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SUNNYBEACHGIRL's Recent Blog Entries

Staying on a different course

Thursday, September 05, 2013

I just couldn't believe it when the scale number hit my designated goal weight. It was really anticlimactic, the number on the scale just came up and no fireworks or balloons appeared. But I am now struggling with how to keep the number on the scale within a 2 pound range. I am still tracking, and I get myself going out for the long walks but I wasn't sure where I was going Then I read GETFIT2LIVE

The description of her commitment to keeping the weight off made me realize that there are still goals to be set and reached in the Maintenance stage. In some ways it was easier to be in the losing weight stage because it seemed like there was an end. But Maintenance does not have an end, something I never fully grasped the last 3 times I got to this point. So now I need SP more than ever to help keep me heading towards goals I never really set before. I do like being in my clothes size, my stamina is much better, I am stronger and I sleep better. So the actions it took to get here were definitely worth it. Now it is a different course, different goals to set and there is more to learn about myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLIEBEAN 9/18/2013 5:22PM

    I can totally relate to everything you said. When I saw my goal weight I wanted to shout "HEY EVERYBODY COME HERE, LOOK AT THIS" but it was 5am and I was home alone. My kids are grown and moved out, DH and I had only been married six years, he didn't understand my weight struggles in the past and doesn't care how much I weigh. So yes, anticlimactic!

I have lost weight quite a few times over the years but never kept it off long. I posted on spark that I hit my goal weight and maybe this time I'd keep on reading blogs on to remind me to keep off the weight.

Someone suggested the At Goal and Maintaining Team and it has been such a HUGE HELP. Depending on the day, I am 2 - 3 pounds below my goal weight and I'm stronger than I've ever been so YAHOO!

Welcome to the club! Glad to have ya!


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CLAIREINPARIS 9/11/2013 8:45AM

    Wow, congratulations, this is a wonderful stage, and many of us dream about the day when we will reach it! But I like your attitude (and GETFIT2LIVE): indeed, there are still other goals to reach!

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    I have close friends who are in maintenance and hope to join them some day.

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Oh those cravings

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I have gotten to a weight that I plan to stay at for a little while and have increased my exercise minutes. These cravings come over me like wanting a big fat cinnamon roll. Or the need to go out and find some lasagna to have as a snack. I have increased the amount of carbs I am eating because that seems to be what I am craving. So now I have planned more potatoes, pasta, rice and bread into my day. That seems to help, along with a little more protein. Trying to redirect those cravings to healthy foods.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOPEWELLNESS 10/8/2013 7:55PM

    I'm a firm believer that the on;y way to get rid of the carb/sugar cravings is to stay away from those foods as much as possible. It's like being a heroine addict and saying, well, maybe just a couple times a year! Unfortunately, that one time will trigger those addictive centers in the brain and you will be craving it more.

I am having some success with telling myself and others, "I just don't eat that stuff". Once those words come out of my mouth, there is no turning back! A clean, healthy diet feels good when you don't let the other stuff in... That's what I tell myself!!

Good luck!

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    I'm the opposite. High glycemic index carbs actually cause me to have worse cravings. If I'm hungry I eat some protein and it usually stops the cravings for me.

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KPETSCHE 8/17/2013 11:50PM

    It sounds like a good plan. Mashed potatoes and lasagna are ALWAYS a yummy comfort food. I know that I need to eat more protein but I have a hard time doing so. I may have to look at adding protein powder to some of my cooking/baking. I use it in smoothies but I don't always want the extra calories with all the frozen fruit that I put in to make it taste better.

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And the journey continues

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five years ago was the last time I saw any number below 160 on the scale. It has been reading 156.5 – 157 during the past week. 157 has been my goal weight and here it is. I should be ecstatic, bursting with pride, or at least doing a happy dance. Instead I went out to lunch and ate a fattening entrée, the whole thing, disregarding the high calorie count. Then a coffee get together at my house with a few of my friends in the neighborhood was an excuse to buy a large package of mini-scones, and proceed to eat quite a few of them. At least I recognized that I would eat all of the left overs and threw them in the trash.

I can see that maintaining a particular weight is all about VIGILANCE EVERY DAY. I have been reading some of the articles on maintenance and there is a lot of helpful advice but it really comes down to getting up each and every morning with the thought that VIGILANCE is the only way to keep the weight off. Losing weight and keeping it off is a time consuming life- long project.

Several things I read outside of Spark People really made me see that without VIGILANCE the weight will come back.

First important fact is …“And it gets harder to keep the pounds off as the years roll by…” Life gets busier, you add more activities, the stresses get harder to manage, many social occasions include eating, hard to find time to make healthy meals, and fat, sweet, salty foods taste really good. Broccoli is not as interesting. The life issues and aging process are not going to go away and the weight maintenance issue needs VIGILANCE.

