/7/2013 11:14PM

    Well done!!!

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JUDY106 2/6/2013 6:41PM

    Proud of you. It sounds like you are aware of what you need to do for a healthier you.

i know you can do it. Remember trail and error. It will all work out.

Best of luck.

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JESSICA_STULTZ 2/5/2013 11:45PM

    I wish I had the motivation to give up the processed foods. I have such a hard time with that. I do try to eat healthier but it's the convenience part that gets me. Being a mommy is time consuming.. and adding in exercise on top of everything kind of puts me at the max for time-wise. I do know one recipe that is really easy.. and good for you! Put Boneless chicken breasts in a crockpot, taco seasoning on top of them (we use a packet of seasoning but you could make your own if you wanted it to be healthier), and then dump a jar of salsa (or if you wanted to make your own of that as well) on top of them. Cook that for low for 6-8 hours. It kind of looks weird after the salsa is cooked onto it.. but SO yummy. You can add other ingredients like beans or rice.. or even shred the chicken for making burritos, etc. PS.. that Ipod is definitely motivation.. Just think about it. When you start eating healthier, your body will be able to process it alot better and will make it that much easier to lose weight! Onederland is just around the corner for you! Hop (or at least walk) to it! emoticon

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MERRY_XMAS 2/5/2013 3:22PM

    That's the spirit!
emoticon emoticon

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    Good luck with the cooking and preparing of meals..... its time that it takes and a few tries till you find your "favorites " !! LOL.... you are not being silly and I totally get and understand about the re-commit thing...... the longer it takes to reach a big goal the harder it is to have the SAME MOMENTUM so to speak !!


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    I hope this becomes easier than you were anticipating and that cooking becomes more simple for you. I personally love cooking; I just hate the clean up afterward. :)

You know there are tons of Spark recipes and I've found that a lot of them aren't too complicated. You can search them by category (chicken, breakfast, vegetarian, etc) and I really find that helps.

I look forward to hearing about your cooking adventures! :D

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ATTACKFATCAT 2/5/2013 11:23AM

    I don't have a lot of time during the week to cook if I actually get out and exercise like I'm supposed to, so I try to do all my cooking on Sundays. I'll make one large dinner that I can split into 4-5 portions, like a meatloaf or casserole. You can even make pasta in a batch and stick it in the fridge in portioned sizes to reheat later. Soups work well too. I'll make a pot of soup and split it out for lunches and add a wrap or a sandwich and a piece of fruit for each day. This past Sunday, I did a turkey meatloaf for dinners, vegetable soup for lunches, and crustless spinach quiches for breakfasts. Just being able to grab and go makes it so much easier to stick to a plan and eat healthier food.

Start out with 1-2 meals a week you want to try to ease into it. Like maybe try a dinner and a lunch that you can split into leftovers for a few days. The crockpot works well, but for some recipes, you can only cook it for 6-8 hours a a time, which may not be an option with your kind of shift work. That doesn't work for me either, so I would need to still either do those on my days off or find a recipe that call for 10 hours or longer.

I'm excited for you. You've done great with the changes you've already made, but you want to push yourself further, and that's AWESOME!

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HILLRUNNER 2/5/2013 11:07AM

    Good on ya!! Here's to amazing results!

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TIMELAG 2/5/2013 8:19AM

    Congrats on making such an important decision! It makes all the difference in the world to have your calories coming from quality foods. It will take a couple weeks to get used to the time commitment, but it is so worth it. I look forward to seeing your results, and more than that, how much better you feel!

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GRACEMCC45 2/5/2013 7:11AM

    Woo! Looks like we are on the same "learn to cook" adventure!!

I've done some looking on Pinterest, etc., and the thing that is working best for me is slow cooker recipes, and batch cooking!

You can do it!

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LRSILVER 2/5/2013 7:08AM

    You will do great. You need some easy do ahead recipes. What I do, is I cook once or twice for the week and then reheat. it makes meal planning simpler. I would also invest in a slow cooker if you don't have one. You can prepare the food in advance and then put it in the crock pot in the morning. When you get home, it is ready.

Good luck. I know you will do great. You have a lot of insight into what is going on with you. Don't sell yourself short.
Woo Hoo

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AELI2468 2/5/2013 6:54AM

    Yay!! I am with you on the recomitting! I have really gotten back into some less healthy habits over the last few months, and want to step it up a notch as well. For me, meal planning is crucial!


