AUNTJAM's SparkPeople Blog AUNTJAM's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community A book found me I woke up pretty excited and full of energy at 5:30am. Yesterday was my first day of better eating. I have tried to go low carb in the past and it was successful both times. I didn't stick with it because my brain wasn't on board. I actually thought that I was doing something wrong by eating too much protein and fat. Then I read "Why We Get Fat" and what to do about it by Gary Taubes. <BR> <BR> It's geared to scientific and medical explanations about our body and how it operates. It's... Tue, 19 Nov 2013 10:55:32 EST When motivation is lost, how I got it back! For Elizabeth Here I went again! Going along enjoying my progress so far - a 28 lb weight loss over a year and then BAM! lose focus! It sneaks in quietly, the grazing, mindless snacking here and there, second helpings, tighter clothes after all that hard work, next feeling failure, like maybe you can't stop the weight gain now, helpless to do anything about it, feeling like giving in to it, that would be easier, wouldn't it? Then I can just keep eating whatever and whenever. Just yesterday, my niece Eli... Mon, 4 Nov 2013 15:13:25 EST A few words about fasting I joined Spark a bit over a year ago, lost 25 lbs through healthy eating and exercise and was looking to lose more; I gained over the holidays and by this last June was starting to creep up even more by a pound a week. I heard about this eating plan called 5:2 where you fast 2 days a week - 2 non-consecutive days- and eat "normally" the other 5 days. Because I had just done a colonoscopy and had to have only have liquids the day prior, which was easy, I thought I would try it out. My plan ... Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:14:32 EST I played Candy Crush saga and gained 3 lbs! As May drew to a close and my 30 day streak of smaller portions is ending, I've been reflecting on how to continue my journey. I've been writing this blog in my head for 3 days shortly after I weighed myself only to discover a 3lb gain. <BR> I've come a good ways in a year on Spark. I started in Twoterville and never looked back, thank goodness! <BR> I had lost 25 lbs, learned to exercise every day, even if only for 10 minutes, I've gained a lot of muscular strength and toning, I'm drinki... Mon, 3 Jun 2013 15:08:05 EST The road to smaller portions This is Day 9 of my 30 day streak. <BR> I was already into a commitment to cut the sugary snacks out. In doing so, I was starting to heap anything that was non-sugary onto my plate thus defeating the purpose of cutting out sweets! During this time, I heard or read somewhere about changing a bad habit by replacing it with a good habit for 30 days. The theory being that once your brain engages for 30 days straight on this new neuro-pathway, it would become an automatic way of thinking and ... Thu, 16 May 2013 13:36:03 EST The number on the scale is not my self-worth nor it is a true measure of my weight. For those of us who do weigh in daily, we understand and accept that there are normal fluctuations and these things don't bother us in the least. The scale is just a morning ritual, a little guideline. <em>192</em> <BR> <BR> Having said that and having been sick and no appetite for 2 days, the scale taunted me with a .6 Gain this morning!!....just saying.... <BR> <BR> The scale is not a true measure of me or my weight, the scale is not a true mea... Sun, 12 May 2013 18:58:53 EST whopper of a head cold during my streak I'm honestly happy. This cough and runny nose is proof that I'm doing great on my smaller portions and fitness. My body is ridding itself of toxins in a big way, helping me along to better health. So, my adjustments for today are rest, only light activity, drink even more water and more hot lemon water, <em>254</em> <BR> <BR> I have no appetite ( I MUST be sick lol) so the portions if any will be naturally small. My husband ran out for chicken soup and no telling what else he wil... Sat, 11 May 2013 12:20:41 EST 30 day streaks I read yesterday that you can change any habit in your life if you live the habit that you want to achieve for 30 days straight. The advice is to best to tackle one thing at a time so that it has all your focus. I thought of so many things that I want to improve and just to be fair to myself I did reflect on and celebrate the new habits that I have formed over this past year of Sparkpeople: <BR> 1. I have developed the habit of 15 minutes of daily prayer/reflection (I use a chime interval a... Wed, 8 May 2013 