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Staying On Track

Thursday, March 28, 2013




How do you stay on track? I donít have to tell you how difficult it is to follow your eating plan and stay on target with your goals. Iím probably one of the most regimented people out here and itís hard for me too. But I have a few tips and tricks that I like to use, and you may like some of them too. They actually work for me.

ē Pay attention to and keep track of everything youíre eating. The Sparkpeople food tracker is great for this, but you can use another method if you choose. I like Sparkpeopleís because you can tailor it to your own eating and set your goals for calories, protein, carbs, fiber, etc., and it tells you how youíre doing throughout the day. When you keep track of it, you realize how easy it is to go overboard. If youíre not paying attention, you can quickly rack up hundreds of empty calories. So, track everything, even a 5 calorie stick of gum.

ē The best way is to plan all of your meals. I know, I know. Youíre thinking how thatís easier said than done, right? Well speaking from experience, I agree that it definitely can be easier said than done. But I also know that the reason most things are easier said than done is because we donít do them often enough. The more we do things, the better we get at doing them -- the easier they become. People sometimes laugh at me because Iím always thinking about or talking about food. Thatís because I like to plan out all my meals and snacks ahead of time. On most days, when I first get up in the morning, I already know what Iíll be eating for the rest of the day, including my between meal snacks. If I donít plan it, Iíll grab the wrong things in a mindless, rote sort of way.

ē Next, keep healthy snacks with you. Raisins, nuts, or grapes are good snacks. One of my favorite snacks is blueberries. One snack that Iíve recently gotten into lately is sun dried tomatoes. I like to get them sliced or julienne cut, and just one cup is filled with fiber, protein, iron, niacin, vitamin K and loads of antioxidants. How about that: snacks that are good and good for you. Canít beat that.

ē Also, portion out your foods, particularly snacks. I portion out a serving size of various things and keep them in baggies in the fridge or the pantry. And hereís another tip: you donít have to have a full serving in order to be fulfilled. One of my favorite crackers list a serving size as 15 crackers. I usually have half that amount and Iím satisfied. The full serving is 150 calories. By having only half a serving, I free up 75 calories. That may not sound like much, but believe me, calories add up.

ē If you really need to visit a vending machine, be careful at what you choose. Nowadays, many vending machines have a section dedicated to healthier items (i.e., the top row, the left side, row B, etc.). Other times, healthier items are dispersed throughout. Look out for those items, and be sure to portion them out.

ē Donít eat as soon as you feel hungry. You wonít pass out from starvation if you hold off for a half hour or so. Drink a cup of water or green tea, do some stretching, or go for a walk. If you eat as soon as you feel hungry, chances are youíll eat all the wrong things.

ē Last but not least, donít allow friends and family members to derail your progress. If you hadn't had your loved ones be discouraging or uninspiring, consider yourself fortunate. Many people trying to embark on a healthy life have to face the challenge of an unsupportive inner circle on a daily basis. If those in your inner circle are not being supportive, shame on them. When they try to impede your progress and say things to hinder you, try to let just let it go like water off of a duck's back. It's up to YOU to follow your plan.

Give these things a try. If they donít work for you develop your own. The important thing is to find ways to help you succeed and keep achieving your goals. Donít give up just because you didnít make it today. So what if you ate three donuts this morning. That doesnít mean you should just say "never mind" and eat whatever you see the rest of the day. Itís never too late to begin again. It just requires a little effort.

Stealing the Nike slogan, ďJust Do It.Ē

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYAKAYAH 6/12/2013 8:41PM

    wow, I'm glad I caught this even if I'm a few months late to the party. Its up to everyone to keep themselves motivated with exercise and eating right, love your blog~ emoticon

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KAB7801 4/6/2013 8:55PM

    Thanks! Appreciate all the good advice.

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HEALTHY-SPARK 4/4/2013 9:40PM

    Thanks for sharing these awesome tips!

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LIVINHEALTHY9 4/4/2013 9:34PM

    Thanks, Will.

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LIFETIMER54 4/4/2013 8:36AM

  emoticon

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CM_GARDNER78 4/3/2013 11:56PM

    Great, practical advice that I think we too often forget actually WORKS! :-) Thanks for the great blog!!

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LEANIN13 4/3/2013 9:26AM

    Thanks for taking the time to write this. You're tips make so much sense.

