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SUNSHINEINIOWA's Recent Blog Entries

Easter with my Hubby's Family

Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's a cool morning in Central Iowa, not near the 80+ degree high that had been predicted earlier in the week, and we're off to a family picnic.

We'll have tons of fun, laughs, and and of course an Easter egg hunt. And get a load of this menu:

- fried chicken
- BBQ chicken
- baked beans
- potato salad
- coleslaw
- chips
- dessert
- birthday cake
- and don't forget the Easter candy!!

Oy!! I'm bringing some veggies!!!!!!!!! And I'll be bringing my own water, because with this group, they'll probably have Coke & Mtn. Dew. (No thanks!)

So I'll be enjoying some BBQ chicken & veggies, and knowing me I'll splurge on a little bit of baked beans, potato salad & dessert OR cake. And when I return, it will be time for my long Saturday workout.
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Looking forward to a good time!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Wow!! This sounds fantastic!! I would love it!

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HYATTI1 4/1/2012 3:13AM

    Hope you had a great time and enjoyed yourself. It's chilly here in Michigan but it is do-able.


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IMREITE 4/1/2012 2:08AM

    i find chasing my cousins or nieces is a great way to burn off some of those calories. another trick is to spend more time visiting while holding a small plate. it will look like you are eating plenty and people will not keep offering you food.

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LITTLEBO 3/31/2012 10:04PM

    your menu sounds yummy...moderation is the key.... emoticon

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    The sun is out. I had BBQ chicken & a little potato salad & beans. Now I'm enjoying some celery & peppers. :)

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N_STITCHES 3/31/2012 2:10PM

  Hi Sunshine----That does look like a carby delicious meal. Make good choices and have fun with the family. It's gorgeous here in Missouri today too!......Patti

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Free Wellness Coach? You Bet!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Iíve been mostly diligent with tracking, etc. on SparkPeople since 11/1/11, and I love my Spark Community. emoticon And after my 3# gain last week emoticon, Iím down a total of 6 pounds since 11/1. (sigh) Iíve got the 8+ emoticon down , and Iím loving my evening workouts emoticon that keep me from raiding the fridge when I get home after work, but eating healthy, eh, I donít want to all the time. emoticon

A few weeks ago I got a call from my new health insurance partner telling me that I qualify for some free sessions with a wellness coach. ďSure.Ē The person asks a few questions and tells me I qualify for the Heart-Healthy program. emoticon ďOk.Ē The coach will help me set goals to reduce cholesterol (I actually only have a low good cholesterol) and lower my BP (mineís not really out of hand, but I do take Ĺ a water pill daily for it), and lose weight (magic words!). The sessions will be 10-15 minutes long, and I qualify for 3-4 sessions. (Ok!)

My first session with Sara, the coach, was yesterday. After our initial hellos, and telling her a bit about myself, she tells me sheís going to ask some questions, and help me set some goals for our next session.(Sounds good to me.)

Hereís a synopsis of the call:

Sara: Why do you want to work with a wellness coach?

Me: Iíd like to get off my cholesterol & BP meds emoticon, but really Iíd just like to get healthy.

Sara: Why now?

Me: Because Iíve been sleeping with a breathing machine since July, and I donít want to. I want to get rid of it. emoticon

Sara: What have you done to reach your goals?

Me: (Sigh, I thought sheíd be coaching me) I started tracking on SparkPeople emoticon on November 1, and I lost 10 pounds in November. I was sick in December, threw away January, and got back on track in mid-February.

Sara: What hasnít been working?

Me: Iíve got my waters emoticon & exercise emoticon down, but I donít always eat well.

Sara: How so?

Me: I really like my sweets emoticon, and I have a hard time staying on track. emoticon

Sara: Whatís the difference between November and now?

Me: You are really holding me accountable. I suppose I was busy at work last year, and I havenít been since January 1.

Sara: So you struggle most when you donít have the routine?

Me: Yes, weekends are hard, too.

Sara: It sounds like you need some strategies for when you are bored. Is that right?

Me: Yes. (Yes! Bring on the coaching!) emoticon

Sara: Ok, so before our next session, I want you to identify some strategies and distractions to use when you donít have your normal routine.

Me: Ok. (Huh? What just happened?) emoticon

Sara: Letís look at dates for our next session.

Me: Sure. (UGH!!!! She held me accountable!) emoticon

So, Iím researching strategies on SparkPeople, Fitness, Shape, etc. (about anywhere I can find).

