Sparking for Two Months
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Reading JOPAPGH's blog reminded me: I've also been at SparkPeople for two months as of yesterday, July 10. I've used the nutrition tracker every day for every meal and only been a little less diligent on the exercise. Meaning that although I have recorded all that I've done, that exercise has been less than my pre-SparkPeople exercise routine. That's because during the past two months I've also completed radiation treatments which have slowed me down. For years I've been going to the gym 4-5 days a week, generally 40 minutes of cardio/500 calories plus abs and stretching every day; and upper body weights on alternate days with lower body weights. Treatments have slowed me down on that (fatigue plus fairly extreme skin burning) and the side effects are expected to peak about 10 days from now, then taper off over the following month or two. As energy rises, I'll be stepping up my exercise to my former levels and then beyond, I'm sure: I love that endorphin high and have had to restrain myself to accommodate the medical realities (and the chafing!).
These treatments made it the best possible time for me to embark upon Spark. During the two months, while dealing with the radiation, I've taken off 14.5 pounds of the 17 pity party pounds which had limpet-like attached themselves around my middle (mostly) after my February diagnosis. I've got 2.5 pounds to go, and even though they have been very very slow to budge they will go too: I am confident! I am determined!!
I've lost 2.5 inches around my waist and am comfortably back wearing my size eights (the 10s were getting a big snug before). Had a lot of fun "shopping in my closet" and received quite a number of compliments: the 14.5 pounds does make a difference to how I feel as well as how I look. Today I've celebrated my two month anniversary by treating myself to a StarFrite kitchen nutrition weigh scale to make absolutely sure that the 1 oz of cashews or 1 oz of cheddar I've been charging myself really has been 1 oz: and actually confirmed that my eyeballing has been pretty darn good! (It's a pretty nifty gadget and I've been wanting one for a while . . . comes programmed with a ton of foods with their calorie/protein/sodium etc and others can be added.) Also got some low-tech measuring spoons and measuring cups to reinforce the accountability..
SparkPeople: What an amazing site. I've counted calories before (of course) but the Nutrition tracker is a very handy tool. I like the "food group" feature since I tend to eat big multi-item salads every day for lunch, adding a different dressing and low-fat protein source to each one. I like the "favourites" because I do tend to eat a lot of the same foods (in rotation) over a week. I particularly like the nutrition breakdown: that I can, for example, look at what I've already eaten by mid afternoon and decide that I need to increase protein, increase fat, back off on carbs etc etc before the end of the day. Love the daily "report" feature. Love the Fitness trackers. Love the teams, the articles, the message boards, the blogs, the trivia questions (even though I am not very bright about these) -- most of all love SparkPeople: your warmth, your support, your humour, your commitment to health, energy, and engagement with life.