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GOPINTOS 2/5/2013 6:46AM

    Sounds like a good plan. Good whole foods is where it's at. Save the not-so-good for you foods for special occasions. emoticon

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BETHIEBOOPS 2/5/2013 6:34AM

    You are just so great. Way to go on recognising what needs to happen and making a plan to do so! I really need to get back into the whole meal planning idea, it DOES make you feel more accomplished and of course you choose healthier items!

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Boys, Puppies, Life...

Saturday, February 02, 2013

I have basically just been posting through status updates, and then sometimes I post things, and things don't go according to plan and I feel like a DOFUS. I swear, sometimes I feel like I jinx stuff. So for my spark friends that actually "know me", this blog is for you... and if you don't know me feel free to join in, but you probably won't give a tiny rats butt about anything in this blog. emoticon

emoticon: So a few months back I thought Sheldon had a stroke. We believe he has Vestibular disease which hits older dogs. He was doing great, he was doing great with Sparky, in fact he was the spunkiest I had seen him in weeks. I wake up at 1030 am Thursday (that is like the "middle of the night" for me and my whacky schedule), to Sparky barking. My poor Sheldon was standing there with his nose to the ground, wouldn't react to me, it was like I didn't exist. We did take him to the emergency vet, there is a possibility he has a brain tumor, which they prescribe steroids for but at his age it is not worth putting him through an MRI and other tests. Plus the fact that I can't afford some wazoo medical care. He is anywhere from 10-13, so the goal at this point is to just keep him as happy and comfortable for as long as possible. When I took him in December of 2011, the shelter was going to put him down because he was a nasty little dog and no one could touch him. Of course now he hearts me, but he will still tell you when he's "not having it" and will snap at you. My family has always prided ourselves in taking the "problem children". I would never take a dog that everybody wants to adopt, I'd much rather save the one that is overlooked.

Anyways, he looked horrible, but today he is feeling a lot better and was gently playing with Sparky again today. As for Sparky, he sleeps in my bed and sits with me on the couch, he does have some minor behavioral issues which just reaffirms he belongs at my house. The only thing that could be an issue is if he decides to bark when I am at work. Worst case scenario he will need a bark collar while I'm working, I am dreading that and I hope we don't have to go that route, but if the alternative was being put to sleep at the shelter, I can still find comfort in knowing this is a much better route for Sparky.

emoticon Sparky and I also went for our first walk today and it went great, and now he is pooped. I am going to make it a goal to walk him on all my days off. Around my block is exactly 1 mile and tomorrow we will go for 2. Walking with a high energy dog really allows me to pick up the pace and he almost pushes me to walk faster which is pretty cool.

emoticon One thing I will say is having this new dog has kept me on my toes and kept me more focused on him and how he is getting along with Sheldon that I am not fighting the urge to mindlessly eat or eat out of boredom, so that's another perk.

emoticon: The boy. So this emoticon isn't ideal because these people are clearly emoticon 's and emoticon's in their relationship and that isn't the case. So for the handful of my ladies that really want to know what is up with the boy I thought I'd update. I still am weary of getting super personal on here... but I feel like a dummy because I posted that the boy and I had plans for Thursday. We have only hung out at his house, and this was kind of a big deal because we planned ahead, and he was coming to my house for the first time.

Here is the issue, and if you are going to lecture me or question my choices or morals, save us both the trouble and keep it to yourself... emoticon

I am about to be 27 and have not been "around the block" many times, and well, you are just going to have to take my word of it.

The short version of the boy story is we went on a date once, a little over 4 years ago. We never really hung out again, but we continued to talk. We talked through text/instant messenger mostly... but we have been friends ever since. He wanted to see me a few times through the years but I avoided it like the plague because I had gained a significant amount of weight from the last time he saw me.

As an example, I was about 205ish when we went on our date, and at any given time was between 240-272 and had no desire to allow him to see me that way. He was once very overweight, lost 80 pounds, and then has gained back a few. He still deals with self image and feeling fat even though he is definitely not fat. So he has never been anything but nice about my weight, but it was a personal issue.

