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Personal Discovery -- What I Am Thankful For

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I have made huge changes in my lifestyle during this year. On January 1, I gave up soda of all kinds and all artificial sweeteners. In May, I began following the Whole30 plan of eating and have continued with it, more or less, since then. I am not perfect with it, but in general I eat no processed foods, no grains, no dairy, no sugar, no beans or legumes. My diet is largely meat/fish/poultry, fresh or frozen vegetables (with no additives), healthy fats (avocado & its oil, olives and olive oil, coconut oil -- I recognize that this one is challenged as healthy by our focus on unsaturated fats), fruits and nuts. I do consume alcohol and typically have more of it than is recommended by this plan.

In the past two months I have also made big changes in my workouts. Where for years, I have been very focused on cardio, especially walking and hiking, and I struggled greatly with ST, I have definitely branched out. It began with adding intervals to my cardio workouts, which immediately brought about weight loss. Then I began doing more ST with my own version of a plank challenge (I am now up to 4.5 minute planks) and have branched out into regular and nearly daily ST workouts.

These changes have brought me back to my lowest weight of my life since my early 30s. (I had reached this weight two years ago, but put weight back on when my husband became ill with cancer several years ago.) I am back into all of my clothing, I am as happy as I can be given all that is still occurring in my life and I have tons of energy. Additionally I just experienced my first Thanksgiving EVER where I had no interest in the food other than in finding what I could eat that was healthy and tasty. I had no food cravings and the food, itself, held no power over me. My mother had prepared 3 homemade pies and I ate a 1-inch slice of one that was a new recipe and I did it in order to not offend her (I'm clearly not completely free of concern for what others think of my food choices.) I then spent another full day in her home and never touched any of the pies or other things that I had avoided at the Thanksgiving meal. I just had no desire for it.

This is all really amazing to me as I have been "controlled" by my cravings and desires for food for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I have overcome those desires, but those desires were never just GONE. Whole30 claims that you will be free of food cravings if you follow its plan. I had completely forgotten that until I re-read it in the book this morning, so clearly I wasn't subliminally bringing that about on my own. It is working for me and I am incredibly grateful for having discovered it and for having discovered SP and all of my friends here!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODSCHILD2_2011 12/17/2014 11:11PM

    I'm so glad to hear that you've found something that's works for you. This blog is truly encouraging and inspiring. Keep up the great work.

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JERSEYGIRL24 12/13/2014 2:00PM

    Hi Jen,

I just found this. I had stopped by your page to see how you were doing and found your blog. How inspiring!!! So glad you have found success.

Personally I have gained weight this year and feel like I have strayed mightily and that a major change is in order. I will have to check this out.

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HAPPYSOUL91 11/30/2014 11:00AM

    I am very inspired by your blog, it shows me what a person can do when they think they can't. Congratulations on taking back your health and having such great habits.

Carol

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AJDOVER1 11/30/2014 12:52AM

    It's fantastic that you have found what works for you! With all the challenges you're facing, it's great to celebrate this area of strength and success!
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CARTOONB 11/29/2014 2:59PM

    This is fantastic news!!! I'm so happy for you! Love it when a plan comes together.

BTW, 4.5 minute plank??? Very impressive!

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PORTIAWILLIS 11/29/2014 1:51PM

    Wow that is awesome. Did you just jump in with the whole 30 way of life? Sounds great but not sure if I am motivated enough. I am struggling with the fact that I try and try but can't seem to lose but 2 or 3 lbs and then I get so depressed that I just give up. I have never ate a lot at one time but it is the types of food I eat that causes my problems. I love bread and pasta and sweets. I have done Adkins several times and lose weight but get bored with just the meat and end up back addicted to the sugar. Also I have never give up dairy or processed meats. Guess I need to read more about the whole 30 way of life. Anyway it is wonderful to hear form someone that has accomplished so much in this year. emoticon

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CHRISTINEBWD 11/29/2014 11:20AM

    That is so wonderful that you can now wear all of your clothes! And the Whole 30 way of life have brought so many good changes in your life.

