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Just Getting Around to Introducing Myself :-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

My name is Nancy and I am a wife, mother of 2 daughters and grandmother of 3. I never had a weight problem as a child but when I turned 30 my weight gain began. I found that my usually attempt to stop the gain (exercising a bit more and eating less) no longer seemed to work and slowly the pounds began to add up.

When I was younger, sizes were more standardized and I wore a size 12. As I aged and grew in size I continued to wear a size 12 through the years. I found it sort of comforting in an odd sort of way that I was not outgrowing my jeans size as my waist grew. Aren't vanity sizes a wonderful invention? They let you imagine you have not really gained all that much weight.

However, in my 40's I was not so fortunate and had to buy a larger size. It was when I started to outgrow the size 16 that I said enough is enough. I found Spark People and began to use the online food tracker. I was shocked during my first attempt to log the food I had eaten that day. Did I eat all that food? Then came time to add in that bag of bite-size candy bars I had just eaten in one sitting. Too be honest, I could not bring myself to do it, but I realized right then why I had gained weight and was continuing to add on the pounds.

I decided to do something about it. The first thing I did was cut back on the junk food and began to eat more wholesome foods. After a few weeks, I decided to track my foods again and this time I actually did it. Doing so was one of the best things I ever did because I was then able to take a look at what I was eating and then evaluate where I needed to make improvements. I still found that I ate too much junk food in the form of chips, candy, cakes and donuts.

During this time, I as I neared that big 50, I read a magazine article that stated as we age we begin to lose muscle and, to my recollection, the article stated that once we were in the 50’s if we lost muscle it was gone for good. I did not want that to happen to me so I started to exercise. It was difficult at first and I tried many different things. Then my oldest daughter got a job that required here to travel and since she was a single parent, my husband and I decided to let our granddaughter live with us. She was 4 years old at the time and I decided to enroll her in preschool.

That was one of the best thing I ever did since we lived so far from town and school was 2 hours, I joined a gym to occupy my time while I waited. My weight loss journey began! I familiarized with the treadmill, elliptical and rowing machines. I even got adventuresome and went into the weight room. The time I was at the gym happened to be the weight lifting class was going on. I never joined the class but I watched and listened to what they were doing. I began to enjoy lifting weights once I knew how to use the machines and began to see the inches come off and I began to get some muscle definition.

At 49 years, I decided to go back to school and decided on a Culinary Arts program. There I struggled with my sweet tooth. We were allowed to eat the pastries and donuts and the lunch we prepared. If that were not bad enough, I became addicted to Brach’s Caramel Peanut Clusters and would often buy a bag for the drive home and before I got home the whole bag would be gone. It was only when one of my classmates commented that I ate way too many sweets that I realized I needed to change my ways.

So, after class I went to the school’s gym and worked out for an hour before I went home for the day. I lost 15 pounds those two years I was there, but the first year was gain and lose, gain and lose. My second year, I began to lose weight by no longer eating the foods we prepared and for lunch I’d have a huge salad loaded with lots of veggies. I also found a podcast for the couch to 5k program by Robert Ullery. He coached when to walk and run. I found that I could not run very far or for very long. A 60 second run left me breathless and gasping for air. I challenged myself and set a goal to be able to run to my neighbor’s mailbox. It took me almost a year to do so. But I did it!!!

For my 51th birthday, my hubby gave me an IPod Nano and I discovered this neat little tool called the Nike+ sport that measured my distance. I began to enjoy my weekly podcasts of the couch to 5k and started to see how much I improved in my endurance as well as distance. This is also the time I broke through that year long plateau and began to lose weight again.

It has been two years since I have been using those little gadgets and now I can run to my neighbor’s mailbox and beyond. I am at my lowest weight that I can remember but I still struggle with that sweet tooth. I still eat way too much junk food even though it is not nearly as much as I used to.