Anyways, we started "hanging out" in September. It was nothing serious and we have seen each other very sporadically since then. Our schedules are totally opposite, he works 4am to 4pm, I work 5pm to 5am, and we typically don't share many of the same days off. He also works A LOT of overtime. So obviously that didn't make for much time together.

(Apparently my fingers have taken over, and it's all just flooding out, LOL)... He does this thing, THAT I HATE where he will go days without texting me. IT MAKES ME CRAZY. I like to think I'm pretty sane by nature, but I have never had a guy do that. He feels like if he's working he doesn't have to talk to me and I hate that. I have told him repeatedly how much that hurts me, and he works on it for a little bit but then it's back to his old ways. When I first met him, I would tease him that he was "too nice" and "like a girl" because, well he really was. I believe his current job has kind of changed him, and some of the changes aren't good.

Since I gave the disclaimer above, I will say we basically were "hooking up" and not really "dating". I have never really skipped the dating part, so this was uncharted territory for me and let me just say it is not for me. I can't deal with that, and I've learned that for the future. I was very open and honest with him that I couldn't handle the situation... communicating with him in general is like pulling teeth, and talking about something REAL makes it even harder, but basically he agreed with me that he didn't want it to just be hooking up, but then made no effort to change it. And for the record, I don't even know how much I really like the guy, I wasn't trying to make him my boyfriend, I just wanted to spend some time together, go on a proper date and see if we even TRULY enjoyed each others company. Again, would agree he didn't want it to be hooking up and in the SAME sentence say he didn't know what he wanted. So that is what I've been dealing with since December.

The last time I saw him was the end of December, he was supposed to come over Thursday. The thing is, he did not have my address so we obviously needed to talk before hand even if he said on Monday he was going to come over. I text him Tuesday to see if he is still coming over. My #1 reason for wanting to know was so I could make sure everything was super clean. He didn't say anything. Then Wednesday I asked again and nothing. When he finally did respond I was just done. He said he wanted to come on Thursday but he wasn't sure if it was a good idea because he still wasn't sure what he wanted, but he just didn't want it to be about that (hooking up). What I can't understand is, you don't know what you want but you don't want it to be hooking up, but you have not once tried to have an actual date. I was really hoping we would have a great day on Thursday and that it would help and now that is totally crushed.

It didn't end well, that was the only text I got from him, but being an emotional girl I kind of just told him that I felt like he knows what he wants, but he just doesn't want it with me and that I was done. He always weasels his way back in and he always does the "come over now" stuff and I hate that but I have given into it. I am just kinda hurt by the whole situation. He doesn't owe me anything as we aren't even dating, so it just makes me feel like the worlds biggest idiot. I have never been shy about saying I have severe self esteem issues, and I feel like any girl with a good sense of self worth wouldn't have let it gone on this long without putting her foot down.

Mind you, my comment to him about knowing what he wants comes from the fact that for the last 4 years he has whined to me that he doesn't like being alone and wants a girlfriend. Now you have someone (me) that wants to spend time with you and you "don't know what you want". He is 29 and has never had a girlfriend, and I'm not mocking that at all, but I can't understand why he has told me for years he wished he had a girlfriend and then has acted this way with me. I think that is why it's a bigger slap in the face to me, I feel like he wants a girlfriend, but just not me. And even right now when he has no other options, I feel like I'm still not good enough. Like he'd rather chose being alone over being with me. Time will tell, but I don' t know if I will be hearing from him again. The hardest part is that I'm losing a friend. *SIGHS*

Wow, so this turned into a huge venting blog instead of a simple update. I will probably regret putting "so much" out there, but it is what it is. So this is what I've been struggling with, a lot of emotional stuff over here and it's just been really hard. I am feeling better today but the whole thing still plagues me. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATTACKFATCAT 2/4/2013 2:22PM

    I hope that Sheldon feels better soon. It's tough having a pet who's going through a health crisis, but you are awesome for taking care of the ones that most people wouldn't give a second glance to.

As for the boy...I've been in that situation of "I don't know what I want." The thing is, if he's never had a real girlfriend, he probably DOESN'T know what he wants. He probably doesn't understand what a real relationship entails, the work that goes into it, and the need for communication. He likely wants a girlfriend or the "idea" of one but he's either not ready to put the effort into it or he doesn't want to. Please don't like at it as "he doesn't want you." Know that it's because HE has issues, not you. I guarantee that he would have the same problem with any other girl, and if he hasn't had any real relationship experience, there is probably a deep-seated reason for that.

