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SUNNYBEACHGIRL's Recent Blog Entries

Still on the way down

Saturday, August 03, 2013

I am a couple of days away from my two weeks Spark Diet Focus. I may or may not reach this 4 pound goal but I will be close. But I plan to check my weight at the end of the two weeks and reset my goal. Maybe a little less ambitious. During this focused two weeks I have figured out some problems that were keeping my weight plateaued. A good summary of the issues is an article written by Nicole Nichols " 8 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight "

When I read the article it really struck home. So I wrote down what I was doing BEFORE and then put down what I am doing NOW. Focusing this way has taken a lot of time to plan and reflect. It has been a lot of work to schedule exercise time every day for at least an hour and up to 90 minutes, planning and cooking meals, keeping good snacks around and in reminding myself of my goals almost hourly.

"You're eating back all the calories you burn."
BEFORE: Didn’t burn enough calories when working out to counter amount eaten.

NOW: I have been very conscientious about tracking food and watching how many fat grams I eat. It really has helped weight to come off.

"You're relying on exercise alone to do the trick."
BEFORE: Didn’t rely on exercise enough

NOW: Definitely not!! I am doing exercise every day but it is not excessively aerobic. I am walking longer and faster but I can see that it is still not really enough. Better though.

"You're not eating as healthfully as you think."
BEFORE: Too true. Tricked myself into thinking a small piece wouldn’t hurt. Ate too much at parties and social events.

NOW: I have not been cheating. I think before I put food in my mouth and I have been saying no to high calorie treats. Head for the refrigerator and eat some fruit.

"You're doing the wrong kinds of exercise."
BEFORE: Not doing exercise at all. A few slow strolls in the morning with the dog.

NOW: Probably not doing enough of the right kind of exercise. I have been doing more strength training but I need to increase the number of minutes. As for walking, I need to increase the amount of distance and time I walk. But it is much better.

"You're not being consistent enough."
BEFORE: Didn’t track consistently and snacked more than I admitted Didn't exercise every day.

NOW: Have been very consistent. Set up specific goals, review them each day and then track how well I did each night.

"You're not measuring the right things."

BEFORE: Not measuring at all estimating amounts of food, estimating amount of exercise

NOW: Following the program, measure everything and watch how many calories I burn each day

"You don't need to lose weight."
Wishful thinking and not my issue

"You have an underlying issue."
No thank goodness I a very lucky to be very healthy just some pounds overweight. This is big if you have a medical problem.

Here are a few other common reasons you may not be losing weight despite doing everything right:
• You're skimping on sleep.
Actually getting enough sleep.

• You don't fit the standard formulas for calorie estimation.
Wishful thinking but does not apply

• Your "cheat days" are cheating you.
BEFORE: Every day could be a cheat day
NOW: Have been staying very close to program and not doing any cheating.

• You're battling chronic stress.
No actually this is a good time, just general stress issues.

• You're eating too many or too little carbs, protein or fat.
BEFORE: Not watching exactly what I was eating, probably too much fat
NOW: following the program very closely and looking at the daily totals, reviewing the report

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROL_31649731 8/4/2013 11:48PM

    Very informative and reflective. As you found out yourself, it looks like, I got a look at where I need to make adjustments to keep the weight loss continuing. Thank you!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Many of those problems apply to me. Good job on the weight loss.

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144AUTUMN 8/3/2013 12:37AM

  You can do it!!

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ZRIE014 8/3/2013 12:32AM

  keep it up. i just completed my 108 consecutive days of running - 94 consecutive days of 40+ min and now run 8 min mile

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2 pounds gone, 2 to go

Monday, July 29, 2013

A week ago I made a commitment to lose 4 pounds in 2 weeks. Well I went from 160.5 to 158.5. YEAH!!!! So I will continue on my program.
My major steps are
1. To follow the Spark Meal Plans very closely
2. Eat at the low end of my allowed amount of FATS each day
3. To stay within 1400 calories which is at the low end of my range
4. To do Spark Coach every day
5. To do a Fitness streak for 10 or more min each day
6. To earn at least 100 Spark Points each day
7. To do at least 500 calories work of exercises each day
8. To reflect on where I am in my life right now.

