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WATERMELLEN's Recent Blog Entries

Savouring Hunger at a Social Event

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It was OK: I'd planned for it.

Evening dinner meeting . . . had one glass of wine with a very light dinner chosen from the buffet (asparagus, carrots, roasted beets, a little chopped salad, a small serving of chicken): skipped the rolls, butter, potatoes, roast beef, lasagna, huge array of desserts; just had two cups of black coffee.

Fresh berries and yogourt when I got home instead.

And: sure, experienced some hunger while waiting for dinner, plus did not find the dinner choices I was prepared to eat totally satisfying.

But: I enjoyed networking and socializing, felt awake and alert through the business portion of the meeting, and was very glad that I hadn't eaten more!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRYINGHARD1948 2/24/2012 7:47PM

    Facing and overcoming temptation emoticon

emoticon, no, you ARE doing it. You are one amazing woman.

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MEADSBAY 2/24/2012 5:34PM

    You are simply amazing.
I'm so impressed.

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NANCY- 2/24/2012 11:52AM

    WTG!!! You know what you want and how to achieve it!
WTG on being mindful of your options.

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PHEBESS 2/24/2012 11:22AM

    See, that's what I mean - you are mentally TOUGH!!!!!

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DDOORN 2/24/2012 11:02AM

    Good deal! I went out with clients to a Chinese buffet and only ate a stir fry of selected veggies with a few small pieces of seafood and chicken. There is something about Chinese cooking that fills me up SO quickly! It makes it easy to sit back and strike up conversations while others going after plateful after plateful.


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KALIGIRL 2/24/2012 9:25AM

    emoticon Sounds like the best of both worlds to me!

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    YOU ROCK! And I will be keeping the mental image of your steadfast toughness with me while I find my way through the weekend!

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_LINDA 2/24/2012 12:52AM

    Well done avoiding tmeptations! It actually sounds pretty good they did have some healthy options! But the most important thing you did was to focus on the networking and socializing, which is what you are supposed to do at an event like that rather then think about all those tantalizing treats calling your name! I am not so sure I could be so disciplined, but that is partly because I am a shy wallflower and hid behind food most of my life..I am still nervous in groups of people I don't know.. I have not had a lot of practice dealing with it.
You are well on your way to those 130's if you keep this up!
Have a Fantastic Friday!!

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TRAVELGRRL 2/23/2012 11:08PM

    Wow, I'm impressed.

What a positive way to frame the situation: "savoring hunger" instead of "feeling deprived".

You'll be seeing that middle three before you know it!

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New Weight-Loss Math: Body Weight Simulator

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Here's a link to an article in today's Toronto Globe and Mail about a new on-line tool called the Body Weigh Simulator which helps predict how people lose weight on a diet.


The standard weight-loss diet approach tells us: since there are 3,500 calories in a pound of body fat, to lose 1 pound you have to eat 3500 fewer calories or burn off 3,500 more calories with exercise. That's 500 calories a day for seven days to lose 1 pound a week.

But we know that weight loss doesn't happen consistently. Initial weight loss on a diet does tend to follow that pattern. But then weight loss tends to slow. Or plateau. Even if you keep up the 500 a day calorie "deficit".

And that's because metabolism slows with weight loss so that the body burns fewer calories "at rest".

This new Body Weight Simulator tool is pretty interesting because you input age, gender, body weight, height, activity level, weight goal and your time line for reaching that weight goal: and then the tool simulates what diet and exercise changes will be necessary to reach your goal weight. But even more important, what changes will be necessary to MAINTAIN that goal weight over time.

We know, maintenance is the tough part as metabolism slows.

I had lots of fun playing around with this tool. Here's the link to the Body Weight Simulator:


What do I think? The simulator seems to me to overestimate by quite a significant margin the number of calories I can eat a day while still maintaining my current weight. Spark People also overestimates the number of calories I can actually eat.

However, what this simulator makes absolutely clear . . . is that although losing weight requires significant calorie reduction during the "diet" phase, it also requires permanent calorie reduction during the "maintenance" phase.

If I want to weight less permanently, I have to eat less. Yeah. Permanently.

I'm thinking that eating less permanently is also going to mean I'll need to savour hunger. Permanently. Is that OK with me? Yes it is.

As Steve Siebold told me on day three of fatloser.com, "Fat people give in to cravings, fit people prepare for cravings".

Cravings can't be eliminated. Not if I want to be slim.

But if I cultivate an attitude of mental toughness about cravings, the cravings don't last long. Twenty minutes, tops.