I'd love it if you all will share your strategies, too. What keeps you focused? What other resources shall I research?

emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Free is good. emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/20/2012 10:47PM

    It's cool that you are getting a wellness coach. I've never heard of it.

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HEATHER9360 3/20/2012 5:55PM

    I don't know sometimes why I am in "the zone" and why other times I am not. I mean, there are the obvious reasons: stress, anxiety,depression: all that emotional eating; when I find that I feel I am going nowhere I tend to give up easier. Looking at skinny people can sometimes motivate me. I like SP's idea of a vision collage. I know some of my muscular role models would be in mine: Gin Miller for one. Anyway, I think it is fabulous that you are seeing a wellness coach. Give it a good try and let us know each time you have an appt how it goes! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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N_STITCHES 3/20/2012 12:49PM

  I think the Mr. and I have the same health care plan as you. That conversation sounded very familiar.

Your blog post sounds familiar and is a constant struggle for me. I will say eating low carb, Atkins, has really helped curb the cravings. Truly amazing for me.

Variety keeps me on track. When I get in a rut eating the same healthy foods, my mind tends to wander towards treats which are usually unhealthy foods. In fact, I just spent some time this morning looking at some new recipes for this week. Variety is the spice of life!

I think you know I've mentioned s/f cherry gelatin and Reddi-Wip. It still is working for me as a good treat. I also allow myself one square of Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa Extra Dark Chocolate or Ghirardelli 86% Midnight Reverie with a double shot espresso w/1T. heavy whipping cream and a pkt. Splenda. Those are my go-to treats and they keep me on track for the most part. I'm still a work in progress and can have an occasional slip, like Sunday.

Good for you on all the good changes you've made for your healthy.

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CARDAMOMMA 3/20/2012 10:13AM

    What a great story! Hee. You are being really positive about a conversation it would have been so, so easy to be snarky about.

I got a BUNCH of good distraction strategies from Judith Beck's book Beck Diet for Life. She has 50 or so of them. The ones I remember (and use) are:

Go on a diet website and read success stories/chat with supportive friends (my favorite!)

Give yourself a pedicure/manicure/facial

e a bath

Call a friend

Take a walk

Beck's books are actually really great for changing how you think, which changes how you behave.

I also recently found that by simply planning all my meals a week ahead (using the SP planner), I'm happy, never hungry, and I'm not very tempted to eat things not on my plan. The decisions are all already made about what I'm going to eat, so I don't have to struggle with "should I? shouldn't I?" every time something sugary comes my way. Much easier!


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    Yes, she certainly did hold me accountable, which I know is what I need.

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LITTLEBO 3/20/2012 7:43AM

    sounds like you have the same wellness coaches we do. didn't find it too helpful...

but, I have certain things I do to get out of the house, to not feel boared. I make sure I schedule a walk, or (more recently) yoga, I have some 12 step meetings I go to. Do you have a hobbie, do you read books, What relaxes you. I take a hot bath when I'm stressed. Less anxious eating that way.

Maybe the key is to make a routine on days when you don't have one.

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Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge, Week 1

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I know that sweets are my greatest downfall. I like fried foods, but I can take them or leave them. I love sweets, and I have a very hard time "leaving" them. I've said for years that I'm a chocoholic, and I believe that it really is true - I just don't have an "off" button for chocolate.

Enter SparkPeople's Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge: A 4-week Detox for Sugar Addicts. (Sounds good to me.)

The purpose of week 1 is to find out if your sugar cravings are out of control. (I'm pretty sure mine are.) Here is the action plan:

1. Assess your current sugar habits (by taking an assessment).

My result: I have situational struggles. No surprise here. I have the best of intentions every food day at work, every holiday, and every time I visit my mom. But then reality hits, and I eat what I want to eat. (sigh)

2. List the reasons you want to cut back.

I am a chocoholic and I want to break this sugar addition! Sweets, and chocolate specifically, are my alcohol. Ditching sweets alone won't help me lose weight. I'm changing my lifestyle, and I want to be able to say "no" to sweets, just like I do with alcohol. I want to be in control of it!

3. Record your sugar habits all week long.

Awareness is the first step to everything you want to change. I can't change what I am doing, saying, eating, etc. until I am aware of the current state. So for week one, in the Note section of my nutrition log, I will be recording when and why I have cravings for sweets and if I give into them. I need to figure out what my triggers are and when they happen before I will be able to manage them.

