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Move up 5 spaces

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I found this little card during my walk this morning. On one side it says, "Exercise Today! Move up 5 spaces."

On the other side it says, "When BMR increases, cellular metabolism of carbs, lipids and proteins increases."

It looks like it might be from a handmade game of some kind. I find this intriguing, charming and inspiring.

Us SparkPeeps are used to our fitness and nutrition goals being "gamified" with the points we earn here. But I love the thought of someone making and playing an actual board game with the in person interaction and hands-on aspects that would come with it.

I feel a health-conscious craft project with my kids coming on...

You guys want to help me make up cards? I'm thinking of things like, "get a good night's sleep," or even negatives that the kids would find funny like "you have bad gas, move back 2 spaces." Leave suggestions in the comments.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4EVERADONEGIRL 11/5/2014 7:52PM

    That is totally adorable and if you want to make a work version I'd totally play it with ya! :-)

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ICEDEMETER 10/30/2014 4:54PM

    The "bad gas" just comes with eating healthy, doesn't it? Or is it just me? It's a good thing I don't get out much...

That's a way cool thing that you found, and I love the idea that you got from it! Are you going to make it a "permanent" game board, with the family making their "moves" each day, or have it as another game for "family game night"?

It might be fun to add in some organization stuff, like "completed homework before dinner", or "cleaned out dresser drawer", or "didn't put the laundry away, but found something to wear under the bed"...

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SUBMOM2 10/30/2014 4:42PM

    That IS cute. It's neat the little things we notice while walking.

Hmmm...maybe for the board game you could break up "exercise today" into specific challenges, like "jump rope for 10 minutes" or "walk to the mailbox" or "make 7 free throws".

Have fun!

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2015TODAY 10/30/2014 2:15PM


And you could sneak in things like: help mom with the laundry, move up 3 spaces - make your bed, move up 2 spaces!

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MSHEL7 10/30/2014 1:42PM

    Love the bad gas one, that is great. I'm not too creative, but will think about it over the day and if I come up with something I'll let you know. The possibilities are endless and it sounds like a lot of fun.

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life hacks 2fer

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Life hack: fly-away cardigans

I wear a cardigan to work just about every day because my office is FREEZING all the time. A couple of my cardigans don't button or fasten at all which drives me crazy when I go out for a walk on my break. (Now that it's fall I need the cardigan outside too! Crazy!) I just hate it when my sweater flies open and slides off my shoulders.

Solution? Binder clip!

Bringing "Business Dorky" to a whole new level.

Life hack: small snack storage

A handful of nuts is a great snack. But to take them on the go you need to put them in something, and I try to avoid plastic baggies. I really appreciate reusing and repurposing items. You know. The whole Reduce, Reuse, Recycle thing. Turns out small prescription bottles are an excellent size for just this purpose. I have 3 in my small purse right now.

From left to right: walnuts, lightly salted almonds, and because it's the season of pumpkin spice every-freaking-thing, pumpkin spice almonds

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAYBYDAY14 11/8/2014 3:52AM

  I have been looking for a way to preserve my spices.
The mini tupperware boxes, just don't seem to seal all that well.
I think your pill boxes will be perfect!
Thanks for the tip! emoticon

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4EVERADONEGIRL 11/5/2014 7:51PM


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CMNOVAK 10/29/2014 7:25AM

    I love it! Binder clips are the best invention ever.

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2015TODAY 10/29/2014 7:02AM

    Handy solutions! I found a cheap store in my country that sells tiny plastic containers. About twice the size of a small lucifer box. I bought them because I thought they were cute, I didn't expect them to be useful.
But they are indeed sooo handy for carrying nuts! I also use them to store herbs that I buy in a plastic bag; once the bag is open I never knew where to put them.

Comment edited on: 10/29/2014 7:03:56 AM

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SUBMOM2 10/29/2014 12:32AM

    I used a binder clip on my dress one day at work. Life saver!