I dated a guy for about 4 months like that. He had never had a relationship. It took a month of us talking online before we actually went out on dates. And then we had to date for about 2 months before he brought up the "relationship" talk. After 2 weeks of our relationship, he freaked out and wanted to break up. He said it was because he couldn't see us getting married. WTF? Why was he thinking of marriage two weeks in? Ludicrous. It was a scapegoat excuse. He just got scared. I have self-esteem issues, but I knew none of that had to do with me. He had major trust issues with almost everyone in his life (including family) and I don't think he realized what being in a relationship meant. He wanted a girlfriend so badly, but he didn't want to put the effort into it. I told him "Good, we need to break up. You are not ready for a relationship. I wish you the best and hope one day you can get over your own trust issues." (He would hardly text me too...rwar!)

It sounds like maybe your boy has some similar commitment issues. I know it's hard, and it's going to hurt, but draw that boundary and don't let him hurt you anymore. Tell him that you are done with this and unless he is willing to go out on a proper date with you and try to determine if there is relationship potential, he needs to stop contacting you. Then walk away. If he doesn't call, try not to take it personally. It really isn't you. It's him. And as long as you let him continue to violate your boundaries and hurt you, he will continue to do so because he knows he can get away with it. You can't control his actions, but you can control how you react to them. He's not choosing to be alone over you, he's choosing to be alone because he can't handle being in a commitment with ANYONE. I guarantee even if he goes out tomorrow and gets a girlfriend, she is going to be dealing with a whole lot of issues and you'll be like "wow, I dodged that bullet!" Trust me, I've dodged quite a few.

If hooking up is not for you, it's not for you. Don't let him continue to think he's waffling over the idea. You are not an idiot for feeling hurt. You have communicated to him that you are hurt and that certain things bother you, which is exactly what you should do. And he should respect those feelings. I know it stinks to lose a friend, but if he's treating you that way, is that a true friend?

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BOGUSANNIE 2/3/2013 1:39PM

    Take care of Sheldon! He has a great mommy!!! emoticon and scratches to the pooches!!!!

As far as the boy goes, been there done that, most painful experience in my life but the end result...I am not with him and so much better for it...but only you can decide how long and how far you want to take it...hopefully you KNOW you are worth FAR MORE than a booty call.

emoticon emoticon let me know if you need to chat privately...I am hear for ya!

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ZELDABEE 2/3/2013 10:52AM

    Chloe and I are sending puppy emoticon to sheldon, I am gald to hear he is feeling a little better - it's aways so hard when our fur babies don't feel well. Btw, sparky is soo cute!

As for the boy, I think you did exactly the right thing. I know it's difficult to lose a friend, but you did everything you could do and in the end you have to look out for yourself. You can't just wait around for him to make up his mind. I am so very proud of you *hugs*

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    emoticon for Sheldon!
And emoticon for you.

I agree with Emmaekay. Ask yourself the question then follow your heart. You are the only one who knows what is best for you. Even when it means taking the tough road.

You are a rockstar, and deserve nothing less, girl. Don't settle. And make sure anyone who gets your time understands that you aren't are won't!

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EMMAEKAY 2/2/2013 2:21PM

    We love "bad" dogs in this house, too! hahaha It always feels good to watch them come around once they learn that not everything is awful.

As far as the boy goes, he really does sound like a "boy." My general rule of thumb is that if someone makes me feel bad, I pitch them. And I don't mean "they hurt my feelings once." I mean that, deep-down "I know this is poisonous," bad. Sometimes it can be painful to cut the bad pieces out of our life, but we have to do it... before the poison spreads!

I just ask myself, "In general, does [this person] add happiness to my life, or stress and sadness?" and then make the decision from there. Your instincts have already told you it's time to tell that boy buh-bye - you can do it. :D

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MERRY_XMAS 2/2/2013 1:10PM

    I was in a relationship for 4 years. After we broke up, I was single for about 1,5 year. In spring I met a guy and I was interested. We kept it friendly and in summer we decided to go on a date. After 2 dates I realized that he didn't share a thing about his life and he didn't really care to hear about mine. The only thing he wanted was to get to his house and "afterwards" I had to go. I ended it after about a week. No feelings, no friendship, nothing.

