TERESA159   28,969
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Yay! 20 Pounds Gone!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

This not drinking alcohol thing coupled with eating about 200 calories less than I had been plus my renewed weight training vigor is really paying off. I lost weight last week like I never have before.
As of this morning, I am OUT of 140sville!!!!! Woohooo!
And I hit the 20 pounds lost mark, double WoooHooo!
Also, looking in the mirror or just down at my own legs, I can no longer deny that this IS WORKING. Thanks Spark buddies for helping me stay in the game. I acknowledge that I would not have gotten here if it were not for y'all. There's my fat, sitting in a cupboard somewhere.


And now a report from the alcohol-free zone:
My husband and I are drinkers. Not sloppy, loud, losing our teeth kind of drinkers but we do enjoy the cocktails and so enjoy them we did. I had been very proud to find a drink that was just 110 calories (dark rum, diet ginger beer and lime, it's called Dark & Stormy, and is super yummy at the end of a long summer day) and was really, really proud of myself that we seemed satisfied with just one such drink each day. But on the weekends, watch out because it was time to reward ourselves for something- maybe for the work week? Maybe it was just another bad habit?
We would go to dinner and have a bottle of wine. And then we'd go somewhere for desert and have more wine. Sometimes we'd start these evenings with happy hour. Not every weekend but often enough that it bothered me. So, drinking Dark & Stormies during the week, wine on the weekend. I had cut way back due to Sparking but still, too much alcohol! My husband is pretty wise and saw that unless we just quit cold turkey we'd always think of ways to justify so much drinking. (You should have heard some of the stuff we came up with.) So starting the Summer 5% Challenge turned out to be the perfect opportunity for this major shift in our lifestyle. This is our first alcohol-free weekend ever. Last night we went out for dinner. We put the alcohol menu on the extra chair and proceeded to order healthy food and no drinks. We enjoyed dinner thoroughly. The bill was about half what it usually is. Then, we walked around our town, listened to two different live bands outdoors and had a marvelous time. And rode our bikes back home. I have never enjoyed a bike ride so much! I was thinking about how good it felt to be feeling so good, if you know what I mean. We are getting healthier every single day. We aren't afraid of making big changes that we know will support our goals. The temperature was perfect. And I noticed.
I was leery about hopping on the scale this morning because of having eaten out last night but VIOLA! There it was- 20 pounds down. I am getting a new charm for my Spark bracelet. A pear if I can find one because I am pear shaped and I read yesterday that when you lose weight, you can't really change your basic shape, just your size. I am comically pear shaped and reading that kind of took the wind out my sails until hubby said, "That's the shape I like!" So, okay, I will be a small pear.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINSLOWGIRLS3 7/25/2011 11:40AM

    Great job on the 20lbs lost!!! That is fantastic! Also good for yoou for embrasing your shape and just deciding to be a smaller version of that shape! You are amazing!!!

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LOTUSBURGER 7/24/2011 9:57PM

    GOOD JOB!!!
MOn petite pear

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ASL191 7/24/2011 3:27AM

    20 pounds down that is great - well done you for making that milestone.

And your night out last night sounds wonderful - a lovely summer evening, a meal, bands and a bike ride, sounds like the kind of night I would love!

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TALLGUY42 7/24/2011 2:29AM

    Congratulations Teresa!

You are doing amazingly well.
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LISAINMS 7/23/2011 11:52PM

    Yay for a smaller pear! Awesome that such a small thing to give up has resulted in such a big success for you!!

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CHAR1970 7/23/2011 11:17PM

    Good for you! You are doing amazing!

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AGRLNKY 7/23/2011 10:42PM

    So excited for you! Great Blog!

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THETURTLEBEAR 7/23/2011 9:02PM

    DH doesn't drink (anymore) and so he always teases me at the difference between our restaurant bills when I have a glass or two of wine, versus not. So I could relate!! You guys are doing GREAT!

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JENEAL1 7/23/2011 7:05PM

    Congratulations!

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JERZRN 7/23/2011 5:57PM

    emoticon
So happy for you!!!!