12:38:18 EST Walk to the lighthouse 5.3 miles today. Conditions were perfect, morning low tide, no rain predicted. We planned a hike in the morning to the lighthouse that we can see in the distance whenever we take a beach hike. We started out with pep in our step, trail mix and water. Our doggie had his trusty ball. There was beauty everywhere. It did rain on the way, we explored tidepools, took pictures, and coming back, we walked into the wind that had been on at our backs. We were spent, my pedometer read 117 aerobic... Wed, 1 May 2013 01:05:42 EST one year later I'm approaching my one year Spark anniversary. I had a higher weight loss goal than 20 lbs for a year but I did lose 20 lbs and it's still off so that is good. I will focus on that. Even if I don't lose any weight this next year and I keep off what I've lost I'm pleased. <BR> <BR> I have learned a lot this year and that is perhaps even more valuable. I look for the non-scale victories and I have actually formed some new habits. I need to exercise every day, I actually crave it. I won... Tue, 30 Apr 2013 00:53:42 EST Unexpected inspiration today from my 18 yr old niece She posted this to her Facebook page today: <BR> This past month I have learned something. Something that I already knew, I just needed to hear it from a mouth other than my own. You are truly stronger than excuses. To me this means get off your lazy butt and do something. I am taking charge of my life. I refuse to sit around and wish I was thin/healthy. As of yesterday I am getting in shape. I will lose 100 pounds by next may and all you guys are going to hold me accountable. Because I am po... Thu, 25 Apr 2013 16:49:01 EST The only thing I have to do The only thing I have to do is eat and be the fit person I want to be, as I plan to do each day for the rest of my life. If I think of today's activities as something I'm temporarily doing to reach a certain goal (weight, clothing size, level of fitness, etc), I'm heading for failure. If I think of this as a temporary hard push and then it's done, I'm heading for certain failure. <BR> <BR> <BR> But If I live for today like I want all my days to be, the rest will take of itself. If my o... Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:50:43 EST Something that helped me get back on track It's just a small thing, but as I lost 25 lbs over the summer, I'd been adding Crystal Light pink lemonade flavor to my daily water. Over the holidays and then during my failed first week of trying to recover, I'd forgotten about adding the Crystal Light. I saw it in the cupboard and added it yesterday and that may even be the thing that helped me back. It seems to help my cravings for sweets or even to graze. I've tried other flavors, this is the only one that works for me. I'm having a... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 18:02:38 EST Back on Track - not as easy as pie Like many of us, I took a planned break for the holidays. By allowing myself that pumpkin pie and foods that I'd restricted for the last 6 months, I did gain 5 lbs. I had continued to exercise regularly and continued my water intake throughout this time. The good news was that I was still 20 lbs down from my starting weight of 203 back in May. I planned on getting back on track on Dec 31. The first day was harder than expected - and unsuccessful. The next day was Day 1 again - didn't wo... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 01:07:48 EST My plan for Thanksgiving - might surprise you :) Since joining Spark in May, I've tried 2 different "eating plans". The first 2 weeks I followed a set list of foods that I could and could not eat, pretty much unlimited amounts. I stuck to it, tracked it, couldn't wait for it to be over but did lose 10 lbs. At the end of it, I experimented with adding a few more carbs and finding foods that I liked. During this time, I discovered low carb tortillas, ground flax seed, spinach salads, almond flour, protein powder, things I've incorporated ... Sat, 17 Nov 2012 14:52:52 EST My Unexpected Reward Really didn't want to exercise in the rain today, but I found inner strength and took off. Walking along, I was surprised by a sudden peek of sunshine, then a gorgeous rainbow. God is good. <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 24 Oct 2012 16:05:58 EST Small delights I've discovered that keep me on track Fiber One cereal with no sugar added <BR> Greek yogurt plain <BR> Slivered almonds for salad <BR> You can make a flax muffin in a cup in one minute - spark recipe <BR> Also scrambled eggs, cheese, veggies, sausage