The slimness, on the other hand, lasts: 24/7. And the slimness, increased energy, general feeling of alertness and self-control? No question. It's worth it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETPQTE 2/24/2012 8:42AM

    I enjoyed reading this- thanks for posting!

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BAZOOKABOBCAT 2/24/2012 8:21AM

    VERY interesting. I'll definitely have to try it out!

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NEWKAREN43 2/23/2012 10:33PM

    Wow! That article is great, and makes some great points, things that we learn here on SP and in our daily lives but don't always "click" in our brains. However, the simulator...wow, if I eat calories like that, I won't ever lose an ounce - not that I've been losing, I'm on a lovely plateau that my body is enjoying far too much! Anyway, I love playing with things like this, it makes me question, it makes me think and those are good things for me. Thanks for sharing!

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DBCLARINET 2/23/2012 8:09PM

    That was really interesting. Mine told me I need to eat, well, about what I'm eating to lose weight slowly -- about 5 lbs. in a month. But then maintenance is pretty high!

Actually, I believe it because I AM losing some fat without getting too hungry, and because a calorie is not a calorie is not a calorie. I fully believe that if I stick to eating whole foods and not starving myself, I'll end up losing fat and keeping my strength.

I'm also really enjoying my evening walks on these nearly-balmy February days to give me extra burn and activity without giving my body a pounding. It's so much better than sitting around the house!

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TRAVELGRRL 2/23/2012 7:43PM

    Yikes,I found it's pretty close to what my BodyMedia armband tells me I burn and the calorie level I should eat. I HOPE it's not significantly off or I'm screwed! emoticon

I am not usually hungry but then I'm still 20-25 pounds from my goal. Maybe at that point I'll need to learn to savor hunger!

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DDOORN 2/23/2012 6:43PM

    Seems like most of these tools, including SP's, overestimate. I find I have to go almost 1,000 calories under SP's and have the best results when my carbs are 1/2 as much as SP's.


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KALIGIRL 2/23/2012 3:37PM

    I tried to get it, but the digital signature had expired...

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DSHONEYC 2/23/2012 1:46PM

    You are the most focused and strong emoticon person!

I played with it, but I didn't get a good feeling that it is realistic. I think I know what I should eat, how many calories I can take in, and what I need to do physically after so many years of trying to shed those extra pounds.

Cravings are the monster here! And cravings beget more cravings. Wish there was any easy way to deal with them, but the only way is to withstand them. That's where the strength comes in.

emoticon Send me some!

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NANCY- 2/23/2012 6:11AM

    I understand all too well about cravings and thank heavens they do pass. There is a big difference between desire and need. Meeting one's "needs" fuels us/

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PHEBESS 2/23/2012 5:04AM


I ran it - and if I add walking for an hour a day, I can eat - gasp - 500 more calories and still lose!!!!!

Not that I seriously believe it.

BUT - the summer I spent in Italy, I walked all over, at least an hour or two a day, with more hills than I walk here. I ate pretty much what I wanted, keeping in mind to not stuff myself - but pasta for dinner, gelato almost every afternoon, those delightful little sandwiches for lunch - definitely more than I eat at home.

And I came home 5 lbs lighter. After 5 weeks of eating like that.

So I know that if I exercised a whole lot more, I could eat a whole lot more. That's my retirement weight loss plan - walk everywhere, eat more.

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_LINDA 2/23/2012 1:29AM

    I wasn't able to open the link :( But I found Spark's range works for me -I do extra exercise to ensure I can enjoy all the things I want to eat. If I do an hour of cardio every day, I can eat up to 1960, which is plenty. When I am on surgical layoffs with no cardio, it dropped down to a max of 1600, which was my dieting range. That is restrictive, but doable. So the bottom line is how hard are you willing to work to eat in a normal calorie range.. It is difficult to do, and especially to keep changing up the exercise so your body doesn't get used to it and burn fewer calories...Yep, maintenance is definately harder then actually losing the weight..

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 2/23/2012 12:52AM

    Since this is based on the same average caloric needs stats as all of the other generic tools out there, I am very skeptical of the value of this tool.

I will stick with my own home-made Google Spreadsheet system, which calculates a running estimate of my average daily burn. It automatically adjusts based on what the scale is doing relative to my intake. If I change my activity level that will automatically be factored in.

Graph here:

Explanation of how it works, here:

Comment edited on: 2/23/2012 12:56:50 AM

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GETSTRONGRRR 2/22/2012 11:03PM

    Interesting....I tried a few variations....not sure what to make of it. Depending on what method you use, I've had these things says I can have anywhere from 1800-2800 calories a day to lose weight based on my activity level.