My journey here on Spark People has been an on and off, on again and off again, and now it’s the on again. I joined the team Tame the *Sweet Tooth* back in April of 2011 and there was no leader. I took on the challenge and became the leader and for some reason the membership exploded. This tells me there are a lot of us that want to be in control of that little monster that has a tantrum way too often when it does not get its way.

It is not easy, there is no quick fix and it takes a lot of effort and determination. But it is worth it! Please join me and together we can tame the sweet tooth.

Oh, I should mention that I am currently wearing a size 4 jean. However, if I look on a pattern, according to my measurements I am a size 12 again. Question for you: Do you think vanity sizes are beneficial or not?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIV2RIDE 10/10/2011 3:30PM

    Vanity sizing....UGH! I commented to a sales person at the Levi store that the size 2 I was buying looked like the size 8 I used to buy. He said it is! I guess that's why Europeans go by your waist size.

Sweets are also a problem for me. I find that if I make them myself I at least know whats in them. I also try to limit myself to 1 or 2 rather than the whole sleeve of Oreos like I used to do. LOL Good luck with your new team!

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RONNIEHUEY 10/10/2011 12:04PM

    Wow! good blog!

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MNNICE 10/10/2011 12:03PM

    That sweet tooth is a problem for me too. When I hear people say "I can't eat that - it's tooooo sweet", I'm thinking "there is no such thing as TOO sweet!" I've decided that I do not want to totally give up sweets (esp chocolate), so my goal that I continue to work on is to learn "moderation." Yes, sometimes it triggers a binge, but I think it's getting better. As for vanity sizes .. I don't really care what the number is, but I sure wish the sizing would be more consistent. I can wear anywhere between a 4 and a 10 depending on the brand. Congratulations to you on your progress and success. A couple of my teams have been inactive, so I may be taking a look at Tame the Sweet Tooth.

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It takes effort to be different,

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

but it is worth it. That is a quote I heard for some program and I think I have to agree; especially when I eat out. It is so hard to find health supporting items on the menu at the majority of resataurants.

We have been eating out a bit more than usual these past few weeks and I am amazed at how most items are deep fried or topped with a sauce or gravy. Once or twice I ordered a BLT but decided to have the french fries and I just did not as good as I do when I eat a huge salad of greens and raw veggies. Those times I left the restaurant asking myself why didn't I order a salad and/or baked potato and veggies on the side.

The other day I went to the warehouse store and loaded up my cart with fruits and vegetables. At the checkout, the lady bagging commented "You sure do eat healthy, my cart never looks like this when I go shopping."

Just simple things like ordering at a restaurant and loading up one's grocery cart can cause me to be different, but you know what? It takes an effort to be different, but it is worth it! I feel so much better now and weigh less than I did years ago.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASUPERCOOLCHICK 10/7/2011 3:05PM

    its an empowering feeling to lay your grocery items on the little conveyer belt and see healthy fruits and veges. It adds a little bounce to my step and swing in my hair.

You also have to watch even the healthy foods at restaurants, the outback next to my house the grilled chicken meal is more calories than a steak adn neither are low calorie items. They coat the chicken in oil before grilling and it adds a ton of calories. When I go out, I always order a to go box as soon as they bring the food and take half the meal and go ahead and box it up. This way I know I can eat whats on my plate and if I am hungry later on I have something to nibble on or dinner for the next night (if hubby doesnt eat it as soon as we walk in the door lol) I guess being broke has its benefits, we havent been able to go out to a restaurant in 6 months or longer. Anniversary is next week so I'm sure we'll be making up for lost time.

emoticon Happy Smiles being sent your way :)

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CANNIE50 10/7/2011 1:01PM

    Nice blog, good points. Thank you for commenting on my "bully" blog - I appreciate your support. You've definitely got this.

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TRENTDREAMER 10/5/2011 8:55PM

    "Just simple things like ordering at a restaurant and loading up one's grocery cart can cause me to be different, but you know what? It takes an effort to be different, but it is worth it!"
* amen!