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REYVE01 7/23/2011 5:27PM

    Awesome..... I think you'll be able to enjoy your cocktails again when you get to maintenance... As long as you keep up the execrise and healthy eating... great job.

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JENBELLE 7/23/2011 4:21PM

    Congrats for 20lbs down!!!! I love the tips about the alcohol and the exchange with your hubbie- how sweet to have such a nice support! Keep it up, Starfish!

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MCLAFLIN 7/23/2011 1:58PM

    That is awesome! I have always been surprised at the calories in alcohol, but it wasn't an issue because I am not a big drinker by any means. BUT, it sounds like you have embraced this new lifestyle, and it is working for you! Congrats on your 20 pound loss! So great! Keep it up! I am sure the 4 pound loss this week will be motivating! (And I am a pear, too!)

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CARLYG8 7/23/2011 1:12PM

    Congrats on a great first week. I wish I was more computer savvy. I would love to be able to take a starfish and kind of morph it into a (small) pear shape. You rock!!!
(I bet Kristen could do that....)

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K_CHRISTER 7/23/2011 11:31AM

    Congratulations, keep it up, and pears taste better and have a nicer shape than apples!!

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NEWMAC2011 7/23/2011 11:13AM

    Pears are just delicious! And better than apple shaped (which is what I am) which is bad for the heart.

I'm so thrilled for you! Isn't this Challenge just great for getting us moving again? You certainly had a great 1st week. Good for you for giving up the alcohol. That will make a lot of difference calorie-wise.

We're ready for week 2! You go girl!

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THEHONESTME 7/23/2011 10:52AM

    Congrats, Teresa on going cold turkey and finding out how good you feel. DH and I also like a drink now and then - him more NOW and me more THEN! LOL This summer I've enjoyed a cocktail much less than other summers and I'm with you - I think it matters a lot! Having said that, Dark and Stormy sounds good - I might have to try that!!

As for you being pear shaped... well, I'm apple shaped and I've often wished I were a pear. We're never happy are we? I like your hubby's outlook, though, and I'll take it! I will settle for a SMALL APPLE
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KJMAZ2011 7/23/2011 10:47AM

    Congratulations on your hard work! I know it can be hard to cut out the things you do to celebrate, but you did it! I really enjoyed the pear bit, very cute :-)

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Heck, if I'd known it was the alcohol!

Friday, July 22, 2011

So you all might know my weight got kind of stuck and I whined a lot about it and poor me - the math just doesn't work. Well, me and hubby started the Summer 5% Challenge last Saturday and we were talking about how serious we both were about kicking it up a notch (me, really, not him) and how we'd be so glad to be rid of this excess weight we both have and how 56 days is really not that long to buckle down and stick with it when he, bless him, says, "We should give up alcohol."
Now, I am a good German girl who likes her beer and her wine and even her occasional cocktail and lately we'd been fascinated with a little cocktail made with rum and ginger beer and lime. So refreshing in the early summer evening. And we are also famous for our dinners out, exercises in glutteny and debauchery every time with alcohol playing a huge role. Heck, we even toured wine country in CA for our honeymoon. Get the picture? So for him to suggest that took guts. For me to agree also took guts.
So far (almost seven days) we've done just fine without the spirits. Attitudes are great, we've been laughing a lot and enjoying time together and I am not in a the foul mood I thought would descend.
I also did lower my calorie range after being convinced that 1500-1800 a day was just too high. I am now doing 1250-1400. Visiting the farmer's market and cutting out alcohol helped with this.
AND.....I've lost 5.8 pounds!!! Since last Friday! That's like being a really big person on a new diet. My legs look great again (always one of my best assets, lately looking like posts) and my tummy is not sticking out quite as far. This is good and I am glad for it.
The people in the 5% challenge will probably think I lied about my starting weight but no, I was at 145 for over a week. My goal is to lose 7 pounds and heck, I did most of that already. Will probably change that goal.
Am off to meet REYVE01 (think that's right) for a hike in Boulder. Woohoo!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWMAC2011 7/23/2011 11:16AM

    Awesome weight loss! Just loving this Challenge; it's really kicked it up a notch which is making a big difference so many of us. Yay for you.