I have been watching my fats and I believe that I had been eating too many which kept my calories high. I just love feta cheese. I have not done 500 calories worth of exercise each day but I am getting in 300 calories most days. I can walk a faster 4 mile walk without breathing too hard. One more week and 2 more pounds. My plan is to try to keep my weight at 156.5/157 stable for about 2 weeks and then lose the last 2 pounds to goal weight of 155. Then the MAINTENANCE!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RACEWELLWON 8/3/2013 10:19AM

    Great blog - Measuring is the key for me and sometimes not very easy do , sometimes I eyeball portions and that's why I plateau . It does take a long time to prepare meals and schedule workouts so why not take the time to measure !! emoticon

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    You are doing amazing!! Getting so close to goal! Good luck!

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MDWSTRNR 7/29/2013 12:42PM


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NATALIABUYS 7/29/2013 12:15PM

    Great planning!!


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RODGRODMEDFLOD 7/29/2013 11:31AM

    That is fantastic! Good plan too.


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Realities of not keeping the weight off or Why am I weight cycling

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I am an over 50 (actually over 60) woman who has been weight cycling up and down for 15 years. Before that my weight was steady and I could actually eat one hamburger without gaining 5 pounds. This time I really wanted to commit to losing the 30 pounds (for the fourth time) for the last time. So I realistically looked at what has been causing me to gain weight and I have come up with a Constant Diet approach to eating. But it is mainly a listing of the foods I can’t ever eat again. That information gives me guidelines in making choices but it doesn’t help me to actually make those choices. So I went looking at some recent articles on the WHY of the weight cycling and WHY I can’t eat a hamburger or two whenever I want.

Let me state that I do not have any medical problems or need to take any medications and these two factors have a serious impact on weight gain. Also, I am able to exercise and physical problems also impact weight gain. My 30 pound loss has been over a 2 year period and I am within 5 pounds of meeting my goal yet again.

FIRST: "If you decrease your body mass by 10 percent, you would expect your metabolic rate to decrease by 10 percent, but it actually slows down more than that, by about 11 to 15 percent."

This was very depressing to read. It means that as I lose weight I need to eat less and the act of losing weight means that I have to eat even less. A half of a cup of spaghetti is just not satisfying, but in order to keep the weight off I will really need to watch portions. Not only portions but how much I eat each day. For breakfast I like to have 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter on two pieces of bread when it should be half of a Tablespoon on one piece of bread. Cannot eat as much as I want for breakfast every day and keep my weight under control without reducing calories somewhere else during the day. Bummer!

SECOND: “A study at Brown University found that dieters who ate in response to emotions such as stress or loneliness—as opposed to external events, like overdoing it at happy hour—were more likely to regain weight.”

I know this and it really hit home the other night. I couldn’t sleep because of a minor family issue that had come up and I found myself eating crackers and cream cheese at 3 AM. I knew it was because I was upset and worried but I really had a hard time stopping. I have the luxury of being retired and took time the next day to do some stress reduction activities which helped me. When I was working there was very little time and issues came up on a daily basis, no wonder I gained weight. I am lucky and have a reasonably happy family but I can see how emotional stresses can add to the eating problem. Depression is also very detrimental to portion control. Sometimes it sneaks up and I find myself heading for the refrigerator not because I am hungry but because eating makes me feel good.

THIRD: MENOPAUSE IS A BIG ISSUE “Women reach menopause at a range of ages, but most are in midlife and are often less physically active than when they were younger. Along with aging comes a natural slowing of metabolism. At the same time, hormonal changes can trigger hunger, depression, and poor sleep.”
“When women go through menopause, they lose estrogen, causing their shapes to change -- usually a loss of hip and thigh weight. And they start to gain more in the middle. Estrogen favors fat deposition in the lower body, and when you lose this hormone, fat is more likely to be deposited in the midsection (much like men). "

This spare tire is a constant battle and even when my weight is where I want it to be my middle is just rounded. So no matter how much I lose my SHAPE has changed and being thin isn’t enough. This is something I have come to accept, not like but accept. If I eat too much and don’t exercise, the little round part pouches out even more and I can’t button my pants. There is no cure and it doesn’t ever go away. Although the hot flashes do stop and the extremely cranky episodes diminish. A bag of chips and a bowl of dip was a cure for cranky and my family would encourage me in their own self-defense.