Whenever I eat out for dinner, the salt in and of itself. dehydrates me and makes me feel lousy. Almost invariable i get a poor night's sleep.

Thanks for commenting on my recent blog i really appreciate it.

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WITCHYWOMAN45 10/5/2011 12:58AM

  I've had those comments at the grocery checkout as well. And not just from the cashiers either, from the folks ahead or behind me in line. But ya know what? I like being different! emoticon

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MARTHASPARKS 10/4/2011 6:08PM

    Yes, it IS worth it to be different. Y B normal?

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JITZUROE 10/4/2011 4:42PM

    very inspiring! It IS hard to navigate through confusing menu's, and then likely confusing the server, etc etc. It can seem easier to just throw in the towel and get 'the special' : (. I am guilty of that!

Kudos for your healthy cart contents and for a great approach to health!
Bren

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LIV2RIDE 10/4/2011 11:37AM

    It is well worth the effort. I would rather be different than to be suffering like most people are on the standard American diet. Thankfully we are enlightened to a better/healthier way to live.

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DR1939 10/4/2011 10:11AM

    emoticon

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I did a 10k on my own yesterday...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I started out thinking I was only going to do my noraml running route, which is about 4.5 miles. But as I neared home, I realized that I was enjoying my run so I decided to keep on going and aim for a 10k distance.

I hit the 8k close to my driveway and thought I'd head down toward the lake and turn around when my nike+ announced I went 9k. Well, it turned out that I went all the way down to the lake. Notice I said "down", almost 1 mile downhill. That meant that I had to go almost 1 mile uphill on the turn around.

I am so pleased with my progress -- I was able to run all the way back up that road. emoticon

It was such a pretty run too. The leaves are just starting to turn. The best thing is now I have running route for a 10k. Oh, my finishing time - 1:06'57 -- my best time so far.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLEEH 9/28/2011 7:23PM

    That is absolutely wonderful! I am able to do a 5k, and am working on a 5-mile route. Then maybe a 10k will be in my future!

Way to go!

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GOING-STRONG 9/28/2011 12:44AM

    Fab Fab Fabulous ~ Great job! I usually only run 5k but am planning to do the Great Columbia Crossing 10k this coming weekend. Not sure how far I'll be able to run without stopping but I'm going to give it my best shot. Now hopefully the weather will cooperate. Have a wonderful week, Rhonda

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LOPEYP 9/27/2011 7:52PM

    What a great accomplishment! Kudos to you!!

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ELEMENOPEO 9/27/2011 6:01PM

    Great job! Thanks for sharing the beautiful view. Leaves are changing here too. But it is still nice to be outside while it's warmer.

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FRANNYMAE80 9/27/2011 12:41PM

    What a great picture! and congratualtions on your 10k, that totally rocks!

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LIV2RIDE 9/27/2011 11:54AM

    Good for you! what a beautiful photo. I can't believe the leaves are already turning. emoticon

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AUNTKITTY 9/27/2011 11:20AM

    Wow - that is TOTALLY impressive! (and the picture is beautiful too.)

I think you deserve a trophy!

emoticon

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Ok, So I clicked on the HFCS ad on Spark People

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I found the title of the website to be very appropriate for its message: sweetscam.com. The website is full of information to inform us that sugar is sugar. It shows how different types of sugars are made. I found the message of the site to be that since sugar is sugar one form of the processed stuff is not really worse than another.

I found it deceptively truthful in the HFCS section on how different refinement of HFCS are added to baked goods and sodas. The reason I say 'deceptively truthful' is while it is true that HFCS is added to baked goods and sodas, why is there no mention of how many other products HFCS is added to?

Check out this link and see which foods we get added sugar:
www.cspinet.org/reports/sugar/sugaro
rigin.html


Yeah, I think it is a sweet scam - put HFCS into as many products as possible and then advertise that sugar is sugar and it is OK in moderation. Exactly what is moderation?

