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Confessions of a Dreamer

Monday, January 25, 2010


I have a confession. Of the five months or so that I've been on SparkPeople, I've kept to my calorie range a grand total of twice. Yes, you read that right. Twice.

In my earlier blogs, I used to refer to my range as being 2700-2900. It wasn't then nor is it now. I saw the range that SP gave me and said, "Forget that, I couldn't do that on my best day". Even now after making several positive adjustments to my eating. I'm still eating 2500-2600 on most days(about 100 more than my range).

SparkPeople provides a calorie range based on where you are and where you need to be. The numbers appear to be a range by which one can safely lose 1-2 pounds. It's a good guideline and I hope to be there someday.

When I was looking into calorie cycling, I found the concept of the BMR. Basically it's the rate that your body will burn calories if you do absolutely nothing on a given day. This rate changes the more active you are. If you either eat 500 calories less per day, or burn it exercising you will lose a pound.

I bring this up because I see people who are trying really hard beat themselves up for going like 200 calories above their range. It saddens me, frankly. These people have a good/great week and get upset with themselves for having a bad day. This results in them losing 0.8-1.8 pounds rather than 1-2.

As a result of only making minor changes and not quite hitting my range, I've lost 15 pounds in 21 weeks. Again, you read that right. Do the math, that comes to about .8 pounds per week. Generally far less if you consider that I've had two weeks where I lost over 3 pounds. Not too impressive, eh?

If I had dogmatically kept to my range, made huge changes, given up all of my "sinful" foods, I could have been at my goal weight weeks ago. Right? In theory, yes. In reality, no, not really. I would have felt restricted and would have burnt out. Happened on every other diet I tried.

I want a changed life. I want to enjoy the journey to health. There have been times when I forced myself to eat bad foods that I no longer enjoyed, because I wanted to give my body time to adjust well to the other changes that I was making. To some extent, I'm still doing that in certain areas today. They will be addressed eventually, but not now.

I am very happy with my progress and will continue to make very small changes, not restricting myself from eating foods (unless they are addictive). It will take me longer than most people to get to my goal....

But I wouldn't have it any other way.

-TD out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLEY2010 1/29/2010 6:37PM

  you know what they say.....slow and steady wins the race!!!

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DMOMMYOF3 1/28/2010 4:53PM

    Great blog thanks for sharing, really gives one something to think about.

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TSEWARD 1/27/2010 6:24PM

    If you don't mind my asking...why are you exhausted? Just curious. I too am. Most of the time.

But, hey! I finally took the plunge and bought Clif Bars-the brownie ones. They look like poo but taste like SUPER AWESOMENESS! I would not miss candy bars one bit with these around.

I really enjoyed your blog. I had no idea you picked your own calorie range. This makes me feel so much better! When I would read of your successful days within range, I would think, man he can do it, what is wrong with me? I agree...In my head, if I 2000 or under (300 above my range) I know I have had a good day..especially if I ate nutritious food. I need to adjust from eating 3000+ calories most days.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Nite. thanks for your visit on my page!!

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AMBERLOU_87 1/27/2010 5:56PM

    I completely agree with you about not completely restricting yourself and burning out, because I know that's EXACTLY what would happen to me if I kept my diet as strict as it would need to be to lose more weight quickly. I only have about 7 pounds to lose to get to my goal weight and I feel like I've been here forever, but what I've learned about myself, how my body functions on what kinds of foods, and what habits I can continue all the time to keep myself from jumping off the wagon in frustration.
And by the way, 15 pounds in 21 weeks is AWESOME! Especially considering how few you have to lose to be at a healthy weight! I'm lucky if I lose .8 pounds (and keep it off) in a month!

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SROBBINS02 1/26/2010 8:41PM

    Well done emoticon You ARE going to get there!

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FITGRL124 1/26/2010 9:44AM

    I think you're right about one thing - you are doing this healthy, not starving yourself and you're happy!

emoticon emoticon

Continually cheering you on because you're doing emoticon

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DKAB55 1/25/2010 10:42PM

    I think this is the way it should be done. For example I'm eating homemade chicken and dumpling soup; but i'm still in my caloric range. I do go over at times, I find that If I'm so restrictive I too will fail...I'm not a carrot and celery stick kind of dieter...I'm not on a diet! I'm choosing to eat healthier. Because of this I've lost my appetite or cravings for the high calorie "sweets" and sodium loaded foods.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STLRZGRRL 1/25/2010 8:59PM

    The MOST important thing is that YOU are living YOUR life... Happy.


