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I passed the test...sort of

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Last night I had my first real test for what I've learned on Spark People.

I started SP at the end of September, and have not been out to an actual restaurant since. I went out shopping last night after work. Not knowing where I would be eating, or what my choices would be, I had no idea where I would end up for the day as far as calories, or overall nutrional balance.

I stayed at my friend's house as usual on Monday night, and forgot to bring my lunch to work yesterday. I have things here in the office, (granola bars, yogurt, trail mix, etc.) I did remember to grab a banana on my way out the door, but that along with some yogurt was all I had for breakfast. Quick burning carbs. I ate some grapes and a granola bar at lunchtime, but it wasn't quite enough. When they asked me if I wanted anything from Burger King, the stomach said yes! yes! even though the mind said that it would rather you went somewhere else. I quickly got on my food tracker and checked the calories etc. for various Burger King menu items, and decided that I would have a 4 piece chicken tenders and small order of onion rings. Super bad for me, since the breading is worse for me than the calories. Don't get jealous, I pay for it rather uncomfortably.

Back to the actual test. I went out, armed only with the knowledge of what I had eaten already, (calories, and balance of carbs, fat, and protein), but not knowing where or what I would be eating later.

We went to Baker's Square. I was hungry, but not overly much. My body usually tells me what it wants, and was screaming for red meat, my head wanted a salad and my mouth wanted shrimp. Thinking about what I had done to myself already, I knew the salad was going to win, but they just so happened to have a salad that was topped with sirloin steak. It also had bacon, tomatoes and tortilla strips. Oh, and blue cheese crumbles. It's served with blue cheese dressing too. Unfortunately, that was the real weakness. It's my favorite, even though I'm not supposed to have it. I ordered a few grilled shrimp on the side, told them no marinade or seasoning, and hoped for the best.

The food came and the first thing I did was survey it. Of course I didn't have a scale or measuring devices with me so I had to estimate quantities for everything, but I've been cooking from scratch since I was 6 and when baking, haven't used a measuring cup or spoons in years. Those kinds of measurements are second nature to me (except for pasta. I have a problem with that for some reason). I have difficulty with the weights of meat portions. I guess at it first, but then when I weigh it, I find I've over-estimated. I guessed that there was probably 4 oz of sirloin and that was what I put in my food tracker, but it was probably more like 3 oz. It was sliced very thinly and looked to be about 1 slice more than the 2 oz. I would put on a roast beef sandwich.

Okay, end of a long story. I got home and entered everything into my food tracker. I was higher in calories than I normally am, but still well within my SP range for the day. The nutrional balance was a bit high in fat content, but only by 2% and I am good with that. I know it was the evil blue cheese and dressing that did it, and I knew when I made the choice that it would.

Even though I made a couple of bad choices, I thought about them first, rather than just saying oh what the hell, I've already blown it. The bad choices were balanced out by all of the other good choices throughout the day, and in the end, everything pretty much worked out.

The moral of the story? I didn't look at it like I've blown it or made a mistake. I looked at it as indulging myself a lttle bit. It's all perspective. Don't give up just because you've indulged yourself a little. As long as we go right back to the good choices, we won't be sacrificing all of our hard work to date.

Oh, and FYI- I normally weigh in on Monday mornings, but got on the scale this morning just out of curiosity. I was down 1/2 pound this morning. It's never over, because there ain't no fat lady around to sing anymore.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CIAMOM 12/19/2007 12:30PM

    I love the last line of this blog, Tracy! No more fat lady - WOO HOO!! :) I think you did great, staying in your SP range after eating out twice in one day is nothing to sneeze at, lemme tell ya! And I wholeheartedly agree that occasional indulgences are okay. I actually think they're healthy, because without them I, for one, would be binging left and right! Rock on, chica!!