Before going out on a real date he kept telling me (via email and telephone) how much he wanted to cook together, spend time, go for walks etc. He wanted me in his bed and not in his heart, although I have explained that I'm a "relationship" girl.

Well, we deserve THE BEST. And we will find it!
Our independence is far too valuable to sell it in a low price. Alone doesn't mean necessarily lonely; it means waiting for the right guy.


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GRACEMCC45 2/2/2013 12:33PM

    Ugh. Oh Stephanie - boys are dumb. I could go on a rant of blah-dee-blah, but when it comes down to it - this is the key:

If you aren't getting what you want, need, and deserve - it's not the relationship for you. Love doesn't need to be hard, especially at the beginning.

As for Sparky - did you name him based on SP? That'd be cool!! And hope Sheldon is back on track soon, what a sweet Momma you are taking in all the "hard to love" puppies out there! You are amazing!

Have a super weekend!

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RACH_LVSLIFE 2/2/2013 12:15PM


Keeping Sheldon in my thoughts.

I have a lot to say regarding the boy but I'll simply say that you'll make the right decision. You are an intelligent, strong woman.

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NANNABLACK 2/2/2013 8:52AM


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AMCLELLAN 2/2/2013 7:54AM


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ADARKARA 2/2/2013 7:50AM

    I have so been in that guy situation before. My advice is going to be harsh but to the point: GET RID OF HIM. He doesn't sound like he's interested in being your boyfriend and he most certainly is being a friend. If he were a friend he wouldn't manipulate you like that. He's not a high schooler, he's old enough to know what he wants. Don't waste time with guys that are just going to screw with you. emoticon

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BETHIEBOOPS 2/2/2013 6:54AM

    I'm sorry for your puppy! It's heartbreaking when your loved ones are in pain- especially when it's a furbaby you've committed to caring for. I hope he feels better soon.

I'm sorry about the boy situation. I wish I had good advice about this... but I don't. I was a virgin when I got married, so I'm useless on sex advice... I'm really sorry for the sadness you've encountered. You deserve a meaningful relationship with or without sex- and if he's too pansy to step up, then pshaw there's other men who aren't.


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CORTNEY-LEE 2/2/2013 2:46AM

    I think it is awesome you adopt the hard luck cases. You are an Angel to animals!

yeah... about boys... ugh

I was in your shoes a few years back sort of...

I wish I had some better advice to give - I just spent a lot of time with Jack Daniels

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PIPPAMOUSE 2/2/2013 2:29AM

    As an animal lover and fellow "adopt the unwanted" types, I applaud you for that. I have adopted the 12 year old diabetic cat, the 10 year old retired brood mom greyhound and a few stray cats. It isn't always easy, but I feel its worth it. I think most of them know what you did for them, how you truly saved their lives.

And regarding the boy: yeah, been there, done that. Of all of the changes for the better I did in my life it was getting rid of boys that had that attitude and or treated me like that. It took some time, and it took a lot of self control, but it was worth it in the end. When I approached turned 27 I was an emotional wreck. I was single, I feared I would be alone for ever and would never find anyone that loved me for me, but I realized that trying rationalize having "someone" that was kind of around but made me feel icky wasn't the answer. It took me about 3 months to wrap my brain around the choices I had to make, and how to be happy and proud of those choices (such as not returning phone calls - texting wasn't so big a few years ago...) Ultimately, it was a few months later when I met my now husband. I am so glad I washed my hands of the guys that really weren't worth my time, because he so very much was. The difference was noticeable almost immediately. I was no longer doing or being or acting to try to keep him happy so he would stay, I was doing and being and acting to keep me happy, which in turn made him happy and want to stay.

What I am saying is do what you know and feel to be right for you. You know you deserve better than being there for a hook up. The one who sees that is out there for you.

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WEBEZE 2/2/2013 2:07AM

    Before I met my hubby I had the same type of relationship with a guy. He broke it off saying I deserved better and then when I started dating my now hubby he began to follow us everywhere we went for the first couple of months. I was broken hearted at first when he didn't want to see me anymore, but his loss in the end. My hubby and I have been together over 26 years and married for 22 years. Even thought it does not seem like it right now when it is the right person there won't be this unwanted game playing. They will accept you for who you are and you of them.

