ANNIESADVENTURE's SparkPeople Blog ANNIESADVENTURE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Welcome, June May, with the ups and downs, is written and done. Today starts a new month,a fresh slate. It's not an all or nothing journey so we may not reach perfection, but we can make June awesome! Stick with those goals. Let them shape our behavior. <BR> <BR> These inspiring quotes were on the Community feed this morning. They spoke to me. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 1 Jun 2017 08:37:40 EST What does 300 - 400 calories look like? <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1260 </link> <BR> What Does 300 Calories Look Like? written by Nicole Nichols <BR> <BR> You have to take a look at this article. It's a quick read, mostly pictures. It's stuff most of us know but the visuals are an eye-opener. It gives 300 and 400 calorie options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. <BR> <BR> I enjoy going out to eat. I have been guilty of selecting some of the "healthy" restaurant choices listed here. Earl... Fri, 26 May 2017 00:40:08 EST Measuring Progress Excellent article by Spark staff writer, Liz Noelcke: MEASURE PROGRESS WITHOUT THE SCALE. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ion_articles.asp?id=487 </link> <BR> <BR> Her opening sentence gives me something to consider: <BR> "Frustrated. Disappointed. Hopeless. Skeptical. <BR> Whichever you choose, these emotions are enemies of people trying to lose weight—especially when you feel like you have done everything right..." <BR> <BR> It is a warning to watch for those... Thu, 25 May 2017 05:45:08 EST Pondering weight loss mystery It's a mystery. <BR> <BR> I was feeling disappointed in myself last night for being over on calories, eating higher carb foods prepared by others. Feeling heavy, moving slow. <BR> When I weighed this morning I was down 0.4 pounds from yesterday. <BR> <BR> How can we lose weight when we've had a bad eating day? How can we gain or stay the same when we've had an exceptionally healthy day and feel so proud of ourselves? Our bodies have a mind of their own. They don't lose according to our sch... Sat, 6 May 2017 11:01:59 EST Heroes I have had a lifelong love affair with books. Libraries make me happy. I love to hold a book in my hands. I love the smell and feel. I wish I could absorb it's contents by osmosis. <BR> In my recent foray at the bookstore, one of the books I purchased was about people who significantly impacted American history. Many of the names were not easily recognizable. When browsing I was so fascinated I couldn't put it down. I confess I bought several books of a similar nature. They are condensed bi... Thu, 27 Apr 2017 01:42:24 EST Birthday celebration and surprises Today is my birthday. It's going to be a wonderful, top of the world kind of day! <BR> <BR> My family asked me what time I wanted to get up today. I said, "2 o'clock." Haha. <BR> <BR> The sun is shining. Lovely, following the thunderstorm last night. Sunshine makes me happy. There is supposed to be a pink moon tonight. <BR> <BR> There was a Happy Birthday message on the bedroom door, with lots of XOXOXOs. <BR> There was a birthday card on the bathroom counter. <BR> There was another b... Tue, 11 Apr 2017 09:14:31 EST Food Fixation I know a 55 years old man who does not eat sweets. He says he did not grow up eating them, so why should he start now? We smugly smile at his claim because he doesn't know what he is missing...but maybe he is on to something. He has a different way of thinking than the rest of us. <BR> <BR> Years ago I cared for two children who could not be bribed by sweets. Food in general was not that important to them. The boy would forget to eat until his stomach hurt. His mom told me to remind him to ... Sun, 26 Mar 2017 04:21:24 EST Going Away Party <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=6329260 </link> <BR> <BR> SKYDRAKE Julia wrote a beautiful blog titled Final Goodbyes? Her words resonated deeply with me. She wrote of the difference in her grieving when her mother passed away and 15 years later when her father passed. <BR> <BR> Many of us are no stranger to the life and death cycle. I have lost many friends and family members through the years. <BR> <BR> Grandmother, who lived next door, move... Sat, 18 Mar 2017 01:17:45 EST America's fittest couple <link><BR>-couple--americas-fittest-couple--grac<BR>e-magazine-cover </link> <BR> <BR> America's