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HEALTHIERLYNN 12/19/2007 12:29PM

    Ha, your blog is hilarious, as usual! There ain't no fat lady around to sing anymore is way true! Way to go! So I went to the Bakers Square website to see if I could find the nut info for your salad...they only list the info for their "healthier" items...I HATE when a restaurant does that!! Sounds like you did a great job in planning, though and the fact that you didn't consider the entire day blown after the Burger King lunch says a lot about how much you've learned! BTW, if meat isn't a big thing for you, order cheeseburgers without it. On average it saves you about 200 calories and a ton of fat, and if you're anything like me, I eat a burger to get to the bread, the cheese and the rest of the stuff! :-) A McD's cheeseburger w/o meat is only 150 calories! Congrats, Tracy - you're doing GREAT!

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Metabolism is a tricky thing

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wow! Today I am feeling the full brunt of coming OUT of starvation mode.

Normally, I wasn't a big eater and when I started tracking my calorie intake on SP, it was less than half of what I should have. Now that I am more consistently getting enough fuel, the metabolism is speeding up. My exercise for the most part has been light, usually not more than 30 minutes per day.

But the last two days, heavy cleaning and moving furniture around...I'm starving!

I ate breakfast before I left the house this morning, but had to eat my lunch by 10:30. After that I managed to hold out until 2:00, but then had to eat a granola bar to fight the grumblies. That should help. Drinking water's not working, but the plumbing sure is.

I'm making chicken for dinner tonight for my friend and I. Hopefully, that will be enough for me. My food tracker is all logged, including dinner, and I still have some calories to spare. It's Friday and I'd kind of like to have a beer or two after work tonight, but this could be dangerous. It's not good being hungry if you tend bar at a place that also has a full restaurant. First, there's the chips and pretzels on the bar. Then there's the kitchen, right at the end of the bar. MY end of the bar. Normally it's not even a temptation, even before SP.

I can only hope we're very busy tonight so I won't have time to stop and eat. I'll throw some trail mix in my purse just in case. I'll probably end up having to forego either the beer tonight or the challenge points. Even going over my challenge "allowance", I still have more per SP. I just don't normally get that high.

Looks like the times, they are a-changing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CIAMOM 12/14/2007 8:37PM

    You are doing so GREAT, Tracy! That's so cool that you have those tangible differences - for me, I'm still struggling a little with keeping my cals under every day. When I started out I was eating more like 1800-2000 cals every day, so my body has had to make adjustments without going into starvation mode! That's actually why I changed my challenge range - when I get too few cals, my body holds onto them like crazy.

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I Like Being Alone

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I've been trying for over a year now to get my place clean all at once. Ever since I asked my boyfriend to move out. I still had my son here, so it was hard. For reasons I won't go into because it's TMI, I have to be totally alone when I clean.

I clean fairly regularly, but I'm talking about a corner to corner, into all the nooks and crannies, deep cleaning. I've started many times, but run out of time (or steam) and don't finish it all at once, and then it's a few weeks before I get that motivated again. I start where I left off, but the stuff I did before is a few weeks by then, you know?

Well, I'm on my way. Tonight I got into the back half, even cleaned my son's room. He'll be pretty embarrassed because I found his porn. Again. It's his own fault. I told him to clean his room when he was home Thanksgiving. He chose to hang with friends instead. He knows I'll only ask twice. He was supposed to do it before he left for school and didn't. It was pretty gross. The room, not the porn. I didn't look at the porn. The dust bunnies in there had the cat running for her life, and there were ants in the garbage can! ICK!!! I know they weren't there Thanksgiving, because I had emptied his trash when I moved his computer out of there and gave it to someone because he plans on using strictly his laptop from now on. He didn't put a liner in the can before he threw trash in there and someone put gum in there. So it was actually double gross.

I removed all of the furniture from the bedrooms and shampooed the carpets as well. By myself! How's that for both strength training AND cardio?

