Thursday, August 21, 2008
I did it! I won the top SparkTrophy!! In the beginning of this journey, I thought it would be impossible! Many times, I even said that it was not important to ME! And when I said that, I really meant it! Everytime I won the next trophy, I shouted for joy! THEN I noted how many points it would take to get the next one, and I'd tell myself it really was no big deal - BUT it was and is!
I have worked hard to get online often, persisted in doing the tasks, determined to track nutrition and fitness - not just for those points, but for what I KNEW would happen to ME. I KNEW that it would become a habit of healthiness and in the growing I would change. And, I have!
I'm in better physical shape than I ever have been - even though I'm saggy baggy and have a long way to go to reach my goals! I have muscles here and there and under there! I can lift, swing, clean, jump for longer than I ever could - except maybe when I was 6!!! I get antsy to move, ME, who couldn't stand exercise! It's miraculous!
Well, after all this travelling which will not end for a few more months, I'm all caught up with most of the things I want to do on SparkPeople. I want to thank ALL of the SparkPeople who were so kind to continue cheering for ME as I was on the road and out-of-touch. I missed the constant interaction that fuels my bravado. When I was able to get online to blog or check on my friends here, it was brief, yet I found encouragement - wonderful words, SparkGoodies, SparkMail, and messages on the boards of the teams in which I participate. It's thrilling to know that so many continue to reach towards their goals!
I have decided to not take the time to thank everyone personally. It would take a lot of time and I need to get on with living! This THANK YOU must suffice as we continue running our races putting forth our best to stay positive and healthy!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Okay, let’s talk about food while I travelled. Today is the day I will do what I promised and share these things with y’all!
It was such a challenge, esp. at first. I remembered what STARTWALKING mentioned that she tried to stick to around 300 calories for meals, and that helped a LOT! Now I’m really adept at finding things that are suitable and diet friendly. Biggest challenge though has been to get back into the necessary routine to keep from gaining (which I did not do as we travelled) and start losing again (which I am not doing!)
It was easiest at restaurants that actually post nutritional values OR have a handout for you to carry with you. I did hafto stand away from where the lines formed so that I did not feel pressured to place my order immediately. It just took a LOT of thought! I was writing down EVERYTHING that I ate and have finally gotten ALL OF IT in the Food Tracker. Wooh! That was FIVE WEEKS of eating, people! And many of the items were NOT already in the Food Tracker so I had to put them in order to get the accurate picture of what I was doing.
Let me mention that I never did find anything at ARBY'S that worked for ME. So, we stopped going there. Too much pressure! DH was great as he didn’t pressure me at all and even said many times – Let’s just go somewhere else AND we did! Most of the time, we both drank water or something from a convenience store rather than at the meal. We also got into playing the game (MY idea!) of who can feel most satisfied with fewer calories at less cost. I often won that game!!
I found that most fastfood places have side salad (often on the dollar or bargain menu) that is extremely low in calories but you MUST be careful about the dressings. ALWAYS ask for the lowcal Italian! Many places also have unsweetened ice tea (I am allergic to aspartame AND splenda so can’t drink the diet sodas; just as well cuz now I don’t even miss them!).
SUBWAY – the miniFit sandwiches are just right! I most often chose Turkey Breast (190 cal) or the 6” Veggie Delite (230 cal). I ALWAYS asked for “No more than a tablespoon of lite mayo, please.”
MCDONALD'S – Did you know that you can have any of the salads without the meat? I often chose those. The Premium Southwest Salad (w/grilled chicken, it’s 320 calories; w/out chicken, 140!) AND it has some beans; another one has bacon so you do get some protein, if you want those. My fave is the Southwest cuz it doesn’t need dressing! Always ask for the lowfat balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing (40 cal) or the lowfat italian dressing (60 cal). The regular hamburger is even cheaper than the ones on the dollar menu and has just 250 calories. You CAN order just scrambled eggs for breakfast (170 cal). Other local things are: apple dippers (35 cal), fruit ‘n yogurt Parfait (w/out granola – 130 cal; w/granola – 160 cal); snack size fruit & walnut salad (210 cal); and the vanilla reduced fat ice cream cone is only 150 cal!