I love the idea of the prescription bottle for the almonds. At home I put them in a shot glass but I guess that wouldn't look so good at work. emoticon

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WIFE49 10/28/2014 3:22PM

    Yes, indeed....binder clips have so many uses.

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ICEDEMETER 10/28/2014 3:17PM

    Oooh - good thinking!

Binder clips are kept everywhere, and are good for everything, but that use for the pill bottles never occurred to me. Now I'll just have to pry the next ones out of the Man's hands before he kidnaps them to keep assorted nuts, bolts, fuses, and other small parts organized in the vehicle tool bag.

Sorry to hear that it's cardigan weather outside, too --- but it's got to be better than the 100+!

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NEKOCHARM 10/28/2014 2:58PM

    Binder clips are so useful! I use them in the kitchen instead of those plastic bag clips. They're much sturdier. And pill bottles for nuts - what a great idea! I just came across a couple of empty bottles yesterday, and couldn't decide if I should chuck them into the recycle bin or use them for something. Now I know. Thanks for the ideas! :-)

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MSHEL7 10/28/2014 2:52PM

    Binder clips are the best. I also take the clips off of the plastic pants hangers (after they have gotten broken and can no longer be used as a hanger) and use them for clips for the bread bags or chip bags, or even baking items bags, like choc. chips or brown sugar-the possibilities are endless. I do love the pill bottle idea, I'm going to use that one for sure. Thanks for sharing.

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FINCHFEEDER80 10/28/2014 2:36PM

    Binder clips have saved me from a variety of office clothing fails!

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ADARKARA 10/28/2014 2:22PM

    great hacks!

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2DAWN4 10/28/2014 2:16PM

    I enjoyed the hacks! Smart ideas!

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note to self about chocolate and sugar

Friday, October 03, 2014

I hope that writing this out helps me really accept something about myself that I know on an intellectual level, but I just don't seem to assimilate.

When I eat chocolate, I don't sleep well.

When I eat sugar, I get irritable and agitated.

Even if I don't consider the impact chocolate and sugar may have on my weight and other health factors, the impact on my sleep and mood affect my quality of life in real and immediate ways.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4EVERADONEGIRL 10/7/2014 6:02PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ALICIA363 10/5/2014 8:38PM

    Hope seeing it in writing helps!

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/4/2014 3:16PM

    Man, I was doing so well with sugar for a long time. Suddenly, whamo. I've got to correct this current trend of more sugar daily.

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FINCHFEEDER80 10/4/2014 12:57PM

    I have to remind myself of that with dairy products. When I really get the urge for chocolate milk or ice cream, I just remember how terrible my sinuses will feel and how long it will take for my face to clear back up. Sometimes that's more powerful than the impact to the scale. Good luck!

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ICEDEMETER 10/4/2014 10:11AM

    MSHEL7 is right - the knowledge of how something specifically affects us is sooo important (even when it's knowledge that we'd really rather not have!)

I hope that the next step - using that knowledge to tweak what you're eating - isn't too steep...

(Weird personal thing - for me, a bit shaky and irritable from a bit too much sugar can be counter-acted by strong, black coffee...)


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FREGGIE 10/4/2014 3:58AM

    Oh do I hear you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUBMOM2 10/4/2014 1:54AM

    That's a tough one. emoticon

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HOTPINKCAMARO49 10/3/2014 11:27PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSHEL7 10/3/2014 11:04PM

    I love it when we can see how something is affecting us in the real world, not just cals in and cals out. Knowledge is half the battle.

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two years on SparkPeople

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Two years ago today, I signed up for SparkPeople and started tracking what I ate. It was so enlightening to track! Things I thought were at least moderately healthy choices (like the veggie burrito at Del Taco) weren't so great after all.

My original weightloss goal was to lose 100 pounds by my 40th birthday in 2017. (I guess I didn't want to rush anything.) With healthy doses of commitment and luck, I surpassed that original goal and did so ahead of schedule. (I also upped my goal to lose a total of 140 pounds and met that, but have had some regain since then.)