The belt on the vaccuum broke while I was using it, so I had to fix that too. I'm pretty handy, so things like that don't bother me. It's funny how when you are used to having a man around it's just easier to let them do things like that. Only trouble is, it usually takes twice as long to get things done. Tools don't scare me. I used to be a construction superintendant overseeing 80 construction workers and I picked up a few things besides colorful words. I even made a couple pieces of furniture by myself. A table, my dining room chairs and my china cabinet, and they're pretty good if I do say so myself.

So household projects and repairs don't scare me. Well, except for when I was installing a new exhaust hood and almost blew the place up, but that's a whole 'nother story.

Anyway, tomorrow, I will put the bedrooms back together and tackle the front half of the house, including moving furniture and shampooing the carpet there as well. I'm not home on Friday or Saturday, but Sunday I will do the kitchen and the bathrooms and I will be all done! Then I can enjoy at least Tuesday and Wednesday home alone, enjoying my totally clean house before the boy comes back for a month.

Now THAT's what I call "me time"!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CIAMOM 12/14/2007 8:34PM

    Tracy, oh my word, you're hilarious!! I had the same thought when I read this blog, "Bet she cleans in the buff!" Yeah, I don't think they allow pics like that at this website! But I bet your son might be able to point you in the right direction, if you'd like to share!! ROTFLMAO!!!

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TCEDEROTH 12/13/2007 9:11AM

    Lynn, you are so perceptive. You figured out Becky's screen name too.

The first time I found his porn (magazines) I left them open to the centerfold on his bed. He was about 11 or 12. He came home and went into his room and I heard "oh sh#@". It was so funny. He didn't come out so I called him. He looked very sheepish and embarrassed. He's 18 now, and the porn is DVD's. I don't think he'll be as embarrassed anymore, but I left them right in the center of his desk.

The cleaning IS down time. Because I'm doing it for me. I focus on the cleaning and nothing else. Oh, and by the way, I listen to 80's music while I'm doing it. Under the circumstances though, I don't think I'll be posting a pic for the challenge.

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HEALTHIERLYNN 12/13/2007 12:27AM

    Holy moly, I thought you were gonna take some down time??!! If that's your down time, what's your hyper, up time like? LOL So tell the clean alone cuz you do it naked, dontcha?! LOL Just, you are industrious and I darn sure wish I could get that motivated! Love the part about your son's porn...I'm thinking you should place it on the coffee table so it's in plain view when he comes home...then just not even mention it. Just pretend it's always been there. Then post another blog and tell us every detail, all the way down to how his ears turned all red! Eeee hee heeeeeee.....

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Down time

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm just gonna chill for the next few days I think. I won't say it's been an overly stressful couple of weeks, but I've had to be "on" more than usual. Paying attention to and focusing on others and nothing for myself. Consequently, it's making me shut down in other areas. Work for instance. I'm just kind of hanging out here, not really getting anything done. I can't do that for too long without it starting to show.

Oddly enough, I'd like to go home and clean my house. It's a bit disorganized as I've been purging, getting ready to move in the spring. My son comes home from school the end of next week, and it sure would be nice to enjoy a neat, clean place for a few days before the Ryan bombs start exploding. Or it becomes camp Cederoth again with all of his friends there.

We'll see if I still feel like that once I get home. I forgot my lunch today (See? No focus on me). I made it, but just left it sitting there, so I'll be hungry when I get home. Once I eat, I won't feel like cleaning. Even if I do start, I may not feel like finishing.

But it doesn't matter. It's going to be me time for the next few days. And if I choose turn "off" and focus on nothing at all, then so be it. I'm overdue.

Hey Paul, did you pick some dates yet? I need it bad...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRUMPYGRAMS 12/12/2007 1:22AM

    Once in awhile, you've got to take time for yourself. Get lots of rest, & do whatever your little heart desires!!! Take care. TTYL.

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HEALTHIERLYNN 12/11/2007 1:59PM

    Tracy, it sounds like some you time is definitely overdue! Enjoy it...make it yours...keep yourself healthy!