Hope Sheldon is doing OK. How awesome of you to adopt the difficult pets and giving them a chance at a loving home.


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JESSICA_STULTZ 2/2/2013 2:06AM

    Hopefully your doggie gets back to a somewhat normal state. Poor pup. I still love the fact that you go for the dogs that usually wouldn't be adopted. It shows that you are definitely a dog person. Some people shoot for the puppy and then give up because it's just not what they expected. But you truly are a dog person.. and I bet your puppies love you for that. As for the boy.. sometimes we all put up with more than we should because we really want something good to come from a situation. It really is up to you how long you will tolerate and how much you will tolerate. I can definitely understand where you are coming from. I've put up with alot from my husband that other women would say they could never put up with.. but I guess I just felt like it was worth the shot. If the boy doesn't know what he wants he should at least attempt to have a true date with you. Then that could help him decide if he wants to pursue you or just remain friends. He doesn't know what an amazing person he is missing out on! You are one strong woman.. You know that?

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PUNKY100 2/2/2013 1:48AM

    Girl, I swear to GOD we could be the same person.

I won't go into details here, if you want to know the whole story just mail me, I'll talk about it in mails, no problem, but I had this whole relationship/not relationship thing happen a couple of years ago. He still just texted me this morning emoticon

All I have to say is that you did the best thing you could have for yourself. Just don't even bother with this foolish boy anymore. It's not you, it's him. If he doesn't want to date your awesomeness, there is another guy who will, and he will regret the fact that he couldn't figure out what he wanted when he could have had you. The funny part is that he will keep trying to text you and get you to come over. Just have the strength to say no! :-)

If you need me, you know I'm always here! emoticon

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New Fur-Baby & Final January Check In...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

So as my 7 million status updates have said, I got to bring home my new fur-baby Sparky today. The shelter kind of picked on him for his initial behavior upon getting dumped at the shelter, and he has some issues regarding fences (as in barking and growling to "protect you" from the person outside the fence). I have no fence, so problem solved. emoticon I work 12 hour shifts and would never wish that on a young, active dog, but when the alternative is that the shelter may very well put him to sleep, it makes it so my house isn't "as bad". On the flip side I am off 3-4 days a week and he will get plenty of love and attention. And him and Sheldon's "Mee-maw" live 5 minutes away and I know she'd be happy to sit with her grandkids on some of the nights I work. I don't want to jinx it, but so far so good with him and Sheldon. He is just learning that Sheldon is older and more fragile and can't play like he may want him to. But they have been fine. :)

If you are an animal lover like me, please keep your paws crossed that things continue to be emoticon 's and emoticon's between the pooches! emoticon

My final January check in... I've decided not to do this for February because, it's a little tedious, and I really doubt that anyone cares if I drank my 8 glasses of water or not... and trust me, I don't take that personally. emoticon It helped me to be accountable and it helped me to see the areas that needed work. I wanted to prove to myself I could stay accountable for 4 weeks and do this, and I have. emoticon I will still continue to kind of recap with myself to see the areas that need work, without going through the formalities of a blog. If I find myself slipping in any way though I may come back to it.

Oh and the other good news is, it looks like I'm going to have a 2 pound loss to contribute to my BLC team this week. emoticon That still puts me back to my dreaded 212.4 (have YET to make it under 212) but I'm really hoping once I get under it, my weight loss starts becoming more consistent again.

emoticon And the recap for January 23rd - January 29th emoticon

emoticon Track water and get a minimum of 8 glasses. 6/7 days.

emoticon Strength Training: 3/5 days... What I have learned from this is that my best chance at actually completing the lower body strength training is to include them on the upper body days. Maybe just to do them on 2 of the upper body days would work. That way it's a total of 3 days but just getting them all done at once.

emoticon Cardio: 7/7 days Been going great with that, a lot of it is contributed to the BLC because I want my fitness minutes points for my team. :) emoticon

emoticon 1000 Monthly Fitness Minutes: 1358/1000 emoticon emoticon emoticon And the month is not even over. My first 1000 FM trophy since October. I plan to keep the momentum going. emoticon

emoticon Track Food: 7/7 days emoticon

emoticon Stay In Range: 5/7 days This is definitely a huge improvement from last week, but still plenty of room for improvement. I'm getting there, slowly but surely, the redeeming quality is the 2 days "over range" were 1988 calories and 2115, whereas last week they were about 2300 and before that the "over days" were 3000+. So I've definitely improved tremendously.

emoticon Blog about goals once per week: This is it, so emoticon

Overall: 85%

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTLIKEALICE 2/2/2013 12:04AM

    wooohooo you are awesome girl!