We are all grateful for you too Jen! emoticon

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Camp Wannabe Fit Scavenger Hunt

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Here are my scavenger hunt items thus far:



































  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EJOY-EVELYN 6/26/2014 9:38PM

    What a fun way to search for things around the house and on some great hikes!

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JO88BAKO 6/23/2014 5:56PM

    Great pics! Hope they do another one sometime. I had no time to participate. We are in Milwaukee. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks this moving is a nightmare. Now all we have to do is get to NC.

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MATHGURL 6/21/2014 2:58PM

    emoticon Good luck finding some more! I had a hard time finding a few of them.

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CHRISTINEBWD 6/21/2014 11:26AM

    Great Pics Jen!!!

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RUNNINGWILD 6/21/2014 10:24AM

    emoticon

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LOVELESMILLS 6/21/2014 9:02AM

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Something Else About Whole30

Sunday, June 01, 2014

After waiting for a month for the Whole30 book (It Starts With Food) to come in to the library, I finally picked it up yesterday and began to read it. At the very beginning of the book one of the authors, Dallas Hartwig, talks about his first attempt to test this method of eating and how prior to that attempt, he had been suffering from tendonitis for several years. After a month on this plan, his tendonitis was gone.

Reading that, triggered in me the fact that I somehow injured my upper right arm in early February. At the end of February, I finally went to see an orthopedic surgeon who examined me and took xrays. She was uncertain what was wrong and said it could be anything from a muscle strain to a muscle tear and wanted me to see a physical therapist. I passed on PT because on March 1, I entered my health insurance plan year and had a large deductible. I knew that I would be paying out of pocket for every cent of that PT and just couldn't spend that kind of money. I have babied the arm ever since. When I must use it for something (like when I painted the closet just last week) it aches afterward and the one thing that I absolutely couldn't do was lie on it. In fact, that is how I first knew that something was wrong with it. I always slept on my right side, but when I would lie that way even for a few minutes, my arm would ache terribly.

When I read about Dallas's tendonitis, I thought about my arm. I realized that the last time it had bothered me was about a week ago and then it didn't bother me too much. I turned out the light and rolled onto my right side, where I slept soundly for much of the night. This morning my arm feels fine!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHOCOHOLIC2276 6/2/2014 7:38AM

    The effects of Whole 30 are definitely amazing.

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CHRISTINEBWD 6/2/2014 12:22AM

    WTG Jen!!! emoticon
~C

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CARTOONB 6/1/2014 10:50PM

    That is fantastic! No wonder you're a convert.

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AJDOVER1 6/1/2014 5:21PM

    Love hearing about your success!

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BIGPAWSUP 6/1/2014 10:17AM

    emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 6/1/2014 9:48AM

    That is great - another good example of how the food we eat has an affect on our body

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RIDLEYRIDER 6/1/2014 8:07AM

  Wow! That is success!

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MICHIGANLORI 6/1/2014 7:51AM

    I also had a shoulder issue and it got better when I did the program.

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My WHOLE30 Experience

Saturday, May 31, 2014

I just completed my 30 days of WHOLE30 and thought I would share what I discovered I learned about myself during this month.

1. I learned that the scale is too much of a force in my life. Without it, I tuned in to the fact that I was overeating in the first weeks on the program just by the way my body felt. I was able to make the necessary changes without stressing over a number and feeling a lot of guilt or self-deprecation.

2. I learned that I could feel completely nourished and satisfied without grains and dairy in my life. I never deprived without them. There were several times when I would encounter some food that I was giving up and feel a pang of desire, but it quickly passed. Also, there were so many foods that I love and usually deprive myself of, such as nuts, dried fruits, almond butter, etc. that I was permitted to have on this plan that I could always find a treat if I wanted one.

3. I learned that I do not need wine or beer at the end of the day in order to relax or to treat myself (though I do still enjoy it and will drink it occasionally).

4. I learned that I can control the amount of food that I eat based upon how my body feels rather than by counting calories or limiting myself in some other way (even though it took awhile for me to get it). I feel more in touch with my body and its needs than ever before.