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80's Music Lovers are infected

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Positive energy is contagious. We may have an epidemic here.

Last Friday (11/30) started out fabulous. I woke up in a great mood, and the positive energy flowing from the "I'm Great..." message thread in the 80's Music Lover's Spark Team only increased it. It was a great day at work and a great night at my part time job tending bar that night. The bar wasn't overly busy and the patrons were all in a happy joy good mood as well, and I had the time to share in the jokes and laughter. Even the normally surly, cranky ones weren't bad enough to get me down. They seemed to be in a better mood too.

Well, the night ended in an unfortunate incident for a friend of mine. I spent the entire weekend, until Tuesday with him, keeping his spirits up. I got a recharge on the positive energy by checking the "I'm great..." thread as soon as I came into the office on Monday morning, and that helped a lot. I needed it for the afternoon spent with him attending to details, and the subsequent evening.

I went home yesterday and haven't seen him, but called him today with some info he needed, and to check on him. While not thrilled with his current situation, I can tell he is in reasonably good spirits, and is finally feeling positive. He's not defeated, which is where he thought he was on Saturday morning. On Saturday, I thought the added burden might crush him, and it was tough going, but by Monday night, I had gotten him to not only smile, but laugh a little.

I believe that the energy put forth by all of you continues to spread to others as it is taken by each one of us and passed on to everyone we come in contact with. I thank you all for the massive amounts of positive energy put forth on Friday, and every day. It was enough to keep me up so that I could help my friend see his way clear. He knows there will be obstacles, but at least now, he's willing to challenge them instead of give up. I really don't know if I could have kept things up in the face of his defeatist attitude if I didn't have it all carried forward from you folks. I almost said "stored up" instead of carried forward, but you can't store it. You have to spread it around and let it infect everyone else, or it really doesn't do any good.

I check that thread several times during the day now, and have been since last week, since one of Paul's Spark It Forward challenges, in fact. It was my first time even looking at that thread. In the morning, I go there before I go to my email, which was the custom before. The energy boost is better than any caffeine jolt.

It's no wonder you people are shedding pounds and inches like crazy. The "can do" attitude, support and motivation passed around freely amongst this team are as much of an inspiration as the individual goals that are met on a daily basis. I rejoice in each person's accomplishments even more than my own.

This is a much better epidemic for this season (or any season) than the flu. And I know that all us will spread it around and infect those around us as well.

You people rock!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CIAMOM 12/6/2007 2:19PM

    Tracy, you totally put into words what I feel about our team and about that thread in particular! We really are a TEAM, and it is so awesome to experience everyone's accomplishments together! We ALL rock!! :)

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TARA225 12/6/2007 1:42PM


Your blog is one of the best things I've read. I, like you, depend on this thread for motivation, encouragement, friendship, laughter, and just plain fun. I'm happy that you are able to help your friend and they are lucky to have you as a friend.


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HEALTHIERLYNN 12/5/2007 6:30PM

    Wow, Tracy! That's one of the best blogs I've ever read! I couldn't agree with you more...I started that thread with the idea that we all needed to identify at least one good thing about ourselves each day, no matter how small, in order to work on the health of our minds, in addition to the health of our bodies. Even "I'm having a good hair day" was good enough for me, but that thread hs evolved into so much more than I'd expected and I'm really grateful for that. I totally agree with you when you say that you "rejoice in each person's accomplishments even more than my own." I feel that way many times every day! Each day I go to the thread to post what's great about me, and yet I get the greatest sense of pleasure out of reading why everyone else is great and I feel that mine pales in comparison...and that's the way it should be, no? I'm so glad you've found the team, and I'm even more glad to know how much benefit you get from it. Keep Sparkin' Girl! We're all gonna reach our goals together!!

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MOJAVEMAMA 12/5/2007 4:33PM

    Isn't great to be a part of this? It is contagious. Thank you for sharing your story. It really emphasizes the importance and the impact of positive thinking.


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