FOURTH: “As we age, we gradually lose muscle mass, which in turn means our metabolic rate, and therefore the speed at which we burn calories, also slows down. “

Again this is just another way of saying your body doesn’t need as many calories. You can exercise all you want but in the end your muscle mass is receding and you need to watch your calorie intake. Back to eating just the half of a cup of spaghetti. Just not fair now that I have the time to cook I have had to give up butter.

FIFTH: “Whatever your particular goal may be, when you reach it, your brain thinks the job is done. Therefore, having finally shed the weight, you may feel drawn towards going back to your old eating habits – and put it all back on again. It pays to plan beyond the moment you hit that magic number on the scales.”

This was really made me realize that it is a Constant Diet from now on. You can use all the words you want in place of the work DIET but it still means that I cannot have a hamburger anytime I want or as often as I want. The problem times are when I go out to dinner or there is a celebration with special foods or a holiday like Thanksgiving. I did make it through two holiday seasons in a row a few years back without gaining any weight but it really took a lot of effort. I joined a gym in September and worked out 5 days a week through January. I ate before I went to any party, I had all of the holiday meals at my house, I had very little alcohol and the biggest commitment was not eating any desserts. This was just too much to keep up.

After all the reading it comes down to one major fact: I cannot eat as much as I want of whatever I want because my body doesn’t need the calories. So my planning in the next stage of this weight-loss-for-the-last-time journey is to adapt to the realities of staying at my chosen weight.

I do have to admit that at my current weight, I have less depressed moments, I have more energy, I feel reasonably ok in my bathing suit and I like shopping for clothes more. Also my food bills and restaurant charges have gone down. But I still drink some wine, eat avocados and dance whenever I can.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Great blog filled with truths that apply to me too.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 7/28/2013 11:48PM

    Well thought out blog. I got a lot of information from it. However, I think it is a point to be made for all ages. You simply cannot get away with eating too much. An extra hour at the gym is not the answer.

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RACEWELLWON 7/28/2013 11:04AM

    First congrats on reaching many goals !! emoticon You are almost there !! emoticon Second - I do understand the Menopause issues , huge factor in a woman's life -you made some very good points. The only reason's why I reached one of my goals quickly was due to the fact that I did have an injury which prevented me from moving for a year and half - when I was able to move then the weight came off . Now I face the same dilemma as you are facing but I found a book that really helped for the Core - its written by a Nurse Practitioner for an OB/GYN Marcela Peck The Book The Total Core Weight has been featured on Dr. Oz sold at Hull House online - really an easy read and she has questions in this book pertaining to everyone 's different female issues - It really has helped me in the Core !! Check it out - Hugs K emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/28/2013 11:07:00 AM

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KESTRYLL 7/28/2013 9:55AM

    Thanks for all the great info! Good luck in your journey.

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Questions to think about

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What are my real goals concerning weight loss this time. What is my motivation for working on weight loss and fitness? What do I hope to achieve after reaching my goals? I am thinking about these questions because I would like to re educate my choice making ability to choose healthy. Spending time thinking about these issues is important

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You're right. I needed to think about these questions too. I did so and it was easier than I thought it would be.

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TRYJESUS2DAY 7/23/2013 1:34AM


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Can I get the next 4 pound off?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

So it is the summer time and I find it easier to lose weight when the sun is shining and it is easy to get outside. I am about 6 pounds away from a goal weight for this year. So I am going to hunker down and work on exercise and eating correctly for the next 14 days to just get the numbers to move downward. It would be nice if I could get rid of the whole 6 but 4 would be fine. I have been reading the various articles and it is clear that I need to increase my exercise by about 300 calories a day and keep the calories going in to about 1400-1500. Now is a good time because there are no holidays, big family events or food focused parties.

Focus, focus, focus is my mantra for a short while.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You are doing fantastic!! It sounds like you are going to reach that goal very soon.

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FATHINSN 7/21/2013 8:58AM

    Good luck! I hope you will that 4lbs off and next the remaining 6lbs to get your goal!

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MSGO72 7/21/2013 12:06AM


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KIM22211 7/20/2013 11:23PM

    you are doing exactly right! I would say to become completely focused on this site for the next 2 weeks and it will help too. It has worked great for me thus far. I am just 3 weeks in but the more I am here the better choices I seem to make! Good luck

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