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CHARLIEMARS 4/2/2013 4:11PM

    Great advice! emoticon

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ROBB1N 4/1/2013 11:42PM

    Great suggestions and motivation! emoticon

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DOTTY7267 4/1/2013 4:16PM

    Thank you for the suggestions and motivation.

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MERRYMERRY6 4/1/2013 1:55PM

    emoticon

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HAKAPES 4/1/2013 1:32PM

    Loved your list of ideas, well said. Made a not about some of them for myself. Thanks for sharing!

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MASTERPIECE8 4/1/2013 10:31AM

    Thanks for the tips. I need all the help I can get.

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LIFETIMER54 4/1/2013 5:36AM

  emoticon emoticon

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SHARIKAYE 3/31/2013 10:31PM

    Great advice!! I follow it myself to a 't'! I finding planning my day to be an absolute necessity! I read some advice when I first started on SparkPeople that I took to heart and has helped me s much. They said to look at your journey to health and wellness as a job. You need to show up to log your food. You need to show up to plan your meals. You need to show up to get your fitness time in. Show up for work everyday and you will be a success. That has helped me so much!

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LADYSMITHC 3/31/2013 10:30PM

    I love the part where you tell about eating half portions. I do the same thing.
Oftentimes we get into the mindset that if a serving is "x" then we must eat "x". I like to eat "x- .5". I just love to calculate that I ate .25 (1/4) serving or .34 (1/3) serving. It actually feels good to me to do that and I feel more in control. It also allows me to eat more of a variety of foods too.
Thanks for writing!
emoticon

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DAWNDMOORE40 3/31/2013 5:27PM

    emoticon advice! emoticon for sharing! I used to have it all together when it came to eating, but after three years, I have found myself slipping a little bit, but sometimes seeing blogs like this is all the inspiration I need! Thank you because you may have just saved me from gaining all my weight back that I have worked so hard to lose! Happy Easter to you! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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XTINEMAS 3/31/2013 4:55PM

    Great advice, thanks for sharing!

emoticon

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IAM_HIS 3/31/2013 3:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Thank you for the reminder and help that I needed!

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BRASKIN 3/31/2013 2:52PM

  absolutely right on!

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LHEFFERN 3/31/2013 1:31PM

    Thanks for a great post. emoticon

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THEIS58 3/31/2013 12:23PM

    Portion control is such a huge factor!

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BOOKWORM27S 3/31/2013 8:29AM

    Great blog!

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LIFETIMER54 3/31/2013 5:50AM

  emoticon emoticon

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CAMSEDGE 3/30/2013 11:36PM

    emoticon

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AJB121299 3/30/2013 11:11PM

    Nice

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ZSTANLEY 3/30/2013 9:36PM

    Thanks!!!! emoticon

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 3/30/2013 8:53PM

    It's great that you found what works for you. As far as tracking, how do I do that with the one malted milk egg I ate? (not expecting an answer, it's just a thought)

Glad you are succeeding! Great blog!

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FITWITHIN 3/30/2013 8:30PM

    That's right! Just Do It! Love the blog! emoticon


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PLUMERIA50 3/30/2013 7:10PM

  Well said!

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BARBANNA 3/30/2013 6:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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A-DAY-AT-A-TIME 3/30/2013 4:46PM

  emoticon

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GRACEISENUF 3/30/2013 3:06PM

    emoticon blog, thanks!

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JENNJO322 3/30/2013 2:46PM

  Good stuff

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FIRECOM 3/30/2013 1:47PM

    Super good advice. I trust the SP tracker system. I have access to many others and they are all very difficult to use.

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MISSBOOBOOKITTY 3/30/2013 12:31PM

    emoticon

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BABIESTEPS 3/30/2013 11:11AM

    Great Advice!! I can relate to this whole blog! It's so true! emoticon emoticon

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SCRAPBECCA 3/30/2013 8:56AM

    emoticon

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TRYINGHARD54 3/30/2013 7:51AM

    great information, thank you

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DRB13_1 3/30/2013 7:28AM

    glad you were featured in best blogs

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CANDEE412 3/30/2013 7:28AM

    Wonderful ideas!

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TOKIEMOON 3/30/2013 6:20AM

    Yes to Portion Control - my weakness emoticon

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LIFETIMER54 3/30/2013 5:46AM

  emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/30/2013 5:47:02 AM

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FISHER011 3/30/2013 2:00AM

    Love your blog! All great info to follow...I also believe in "Just Do It"
And it is great that you posted this because it came when I needed the advise the most! Thank You!
Debbie

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MONETRUBY 3/29/2013 12:01PM

    Great tips!