I tracked my nutrition, fitness and water religiously for about 18 months. But things changed and tracking what I ate was no longer a good tool for me. It became a weapon I used against myself. I would binge, track, berate and repeat.

But that is just my story. If tracking works for you the way it did for me for that first year - whatever works for you - use it. I continue to track my fitness and take advantage of other tools here.

I am very grateful for SparkPeople and the friends and support I have found here.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4EVERADONEGIRL 10/7/2014 6:02PM

    Way to go, Steph!! Two years of being committed to your health is AWESOME!!


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BEEAUTIFULDAY 9/12/2014 11:05AM

  You have been a great inspiration to me over the months here on spark. Thank you for posting again... You should do what works for you - not tracking or maybe you'll go back to it, who knows. You've hit so many impressive milestones, and should be very proud. Thanks for being my friend out here!

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MSHEL7 9/10/2014 9:59PM

    Happy Sparkversary!! I'm glad you're here too and my goodness, you have done wonderful!! Thanks for the advice, I think sometimes we do get a little wound up in the things that are not working for us instead of just using the things that do.
emoticon emoticon

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ALICIA363 9/10/2014 7:11PM

    "...binge, track, berate and repeat..." This sounds familiar. I must keep it in mind when observing my own behavior.

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AGILECAT 9/10/2014 7:04PM

    Good for you! It is important to notice when things stop working, or even become counterproductive--thanks for pointing that out. Keep on keeping on. Your story is very inspiring!

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2015TODAY 9/10/2014 4:46PM

    I very much understand about the tracking. I try to stay away from counting calories.
Focusing on what healthy steps I can take TODAY works well for me. I feel proud when I exercised and made a healthy meal or did batch cooking. I don't think that the 'proud feeling' I used to get wayyy back when I counted calories, was a truly healthy feeling.

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/10/2014 4:31PM

    Happy SPversary; whatever works best for you is the way to go.

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ICEDEMETER 9/10/2014 1:26PM

    I'm so very glad that you found this place two years ago - and especially that you've stuck around!

I love that you use the tools when they "work" for you, and have the sense to discard them when they don't --- it's sometimes difficult to realize that something useful can become harmful.

Hope we're both around here in 2017 to celebrate your 40th birthday - and to celebrate keeping yourself happy and healthy for the years between now and then!

emoticon emoticon

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FINCHFEEDER80 9/10/2014 12:53PM

    Happy Sparkversary!

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ADARKARA 9/10/2014 11:32AM

    Congrats on two years! You are such an inspiration. emoticon

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LAILATN 9/10/2014 11:22AM


Congratulations on the two years and the amazing journey you're taking. A good reminder that one strategy does not fit all on Spark People or in weight loss in general.


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SUBMOM2 9/10/2014 11:22AM


Happy Sparkversary! You've accomplished so much!!

emoticon emoticon

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1GROVES2 9/10/2014 11:21AM

    I ,too, lost my goal weight the first year I was on SP(2010) It was uplifting and even if no one complimented me or even seemed to noticed, I was encouraged!Then I got a new job and sit behind a desk nearly all day. I have had family problems and health problems. I gained the weight back and put on 5-10 lbs extra.....I start over about twice a year and have never had the enthusiasm I had the first year.
Bust of luck to you ....and to me!

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MJRVIC2000 9/10/2014 11:18AM

    Your talent is Godís gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God! Vic.

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Doing my best to maintain my weight and my sanity

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Guess who hasnít blogged in nearly 3 months.

Iíve been super busy playing the part of a turtle hiding in its shell.

Letís back up a bit, shall we? I started hoarding candy right after Halloween last year. But I was eating it in a very controlled way. Then the ďcontrolledĒ part went all to hell somewhere between Christmas and Valentineís. In spite of that, I reached my goal weight of 140 pounds in early February. I then proceeded to completely lose my mind. Like I said in a blog in April, I was eating like my starting weight was actually my goal weight.

I didnít start gaining weight right away, but when it did happen, it happened quickly. To the tune of 25 pounds in less than 4 months.