in micro for a minute or two <BR> Low carb tortillas instead of bread <BR> Clausen dill pickle slices <BR> Atkins protein bars and shakes <BR> Stevia packets <BR> Have you tried Almond Butter? yummmm <BR> Crystal Light Pink Lemonade lightly added to my bottle of water <BR> Drinking... Mon, 1 Oct 2012 14:14:02 EST challenged myself today and I DID it!! I planned my cardio today later than usual. I did my chores, my toning, my schedule got off and I was now tired from the day. It was time to leave for my walk-run. So many de-motivating factors already plus now the wind had picked up, my doggie can't go (recuperating) I'm hungry, I don't have to (I'm allowed 2 off days a week). I kept deciding in my mind to Not go. Then I said, You will go. Do 10 minutes if nothing else. I left the house and checked my watch. I'll turn around in 10 min... Wed, 26 Sep 2012 19:17:19 EST quote from a co-Sparker, but I liked it "The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." <BR> – Anna Quindlen Mon, 17 Sep 2012 17:24:03 EST Oh! Hello hip bones :) Tue, 11 Sep 2012 16:54:40 EST Losing weight, it's all mind games I've decided to involve my brain and my body in my healthy living decisions. Turns out old habits have been in the drivers seat which we all know is auto-pilot. Auto-pilot for me was eating 3 or 4 times a day trying not to blow it, eating snacks without thinking. There's been no set back since I started Sparking 4 months ago, but the plan is changing. I started on a strict Atkins blowout for 2 weeks which was a good kick start, but nothing I could live with. I started listening to my bod... Sun, 9 Sep 2012 18:19:34 EST 5k today! I completed theBootcamp challenge Monday and jumped right back in for another 28 days. My sister is visiting me this week and pushed thru it with me. We did a 5k together last year - walking, and today we did our 2nd annual 5k. We planned out a route on the beach and did it. It was hard, but we came home and did Day 2 of the toning videos. Feeling great! Tue, 24 Jul 2012 21:49:37 EST They are not setbacks, they are just life Finished the whole 28 Day Boot camp challenge yesterday - Week 4, Day 7. I just now started the whole challenge over, Week 1, Day 1. Now that it's a habit, I can't stop! I feel stronger than the very first day and much better in my clothes. I've lost a total of 15 lbs since May 4. Some folks may not be happy with that progress, but for me, I'm very happy. I'm trying to achieve a life of consistent exercise and consistent small portions of food. I have achieved that. Here's how I see i... Mon, 23 Jul 2012 19:16:28 EST Inspiration "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." Michaelangelo Fri, 20 Jul 2012 11:24:54 EST Complete Hunger Scale for my friend IloveMali Tthought you might love the whole thing: <BR> 1. Physically faint <BR> 2. Ravenous <BR> 3. Fairly Hungry <BR> 4. Slightly Hungry <BR> 5. Neutral <BR> 6. Pleasantly satisfied <BR> 7. Full <BR> 8. Stuffed <BR> 9. Bloated <BR> 10.Nauseous <BR> excerpt from "I Can Make You Thin" by Paul McKenna <BR> <BR> for those of us who have lost touch and have been overriding our body's signals, It's good to consult this Hunger scale to get back on track. Eat at 3 or 4, Stop at 6 or 7. Never live... Tue, 10 Jul 2012 18:36:46 EST Waiting for hunger Reference yesterday's blog: I Can Make You Thin. Since starting a new journey about 2 months ago, I'm trying something new again. I've been counting my carbs, calories, exercising steadily, meditating and drinking water. Here is my something new: I will check my hunger on the hunger scale: 1 is physically faint from hunger, 10 is nauseously full. I'll eat somewhere around 3 or 4 which is slightly or fairly hungry and stop eating when 6 or 7 which is satisfied or full. I will choose the... Sun, 8 Jul 2012 20:18:27 EST "I Can Make You Thin" that's the bold statement made by Paul McKenna in his book. Curious, I read it, and the concept is quite simple. There is no diet or list of foods to avoid, no counting of any kind. His suggestion is to listen to your body. I said right, that's what got me in trouble in the first place. But for kicks yesterday I used his Hunger Scale to determine my level of hunger before I ate anything. What surprised me was that it was time for my morning smoothie that I look forward to every day and ... Sat, 7 Jul 2012 16:49:29 EST How I pushed through cardio today Now, I'm a rookie to this consistent exercise and I am pushing through daily only because of the brilliant Spark plan of biting off small chunks and achieving them. I'm not a runner