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ASL191 7/23/2011 7:14AM

    emoticon emoticon

Wow - I am impressed - I have so far managed to give up all alcohol Monday to Thursday and that has made a difference - not sure if I can manage the weekend yet though! - all credit to you! Keep on going, with that weight loss you must have so much motivation!

Comment edited on: 7/23/2011 7:15:20 AM

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TALLGUY42 7/22/2011 11:38PM

    Good for you and Randy! Giving up the booze did take guts and is not easy when your part of the country gets pasted with heat.

Your result shows just what a difference it can make though.
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COLUMBINE2 7/22/2011 9:55PM

    I'm with KristenPraz.....I'm going to start drinking so I can quit & lose weight!!! lol I read that alcohol goes to the liver and then directly to fat...doesn't even get digested.

5.8 #....your jaw must have hit the floor when you saw that!!!! I don't even have dreams that wonderful! lol

Keep up the great work and start looking for a bikini 'cause you're gonna need one soon! emoticon

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JMCADE 7/22/2011 9:32PM

    How great is that weight loss both for you and for the team!!!! Congrats

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REYVE01 7/22/2011 9:14PM

    Maybe it was a little bit of denial.... just saying...lol

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 7/22/2011 7:04PM

    emoticon

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GETTING_FIT44 7/22/2011 7:01PM

    Teresa, you seem to always know how to make me smile and make my day.I shouldn't feel bad and now that time has passed I am over it.I'm glad i've been keeping up with it NOW rather than dreading it and everything. Thank you for you're support and good luck with the alcohol!!!!!!! Supporting you!!!! :D

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CHAR1970 7/22/2011 6:48PM

    Congrats on the weight loss!

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JERZRN 7/22/2011 6:16PM

    Good for you! I have also recently cut way way down on alcohol (only have had one glass of wine) and can feel a big difference!

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CHALLENGER15 7/22/2011 1:34PM

    Good idea! I know another sparkfriend who didn't understand why she wasn't losing, and she cut out alcohol to see what would happen and she had exactly the same results. Someone suggested that it slows down the metabolism...I don't drink very often, so I hadn't really noticed.

Good for you, though!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 7/22/2011 12:44PM

    Great job! I rarely drink so unfortunately this doesn't work for me - the soda trick either. So many people have good loss from cutting those things out! My coworker does this with her boyfriend every few months and they always rave about how good they feel! Makes me wonder if I should start drinking so that I can cut it out of my life and feel better! emoticon

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THETURTLEBEAR 7/22/2011 11:24AM

    I'm so psyched about your weight loss, but I will miss your whining. Can you whine about something else instead, just to fill the void? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Seriously though - this is so cool.

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3016DEBRA 7/22/2011 11:17AM

  emoticon Dang it...I know that's what I need to cut down on too...but damn it! It's summertime!!!! Have a great weekend emoticon

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K_CHRISTER 7/22/2011 10:41AM

    Nice work!

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TARANITUP 7/22/2011 10:31AM

    SO true, it makes a huge difference! In the past I'd work SO hard all week and then sabotage all my efforts at Happy Hours. UGGGGH. Keep up the great work!

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MCLAFLIN 7/22/2011 10:26AM

    Great that you BOTH made that commitment! It seems to be paying off for you in a big way.

LOL'd about your first weigh-in. Mine was up 6 pounds because of all the pie, sodium, and lack of water during the fair, but I was honest with my weight last Saturday, as well!

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BEATLETOT 7/22/2011 10:20AM

    I never weigh myself the morning after I've had anything alcoholic to drink, even if it's one glass of wine. It's never good.

Congratulations on your awesome loss! Keep it up!

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AMAS92568 7/22/2011 10:18AM

    Isn't it amazing how alcohol wreks our efforts? Good job! I'm going to try it too!

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Getting ready for the Summer 5% Challenge

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Guess I ended up being a "Starfish" and not a Teddy Bear, but I figure maybe it will be fun to compete against some of my Spark Friends!
Hubby's doing it too and we are on the same team, which, if you think about it, is probably very wise. No need to sabotage his food or flatten his bike tires! LOL, I kid.