fittest couple live in our village? My initial reaction was shock and excitement because we are a small farming community, not especially known for fitness. That was quickly followed by curiousity, wondering if it was someone I knew. Reading their story was inspiring. <BR> They are parents. They are teachers. They eat clean. They work out regularly in thei... Wed, 1 Mar 2017 01:49:10 EST A Gift for Miss Lilly Early one morning Miss Lilly was sitting on her porch as was her habit, when a dapper little man appeared. He offered her a choice of three boxes. The first box contained $10,000 that she could enjoy immediately. If she chose Box 2, she must wait one year to open it. If she chose Box 3, she must wait two years to open it. She was so bemused that she made no choice that morning but wondered about it afterwards. <BR> <BR> Miss Lilly was a retired nurse whose husband, Ralph, had passed away a ... Thu, 16 Feb 2017 05:46:07 EST January Weight Loss <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I set a goal to lose 10 pounds every month. Our bodies don't always lose on our schedule but it's a reasonable goal. I stuck with my eating plan and met the 10 pound goal for January. <BR> I set a second goal to lose 3 more pounds this month so I could move into the next set of numbers on the scale. It didn't happen. Close, but no cigar. So I'm feeling a little down on myself. I whisper, "It... Tue, 31 Jan 2017 14:40:52 EST My little corner of the world I've been pleased with my progress for the 5% Challenge. I've been able to stick fairly close to my eating plan. I lost a few pounds the first week, making 9 for the month. <BR> Exercise is always a challenge with limited mobility and chronic pain but I plan to explore more of the videos on Spark to change this up a little. I thought I saved an article last year that was a list linking to different exercises for those with arthritis. It seems to have been gobbled up by the cyber space gremlin... Tue, 24 Jan 2017 01:43:33 EST A Moment of Clarity This week I created a weight chart for the last 12 years (when I started this journey). Looking at the figures takes away all the guesswork. <BR> <BR> Then I calculated where my modest monthly weight loss goal will take me each month. I was in disbelief to be ahead of the game because I am starting this year at a lower weight than where I started last year. Progress! Am I finally figuring out how to hang on to the successes of the winning streaks? I really CAN do this! <BR> As IndyGirl ... Fri, 20 Jan 2017 13:25:49 EST It's okay to say, "No, thank you." We were in the living room in the evening, talking and watching television. Someone made a snack run to the kitchen, asking if I wanted ice cream. <BR> <BR> I wasn't hungry. <BR> I wasn't thinking about food. <BR> I wasn't craving ice cream. <BR> No one would be offended if I didn't have ice cream. <BR> Saying no would not spoil the camaraderie. <BR> We didn't need food to prolong the evening. <BR> At the end of the day, I would be happier if I stuck to my plan. <BR> The scale would reward ... Fri, 6 Jan 2017 18:15:22 EST 30-Day Small Changes Challenge, Day 4 Day 4 Small Changes Challenge was to try a new food. Find a new favorite. <BR> <BR> Sis had almond milk in the refrigerator. I tried it today. It had a pleasant, roasted almond taste. <BR> <BR> Someone recommended freezing green grapes for a snack. I liked them when they were in the freezer a short time and still a little chewy. Once they froze all the way through, it was too cold for me, giving me brain freeze (the headache from eating something too cold). <BR> <BR> I want to try pome... Mon, 19 Dec 2016 20:11:42 EST 30-Day Small Changes Challenge, Day 3 Day 3 of the challenge is all about breakfast. We all know there are benefits to eating breakfast. Think about it...all the yummy food we associate with breakfast. What's not to like about it? <BR> <BR> Sometimes we fall into bad habits. We get lazy. We don't have time. Maybe we aren't hungry in the morning. Worse yet, we think we will save those calories to boost our weight loss. That usually doesn't help because we eat more or eat irrationally when hunger hits before lunch time. <BR> <B... Sun, 18 Dec 2016 09:35:41 EST 30-Day Small Changes Challenge, Day 1 SparkPeople's 30-Day Small Changes Challenge <BR> 7,407 Members <BR> SparkPeople's Small Changes Challenge provides fun and simple daily challenges in a 30-day plan. Small, healthy changes can lead to bigger results than you might think! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-challenge.asp?calendar=10 </link> <BR> <BR> Day 1 Get the support you need: <BR> 1. Partner, family <BR> 2. Friends <BR> 3. Support yourself by keeping a journal <BR> 4. Support groups in your ar... Sat, 17 Dec 2016 17:18:41 EST Beginning Fall 5% Challenge Our Fall 5% Challenge started Saturday. I really need this. I have been moving backwards, undoing all the good I've done this year. It has been a painful year. Do we ever get over losing loved ones? I am also having a great deal of physical, mobility-limiting pain in legs and arms. It is limiting my independence and scaring me about where this will lead in the future. So you can see how very much I need this challenge to get back on track. Sun, 25 Sep 2016 22:16:58 EST Reflections on the 5% Challenge: Sleep One of the components we log for a couple weeks of the challenge is consecutive hours of sleep. It is one of many components that help our teams earn points. <BR> <BR> The emphasis is on consecutive. That adds difficulty to this goal. Following major surgery in 2004 and again in 2009, along with various other injuries and surgeries since, I sleep in 2 hour segments due to pain or discomfort. Sometimes I can go back to sleep. Other times I get up and do other things, like read or computer t... Tue, 30 Aug 2016 06:44:49 EST Thinking like a successful Sparker In light of the struggle some of my 5% challenge friends are having with gaining a few pounds every once in awhile on this journey, I thought I would share a break-through moment I wrote about in my Spark community journal on June 30, 2016. <BR> <BR> * * * * * * * * * <BR> <BR> Breakthrough moment. <BR> <BR> To be successful, I thought I should never see the same number on the scale. I don't want to re-lose the same pounds. I feel like a failure when I yo-yo. <BR> <BR> While my weight h... Wed, 27 Jul 2016 15:34:06 EST Be the Helper. Make a Difference. A word of explanation before you read this blog: This is an unusual blog for me to post on Spark. I love this community and avoid controversy. I hope you find something to ponder and also encouragement in my words. <BR> <BR> <BR> Today I read a blog posted by my Spark friend, -POOKIE-, Something I read when Tim Peake returned to Earth. <BR> <BR> "This thought honestly made me cry... He saw so much, things so amazing we cannot comprend. The thought I read was why would you want to return... Sun, 10 Jul 2016 14:57:54 EST When motivation takes a vacation Sometimes we are super motivated. Sometimes motivation wanes. Our journey is easier, even fun, when motivation is running high, but motivation is unreliable. That's where commitment comes in. It picks up where motivation leaves off. Am I going to make healthy choices when I feel like it, or am I going to do what is in my best interest and live healthy all the time? <BR> <BR> The advice below is from an interview with a successful Spark member. <BR> <BR> <BR> What advice would you give... Thu, 30 Jun 2016 07:48:31 EST Too few calories feels virtuous. Too many calories feels like failure. Yesterday I read a blog about the struggle a Spark member is having to eat enough calories. She discussed the reasons she was sabotaging herself. <BR> <BR> While my reasons may be different, it made me reflect on my own feelings. Why do I feel virtuous if I come in under my calorie range? I feel like a failure when I come in over my calorie range. <BR> <BR> Occasionally coming in over or under our calorie range should not have a long term effect. We may have a wonderful plan but it's on... Wed, 29 Jun 2016 02:05:14 EST Preparation for 5% Summer Challenge: Step 7 I am doing these assignments to provide clarity for me. I am thinking out loud, summing up the things I've learned on this journey. You are welcome to pick up any insights that might encourage you. <BR> <BR> <BR> Step 7 in the preparation for the 5% challenge deals with trigger foods. "For the purpose of this activity, a Trigger Food is defined as the one that gets you off course; you are not truly hungry yet you are eating and eating! " <BR> <BR> For this assignment, I am including overea... Sat, 25 Jun 2016 22:53:45 EST Preparation for 5% Summer Challenge: Steps 5 & 6 Preparation for 5% Summer Challenge <BR> <BR> Step 5: "Win Tomorrow" Check list <BR> <BR> See the Step 3 assignment about creating a list of the routine things we need to do everyday