I think the Spark estimator is pretty spot on

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Savouring Unplanned Hunger

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Restless night . . . followed by sleeping in . . . followed by a rush to get to my appointment for 8:30 and no time for breakfast. First meal was after noon.

Did not panic; did not permit myself to consider that hunger was an emergency. Worked hard all morning under tough circumstances, and chose to experience the lack of food as sharpness, mental agility, focus. Chose a healthful lunch from those on offer. Stayed within my calorie range all day.

The hunger was OK.

I clocked in for fatloser.com second day video: and yes, I'm fully committed!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRYSTALJEM 2/23/2012 9:13AM

    Way to Go! Your quiet strength and commitment always inspires me. I'm going to have to check the site you referenced. Thanks as always.

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FROSTIERACES 2/22/2012 10:02PM

    ok..I registered. Day 1 for me tomorrow...I need all the help I can get at this point! :) Thanks for sharing your ideas and for always inspiring me. emoticon

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    EXCELLENT! Good for you!

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PHEBESS 2/22/2012 11:30AM

    You are a rock star!!!!

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KALIGIRL 2/22/2012 8:36AM

    What a emoticon way to deal with an otherwise stressful day!

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DBCLARINET 2/22/2012 8:09AM

    So many people talk about the mental acuity, focus, and alertness that comes along with intermittent fasting like that. It's never really worked for me, although I wish it did -- not having to worry about breakfast or lunch would be lovely! I don't experience any sort of focus, though. I get really tired and cranky, even if I don't feel hungry. I have to really overeat one day for a fast to work. Ah well, to each his own.

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CARRAND 2/22/2012 7:50AM

    emoticon You did great!

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NANCY- 2/22/2012 7:43AM

    One thing that has struck me about you since I found your blogs IS your commitment and perseverance. You have helped show me that this journey is a lifestyle.
You are one resplendent lady.

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/22/2012 7:24AM

    I am in awe, breakfast is an absolute must for me.

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_LINDA 2/22/2012 12:28AM

    Well done! But even grabbing a fruit on the run for breakfast would have been better than absolutely nothing -I always have bananas on hand -quick and easy and filling.. Just a thought..
Good luck with it!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 2/21/2012 11:56PM

    Your attitude is so inspiring Ellen. Taking it all elegantly in your high-heeled stride. emoticon

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MEADSBAY 2/21/2012 10:51PM

    You ARE committed!

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Fat Loser: Hungry for More Mental Toughness

Monday, February 20, 2012

FREELADY has written a terrific blog on mental toughness and turning the cobwebs of good intentions into the cables of good habits: here it is.


She recommends a free 21 day program called Fat Loser on developing mental toughness through a series of coaching videos offered by Steve Siebold, and here's that link too:


I've signed up. I really want to see middle 3 again. I'm still hovering between 141 and 143. My hunger blogs have just made me hungrier for middle 3, actually! Hungrier for middle 3 than for . . . . those little (unrecorded) treats -- spoonful of peanut butter?? -- that have prevented me from seeing middle 3 again . And I'm prepared not just to tolerate hunger but to continue enjoying the hunger experience. Anticipating meals. Then eating just until full. Every day. Repeat as necessary. That would be: forever.

I'm thinking: a little more mental toughness in a number of areas of my life could only be a good thing.

Bring it on!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I'll check this out...

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/21/2012 6:32AM

    I can really relate to those old habits being like cables and so hard to break free from, especially when stress, anxiety and life gets tough. It's so important to replace, so I think you are on to a good thing. Thank you.

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NANCY- 2/21/2012 4:10AM

    I know you will do what is necessary to get what you want.

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KLONG8 2/20/2012 5:29PM

    Boy, this is just what I needed. Thanks for commenting on my blog AND giving me some ammunition on yours!

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CARRAND 2/20/2012 5:17PM

    Good luck to you!

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KALIGIRL 2/20/2012 5:06PM

    Love the metaphor - "cobwebs of good intentions into the cables of good habits"...

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DDOORN 2/20/2012 4:00PM

    Kudos to finding an approach that "clicks" and works so well for you! Have to roll up my sleeves and dig into this stuff! That middle "3" will be rolling around for you shortly, I'm sure! :-)


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TRAVELGRRL 2/20/2012 1:23PM

    It sounds like you are marshalling all of your strength and inner resources. Nothing will stand in your way between you and your middle three!!!

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PHEBESS 2/20/2012 1:13PM

    I think you are one of the mentally toughest women I know on SP!!!