Anyway, my goal is to lose 7 pounds during the 8 week challenge so that's almost a pound a week and sounds impossible to me but I am armed with some new information. I made myself this chart that shows my daily weight and calorie intake. I can see from this chart (and yes, I don't doubt there's something I could have used in Spark but I like getting out the graph paper and ruler and having something taped to my bathroom wall) that my weight has basically stayed at 144 for the last three weeks. There was a one day dip down to 143 and a few upticks in there but basically it's a pretty flat line at 144. My conclusion from this is that my calorie intake and exercise burn must be relatively equal and this is what maintenance phase must feel like EXCEPT(!) I am not ready to be maintaining yet, I still need to lose at least 10 pounds.

Now those of you who embrace mathematical relationships (THETURTLEBEAR comes instantly to mind) understand that I need to reduce the calorie intake, up the exercise burn or both to get myself back on track with losing more fat. (I am also building muscle.) I am already burning about 600 calories a day with exercise and doing so takes me about an hour and a half a day. Big time investment, especially considering that I also lift weights for 35-40 minutes three times a week. That means I already exercise about 11 hours a week. Seriously, I just don't see myself doing more there. Are any of you doing more than that?

So that leaves, sniff sniff, eating less food. Or actually, less calories. I had been aiming for between 1500 and 1600 a day with a day of 1700-1800 every three days and then of course I totally cheat at least one day a week. Am too lazy to do this math but I bet my daily average intake is just over 1700 cals a day. To my credit, that is within the range Spark gave me based on my original goal of losing 26 pounds in 6 months and the fact that I burn 3600 a week with cardio. In fact, I had to LIE about how many calories I burn a week to get my Spark range DOWN to 1500-1800. Am thinking their calorie ranges are a bit off (that's me being nice!). The question is how far off? The better question was, how many calories should I really be eating???

Today I updated my goals and weight tracker to reflect just the next eight weeks, for the 5% challenge and stated I wanted to lose 7 pounds in eight weeks and guess what? Now, magically, my calorie range is MUCH lower (although I didn't correct my weekly calorie burn yet). In fact, I am not sure I can eat only 1240 calories a day and still have the energy to do those 11 hours! I was real comfortable at 1500, and lately, I've been trying to hit 1400 and that's worked out so far. So now, another, bigger step down. Funny how each little calorie becomes that much more valuable when you have fewer to work with. And there's such a huge difference between 1800 and 1200! Like, I am Jeckyl or I am Hyde!

I am determined to succeed at this challenge. And now I feel like I really understand what I've got to do for the next eight weeks to be successful. I've got hubby's participation and we've got a plan.

Good luck to all my Spark buddies who are also doing the challenge!

And if you believed the Spark thing today about low-cal ice cream, here's another idea for you!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COLUMBINE2 7/21/2011 5:58PM

    Hi, T! I've been out of pocket & wondering what you're doing!

Hey..call me buttinsky ---- but I"m worried about those high calories burned & low calories eaten. If you enter a correct reflection of your calories burned, it sure seems like more accurate info to determine needed fuel. (On the Fitness Tracker at the top is a tab..change goals. It'll take you to a fitness sheet where (at the very bottom) you'll record your actual goals burned (which are a boatfull, BTW!) Then when you look at your nutrition tracker, there may be a change in calorie range. Do you frequently get a message on your nutrition tracker in RED saying "if you don't consume enough calories, you can sabotage your weight loss plan, yada yada?) I think they're right (it scolds me on the weeks when I really work hard. I still subconsciously think that if I starve to death, I'll be skinnier. Nope...scale stays the same, but I AM crankier! Ask my DH!)

Maybe you know all this and have your own theory...but I'd urge you to update the info and see what it does to your calories before you go down to 1240 calories!!!!!! Your car won't drive without gas...same w/ your bod! It takes fuel; premium fuel for a premium athlete! emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/21/2011 6:00:57 PM

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COMPUCATHY 7/18/2011 8:40AM

    Wishing you the best! I'm sure that scale will respond to the challenge. Thanks for all your encouragement! I really appreciate it! Hope you have a GREAT week! Spark on! emoticon

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REYVE01 7/16/2011 6:07PM

    What is this challenge...it says it is private. Now I'm freaking out...