Now for nearly 2 months, since the end of June, I seem to be holding in the neighborhood of 165 pounds. Iím still working on keeping things from getting too extreme, whether that be obsessive-compulsive calorie counting or binge eating chocolate or cookies.

I canít say at this point when or if I will work towards getting back down to my lowest weight. Success for me right now is maintaining where I am - 115 pounds down from where I started.

Drink water. Eat fruits and veggies. Move your body. Get some sleep.

Take care of yourselves, SparkPeeps.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4EVERADONEGIRL 10/7/2014 5:37PM

    I know I haven't been around on here as of late, so I'm behind on the times - but the best thing that I see in this post is that you are being kind to yourself!!! That is a huge accomplishment and I'm so very proud of you for ALL that you have accomplished and all that you continue to do to live the best kind of life that YOU can!!

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ERNOINACTION 8/28/2014 12:38PM

    Glad to hear from you. We all have our ups and downs. Unfortunately sometimes if feels like the ups come quicker. Getting back on track is key and I know you can do it! Best, E

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SUBMOM2 8/28/2014 11:01AM

    Many of my routines have fallen apart this summer, but I'm giving it all some thought this week and I plan to have some new goals set for September. Maintaining a loss of 115 pounds is absolutely a win. You are stronger than you know.

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ICEDEMETER 8/28/2014 10:57AM

    Losing the initial weight = success.
Pulling in the reins when things were going south = success.
Maintaining for a couple of months = success.
NOT hitting the extremes = success.
Awareness of where you're at = success.
Taking care of YOU, in the way that's right for you right now = success.

It's a big learning curve to figure out a comfortable balance for weight maintenance, and I doubt anyone gets it right first try and forever. Our bodies change, our lives change, and stuff happens - and we will always have to adjust that balance for what works "right here - right now".

Regardless of whether you choose to go back to the "lowest attainable weight" or stay at "comfortable maintenance weight", you have definitely achieved "success".

Soooo glad to have you back blogging and sharing and keeping it real!

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VERSESTHATHURT 8/28/2014 10:28AM

    I don't know how much this helps, but I don't think it's that uncommon. I've read several blogs where people drop back in to sabotage mode once they hit their goal weight.

115 pounds is nothing to scoff at, and you should be proud of what you've accomplished. You did it once, and you can get back to your goal weight and nail it this time! You can do this!

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LAILATN 8/28/2014 10:00AM

    I'm really glad to see your blog post! 115 pounds down is amazing!

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2015TODAY 8/28/2014 6:24AM

    Glad to see you post! I've been thinking about you.
It would be interesting (I think) to look at what made the 'control' go to hell.I think you did an awesome job losing all that weight. Maintenance may be a very different ball game than weight loss (I wouldn't know!). Would it maybe help to talk to other 'maintainers'?

I so agree with this: "Drink water. Eat fruits and veggies. Move your body. Get some sleep."
That is what it comes down to. Be it that often I think the 'get sleep' part should be nr. 1!
Hang in there. emoticon

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MSHEL7 8/27/2014 11:43PM

    I think sometimes we have to accomplish the sitting still before we can continue on. I've found that a few times in my journey. There are times when I just can't continue on the way I have been and I just back off and let myself be and then a month or so later I can deal with it again. I hope this plan of attack works for you, I'm sure it will in fact. You can do it.

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FINCHFEEDER80 8/27/2014 8:48PM

    Wow, it doesn't seem like it's been that long. Nice to hear from you. Sounds like you're keeping a level head about the whole thing. I know you'll figure out exactly what you want and how to get there. You've got this!!

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ALICIA363 8/27/2014 8:27PM

    Good to see you back on the blogs!

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KNEEMAKER 8/27/2014 7:58PM

  Keep on keeping on! emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 8/27/2014 6:56PM

    Wow, you have done great overall and even during this time, maintain the awareness of where you're at. That's a big one.

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AJB121299 8/27/2014 6:44PM


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