I said it so it has to be true.

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YOGINI_JACKIE 1/25/2010 8:57PM

    Right on! This is a marathon and not a sprint--isn't that what they say?

You have quite possibly the BEST attitude out of any of my Spark Friends. Taking things one day at a time and celebrating the overall achievements is the way to be.

Rock on!

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Alright, ladies!

Ladies: Yes?

TD: Do you or have you ever had THAT friend? You know which one I'm talking about. She's smarter than you, more successful than you, prettier than you and of course (drumroll...............) thinner than you?

Ladies: No, not at all. We're the prettiest, smartest, thinnest and healthiest in our respective circles of friends. And, unlike you, we have self-confidence.

TD: OK, FINE then get H&*k OUT OF MY BLOG POST!!! NOW NOW!!! GO!!!!!!!!!

(Ladies leave blog post saying things like "OMG what a loser" and "Like, what's his issue")

TD: OK, so where was I? Oh yeah. Well guess what. I have one of those friends.......... (wait for it).......... in DUDE form.

I did not realize how status oriented this fine person was until he started dating his current girlfriend. I blogged about him in my "2nd worst Christmas ever" blog. the other night I was at a soiree with him (sans girlfriend, thank goodness). He of course slipped her into conversation and everyone jumped right on it. "Is there a proposal?".

I could just see him beaming with pride. In his circle of friends, married="success" and single="failure" (*). He's planning on proposing soon.

Now I hate weddings almost as much as life itself (**). Being a single dude who hates the very notion of marriage being surrounded by mostly married couples (***) dreading the "so when are you..." question, it's not my first choice of weekend activities. Also knowing that my friend is going to essentially stop talking to me once they get engaged (friends are an indignity suffered until marriage). He really is a good friend when not dating someone, I swear.

This time, it's going to be different. I've always been his loser friend, not as successful/smart/healthy(****). He's going to propose to her in the next few months. I reckon that the wedding will be sometime late 2010 or early 2011. Forget 195 pounds and "healthy". I will be 166 pounds and the most smokin' hot dude at the reception. Single girls (if there are any) at the wedding, watch out. TD's back in the house!!! No, forget that. Maybe I will show up with some-one(*****).

My apologies to the ladies I yelled at earlier, btw.

- TD out.
(*) Yeah, why DID I leave that church, exactly?

(**) Note the "almost"

(***) I of course have the added benefit of being that fat pathetic socially-awkward person.

(****) I've been as much as 60 pounds heavier than he.

(*****) It's OK, I didn't realize that I was this shallow/bitter either.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DMOMMYOF3 1/28/2010 5:02PM

    I too love your blogs. My mother DKAB55 said that I need to read your blogs because they are so funny, so here I am and shall I say, F.U.N.N.Y it is.

It looks like you are on your way to a new and wonderful you. I wish you luck in your journey. I'm off to read your other blogs now lol..

Take Care.


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DKAB55 1/25/2010 10:49PM

    Love your blogs...You're so funny!
On day my young friend you will meet Ms. Right...But don't forsake the Ms. Right Now' never know. You my friend are going to make some young woman a wonderful husband...when the time is right of course!
Take it from an old have what it takes to be the best possible can be!

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GETTIN2OLD4THIS 1/25/2010 12:32AM

    Now that I think of it...even if I am heavy, I love me some wedding receptions. :-)

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YOGINI_JACKIE 1/24/2010 9:05AM

    Your blogs are amazing! I love your comments about marriage--I am at the point in my life where all of my friends are getting engaged, it's nuts! My guy and I are just going to lay low until the wave subsides so we are not "just another" couple getting married. Plus I have no money and no time! hehe

Anyway, I think you're totally right--you can use this wedding as a goal post. Set your sights towards being the hottest guy there--don't worry about what your friend is up to.

With your amazing attitude, you will definitely have the last laugh!

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TSEWARD 1/24/2010 8:28AM

    Love Love Love your blogs! And yes, definately have had those friends...HATE THEM! Especially for the skinny part...they seem to have the one thing I want that continues to elude me.
As for yours in dude form, I agree with SROBBINS02: "And you're funny, and a great friend, and sensitive and caring- why on earth would anyone not want you as a friend?" She is so right.
And once again, it is so cool to hear that dudes experience these feelings! Yay you for telling it like it is. You are a dude with strenght and courage.