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NEWMAC2011 7/16/2011 5:43PM

    It's so great that you & Randy are doing this Challenge together! I have about 7.5 lbs to lose & hope to do more than that. Good luck to you & the Starfish!

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MCLAFLIN 7/16/2011 1:27PM

    LISAINMS has been struggling with her BMR, and found a way to accurately determine what it is. See her April 4th blog about Metabolic and VO2 Max testing. (She hasn't actually had the test yet, but will sometime next week, I believe. ) There may be a site close to you! And since you have been training for 5K, you would be able to do the run test. I believe the cost is $250, and you walk away with lots of info. You could even plug in that info into a Garmin HRM, but I know you have a Polar brand. (LISAINMS just got a Polar because they have a waterproof model. Wearing her Polar AND Garmin while biking and walking, the Polar shows about a 30% higher burn. Just an interesting tidbit.)

I doubt you really need to drop lower on your calories, you may be setting yourself up for starvation mode, and then you really screw up your metabolism! It is almost like you are in training for a marathon with all the fitness minutes you get in, and LISAINMS has done lots of research about that. She has read that 1800 calories is the minimum for said athlete! You might just check out all her blogs.

That being said, I AM on the Determined Daisys team for the 5% challenge. I would NEVER lead you astray! lol No, seriously, you should check out her page. I know you have seen her comments on my page, and she is a researching fool!

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THETURTLEBEAR 7/13/2011 11:43PM

    I was bummed you didn't sign up to be a Teddy Bear and instead said it didn't matter. After they took back all the former Teddy Bears, they took the new Teddy requests in the order they were logged. And of course you hadn't requested to be a Teddy at all. ARGH! Oh well, we'll compete. Meanwhile very cool that Randy is on your team - better than being on a team with me I suppose!! I am supposed to be a motivation leader for my team and haven't even begun to engage in this, with dad's death. Still in Mass. with mom, who takes 150% of my attention. She would like me to just stay here, but I need to go home this weekend. I am just taking one day at a time. Tomorrow I am going to try to get caught up on the challenge emails, etc.

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BEATLETOT 7/13/2011 8:49AM

    We're glad to have both of you on the Starfish team! It's awesome that you have your husband doing the Challenge with you. I have both my sisters doing it with me, and it's so FUN to have a real world person that doesn't think you're crazy when you start talking about your online friends, cuz they know them!

Go Starfish!

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CHAR1970 7/12/2011 10:04PM

    Good luck with the challenge! It's awesome you and hubby are on the same team.

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LOTUSBURGER 7/12/2011 9:15PM

    WOO HOO!!!
COMPETITION!!
We can do it!
I'm afraid becaue my calorie intake went through the roof!

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ECASPERS 7/12/2011 8:06PM

    I appreciate your focus! Somehow I know you can do this!

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Hike to Ouzel Falls with my dear hubby

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I've had a really fun weekend still getting used to having my hubby around again. I like him here, that's for sure. Yesterday, we drove an hour and a half up Poudre Canyon to do this hike we've been wanting to do but when we got there and I went to put on my boots, DUH! I had forgotten to grab my arch support inserts and without those this girl will not hike. It means pain, pain and more pain and then even more pain that night and the next day sooooo... We drove around instead. Went up some back roads and scouted out camping spots and saw some beautiful scenery and some pronghorn and an elk. Drove up a weird lonely mountain just over the Wyoming border that had an observatory at the top and it was so deserted up there and the view was so breath-taking that we parked our new Forester on a jeep side road and christened it.
The view from the mountain in question-


Today, after making darn sure I had those inserts, we drove up to the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park and hiked up to Ouzel Falls. TONS of water in the stream! It was crazy. At one point it was flooding the trail and we had to wade through it over rocks and logs and it was cold. Saw some kind of pheasant and her babies crossing the trail and a little chipmuck type thing but no elk or deer. We took the long way back and were rewarded with spectacular views. Lots of flowers, the temp was perfect and we had a nice picnic lunch by the falls. He wore his new HRM and it said he burned over 2400 calories! Wow. I bet I burned 1500 at most. Think we went about 8 miles and climbed about 1000 feet.

the trail goes through some aspen


These are called the Calypso Cascades


Here's me in front of Ouzel Falls, see them way back there?