BURGER KING – Whopper Jr w/out cheese (370 cal), w/cheese (410 cal), hamburger (290 cal); cheeseburger (330 cal); 4 piece chicken tenders (170 cal), careful w/the dipping sauces – I don’t use any, but if you like them, the b-b-q (40 cal) and the sweet & sour (45 cal) are the lowest.; Mott’s strawberry flavored applesauce is a great addition at 90 cal.
At STARBUCKS and other coffee shops, I usually choose the coffee of the day. I did, however, find that they will ice it, like I do at home! The Tazo Iced Teas are great, too! Even the already sweetened Chai Tea at Starbucks is low cal if you plan for it – the tall size w/nonfat milk is 150 cal. Get ahold of their pocket nutrition chart (“Nutrition by the cup”) and check out the list of “Order Your Drink Your Way” to save oodles of calories.
LONG JOHN SILVERS has BAKED COD that is only 120 cal! One Hushpuppie is 60 calories. The Corn Cobbette is only 90 cal. A bowl of clam chowder is 170 cal. And the Shrimp & seafood salad is only 260 cal. w/lite Italian dressing – 20 cal.
TACO BELL – became a fave! The Fresco Manu is wonderful! Just don’t forget to SAY “FRESCO” or you will get the regular menu items!The Fresco Tacos are 150 – 180 cal; the burritos and salad bowl are 330 – 350 cal.On the regular menu, the Crunchy Taco and the Spicy Chicken Taco are 170 cal each. At SOME of the Taco Bell restaurants, I did find that I could also order a Guacamole side (70 cal) and a Salsa side (15 cal).
CHICK-FIL-A – Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich (280 cal); Chargrilled Chicken Club Sandwich (380 cal); 8 count Nuggets (260 cal); Chargrilled Chicken Garden Salad (180 cal); Southwest Chargrilled Salad (240 cal); Chargrilled Chicken & Fruit Salad (220 cal); remember that all the extras you add to the salads are MORE calories! They also have a fruit cup that is only 70 cal. The side salad is 50 cal. The small Hearty chicken breast soup is 150 cal. Small ice cream cone is 160 cal.
Some restaurants do not offer nutritional values but do have them posted online. I just found DAIRY QUEEN’s online. Their small vanilla softserve cone is 240 calories! THAT surprised me.
We also found that we qualify for the Sr. Menu at PERKINS. That was great because we were able to order smaller portions. Sometimes we split meals to cut down on the intake. You can’t take home the leftovers when you are travelling! I did occasionally make my meal of a healthier dessert – like carrot cake. It was high in calories, but higher fiber and full a vitamin A. Had to leave most of the frosting behind though!
Snacks of healthy foods were pretty easy. Prewashed celery w/the peanut butter we got from the hotel breakfast, apples, bananas (at most gas station stores!), snack portions of healthier things like pretzels, Panda individually wrapped licorice (100 cal), fiber one and other bars (learned too late about the huge difference in the calories in the protein bars!), nuts (can’t eat too many), unsweetened cranberries, individual unsweetened fruits and applesauce, cans of V8 and tomato juice, ready-to-eat sundried tomatoes (I added them to my burgers!), high fiber crackers w/cheese, and Quaker Mini Delights.
And, MY absolute favorite snack find is FORTUNE COOKIES! The fortunes are just silly and some aren’t even fortunes. They satisfy the need to crunch and are lightly sweet, if ya need a dessert. AND only about 150 calories for FIVE!
Monday, August 04, 2008
Well, I'm steadily getting things under control. Vacations are great, but sometimes you just hafta get back to reality and rest up from vacations! Hah! Maybe it's the perfectionist in me that wants to get all things in order THEN I'll feel like I'm back on track. Actually, I didn't get offtrack cuz I kept right on making healthy choices. Oh, yeah, I did eat some things I wouldn't'ave eaten normally. And, yes, I didn't do as much of my routine exercises. Still, I was careful, kept control over fiber, fruits & vegies, vitamins, water intake, and moving more. And I'm so glad that I did.
Yesterday, I spun a BIG 25 on the SparkPoint Spinner. And, today! Today, I spun 1000 SparkGoodie points! Wow! That is exciting! Now I have even more treats to share with my SparkFriends - new and old! I have been added as SparkFriend to some new ones and hope to catch up with them soon - yet this week, so they know I'm cheering for them! Can't wait to get acquainted!