4. Learn how to earn your trophy:

Woohoo! Another trophy. I love SparkPeople, and I giggle when I think about how I get excited when I win a trophy or earn points. Points are worth what? Points. Ok, but I still like earning them!

I am sure this will be a challenge for me, especially since I have a birthday and a weekend away during these four weeks, but I can do this. I want to do it, and I need to do it. I'm commited, I'm in!!

Care to join me?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHIREBALL 3/25/2012 6:05AM


Comment edited on: 3/25/2012 6:06:17 AM

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PHIREBALL 3/25/2012 6:04AM

    I'm with you on this one. No cake, pie, ice cream, candy, donuts or anything like this for me until I pass my NASM personal trainer exam on April 9. It's been over 4 weeks now since my last piece of cake! Honestly, I've notice that my sugar cravings are not as strong as they were before I started. Thanks for the blog and motivational push.

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    emoticon emoticon

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    I don't have a problem with a particular food but want to wish you good luck with the challenge. I hope you ace it!!

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LITTLEBO 3/8/2012 10:19PM

    Never underestimate the power of SparkPoints.... :)

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DECLETJ 3/7/2012 9:58PM

    I am a chocoholic too! I did really well from October until about a month ago. I have really been struggling for the last few weeks, and I need to really get on the ball with it too! Good Luck to ya!

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MOMMY445 3/7/2012 4:02PM

    what a wonderful blog,sunshine! thanks for sharing! have a terrific day!

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N_STITCHES 3/7/2012 12:33PM

  Great blog Sunshine! Good food for thought, pun intended. :) Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm hoping writing down my thoughts during this challenge helps to eliminate the cravings/addiction to sweets/carbs......Patti

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LADYJAKE1 3/7/2012 11:51AM

    I gave sugar up in 2004, best thing I ever did for myself.

I have always had issues with portion control. I was able to lose 100lbs and have been able to keep it off.

If I can do it anyone can....

Good luck!

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I want new workout DVDs!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

And I WILL get them! I've been researching the 78 exercise DVDs that I had in my Collage Video wish list, and I've narrowed it down to 20. I have also categorized and prioritized them. (Yes, I am a spreadsheet junkie.)

I've decided that instead of waiting until I get my birthday money to buy some, I have to take it a step furter and actually EARN them. I've broken my top selections into 5 different bundles, so I can earn a bundle at every 8 pounds weight-loss increment. I have 40 pounds left to lose, so I get the last bundle when I'm at my goal weight.

I can always continue to lose, since that is as the top of my "normal" BMI range, but that's my first goal. I plan to reach that goal by staying within my calorie range 6 days per week and exercising 5 hours per week. (More details are on my SparkPage if you are interested.)

First, SparkFriends, I want to thank you for your support and motivation to date. And, I need to ask for your help - please, please help to hold me accountable. There's no reason I can't do the work it takes to lose just 1.5 pounds per week.

Thanks in advance!!!!!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMREITE 2/28/2012 12:34AM

    libraries are a great way to get to use some different videos for free. it will help you loose some of those 8lb increments and then you can buy some.

i also look at 2nd hand shop. you can fins some old ones too. goodwill, salvation army, St vincent de pauls often have at least a few. the price tends to be $0.49 to $3.99 a piece.

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UFEDAK85 2/27/2012 4:01PM

    Sounds like an awesome plan!! I love that you set it up so you get rewarded for each time you reach your goal!! Plus the addition of new videos at each increment will keep things fresh which will keep you motivated to continue on your journey and avoid plateaus. You can totally do this! :D

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    Good luck with your goals. They sound quite reasonable and your reward system ounds great too.

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JCOUCH82 2/27/2012 2:07PM


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30-Day Shred it is...

Sunday, February 05, 2012

After realizing I was not in the shape I thought I was, I'm giving the 30-Day Shred a try. Started day 1 with level 1 on 2/3, and I realized how terribly out of shape I've gotten in just TWO MONTHS! But now I'm in. I can eek out 35 min per day for fitness, and I know my abs won't feel like this for ever. (UGH!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TATTER3 2/6/2012 6:21AM

    Keep Sparkin'!!!

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LUVYA04 2/5/2012 3:02PM

you can do it!!!

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LITTLEBO 2/5/2012 11:26AM

    I can't even do the jumping jacks in 30 day shred

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