to win. This step has us preparing so we'll be ready to implement that list. <BR> <BR> Here is our Leader Lynn's check list: <BR> Get water bottles ready <BR> Have healthy snacks ready <BR> Plan 3 meals for tomorrow <BR> Have workout clothes and sneakers ready <BR> Schedule tomorrow's workout in on calen... Fri, 24 Jun 2016 21:00:32 EST Preparation for 5% Summer Challenge: Steps 3 & 4 Step 3 : Update your page. Will teammates get an accurate picture of you from your page? <BR> Some of us have been here a long time. Our pages may reflect who we were when we joined Spark. Our Friends list may contain people who are not active on Spark now. <BR> <BR> I have simplified and updated my page. I try to keep my list of friends relevant with a few exceptions of special friends that show up sporadically. I clear out the old teams when a challenge is done, and add the new private t... Fri, 24 Jun 2016 01:43:56 EST Preparation for 5% Summer Challenge: Step 2 Nutrition Plan This week is preparation for the 5% Summer Challenge. <BR> <BR> Check list for Step 2 Nutrition Plan <BR> <BR> Do you know what diet you will follow? <BR> Do not exceed calorie range. <BR> Aim for lower carb. <BR> I do best when I follow a menu. Winging it usually leads me to weight gain! <BR> Be able to flex on occasion. Everything in moderation. <BR> <BR> Eating out: check nutrition ahead of time if possible. Unless a higher calorie food is planned, choose meat and salad meals. Try to... Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:20:55 EST Preparation for 5% Summer Challenge: Step 1 Exercise Step one of the countdown activity in preparation of our Summer 5% Challenge is about exercise. Make a commitment. Share your exercise plan. Be prepared: exercise clothes, water bottle, pedometer, heart monitor, workout DVD, exercise program at gym or on television or YouTube. Check out MAP MY WALK on Spark. <BR> <BR> I answered most of those questions in my online Spark community journal. <BR> <BR> I used to exercise at the gym every day. One of the trainers called me their poster child. ... Mon, 20 Jun 2016 15:26:11 EST Thoughts from this week June 14, 2016 One month ago our world changed. We were up north, enjoying a few days away. Pastor and his wife came to us to tell us Suz had been murdered and her husband was in serious condition. Someone they knew broke into their home and stabbed them multiple times. The police apprehended him while he was still at the house. <BR> We found strength for the following week. There was so much to do. <BR> We've lost a daughter, a mom, a wife, a sister, a niece, a friend. Reality is closing in... Sat, 18 Jun 2016 17:01:05 EST First week of Spring Challenge How was the first week of the 5% Challenge? <BR> <BR> I like to celebrate my birthday the whole week of my birthday. Perhaps because I have been so slow popping back from being sick the last few months, my family has already started to celebrate my birthday which is more than a week away. Too many treats have been brought to the house. I've been out to eat more times than usual. It is possible to eat healthy while dining out but that has not happened. It may start out healthy but it doesn't ... Sat, 2 Apr 2016 00:30:02 EST How to be motivated <img src=""> Mon, 29 Feb 2016 12:29:31 EST Link to inspiring weight loss story <link><BR>st=fear_of_heart_transplant_leads_to_2<BR>00_pound_weight_loss </link> <BR> <BR> Inspiring story of Spark member Beth who lost 200 pounds. She was a yo-yo dieter, losing and regaining. Even when she made the commitment to lose, it wasn't a perfect path but she stayed with it. <BR> We are writing our own stories here. Have you ever wondered what your success story will look like? Fri, 15 Jan 2016 23:35:26 EST Dreams and reality It was a typical women's banquet. The room was filled with chatting women finding their places at round tables draped with white tablecloths. Red fan pleated linen napkins stood in stemmed glassware, creating an illusion of grandeur. <BR> Friends quickly found their way to our table. An older Katharine Hepburn sat quietly on my left, just one of the girls. We were old enough to choose comfort over the latest fashions but there was plenty of bling. <BR> As the dinner progressed, someone at o... Fri, 4 Dec 2015 03:35:03 EST Who would have thought I'd be struggling to get enough calories? I enjoy food. I like to try new recipes. I collect recipes and cookbooks. I like to eat out with friends or