He's liking the sandwiches I made


I love seeing columbines in the wild

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REYVE01 7/16/2011 6:32PM

    Hey... I missed this blog. I haven't been on this hike yet, it is on my list.

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NWILKER 7/12/2011 10:33AM

    Yeah! Awesome hike!!!
Yeah for the xtra calorie burn! Christening and hiking!

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MCLAFLIN 7/11/2011 12:31PM

    You are so lucky to be able to hike in all the beautiful territory around you! And the calorie burn! WOW!

Haha, christening the Forester! We have christened the bath room in the bath house, but not the store room or the main sitting area. DH reminds me of that often!

So glad you are enjoying DH being home. I never doubted that! Are the dogs behaving better now?

DH is now saying he would like to head to CO: drive there in a day, camp three days, and drive home. Will let you know!

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ASL191 7/11/2011 6:32AM

    WOW - that looks absolutely beautiful!

Wish I could come too!

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CHAR1970 7/10/2011 11:51PM

    Beautiful area!

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MOTIVATED@LAST 7/10/2011 11:39PM

    Great pics, and a great hike!

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COLUMBINE2 7/10/2011 11:02PM

    Teresa....beautiful photos! I love columbines sooo much!. We have several large areas of columbines (plus a flower bed) blooming their heads off! What a uniquely designed flower they are!

That water is roarin', isn't it? Our rivers are still out of banks in many places up here. I'll bet you're thrilled Randy's home...and neither of you are "gettin' on a jet plane".... (you're probably too young to remember that tune!)

Thanks for the comment....you knew exactly what to say. I'm a chronic people-pleaser and my dh always has the most fun ideas you've ever heard. It's soooo hard to say, "No, I can't go with you. I need to go to the gym." Or, "No thanks. I'd rather stay home & eat dry turkey, yogurt, carrots and an apple than go out for lunch with you." lol

I'm positive you're facing the exact same issue. Our dhs are the funnest guys around...they're so hard to resist!!! emoticon
But resist, we must. (she sez! )

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KOFFEENUT 7/10/2011 10:07PM

    What a great hike! And there's nothing quite like sharing it with the one you love, is there?!?

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K_CHRISTER 7/10/2011 9:12PM

    Wow, what a nice hike.

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Celebrating My 6 Month Anniversary

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Yay! I've stuck with this for six months. When I joined, Spark told me I could get down to 133 in six months (their goal, not mine). I haven't done that, not even close. And why not? Who knows? Really. Weight loss is not an exact science and the numbers people do bandy about don't seem to apply to me. I have tracked expending 3500 more calories than I take in time and time again with no loss of weight. I've seen other people talk about the 90% rule and know darn well that does not apply to me. I have to both eat right and exercise like a fiend to lose weight and I have to do that every single day. Lots of days I can do that, I enjoy working out and the eating at the low end of my calorie range isn't a big deal but once a week or every 10 days or so, I can't do it. Something comes up or gets in my way and I end up with too many calories for the day or I miss a workout. And that one day seems to undo all of the good ones. So, I am stuck. I have not lost any new weight since April.
But, I have lost 16 pounds and that's great. I have learned to run and can do a 5K without stopping, yippee. The strength training has made me stronger and leaner, love that. I have made some awesome new friends. I will keep tracking what I eat and my exercise because I like knowing that I am doing what's good for my body. I will keep pushing and taking it 'up a notch' to improve my body because I do like the challenge and discovering what I can do and I love how I feel after a good workout. But I really don't expect to lose many more pounds even though a quick check in the mirror shows them available. I'd have to be TOO regimented, I'd have to never have a "bad" day, I'd have to work out even more than I already do. I'd have to be "perfect".
I've had my Cheerios with blueberries and 1% milk and am heading out for a bike ride that should burn over 500 calories. And I'll be happy doing it. To me, that's Sparking!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASL191 7/10/2011 3:24AM