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HEATHERFREE 1/30/2013 10:59PM

    yes! your doing awesome! great job on the fitness minutes!

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TIMELAG 1/30/2013 9:15PM

    Congrats on the new baby! He is adorable. I hope Sheldon enjoys him, too. And congrats on the loss!

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CHICAT63 1/30/2013 5:34PM

    emoticon you can do it, remember always look forward and not back ! I am sure the dogs will get along it is always a new experience for both. emoticon

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MERRY_XMAS 1/30/2013 1:55PM

    I hope your dogs will get along even better than now! You did a great thing, taking Sparky!

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JACOBSBELOVED 1/30/2013 1:25PM

    First off, I love all the "Big Bang" references!

Your new baby already looks so at home! I hope everything continues to go smoothly.

So exciting to see you lost 2 lbs! It's back at that dreaded 212 but if you can keep pushing from here, you will not be disappointed. I can't wait for you to move past this number because I know it will make you feel so good! Pink ipod and Onederland are right around the corner!

You are doing so awesome on your eating and your exercising! Your team must be so happy you are on their side. :)

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JESSICA_STULTZ 1/30/2013 1:15PM

    Glad to hear your pups are getting along! And definitely glad you rescued Sparky. I can't go to the Humane Society without wanting to take them all home. Wish I could! As for your weight loss.. I have no doubt that by next weeks weigh in you will be under 212!

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ATTACKFATCAT 1/30/2013 12:07PM

    What a sweet puppy! I really hope they continue to get along well. It sounds like you have a great plan in place for the days you work, so I'm sure he'll be fine. And great progress in January with your goals!

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BETHIEBOOPS 1/30/2013 11:32AM

    Oh yay! your dogs are adorable! Way to go on goal meeting- there is nothing wrong with coming back to written checks if you feel the need to later :)

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ADARKARA 1/30/2013 8:02AM

    So sweet! I do hope for puppies and rainbows between the two!

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BLUENOSE63 1/30/2013 7:32AM

  As someone who has an 8 year old small rescue dog and 2 year old big dog, I found the little dog let the big know who was boss pretty much from day !.....lots of posturing for position but little dog won! You can see them on my Spark Page.....there is a 60lb difference.


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COOKIE_AT_51 1/30/2013 7:28AM

    emoticon Love the picture of him in his bed ... thank you for adopting a shelter pet! emoticon

And a big emoticon on posting and achieving your goals!

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BOGUSANNIE 1/30/2013 7:19AM

    Alright then.... This is a blog for the woohoo jar! Well done and welcome home Sparky!!!!!!

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GRACEMCC45 1/30/2013 7:05AM

    OMG I love that your dog's name is Sheldon and he has a Mee-Maw. I have big big love for Big Bang Theory!!!

Awesome January - especially those minutes, you rock!

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LISAN0415 1/30/2013 6:39AM

    Great work and welcome Baby Sparky!

He's lucky to have a great home!


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LRSILVER 1/30/2013 5:02AM

    Great job. Consistency is the key. Enjoy your new puppy.

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KAESEA78 1/30/2013 4:39AM

    I love that you named your new baby Sparky ; ) he looks like he is just making himself at home. 2 Pounds is awesome and I know you will break that 212 soon. I hope you enjoy your days off and hope you keep us updated *wink, wink* after Thursday-I'm nosey and a true romantic, sorry lol. Keep up your overall awesomenss!! Love ya

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NYXWOLFWALKER 1/30/2013 4:38AM

    ::grins:: hope your new pup adjusts to his new home without any issues

one thing with the new pup he'll make sure you get out there and get those walks in!

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GHOSTFLAMES 1/30/2013 4:33AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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