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_LINDA 2/20/2012 12:47PM

    Thanks for the links! That was an awesome blog with a concept we all need to engage in. Being ever vigilent unless the nasty old habits creep back in. A great wake up call!
I think you are doing well to fit a size 6. I am 122, but can only fit eights. I guess size is relative..
Good luck with this, looking forward to your reports on how its going :)

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CRYSTALJEM 2/20/2012 11:17AM

    At least being hungry for the middle 3 is progress! Way to go. Can't wait to hear how things are going for you. You will find your way. And here I was all worried when I saw the title of your blog. Instead you are moving forward. Awesome. Here's to forever!

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SLENDERELLA61 2/20/2012 9:47AM

    Love your persistence and determination, Ellen. I'm sure you have just the mental toughness needed. I'll have to check out this link, too. Sounds like just what I need.

But don't forget that there are good ways to reduce hunger. Eat fruit, don't drink juice. Eat frequent small meals. Eat whole grains that are more filling. Stay away from sugar (which definitely makes me want to eat more) and processed/refined foods. Include plenty of protein spread out throughout the day. Drink lots of water and hot calorie-free drinks, too. Eat plenty of fiber. Don't deal with more hunger than you have to!! Then you can handle the hunger you need to handle.

Best wishes. Take care.

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DONNACFIT 2/20/2012 9:40AM

    Thanks for the links..this sounds like something I need to do, too. I have too many bad habits that I need to work on. The 21 day program sounds great.

I even have a print out in my binder from Jon Gordon..my energy expert on how to be Mentally Tough :)

Love the connection emoticon

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Savouring Hunger 3

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I'm continuing to enjoy hunger in anticipation of my meals, and hunger is helping me feel light and nimble and alert! Then I'm eating just until I'm satisfied, not more. And waiting until the next scheduled meal or snack.

Today I was hungry when I got up. Great way to start the day . . . waaaaay better than a food hangover. So took my time and made myself a delicious and substantial Greek omelette with feta and spinach for breakfast, plus hot hot salsa and lots of coffee.

Crunched up a granola bar after my cross country ski (gorgeous! sparkly! perfect wax, perfect kick/glide) and before upper body ST at the gym.

Then a large bowl of cheese tortellini tomato soup for lunch with chopped carrot, celery, bell peppers, yellow cauliflower: mmmmmm. Lots of Italian seasoning. Tasted great. I was definitely hungry for it.

Bought: a great pair of size six trousers, brown/taupe/grey/camel tweedy. Liquidation bargain: expensive brand, marked down to $14.00. I didn't even try 'em on: could see that they would be a good fit for me and a good length (and they are). Will work with a number of items in the ol' wardrobe . . .. This is the time of year when it's kinda fun to add something new to the tried and true.

I'd seen a single serving brownie recipe last week and found time today to experiment with it, modifying a little bit by adding melted dark chocolate on top: posted the recipe too (129 calories). Worth'em, but calories could be further reduced with Splenda instead of brown sugar, and fibre could be increased with whole wheat flour of course: next time. The brownie made a quick gooey snack after a brief trip to the office; just 42 seconds high power in the microwave, then 30 seconds more low power to melt the chocolate -- and 10 minutes to cool (while I made a second one for DH!. I savoured it, slowly. If you try it, let me know what you think!!


Looking forward to some supper . . . in a little while. I'm planning a salad with lots of chopped veggies and some chicken. Fresh berries for dessert. But first, gotta experience that hunger!! Gotta remind myself: hunger isn't an emergency. Hunger is what thin people expect very day. Hunger is what can help me enjoy my meals to the max. And eating just until I'm full sets me up to enjoy the next meal too.

This is working for me, so far. It's a pretty interesting experiment so I'm going to continue with it for at least a few more days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Your hunger blogs are really filling me with such excitement and energy! Thank you so much for sharing the journey.

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/20/2012 12:23AM

    It all keeps the motivation high, fantastic Ellen.

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_LINDA 2/19/2012 10:12PM

    Great deal on the pants!!!
Too many awesome yummy foods you are talking about, maybe I will fix supper now..
Keep up the great work!

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DDOORN 2/19/2012 9:53PM

    Very impressive...! Wish I could say that I've been joining you in similar efforts! Not sure what I have to do to "get there," hmmm...


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FREELADY 2/19/2012 8:31PM

    So many interesting and positive things going on together! Thanks for giving us a peek into a delightful day!

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MEADSBAY 2/19/2012 7:21PM

    Your SPARKS are flying all the way over to my house!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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