like some of my cool Triathlon friends or my 2 hr bike junkies; my level is aerobic DVDs or a brisk 30 minute walk. However, I do know that we all reach a point sometimes of trying to shorten your planned workout during said workout. <BR> <BR> Today after doing my toning video for the 28 Day Bootcamp challeng... Tue, 3 Jul 2012 13:53:53 EST Discovering new foods/getting the sugar out Since eating better on Spark, I've incorporated new snacks and discovered things that I actually like. Am eating low-carb/low sugar, but have recently brought back the healthy complex carbs. Here are foods that I rarely had before that I now use daily or several times a week: <BR> Hummus: I made chef Meg's yesterday, pictured below - so easy and it's replacing mayo, ya gotta love a condiment that adds fiber and tastes good too. <BR> Dill pickle rolled up in a thin slice of meat and cheese ... Sun, 1 Jul 2012 16:07:52 EST NSV I've lost my weight in doggie pounds I didn't even realize it at first. Cisco (14 lb pom) used to jump up and take a nap next to me in my recliner. These past few months, he's found other spots and I thought nothing of it. When he jumped up yesterday and took his old position, I realized that there had been no room for both of us. After joining Spark on May 4, staying on track with eating, joining the 10 minute exercise club, in my 2nd week of 28-day Fitness Challenge and 14 pounds later, he resumed his favorite spot yester... Sat, 30 Jun 2012 14:51:37 EST Been exercising consistently for a month I haven't reached exercise euphoria yet as I'd hoped, but I did reach an epiphany. I've been pathetically trying to run for exercise and I've been killing myself trying to do so. Today I said just brisk walk and ENJOY it. It worked! The pedometer logged it as aerobic steps for 30 minutes, so all is good. This is something I can do. Sun, 24 Jun 2012 00:36:19 EST How Things Work When you get tired of how things are, you start making changes. <BR> When you start making changes, you usually concentrate on one thing. <BR> When you concentrate on one thing, your mind and body can't help it; they follow along. <BR> When your mind and body follow along you notice other changes that you weren't even working on. <BR> When other changes happen that you weren't even working on, you are pleasantly surprised! <BR> When you are pleasantly surprised, you notice even more things, l... Sat, 16 Jun 2012 23:10:15 EST A new feeling I've never been able to run any distance, I mean even a few yards without getting winded. I've always wanted to be able to. Since I've started my running-walking program, a few weeks now, I've had to push myself to go faster than a brisk walk. It goes like this: Just jog until you get to those rocks. I get to the rocks panting. Well today, I actually Felt like taking some jogging steps! I did it and stopped when ready, but kept walking fast. The next time it happened on this run, I act... Sat, 16 Jun 2012 00:51:19 EST Got my carb on today! oats and flax for breakfast, who knew it would be so good! Feeling stronger today. Thank you to my Spark Friends for checking in with me and for your support. Tue, 12 Jun 2012 21:34:42 EST 14th day of induction - no energy running was difficult this morning, felt light-headed, got to get those bananas. Also need to add different carbs tomorrow, like nuts and berries for Phase 2. Otherwise in great spirits! Mon, 11 Jun 2012 17:16:33 EST Advice on running on an empty stomach I run-walk in the morning before breakfast. It's only 2 miles, but has been an effort lately and I'm really hungry afterward. I'm on a low carb program and not sure what if anything I should eat before my run. <BR> <BR> Any thoughts? Sat, 9 Jun 2012 17:54:23 EST That makes 10! Ten pounds lost! <em>253</em> I can't believe I got under 200. Every day that I'm still in One-derland is still a wonder to me. The sight of 193 on the scale seems surreal, not possible, I actually got off and on again. <BR> <BR> Also something clicked when doing my 20 minute Turbo Jam, (clicked in my brain, that is :)) <BR> I'm reading "Spark" and Chris says to tackle exercise in small chunks and that will lead to the love of exercise. I realized that 20 minutes is too much for me. ... Fri, 8 Jun 2012 13:59:10 EST I'm full, satisfied Everyone ordered Quiznos, I chose the Cobb salad with bleu cheese crumbles - so good! Got my veggies for sure- when I got home I added some leftover chicken breast to it and a Tbsp of flax seed, which I'm starting to love - I'm stuffed and losing weight! <em>4</em> <BR> <BR> Tired of eggs yesterday I