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BYEBYEFAT. 1/23/2010 9:37PM

    pfft guys got it easy... they are the ones doing the proposing, us girls have to sit here and wait... and wait... and wait... thinking our time will NEVER come haha. But we will both be at our goal weights by your buddies wedding :) even if only one of us is attending haha. good luck!

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SROBBINS02 1/23/2010 6:28AM

    Dude, everyone feels like this at some time, even (and especially) the skinny, hot people. Although you haven't posted any pics of yourself, I'm betting you're hot as a radiator on full blast in Barbados. Oh yeah. And you're funny, and a great friend, and sensitive and caring- why on earth would anyone not want you as a friend? Hell, if he abandons you- I'm moving out there. You're getting a Berkshire babe (whateverrr) as a BFF. emoticon

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JANBAUW 1/22/2010 9:35PM

    Thanks for the laugh!

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The Vending Machine Questions

Monday, January 18, 2010

Back when I was in the best shape of my life (my current goal weight and BF percentage), I had a friend who also started exercising to get in good shape. She started eating really healthfully. She lost a lot of weight, gained a lot of definition. She moved to the coast so I lost contact with her. When my friend was first starting out she and I were talking on the phone one night and she described a co-worker at the vending machine.

Said co-worker was completely agonizing about what to buy. She really wanted a candy bar, but was really concerned about the negative health impact. She "knew" that she should get a healthier option. But she REALLY wanted the candy bar. Apparently this vocalized self-debate went on for minutes as my friend waited for the vending machine.

My friend was a bit confused and she asked me if this was right or healthy, basically should she be as concerned as her co-worker was. Here was, and still is, my take on it. Two questions:

1) If a person ate 8-12 fruits and vegetables a day, almost all lean protein, healthy oils and nuts for fat, whole grains and lean dairy/soy products all week and bought the candy bar, how much of a difference would that candy bar make in their health?

2) If a person ate nothing but candy, snack chips, fat cuts of meat, simple refined fiberless breads/pastas and no fruits or vegetables all week and chose the granola bar, peanuts or craisins, how much of a difference would that make in their health.

Both questions are rhetorical.

Yes, individual choices do add up. Yes, perhaps she was trying to break a chocolate addiction as I am. I admit that I don't have the full context of my friend's co-worker's life.

At the same time, SparkPeople has helped me get to the point that I can generally eat and live healthier, so that I don't feel controlled by individual choices. If I feel like a bag of chips, I'll have a bag of chips. It's a bigger picture.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLEY2010 1/29/2010 6:40PM

  Haha i really really loved this one!!

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DMOMMYOF3 1/28/2010 5:24PM

    As TSEWARD put it,"this sure puts things in perspective" thanks for taking the two and comparing them, at times I feel that I too have made bad choices, I guess that's what got me where I am in life. but I too have started making better choices, Just seems difficult at times and that's where SP comes in.

This site has been great, its giving me my life back. This summer I can't wait to go hiking and partake in all the outdoor fun.

Thanks for sharing,


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TSEWARD 1/20/2010 6:34PM

    This sure puts things in perspective! It's good to be reminded of the bigger picture. Thanks for stopping by my page. The computer has been hooked up to our TV so the screen is big. Therefore my husband has commandeered it. It's a phase...he will get over it and I will have more spark time. I am going to see what I can catch up on for the days I have missed. I hope you are having a fantastic week! And how did the De-chox go? Do you still feel a tug when you catch a glimpse of it or salivate when others partake? I am thinking at some point the gut feeling of 'needing' it goes away, leaving you to make better choices.

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Grab bootstraps, lift self up.....

Friday, January 15, 2010

First of all, thanks to all of you who commented on my last blog (heck thanks to you for reading this one). Your encouragement is really appreciated.

My eating has been absolutely awful this week. My eating was out of control Tuesday and Wednesday. I ate out Wednesday and Thursday and had company free pizza lunches yesterday and today. To boot, I ran out of several of my low GI morning foods. I had little time to exercise. On the plus side I haven't touched any chocolate since 12/31.

Well, the storm is over. It's the weekend and I don't have any plans until Sunday evening. I'm going to go to Trader Joes or whole foods this evening and restock. This weekend, we're bringing it back.