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Workout Music

Monday, March 18, 2013



Sparkpeople.com has sponsored recently-released oldies cardio workout music. Iím very particular when it comes to my cardio because I love my treadmill and like to do cardio cycling (which in a nutshell is a series of faster then slower then faster then slower cardio routines). Itís hard to find pre-made music lists that would work, so, I handpick the music for my playlist. However, I happen to like this new oldies playlist. It still wouldnít work for my cardio cycling, but it would work really well for aerobics or jazzercise. And this was developed based on feedback from Sparkpeople.com users. This playlist, called 80s Retro Hits, has music from the 50s and 60s, most of which are still very popular today. This music gets my vote. Here is the list, the top 15:

No. 1: Aretha Franklin Ė Respect (1967)
No. 2: Steppenwolf Ė Born to Be Wild (1967)
No. 3: The Monkees Ė I'm a Believer (1966)
No. 4: Martha & the Vandellas Ė Dancing in the Street (1964)
No. 5: The Kinks Ė You Really Got Me (1964)
No. 6: Elvis Presley Ė Jailhouse Rock (1957)
No. 7: Rolling Stones Ė Jumpin' Jack Flash (1968)
No. 8: Tommy James & The Shondells Ė Mony Mony (1968)
No. 9: The Beach Boys Ė Surfin' USA (1963)
No. 10: Foundations ó Build Me Up Buttercup (1968)
No. 11: Chuck Berry Ė Johnny B. Goode (1958)
No. 12: Led Zepplin Ė Whole Lotta Love (1969)
No. 13: Rolling Stones ó Paint It Black (1966)
No. 14: The Beach Boys Ė Good Vibrations (1966)
No. 15: Chubby Checker Ė Let's Twist Again (1961)

and here is more information on the playlist:

www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=the
_80_best_rock_n_roll_oldies_songs_for_
exercising

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYAKAYAH 6/12/2013 8:46PM

    Music always keeps me motivated during treadmill work or any type of cardio, thanks~

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Visualization

Wednesday, March 13, 2013



I havenít posted here in quite a while. I've been a busy bee, though I've still maintained my healthy lifestyle during my Sparkpeople.com absence. Conversations I have had with people often include asking me for tips as we move into spring. Iíve maintained my progress and I love helping others, as this helps to keep me motivated. So, the top tip I want to share is this. VISUALIZATION. Thatís very important.

When I say visualization, Iím talking about a lot of things. You need to visualize yourself at your ideal weight. Visualize yourself eating a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday. Visualize yourself having at least 5 servings each of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains per day. Visualize yourself being more mobile and increasing your physical activity. Lastly, visualize that you are maintaining these things for the rest of your life.

Even if you donít really believe in your heart that you can achieve these things, you need to see yourself doing them. Donít worry about not believing in yourself. That's normal. But, for each little, teeny-tiny milestone you make, youíll feel a little bit more confident and over time, you'll begin to believe more in yourself. But it all starts with first visualizing it.

You need to see yourself all the time, the way you want to live, the way you want to be. Thatís the most expeditious way to achieve your goals.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIRECOM 3/30/2013 1:52PM

    Visualization has been an integral part of my life for decades. It works, simple as that.

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MISS_VIV 3/13/2013 8:44PM

    Thank you for an inspiring post. Thanks for all that you do.


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MONETRUBY 3/13/2013 4:42PM

    Great post! emoticon It's good to see you back.

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-PAULA 3/13/2013 9:50AM

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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BLOCKHEAD23 3/13/2013 8:17AM

    Very motivating post! Thank you!

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MJRVIC2000 3/13/2013 8:13AM

    Be "Transported To Blessedness" today and give God all the glory! Vic.

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Exercise and Healthy Skin

Friday, October 14, 2011

With all the many health benefits that exist from exercise, I have been reading recently about another one I didnít know about. Did you know that exercise has been known to help acne, blackheads, rosacea, and other skin problems? Who knew? Apparently, exercise contributes to healthy skin because it increases blood flow, unclogs pores because it activates sweat glands, and more importantly, it reduces stress which is one of the biggest causes of skin problems. Exercise helps to increase circulation and aids in the delivery of nutrients to skin cells.

Exercise isnít just good for your heart, joints, lungs, and waist line. It can help your skin too. So, if you didnít already have enough good reasons to exercise, now you have another one. Here are some good articles on the topic.