family. I like grocery stores. I loved fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden. <BR> <BR> As I became less active over the years, I had to watch the calories. Each injury or surgery or new phase of life added pounds. That brought me to Spark. <BR> <BR> Since surgery in October this year, everything has been turned upside down. Who would have thought that I'd be struggling to add... Tue, 1 Dec 2015 16:19:50 EST After Surgery update I had surgery under general anesthesia on July 27 this year. I had another surgery under general anesthesia on October 30. I have not popped back like I usually do. I'm blaming it on the two surgeries close together. I tire easily and am not back to full strength. <BR> <BR> It is a blessing to have help from a home care agency. There is a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and bath aide. The physical therapist works on lower body strength. The occupational therapist is workin... Fri, 20 Nov 2015 02:24:41 EST Surgery Day It is finally here. Today is Surgery Day. I started the preps yesterday. I am shuddering and smiling in amusement at the same time. Isn't life an adventure? I have two more pre-op things to do this morning. Surgery is this afternoon. <BR> If all goes well, I could be back Monday. This part will be behind me. <BR> <BR> The morale of the story is: Don't skip your annual checkups and the occasional other things you are supposed to do. Get your mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopy, etc, when y... Fri, 30 Oct 2015 05:40:06 EST I am blessed <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=6014223 </link> <BR> <BR> I've been surfing Spark, enjoying the blogs. I came across this one by an excellent blogger. He passed on a comment he'd heard by an inspirational speaker, "Every time you whine, complain or generally think life has treated you badly, simply add to the end of the complaint <BR> "And my life is very blessed." <BR> <BR> In another blog, the same Sparker stressed living in the moment. No wo... Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:30:59 EST Beginning of the week We had a lovely weekend trip toward the western part of the state. Traffic was heavy around the state capital because of a football game. <BR> Our hotel room was large and comfortable. Why they put a tub shower in a "wheelchair accessible" room is beyond me. It's hard to find handicap rooms with walk-in showers. <BR> I gave up trying to log in on Spark People at the hotel because Internet was slow, impossible to get on. It broke my log-in streak, but as another member pointed out: it's ... Tue, 6 Oct 2015 22:37:08 EST Nutrition and Taste Weight Gain! The scale has been moving in the wrong direction for awhile. <BR> <BR> 1. Every month when we go up north I gain weight. Very few hotels there have restaurants at the hotel. There are many fast food and pizza places but very few sit-down restaurants. The only vegetables most of the restaurants have are potatoes: baked potatoes, french fries, and mashed potatoes. I've already talked about this in other blogs. We go to the nearby Walmart and buy fresh fruit, cheese, yogurt, etc. T... Sat, 19 Sep 2015 12:04:13 EST Fall 5% Challenge just ahead I found this on Barbie176 Spark page. She is a team leader for another team in the 5% weight loss 8-week challenge. If you are not part of a challenge, check this one out. I am on the Tiger Monarch team. <BR> As we gear up for the Fall 5% challenge, I thought her words are appropriate and adaptable for me. <BR> <BR> "My pledge for the Summer 5% Challenge is to make this the time to achieve my goals... I am here to inspire, support and motivate others in their journey while receiving the ... Fri, 28 Aug 2015 10:00:28 EST Monday Morning Thoughts I was surfing Spark today for my daily dose of happy. I came across a Sparker who lost 100 pounds on Spark...and regained. I came across another similar story by another Sparker. Hmmmm.... <BR> <BR> I have been on Spark a long time. I shoulda been at my goal weight by now. If I had stayed the course, I coulda been at goal weight. If I had hung on to all those hard-won losses, I woulda been at goal weight. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:48:38 EST A Place I've Never Been When I was downsized from my long time position at work seven years ago, a new phase of life started. I had never been a stay-at-home person. I had no habits associated with spending days at home. I determined to start the journey as I meant to go on, with healthy habits. I ate well. I exercised. I lost pounds and inches. I felt good. <BR> It wasn't always easy. I was my father's full time caregiver until he passed away four years later. I slowly got off track and regained. <BR> I have not l... Mon, 3 Aug 2015 08:04:01 EST An eventful start to the week Monday, July 27, 2015 - copied from Spark journal entry <BR> <BR> Going through a rocky spell. <BR> Precious dog died Sunday. Cried until I felt sick. <BR> I had surgery today. Hurting. <BR> Nothing tastes right, probably because of the anesthesia. <BR> Please, God, let tomorrow be a little better. <BR> <BR> <BR> Tuesday, July 28, 2915 - excerpted from Spark journal entry <BR> <BR> First up was a call for a clothes dryer repairman. The dryer was making a terrible screeching noise. It ... Wed, 29 Jul 2015 05:05:47 EST First two days of Summer 5% challenge Day 1 - Journal entry from Saturday, June 27, 2015 <BR> It rained all day Saturday. After I stopped at the post office for the mail, I was drenched. I can't use an umbrella and maneuver a walker too. I had made plans to meet a friend for lunch at Bob Evans. Nice lunch, but we were both chilled through. Later I picked up some groceries at the big grocery store. The rain soaked through my raincoat. My clothes and hair were wet. I wanted to get home and get warmer clothes on but I knew I wou... Mon, 29 Jun 2015 10:17:58 EST Losing weight is as hard as you make it KITT52 posted a blog on May 28, 2015, in response to questions if her weight loss and hard work had been worth it. <BR> <BR> “losing weight is as hard as you make's really up to you...once I focused on what I could eat, on what I could do....once I stop making excuses for myself and resigned my thinking to positive thinking and stop telling myself how unfair it all was...I made progress.. <BR> <BR> it still is a struggle some days, I have made a commitment to myself, that I w... Wed, 3 Jun 2015 23:34:17 EST Finish what you started <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This speaks to me: Finish what you started. That's where I am right now. I need to finish what I started when I joined Spark. <BR> <BR> Tue, 26 May 2015 09:36:00 EST Discouraging weight gain on vacation While on vacation, I planned to make fairly healthy choices. I did not bring unhealthy snacks. No cookies or chips or sweets. <BR> <BR> The hotel free-breakfast was slim pickings. Mostly I chose hard boiled eggs and (mini-sized) yogurts, occasionally a freshly made waffle. I get tired of waffles very quickly! <BR> <BR> There were not a lot of choices for lunch and dinner. We had baked potatoes from the nearby Wendy's most days. That helped because I was hungry much of the time. The meal ... Thu, 21 May 2015 23:20:06 EST Avocados, cauliflower and other vegetables I do not like avocado. It must be an acquired tasted like pimento-stuffed green olives. It took me awhile to like coffee when I was young. Now I have it every day...usually decaf now. <BR> We are committed to learning to like avocado. It's healthy. It appears regularly on my menu. <BR> I buy only firm avocados. They are probably less tasty, like an overly firm banana is, but I can't handle the mushy texture of a soft avocado in my mouth. They don't have a lot of taste. <BR> I have a Spark ... Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:18:04 EST Celebrating 8th Sparkversary <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Eight years ago I discovered Spark. I stumbled into the Spark America section which confused me because it looked like each team was composed of people working for the same employer. That was not applicable to me. <BR> Two years later when I was ready to leave a for-profit weight loss site, I checked out Spark again. It was amazing. (Ironically I've never seen that employer-team section since I've been back.) <... Tue, 14 Apr 2015 00:33:52 EST Delicious Ways to Add More Fiber For our 5% Winter Challenge, we are adding our daily fiber intake. This is an area where I need to improve. It's a balancing act since my family is aiming for gluten free and lower carb meals. <BR> <BR> I found the article below on Spark, Delicious Ways to Boost Fiber Intake. There is a handy little chart in the article, listing foods that are 7+ grams of fiber, 5-6 grams of fiber, and 2-4 grams of fiber. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=442 </li... Sat, 14 Feb 2015 12:04:18 EST