I guess I really underestimated how much of an emotional eater I am. Granted, things have been really stressful at work (a lot of changes in my department) and I don't really have a healthy coping mechanism for dealing with it. Maybe I have the boredom and social stresses under control and need to work on anxiety stress. I dunno.

Any advice on how to deal with emotional eating would be much appreciated.

All right: Grab bootstraps, pick self up in 3....2....1.....

- TD out

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DMOMMYOF3 1/28/2010 5:45PM

    I'm sorry that you are feeling discouraged, but look on the bright side you haven't had a candy bar since 12/31 that's great.

you should forgive and forget,
1) forgive yourself for eating out and enjoying all the wrong foods.
2) forget the past and look towards the future, sure you messed up in the past but tomorrow is a new day and you can start again.

you only truly fail when you have given up on yourself, but take small steps, don't deprive yourself of the things you really enjoy or your cravings for them will overcome your willpower to give them up.

After all we are all human and are allowed to make mistakes right? I wish you well on your journey and remember when your feeling overcome by your emotions or life, blog about it and your going to get some great responses. (maybe this will help you with emotional eating) You have a wonderful way of writing that make others want to read... you keep it real and make us laugh.

thanks for sharing. emoticon

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SROBBINS02 1/18/2010 4:40PM

    Whoohoo, lets bring this sucka on back. Um, if I could think of some sort of rousing cheer I would totally do it.

Meh, we're human. We're never going to be perfect. I read a BRILLIANT article in the Times today (my fave newspaper here- this is the link online
th/article6989751.ece ) The operative part is about halfway through where the writer speaks of people placing too much pressure on themselves to overachieve, to be absolf***inglutely (sorry) perfect- I know it screws me up and I'm sure it does others too. Without that pressure and the knowledge that it is ok to have off days, or weeks, or months even... but knowing that overall, our lives are healthier than *before*, we're better off. That's my version of bootstraps anyway :)

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GETTIN2OLD4THIS 1/16/2010 2:16PM

    Sorry I didn't comment on your last blog. I am right where you are..and I just stare at the page and think " I got nuthin."

I am sure I am up for the motivational spark member of the month!

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CDSPARK 1/15/2010 8:50PM

    Love this! emoticon

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YOGINI_JACKIE 1/15/2010 8:39PM

    Yayy Trader Joes! I went after work today and I went nuts :)

I always tend to be more prone to emotional eating in the winter months--it must be something about the cold, short days...ugh.

But you have the right attitude. Have a great weekend!

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I'm Feeling Really Discouraged. Please Help

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm having trouble keeping even close to my calorie range. I'm having trouble scheduling a workout at the gym. I totally ate poorly today. The next three days aren't looking any better.

I'm trying to do this week's challenge (The Healthy Lifestyle 24 scale) and not even coming close.

I feel the weight coming back on. I feel sick and look flabby *sigh*.

I know that a bad day is a bad day. I'm not beating myself up. I'm just afraid that I'm falling back into my old patterns and that I'm never going to break totally free. I'm always going to be one bad week away from falling completely off.

I haven't said this or felt this way in a while, but.....

I feel discouraged.

Have you felt like this? If so how have you gotten through this? Any advice is appreciated.

- TD out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMLG11 1/30/2010 10:10AM

    Boy I as just sitting here this morning thinking the same thing. I have had a bad couple of days. Not eating horrible, not just as well as I would like. It is so easy to slip. It takes so much diligence to stick with it. I do have to say reading this and reading everyone else's comments has made me feel more motivated for today. I am going to go down and blast the tunes and work out. Your sharing your feelings has helped me so I hope it helped you as well. We are all in this together. Thanks for helping me!!

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DMOMMYOF3 1/28/2010 5:50PM

    We all have those days. You can never truly revert back to your old ways unless you have given up on yourself. Just don't give up and you win the fight.

Good luck and hope your feeling much better.


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TRADTRAV 1/16/2010 7:57AM

    Sorry I miss that! I hope you got encouraged!

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COLIBRI930 1/15/2010 8:48AM

    Only thing I can add to all the other wonderful comments is a suggestion to exercise at home instead of the gym. My gym closed last year, and instead of joining a new gym, I decided to save the money and exercise at home. I use the SP generated strength exercises under the fitness link, and I walk, either outside or in the house. I walk to music CD's or use Leslie Sansone's walk at home DVDs. I cant tell you how many times I did not exercise because it was too far to drive to the gym! So, now that is no longer an obstacle or an excuse. Good luck, and keep going!