1 www.everydayhealth.com/health-report
/healthy-skin/ways-working-out-can-ben
efit-your-skin.aspx


2 www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.
asp?articlekey=50529


3 www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shake-y
our-beauty/200904/improve-your-skin-ex
ercise

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOPPY_ 3/11/2013 5:09AM

    A point well-made & ice use of references.

Keep pushin'! emoticon

Lee emoticon

------

Need to meet new people with new ideas and perspectives?

***Sure, you do*** emoticon

On what?

Life, nutrition, fitness, wellness, humor, culture ... gezortenplatz emoticon

SP Diversity Ė emoticon

http://www.sparkpeople.com/
myspark/groups_individual.asp?g
id=59617

Comment edited on: 3/11/2013 5:11:27 AM

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BEESPARKLE 2/8/2012 11:38AM

    Well I guess that is why at my age of 70. People tell me my skin looks good. of course I am not shy. I say why thank you.

I agree with all that you wrote. Yes stress for sure ages one.
Smiling is a good medicine and it is contagious for others.

You look amazing and so happy .


emoticon

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BAREADER 12/8/2011 2:38PM

    Thanks! Another great reason to exercise. :-)


emoticon emoticon emoticon

Wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday season!


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MONETRUBY 10/14/2011 6:32PM

    You always have such good information in your blogs, and this is another example of that. I generally knew some of the ways exercise is good for the skin, but didn't know some of these specifics. Thanks!

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MISS_VIV 10/14/2011 10:11AM

    Thanks...........I always enjoy your blogs and continue to learn with each one.
These are great pages to reference.

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Are You Like Michael?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Michael lost 12 pounds over the last 6 weeks. He was excited about his progress, even though he still has a long way to go. He attributes his success to following primarily a plant-based diet. But he began to get a little worried when two friends in town on business wanted to take him to a private dinner party at a restaurant one Saturday evening. Michael wondered where they would be eating and what would be served. He was afraid that all his progress would be blown by one night of fun and adventure, particularly knowing that his friends were carnivorous eaters who didnít know the meaning of moderation when it came to food.

To combat his dilemma, Michael, decided to have a light and healthy meal at home prior to meeting his friends. He hoped that doing so would fill him up. He figured that if he was hungry when he went out, he might be tempted to order too much or order all the wrong things. He had planned to keep it light at the restaurant and only get a soup and salad and maybe some other vegetable and absolutely no alcohol.

At dinner, things were much better than he thought they would be. Michael was proud of himself, ordering a cup of vegetable-barley soup, a garden salad, and a side of steamed broccoli. He viewed the menu online beforehand so he knew what to order when he got there. He was resilient to his friendsí gluttonous eating while kidding him about his healthful eating. He even had half a slice of pound cake for dessert that he shared with one of his friends. Michael realized that the jokes (some people might even consider them insults) from his dinner companions just rolled off his back, and he went home feeling ecstatic that he didnít overdo it.

While this story about Michael is fictional, it illustrates the problem many dieters often face. We all want to hang out with friends and family when we can, but unless they also eat the way that we do, it can be a challenge socializing with them. Furthermore, it doesnít help if they say mean things. Even though their comments are meant as a joke, the meanness still hurts just the same. Try to let it roll off your back.

The next time youíre in this situation, think of Michael. Have a light snack before dinner, think and plan ahead what you may order when you go out, and let the ribbing from others fly right over your head. Finally, if you do fall off a little bit, eating a little too much of the wrong things, thatís okay. One night of culinary pleasure wonít derail all of your progress. Get back on the wagon after dinner. Rather than feel bad about yourself, make up for it by doing some extra crunches or staying on the treadmill a little longer. Lifeís too short to stress about it.

"Just Do It!"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOPPY_ 3/11/2013 5:19AM

    Nicely writ. Points well-made. Problem & solution well considered.

Lee emoticon

------

Need to meet new people with new ideas and perspectives?

***Sure, you do*** emoticon

On what?

Life, nutrition, fitness, wellness, humor, culture ... gezortenplatz emoticon

SP Diversity Ė emoticon

http://www.sparkpeople.com/
myspark/groups_individual.asp?g
id=59617


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MONETRUBY 9/14/2011 9:33PM

    Another great post, Will. One of the best things I've learned over the past few years is to go online and investigate menus before going to any kind of restaurant. That way, I'm prepared and know what I'm getting into before I go. Good info!

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