Second idea I recognized was that the maintenance articles are all about the choices and plans that you need to make and do to keep the weight off. But I found that there are reasons why it may be difficult to keep off weight I’ve already lost and I really need to be VIGILANT in watching my choices. There are weight gaining traps. In just a few days of seeing that 157 number on my scale I am already taking action to nudge the scale number back up.

Trap 1: Eating Larger Portions
For the last year I have been being careful when I go out to eat in restaurants. Then I get to a target weight and I pig out on a large, heavily sauced plate of spaghetti. It wasn’t even a great choice at that restaurant, something inside snapped when I was looking at the menu. Then instead of buying the right amount of food for the number of people at the coffee get together, I bought way too much for all of us to eat. That gave me the excuse to eat 8 little scones.

Trap 2: Consuming Too Many Calories
“Your weight loss management includes watching your calorie intake. Eat only lean protein, fish, vegetables and fruits for meals. Avoid sugary cakes, cookies and high-calorie sodas. Also resist the urge to add butter and other condiments to your food.” You can see where I totally fell into this trap by using a coffee get together to justify buying scones. I never have anything like that in the house or even eat it outside of the house anymore. The day before I made a vegetable stew for dinner and used full-fat mascarpone cheese instead of low fat sour cream. At least there is no butter in the house to add to sauces I like to make.

Trap 3: Exercising Less Often
I HATE to exercise and can find any excuse to avoid it. You can see where this is going. Yesterday I canceled the morning walk because of the coffee get together. Later in the afternoon, I was cleaning out cupboards, moving boxes and clearing out some items from the garage. I justified not doing a video or taking a walk because I was being active. Although I was very active it wasn’t the same as doing a fitness video and it is easy to find excuses to avoid doing the exercise.

Trap 4: Not Drinking Enough Water
This is not a problem, although sometimes when I get busy I don’t drink as much as I should.

Trap 5: Too Busy
This is always an excuse I use to avoid exercising. It takes time to eat healthy and exercise every day. Sometimes it is hard to incorporate them when the demands pile up. It is easy to get off track one day and then find that it is weeks later and you haven’t been making great food choices and your walking shoes haven’t been outside in quite a while. Somehow I have to motivate myself to work in the exercise. This will be a big struggle but I find that if I don’t exercise my eating choices deteriorate rapidly.

Trap 6: Buying Unhealthy Food
Oh this is so easy to do. Walking in the grocery store is an exercise in will power especially if you don't have a plan before you go in. Obviously choosing sugary, fat foods is one of my problems since I succumbed to the mini-scones. I generally make my list but this time I did not have a thoughtful plan before I went to the store. This is something I can avoid by not being Hungary when I shop and writing down what I am going to buy before I go in. I am beginning to worry about the holidays that begin in October and all of the social gatherings involving food. Bringing hummus and celery gets old.

Trap 7: Not Getting Enough Sleep
This is not usually a problem, although I am more aware of nibbling if I wake up in the middle of the night. I have a few go to small low calorie choices which help me resist the urge to eat half of a peanut butter jar (something I have done in the past).

VIGILANCE is going to be my mantra. Also, over the next few months I am going to watch my motivations and feelings as I continue on the journey. Breaking bad habits and making new ones that will stick is going to take a lot of time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRIE1948 9/5/2013 4:05PM

    This is brilliant! Wonderful advice.

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    It seems like we all suffer from these problems at one time or another and need to be vigilant against them. It's too easy to put it back on.

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Calories sneaking up

Friday, August 09, 2013

There are foods that I do not eat because they cause me physical pain, such as thick steaks and cheesecakes. It is easy not to choose them under any circumstances because I suffer the next day. I believe that they are too high in saturated fats for me. Then there are foods I love and have a hard time doing any portion control such as pasta, brownies, chocolate or cookies.

In any form --cold, hot, red sauce, white sauce, no sauce, with vegetables, with meat—pasta is my favorite food to eat and portion control goes out the window. So I don’t make it and don’t order it very often at restaurants. I have eaten a whole pan of brownies by myself out of the freezer. So I avoid brownies by never making them. Most brownies you buy in bakeries or stores don’t taste really good to me, often too sweet so I can resist them.

The Spark program advocates moderation and figuring out how to bring in “problem foods” into your life. They say the studies show if you ban foods from your life the foods will cause problems and that you will not avoid them indefinitely. If there are no new strategies, then it may result in bingeing on all the foods you’ve been denying yourself, undoing all your hard work in a single day. then those foods could cause you to over indulge and then gain weight back.

The Spark People also say “you won't have to give up your favorite treats if you find ways to work them into your meal plans so they don’t interfere with your health goals. Without the guilt and deprivation, you’ll be able to break the pattern of cravings, emotional swings, and binges that defeats so many diets.” The idea is that you develop new habits, make different choices, and trust your instinct to make better food decisions.