I WILL share my vacation low calorie finds eventually - perhaps next blog. I want to see if I can get ALL of my food and fitness in the trackers for the time we were travelling so I can actually SEE for myself why I was able to maintain the same weight. I am still in awe when I see myself in a photo!
I can hardly believe that I bought two pair of size 12 shorts last week! I got to share the event - screaming with joy in the dressing room at Marshalls - with a dear friend! It's just miraculous! I really did believe that I would always be overweight! Still am, but not like I was AND I'm continuing to make healthy choices to reach my health goals. I'm amazed to see myself in the mirror fitting perfectly into all these great clothes!
I do wantcha'all to know that I still overeat sometimes. I still choose to vegetate when I'm exhausted both mentally AND physically. Perhaps it's hu-man. The BIG change though is that I don't do that ALL of the time like I did before SparkPeople! I've become a shaker and a mover! Constant motion 90% of the time! Hmmm! Looks like I have another secret to healthier living. Nope, it's NOT constant, frantic, frenetic motion; it is excitement to be able to move without pain, without breathlessness, with a sense of accomplishment and dreams coming true!
BTW, I did finally buy some heels! Remember, awhile back I shared that it'd been many years since my feet and knees could do high heels. Well, it took me two months of searching and now I have TWO comfortable pairs, one with 1 1/2" heels, the other 2" - the max I want. Sunday I wore the black ones for 7 hours straight - mostly sitting down. My feet took it just fine! I am still hurting in one heel, however, because I went way-too-long on the previous walking shoes.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Here I am in the SparkSpotLight! What a great day for this to happen! I've been offline, travelling lots, vacationing, too! Just last night, we finally settled down and got back online with a new connection. I have tons to do so won't be able to give it my full shot for awhile yet.
But, hey! It's been fun to see people we haven't see in years! to go to a small reunion of college friends from 30 yrs ago! to try lots of foods we haven't tasted before! Yep, I have worried a bit over not being connected to my SparkFriends cuz I figured I'd be struggling - and I have just a little.
We had to eat out A LOT and I ate too much too often, exercised way less than I shoulda, laughed way more than I ever have, helped move DD into her first place, celebrated DS and DDIL's anniversary, etc, etc.
And, can you believe it? I'm pinchin' meself! No weight gain at all!!!
I have lots of tips to share about how I was able to do this so be sure to check back for details as I catch up my eating and exercise through the 5 weeks past, and tell y'all about the low cal snacks I've found!
I have missed my SparkConnection!
Monday, June 23, 2008
It is just remarkable! Miraculous! A tremendous experience to finally discover my new clothing size. Before I began SparkPeople two yrs+ ago, I wore a size 22, XXL. Many factors lead me to believe that I was actually shrinking - the scale, the tape measure, my baggy clothes, dh and a few others TOLD me so. When I looked in the mirror, I still saw, and even now see, a fat lady! Because I knew of an upcoming trip to the U.S., I only purchased a few necessary things and kept eliminating items from my wardrobe. The last finally ditch left me with very few pieces.
Just a few short weeks ago, we set foot on U.S. soil and I went shopping. You'd'ave laughed with all the others as I tried on clothes and thrilled in unbelief at my new discoveries! I printed SparkPeople "business"cards and have shared many when people want to know why I'm sooo excited!
I now weigh 161 lbs - a little less than when we left home in Brazil. AND - tada!! - I am a size 12/14!!!!!!!!!!!!
DH has taken a pic of me with his new digital camera and when I get a chance I'll post that. In the photo, I can actually SEE the diff that I cannot see in the mirror yet. I'll let you know when I have THAT exciting moment too!
I think I've told at least 50 people, maybe more, all about my SparkExperience - I can hardly keep from sharing my "secret"! It's wonderful to be able to say that this experience has not been about losing weight, although that's how I saw it when I began. It's all about selfcare, wise decision-making, and maintaining a balance in all areas of my life. It's a LOT of hard and, sometimes lonely, work, that is filled with positive reinforcement from others who are walking a similar path. It's about sharing the facts, frustrations, and fun with others who are ready to listen to ME share my experience. It's about giving others reinforcement, support, and encouragement in their SparkJourneys as we can.
I continue on a journey to the best ME I've ever known!
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