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TSEWARD 1/14/2010 6:27PM

    I like the water drinking idea. This helps me have a better day.

TD, you are a strong, positive, incredibly genius person. You CAN DO IT!
Was it you? Someone wrote on my page one day that if you have a dollar and you take away a penny, you still have .99 left. Your blog about enjoying a party and not feeling like weight was a barrier really captured what matters. Even when you have a bad day, week, or month, May I say it doesn't do a thing to change all of the good you've done, all of the changes you've made, and all of the positive results of your effort.

I totally relate to the flabby feeling. Ever since I have been downing snack sized candy bars, my whole belly jiggles when I run. It is a bad, bad feeling.
Hang in there! Your blogs have helped your SP friends so much, Please let us know if we can do anything else to help you.

This comment is cheesy. I do not know how to be humorous and encouraging at the same time. This is the best I can do:

How do you get a kleenex to dance? You put a little boogie in it.

See you!

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CHERYLB80 1/14/2010 10:09AM

    Don't give up because you have a lousy week!! Guess what, we all do... and guess what else... you'll probably have another one eventually too... and guess what... you'll be okay then too... put yer big boy underpants on and deal with it :)

ok, so I don't really know you and probably shouldn't say that stuff to a stranger, but your other blog made it seem like you might have a sense of humor so I went for it... and seriously... this is just a minor setback... you're not alone in having bad weeks and YOU REALLY CAN DO IT! emoticon

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SPIFFYCAT 1/14/2010 8:57AM


Would working out your weeks meals in advance help you to stick to plan, you can factor in a small treat each day.

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YOGINI_JACKIE 1/14/2010 7:27AM

    Ok, first of all, you know you are not fully falling into your old patterns because you are writing about it. I know that when I fully fall off the wagon, it's like I am in denial about what I eat and the other choices I make.

I was actually going to post a vblog about this last night, but for whatever reason the video wouldn't load. I know it's tough, but even if you can only get in 10 minutes of exercise, it will make you feel better. You don't have to haul all the way to the gym if you don't have time--just do some jumping jacks or pushups or something. Anything to get your body moving a bit. It may be hard to get going, but believe me, you will be glad that you did. If you really have the willpower, you could try waking up a little bit earlier in the mornings to squeeze in some exercise.

When you say the next three days aren't looking any better, what do you mean? If you are too busy to work out, that may be difficult to avoid, but you should still be able to make smart eating choices. Could you pack a lunch or do something to avoid temptation?

Sorry if I sound preachy--I am far from judging you right now. I, too, will binge eat, skip the gym, and start to feel really down on myself from time to time. In all honesty, my entire fall/holiday season was filled with self-loathing. But I feel like at the end of the day, it is you who gets to decide whether your day will be good or bad.

I hope today is a better one.

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GDY2SHUZ 1/13/2010 10:56PM

    Yes I have felt like that, and it is not a good place to be. I'd like to make a suggestion.

Upon getting out of bed in the morning, have a glass of water (hard I know, but you can do it), to have 1 glass with breakfast, another glass before lunch and 1 more with lunch. Try to drink 2 more glasses of water during the afternoon. That leaves 1 glass of water before dinner and 1 after, That is your 8 glasses of water for the day. Should help alter your appetite and be a good start to getting the water your body needs.

Tomorrow is emoticon with a clean slate. Remember to track all your food, and get some fresh air, maybe a walk. Just for 1 day..............then on day 2, just for this day. Before you know it you will feel so much better emoticon Di

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WASCALLYWONE 1/13/2010 10:55PM

    Reading your blog, I think you are using negative self-talk, which may turn into negative action. So, do the opposite. Stand in front of a mirror and say something encouraging to yourself, as if you were a friend talking to you. (You ARE, you know!) Then wash your face, brush your teeth, give yourself a smile and walk PURPOSEFULLY out of that room to PURPOSEFULLY do something constructive -- (clean something, do a little exercise, listen to peppy music) to help keep you in an "up" mood.

Do you VISUALIZE yourself living the behaviors of a healthy, fit person? Try to go to that place in your head several times a day and soon it will be a habit.

Now, understand that I do fight this same battle as you, ALOT. And some days and weeks are harder than others. So, just know that this, too, will pass and you will be making progress in no time! Think POSITIVE!

Hope this helps a little.

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