My cholesterol numbers have been rising over the past year so I have been attempting to follow the cholesterol food plan. I have lost weight but it stalled so I did a two week Focus and brought my weight down. This week I have been following the plan but I notice that I am slipping again. I realized that I eat too many foods with high fat calorie counts. Peanut butter, feta cheese, low fat cheese, olive oil, low fat sour cream and skim milk are good but not all of them all in one day. I had been holding the fat calories to around 40-45 the low end of my range. This week I have been eating about 60-70, the high end of my range.

For the next 4 days, I am going to go back to 40 calories of fat each day and meanwhile try to think how to make better decisions. Because I can see that I will need to do this for all my problem foods, the ones that I have a hard time saying no and have difficulty with portion control.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SADIEMAE32 8/13/2013 11:18AM

    I agree with STARTINGOVER37. I cut out all of my problem foods daily, but once a week I have a cheat day. I eat those foods then, but also use that time to work on portion control. But since it's my cheat day, if I go over then I don't get down on myself. Like you, I hope one day to have control over them.

Good luck!! emoticon

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    I hope it works well for you.

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KEYTOSLIM 8/9/2013 12:59AM

    I too had to find ways to manage my "problem foods". I try to use the 80/20 rule. 80% of my calories must be quality food. 20% are the things like creamer in my coffee, crackers with my salad, etc. It helped me!

Good Luck!

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STARTINGOVER37 8/9/2013 12:24AM

    You do need to have a day each week that is a cheat day, but you want to be sure to still not over indulge. Just knowing that if you can make it to Wednesday you can have a special treat for all of your hard work. Maybe to keep yourself from eating all the brownies, you could make a pan of brownies take one out for your treat day and then take the remaining on a plate to a neighbor. My cheat day is generally on Fridays, because I weigh in that morning and then I have a week to work off whatever I may have decided to eat. I like all kinds of food and don't want to have to cut them out permanently. You will notice the less you eat something that you enjoyed it doesn't taste as good when you eat it again. I used to drink several cans of pop a day, but now I can barely stand the taste of any kind of pop. You can do this, it just takes time. Hang in there and you will get it all figured out.

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Three down in Phase 1 and One to go in Phase 2

Monday, August 05, 2013


On July 14 my weight was at 161.

July 21 was the Start of 2 week FOCUS:
Goal was to lose 4 pounds to get to 157.

Weight results are:
July 21 160.5
July 28 159
Aug 5 157.5

Lost 3 pounds over the two weeks

How it all worked:
1. To follow the Spark Meal Plans very closely.
ACTUAL: The first week I ate every meal at home, but the second week I ate out 3 times and although I made good choices I probably should have eaten less of the entrées

2. Reduce down the amount of FATS I eat each day
ACTUAL: Tracked my fat calories each and every day and adjusted them to stay between 30-45.

3. To stay within 1400 calories which is at the low end of my range
ACTUAL: Stayed within my calorie amount for almost every day of the whole two weeks.

4. To do Spark Coach every day
ACTUAL: Did check in each day

5. To do a Fitness streak for 10 or more min each day
ACTUAL: Did a minimum of 10 minutes each day

6. To earn at least 100 Spark Points each day
ACTUAL: Did accomplish this but 25 points was the Spark Coach.

7. To do at least 500 calories work of exercises each day
ACTUAL: For the first week I did do 500 calories of exercise but the second week I only did about 350 each day.

8. To reflect on where I am in my life right now.
ACTUAL: During the second week I found myself getting very cranky and ate at the top of my calories during the last week and even went over one day. Maintaining motivation is very hard.

What I learned is that this takes a lot of time to plan, record and monitor. I didn’t have anyone I needed to take care of, had a very quiet two weeks with very few commitments. There were some minor family issues but nothing that caused a lot of stress. Even so it was very hard not to want to eat some of my favorite comfort foods in large quantities. I had to remind myself that I was doing a two week focus. It is going to be harder to try to do this on a daily basis as life becomes busier and the social occasions come around.

To make this weight loss plan work
•I need to get my exercise in early each day.
•Be dedicated to having healthy snacks easily available all the time
•Watch the amount of fats I eat each and every day
•Make good portion choices

I cannot emphasis enough how much dedicated time it took to lose these 3 pounds. However at the rate I had been going I was not going to get to my first goal weight of 157 by September. Now I know I will get there.


I am going to be more realistic for this next phase which is to get to 157 and stay there or below 157 for two weeks.

My major plans are
1. To follow the Spark Meal Plans very closely and stay under 1500 calories
2. Keep the amount of FATS I eat each day between 30-45
3. To monitor my portions when I eat out, at events or celebrations
4. To do Spark Coach every day
5. To Keep a Fitness streak for 10 or more min each day and to do 300 calories work of exercises four out of seven days
6. Keep a list of snacks I can eat anytime and make them available everyday
7. To earn at least 100 Spark Points each day
8. To reflect on where I am right now and continue to work on motivation issues

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Congratulations on the weight loss.

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