I am not yet certain how this has affected my arthritis. I am still aware of pain, especially in my knees on stairs or inclines, though I think the pain is decreasing. I don't really expect 57 years of damage to be repaired in 30 of eating differently.

It was vital for me to stay off of the scale during this experience. I realized that I was overeating at first (I think it was in response to my feelingemotionally deprived initially because of all that I was giving up.) and I definitely gained weight because I felt larger and my clothes were tight. Because I didn't focus on a number, I was able to focus on how I felt and adjust my eating accordingly. That only happened in the last 7 - 10 days of the month, so it definitely took me awhile to adjust. Despite the initial gain, I ended the month down 4.2 pounds without ever counting a calorie or feeling deprived.

My mood is great. I feel very upbeat and motivated -- more so than I have in a long time.

I also think that my allergies are milder than they have been in months.

Overall, I think this has been a great experience for me and I am not ending a program, but beginning a new phase of my life.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHOCOHOLIC2276 6/2/2014 7:40AM

    Wonderful!! I shared some of your same experience. I haven't read the book I was put on the program and honestly I rebelled at first but I'm glad my doctor recommended it. emoticon

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WARMSPRINGDAY 6/1/2014 8:06AM

    Good for you - finding something that works for you.

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MICHIGANLORI 6/1/2014 7:50AM

    Awesome! emoticon emoticon

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FITNHEALTHYKAL 6/1/2014 7:34AM

    Jen, what was the book you got at the library? I've been meaning to ask!

You know how proud I am that you started AND finished which is something not many do!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEFIT014 6/1/2014 5:40AM

    Looks like you did great with the program. I don't think I've heard of it before. I'll have to check it out.

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AJDOVER1 6/1/2014 2:27AM

    this is great to hear! I've been learning more about the Whole 30 program. It's very interesting and it's great to hear from someone who made it work.

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BIGPAWSUP 5/31/2014 10:20PM

    Awesome!

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CARTOONB 5/31/2014 9:56PM

    All of those non-scale victories are fantastic!! I'm glad you found something that makes you feel good. You deserve it!

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KMICHA 5/31/2014 4:14PM

    That's great Jen! I'm glad you shared this. Maybe I'll look into it and take the plunge myself! emoticon

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CHRISTINEBWD 5/31/2014 3:46PM

    emoticon So glad you are doing so well on Whole 30!!! emoticon
~C

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SUSANELAINE1956 5/31/2014 11:56AM

    It sounds like you learned a lot from this and received many great benefits. emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 5/31/2014 11:48AM

    Congratulations on many levels: your commitment to yourself -done; learning a new way to eat - done; feeling good - done.

Glad to read that you will continue down this health road

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Trying to Make a Change

Thursday, May 01, 2014

I returned late yesterday afternoon from a 3-day hiking escape. It was incredible, energizing and relaxing all at once. We got in over 12 miles of hiking on each day, Monday and Tuesday. I came home ready to make a change in my eating habits. Of course, real life is often very different than the reality we imagine when we are away from home.

Prior to leaving for my trip I determined to take on the Whole30 eating challenge upon my return. I am still committed to that, however, I walked into my house upbeat and ready to make this big change and found real life waiting sullenly for me. I was quickly reminded of what my real day-to-day existence is like.

There were moments lying in bed last night, unable to sleep, that I wished I had never left. Somehow being here day-in and day-out, I have adjusted to this. Going away for more than a day, freed me of what has become normal in my household. It made my reality so obvious that it felt like I was hit in the face with it when I came back.

It is clear to me that whatever I do, will be a real struggle. It is hard to remain motivated and determined in the face of what seems hopeless on many fronts. This process may well be taken on one hour at a time. Here I go ... trying to make a change in myself in the midst of a life that feels like it is lived in quicksand.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WARMSPRINGDAY 6/1/2014 8:04AM

    emoticon I have taken somewhat of a hiatus from SP for the last half year and haven't been around much. Just trying to do some catch up with people I haven't connected with for awhile. I've been reading your last several blogs just to get a feel for where you are on your journey. I can so relate to this blog. It's tough to push through when our life is less than ideal, yet sometimes I find I need those getaways just for rejuvenation of my mind and emotions.
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GEEMAWEST 5/3/2014 7:00PM