I am fascinated by the argument that we are genetically designed to like the sweet tastes of food - after all, that is what helped our ancestors determine whether or not a fruit was ripe, not so ripe or rotten. To me, that argument does not make sense, because our ancestors did not usually go to a grocery store and "pick" a highly and overprocessed food to eat. They ate whole foods, with the least amount of processing as possible.

Let's get real and eat real food.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERTELLE 9/27/2011 1:10PM

    The thing about real food is that real food has no label...every time I'm tempted by a new "package" I repeat that little mantra to myself in my head.

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FRANNYMAE80 9/27/2011 12:39PM

    Thanks for sharing this! Some of the products you don't even realize sugar is in. I haven't had a a soda in a month and this reiterates why.

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SARAHTAIT 9/27/2011 12:33PM

    I agree....HFCU is not good at all! thanks for bring it to people's attention!

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LIV2RIDE 9/27/2011 11:53AM

    I'm one that has a sugar problem. Not a problem really I just really really like it in all forms. I have found that when I was having a green smoothie every morning for breakfast that I wanted sugar less and even thought about it less. But now that the weather is colder and I've gone back to my old faithful oatmeal I find myself thinking about sweets much more. I won't buy foods that have HFCS in it or even artificial sweeteners. That is just one small step in the battle though.

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LODYANGEL 9/27/2011 11:05AM

    You are so right! HFCS is not good for you. For the past few months I have been trying to avoid eating any HFCS. In October I am cutting out foods with anything that is partially hydrogenated in them...Wish me luck!

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CRISSA1669 9/27/2011 10:07AM

    AGREED!! All Sugar is NOT Sugar! Check out the documentary King Corn and take note of the part where the filmakers set out to make HFCS(CRAZY)...now that for sure is NOT normal and it is not normal what HFCS is doing to our bodies...if people have not noticed....we are getting FAT in some seriously WEIRD places...my family calls it "GMO Fat" because it's certainly not the same as when Grandma was plump and squishy cooking whole foods. "Let's get real and eat real food" AMEN to that!! Thanks for the post!

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Had to change original goal - but...

Monday, September 26, 2011


Here I am crossing the 5k finish line. Considering when I started running I was not able to run to my neighbor's mailbox, I am so proud of my accomplishment. I am finding that running a race is a lot like Spark People, there are many ups and downs on the way to that goal.

1. Set a goal.
2. Design a plan to reach that goal.
3. Begin to execute that plan.
4. Have a plan B in case the first plan is not reasonable.
5. Expect a few failures on the way to reaching that goal.
6. LEARN from those failures so you can avoid doing it again.
7. Stay focused on that goal, i.e. why you want to accomplish that goal.
8. Once you accomplish the goal, set another one.

This was my best "Official" time on a race so far. I could have pushed myself a bit harder to reach my goal of a sub30, but I had some not-so-good eating for two weeks, so my goal for this race was to do a sub31 and finish strong. I accomplished both. I heard some one comment "wow! Look at her go!" as I neared the finish line.

My advice is "Never Give Up! Goals take time and effort to accomplish. Keep Striving to achieve"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

52114ME 9/26/2011 9:38PM

    Way to go Girl!
You are an inspiration to me. I am keeping my eye on you.
I have just updated my long term goals since I recently met mine.

Keep up the hard work!

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SANDYBRUNO 9/26/2011 12:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIV2RIDE 9/26/2011 12:38PM

    emoticon

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KINDREDRUNNER 9/26/2011 12:01PM

    Awesome! Congrats on the finish!

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FRANNYMAE80 9/26/2011 11:18AM

    Way to go! Congratulations on you race.

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35ANGELS 9/26/2011 10:43AM

    emoticon I'm just starting the C25k this week. Awesome time....any plans for another 5k?

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