ground some flax seed in my coffee grinder and made a breakfast cereal with hot water, mixed in heavy cream and Splenda, very satisfying. Sun, 3 Jun 2012 17:41:13 EST so easy on low carb Ordering breakfast out was a snap! Veggie omelette with bacon and cheese. Get to eat lots of veggies and salad which I love; if I want a snack, just roll a ham and swiss doobie, put a dill pickle in the middle. no hunger. <BR> <BR> Small blessings to get me through: I bought flax seed today knowing it's high in fiber, I wanted to grind it and try it as a hot cereal, but I sprinkled a few on my salad and loved it! kinda nutty. Need to keep up the motivation, got new running shoes today, ye... Thu, 31 May 2012 01:07:47 EST Looking forward to my first day of 20-25 net carbs I have some of the basics to get me through until shopping tomorrow. not sure what are some of the best staples to have on hand. Am using the Atkins meal planner as a guide. In order to kick sugar, I shouldn't rely too heavily on the shakes and bars in the first 2 weeks according to the blogs. Tue, 29 May 2012 11:34:00 EST Stepping away from the 200s once again Didn't mean to visit, but it was quick and a good reminder to stay on track. Thankfully weighed back into One derland this morning and will finish the day with no more carbs. <BR> <BR> Small motivators: wrapping things in lettuce, Steam Fresh veggies, Insight Timer android app for chimes at intervals during my meditation. Thank you Lord for taking care of me. Mon, 28 May 2012 19:44:03 EST 6 steps forward, 3 steps back worked for 22 days to lose 6 lbs, eating low fat, run-walk every other day 3 miles. Then slipped off the track, drank wine and ate pancakes. I knew this would happen, even skipped a weigh-in cuz I didn't want to see it, but there it was today - not only a 3 lb gain, but trip back into 200ville - horrors!! <BR> <BR> Things I need to do right now: stay positive, get on a low carb program, get some better jogging shoes- feet are sore these days, stick to meditation, portion control Sun, 27 May 2012 19:50:58 EST Always grateful "I am thankful for small mercies. I compared notes with one of my friends who expects everything of the universe, and is disappointed when anything is less than the best, and I found that I begin at the other extreme, expecting nothing, and am always full of thanks for moderate goods." <BR> - Ralph Waldo Emerson Sat, 26 May 2012 11:34:28 EST Non scale achievement - 20 days into my program - 5lbs lost, but bigger than that today is the fact that as I started exercising, I noticed I had to tie my pants up! they kept slipping as I jogged along. Also I noticed the walk was a bit easier today, not so winded. <BR> <BR> I read over the Atkins stuff yesterday and may switch to low carb instead of low fat, for 2 weeks anyway after my high carbie food is out of the house. <BR> <BR> Things that help right now: Skinny Cow, mp3 player, meditation, positive th... Wed, 23 May 2012 13:13:19 EST Another LB, kicked to the curb! Something's working! looking forward to the day. <em>236</em> Tue, 22 May 2012 11:58:36 EST Day 2 Meditation Hit Onederland today! small loss but huge victory. did one-ders for my motivation, lol <BR> <BR> Continue practicing the still mind, feels great just to take the 15 minutes out to do anything quietly. <BR> <BR> Got really hungry at the groc store due to poor planning on my part, but hung in there. Put together a quick wrap as soon as I got home. <BR> <BR> Small blessings: hummus in stead of mayo, yummm, going to make my own today and a hot shower after having to walk in the rain today... Mon, 21 May 2012 19:18:21 EST Day 1 of Meditation and Prayer, Day 17 of changes 15 minutes a day with a still mind. It can be done. 21 days to form a habit of being still, thinking of success, dedicating to fitness, listening to God's voice instead of me doing the talking. One thing at a time, concentrate on developing this 15 minute habit daily. It can be done. <em>12</em> Sun, 20 May 2012 18:44:53 EST Broke thru the century mark! 199.4! Although a small total weight loss so far, a huge milestone nonetheless. I was not ready to start this journey, I just made up my mind to pretend I was ready and just do it! When I'm tempted to eat some small "reward" I tell myself My reward is the fact that I'm establishing a new habit of not grazing which will become easier each day..I hope <em>234</em> Sat, 19 May 2012 11:52:01 EST Make up your mind to do it <em>192</em> 10 days into it..only 3 pounds lost. Takes more than that to stop me <em>216</em> Boom! Fri, 18 May 2012 13:34:20 EST