    Well done for making it to six months. That is an achievment right there. I wonder how many people from our 'class' are still here? It seems to me you have achieved loads and maybe the number on the scale isn't budging as much as you like but just look at all the other thigns that have happenend - celebrate those!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TALLGUY42 7/10/2011 12:58AM

    Funny how ambitious SP's goals are compared to reality.

I looked at their goals for me and laughed out loud.

All that aside, you have accomplished a ton in 6 months and given many of us the privilege of your friendship.

I wish you the best for the rest of your journey.
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NEWMAC2011 7/9/2011 1:59AM

    You have accomplished so much in these 6 months. The number isn't as important as the other changes like making healthy food choices and working out. Being able to run a 5K without stopping is AWESOME! Your 5Ks have sparked me and I just started the 5K Your Way Challenge so in 7 more weeks I'll be able to run one too, just like you! You've been inspirational AND motivational and I'm so fortunate to have you as a sparkfriend. Here's to the next 6 months & the Summer 5% Challenge!

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MCLAFLIN 7/7/2011 5:00PM

    Yay for you! You were so worried that you would be a "dropout," and you've proven you can stay with the program for the long haul! You may never lose another pound, but then again, you might! No matter what, you are healthier (and I hope happier) than you were 6 months ago!

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FEISTY1949 7/7/2011 9:11AM

    Everybody is different, that's for sure. I can lose weight on 1500 calories a day, with exercise, and my older sister can't lose weight if she takes in more than 1200 calories a day, even with exercise. It's just the way it is and what's important is that we like ourselves no matter what our weight.

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CHAR1970 7/5/2011 11:08PM

    Spark told me I could lose 39 pounds by now. Lol, yeah right! I've lost almost 25. But I've decided it's not all about weight. You've gained muscle, insight, and confidence in your abilities. Pat yourself on the back for what you have done. Congrats on your 6 months!

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MSWEEZER 7/5/2011 8:00PM

    You got it and you're doing great. Don't focus on the scale but on how you feel and all the 'good' you are doing for YOU!! You are a great role model for us all. I'm also envious and proud of you that you've managed to learn to run a 5k without stopping. I don't know if I'll ever be able but I plan to keep at it and just whittle away with small improvements for "ME". Thanks for sharing and congrats on your 6 month sparkversary!!!

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KOFFEENUT 7/5/2011 6:47PM

    Six months later and you're stronger and leaner - that's a WIN! Good for you for not being so focused on the numbers. The important thing is that you're healthier and continuing to move further down that path. I agree - that's the TRUE "Sparking" spirit!!!

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THEHONESTME 7/5/2011 12:10PM

    Oh wow! I had to click 'I like'! This is soooooo true! I feel the same way - I work and I work and I work - yeah, I see some improvement in the scale occasionally, but really, do any of my friends have to work as hard as I do to be a "normal" weight? NO!! So ya know what? That just means we are "made" differently and we really do need to look at this from a different point of view - that being, good health, healthy eating, and exercise!

Love, love, love this! Thanks for saying it so perfectly emoticon

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K_CHRISTER 7/5/2011 11:11AM

    You have done a great job, far too many focus on the numbers, but forget that maybe it is all about living and feeling better. Muscle mass is also denser (and therefore heavier) than 'muscle mass in rest', that could provide some explanation. Do be satisfied with the fact you exercise regularly and hey nine days out of ten is is also a 90% rule. Don't loose faith and keep up the good work.

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THETURTLEBEAR 7/5/2011 10:09AM

    I agree - I think that the fact that we've become those people who exercise regularly is the single most exciting thing about the six months. I am much more proud of that than any pound lost. I've lost pounds before; I've NEVER exercised regularly before. I think you've done great and your self-discoveries have been awesome. And you're a cool runner - can't beat that!
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