    I have somewhat of an idea of how you feel. When I leave for a few days the house gets trashed by the grandkids and DH has done nothing but lay on the couch. It's so frustrating and I often don't want to come home. You know I'm here for you. Just wish I could do more.
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TWNOMWE 5/2/2014 11:00AM

    I agree with Pam, you have to find time for yourself even at home. It may sound easier said but you have to try. And as with every eating plan you should change things slowly. emoticon

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FITNHEALTHYKAL 5/2/2014 5:37AM

    I know all too well that sinking feeling of arriving back from a wonderful respite to reality and how those best laid plans in our minds and over a meal, a glass of wine or whatever with a BFF somehow slip away as we return to our habits of taking care of others and not ourselves and putting everything and everyone in the forefront Jen. It is a difficult cycle to break and I feel for you... emoticon

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CARTOONB 5/1/2014 11:30PM

    Sometimes that hour is all we can face. Just know that you have friends here to help you get through each minute of each hour. I believe you can do it.

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AJDOVER1 5/1/2014 3:22PM

    you're in my prayers.
I don't know what to offer about changing oneself in the middle of reality. I know there are people who do it, but there's no one-size-fits-all solution.

I'm here for you if there's anything I can do.

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BIGPAWSUP 5/1/2014 2:37PM

    We understand. Tackle one thing one step at a time. You can do it.

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CHRISTINEBWD 5/1/2014 2:32PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Jen, as far as whole 30 is concerned Kal said that we don't have to be perfect with it. As for the rest of the changes you want to make in your life, I trust your good judgement that you will find your way.

emoticon Christine

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CLOVER2 5/1/2014 12:41PM

    I'm so happy that you had a good, relaxing piece of time for yourself. I am very sorry for what you had to come home to. I agree with what the other ladies have had to say. Try to remember that you are important too. Being there for someone is important, but not at the cost of yourself. Know that we are here to support you and will do everything we can to help.
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HARRINGTON5 5/1/2014 12:28PM

    Jen,
I have to agree with everything that was said here. I too believe that you have to take care of you before you can be of help to anyone else. I'm still glad you got a little break and I do hope things get better at home.

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JOANN562 5/1/2014 12:02PM

    Glad to hear you finally got that long overdue break!!

Reality can really stink sometimes. Maybe take a step back & see what you can change TODAY to make reality better. Even something small might help some. Give you a feeling of some control.
emoticon & you know we're all here for you whenever you need to vent!

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PKCTTS 5/1/2014 11:47AM

    Just going to say it, knowing I'm just probably more selfish than you are . . .

There are a lot of ways to support someone you love and I think you absolutely should, but letting that obligation rule your existence can't be the answer. Do what it takes to get your life back inspite of the reality at home. Especially if part of the sullen is absolutely a choice he is making - would life be different if the roles were reversed? Have the same expectation for him you would for yourself.

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RUNNINGWILD 5/1/2014 11:26AM

    Take care of YOU first, everyone else will be better for it. emoticon

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KMICHA 5/1/2014 11:23AM

    Glad to have you back!!! We missed you!!! I'm sorry for the reality shot you received, but don't let it defeat you! You are stronger than that. Take it one step at a time and as Carol said, start planning your next escape. And remember, we sisters are here for you. Rant, rave, cry, shout, we will listen and support you. Hang in there! Be determined! Concentrate on the things that you can control. emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 5/1/2014 10:54AM

    Don't give up having fun and letting your mind relax because of what you find at home. Start to plan your next get away and is there anyone to come in and relieve you a few days a week?


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FIT4MEIN2013 5/1/2014 10:45AM

    Hugs!

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RWETHAIRYET 5/1/2014 9:57AM

    I think if I went on a 3 day hiking escape, i might keep hiking and not come back to my reality, it's just that much harder to come back to it once you've escaped it for a few days. I know I struggle from day to day trying to find a place to do the things I need to do for me.
Can't offer a bit of advice...but can offer my understanding of what a challenge reality can be.
Sherri

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SKIMBRO 5/1/2014 8:33AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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