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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.

Thanks, everyone!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMAGINE_IT 7/14/2009 4:47PM

    Love your Blog!! I have been following your progress almost from the beginning..because you found me somehow and left one of your kind and wonderful messages on my page... emoticon i may not always respond..or come by as often as i should...but i do watch you.. emoticon from afar...lol..not in a spying way of course!!! emoticon
You have been doing amazing..and it shows..and i am really proud of you..and to me you are inspiring..and motivating..and i am proud to have you as a friend emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/14/2009 4:48:09 PM

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DSHONEYC 7/13/2009 5:09PM

    Way to go! Your retrospective blog was inspiring. Keep on blogging! emoticon

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ANIMEMOM1 7/13/2009 4:23PM

    You have been a wonderful inspiration for me as well. You have done fantastic with extra barriers that would crumble so many. Above an beyond losing the weight, you have helped keep yourself healthier to help you through this and be around for all those who love you and look up to you. Keep up your good work. Congrats on your new addition. My scale was a eye-opener. I remember saying..."That is all the chicken I GET?" Thank goodness I have learned and am now pretty good at eyeing it-though I still weigh every chance I get.

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THATCARRIEGIRL 7/13/2009 1:47PM

    You have done a great job - and not just with yourself but with being a motivating factor, at least for me. That's the best thing about SparkPeople - there is never a shortage of people willing to offer support and encouragement, because we ALL need it at some time or another. You've been a big source of that for me, and I am thankful for that.

I bought mysef a digital scale about a month ago and I don't know how I survived before! Well, I know how I survived before - I didn't cook and I didn't pay any attention to portion size. It's definitely nice to know exactly how much I am putting into my mouth now. Well, sometimes!

Keep up the good work - those last few pounds will disappear before you know it!

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NGALAX 7/12/2009 5:01AM

    I think you are amazing. I love your approach.Yes the Spark tools are great aren't they? Before Spark I didn't pay attention to food groups I just ate what I fancied. I wish you all the very best on your Sparkaversary and in the future! emoticon emoticon

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JOPAPGH 7/11/2009 3:37PM

    Your results after two months would be consdered great. Considering your circumstances, they are amazing. I am glad to hear the next couple of months will only get better and better.

I have been a big scale user from day one. Since I am a mega data nerd I gravitate to weighing things in grams. Makes it tough when I travel because I can't guesstimate portion sizes and weights very well.

Keep that laser beam focus on your goals,

John

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