BINEMELLES's SparkPeople Blog BINEMELLES's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Ladies and Gentlemen ... ... I herewith announce that I have met my goal of 2,015 miles in 2015 in the middle of my morning walk last Saturday 7th November, with almost 8 weeks of the year to go. <BR> <BR> I am proud and happy, the year has been good so far. November is trying its best at being November, the colorful and sunny October days are over and the past few days have been soggy and gray. I know I'll be getting my daily steps in somehow, just not quite as many as during the summer. I feel the need to den up a... Fri, 13 Nov 2015 10:28:10 EST Frazzle. Another month has come and gone. Summer has definitely passed its peak here, the fields are full of straw bales and the blackberries are ripe and juicy. Maybe this makes me a bit moody because I am already dreading late fall and winter, but I am getting ahead of myself and forgetting that there will be a lot more beautiful, warm, sunny late summer and early fall days. <BR> <BR> I have been doing good this spring and summer. Eating healthily, regularly and moderately, and walking constantly, ... Tue, 4 Aug 2015 11:04:29 EST Mid-year update on my "2,015 miles in 2015" challenge Just a short update because I realised today that half the year is gone and I could have a look at my stats. I knew I was doing good, because April through June I have been walking quite a lot, we have had a lot of fine weather here and I was trying to change my exercise routine around a bit. <BR> <BR> I have walked 1,842.5 kilometers in six months, which translates to 1,144.9 miles. At this rate I might overshoot my goal by a hundred miles or more, but you never know what will happen. I kno... Wed, 1 Jul 2015 07:17:12 EST A plateau, and a clinical study So I have been on this plateau since last November. It's hardly my first, and I'm not going into a tizzy about it. But with this plateau, I have tried just about everything you could possibly try to do to break a plateau. I tried eating more, I tried eating less. I tried upping my exercise intensity, I tried upping my exercise duration, I tried adding in intervals. I even tried a little bit of strength training. Nothing works. I have no Idea if my metabolism is totally messed up or if I'm mis... Sat, 27 Jun 2015 19:08:58 EST The "Power Nine" – Lessons from the blue zones The four blue zones that Dan Buettner explored were the mountainous region of Sardinia, Italy, the Japanese island Okinawa, a community of Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California and the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. There are more – like the Akhasian Caucasus, the island Ikaria in Greece, the Hunza valley in northern Pakistan and the Vilcabamba valley in Ecuador – but I guess you have to start somewhere. I suppose Buettner expected to find a common denominator in the lifestyles of t... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 06:54:14 EST The Blue Zones Last week I read a book by Dan Buettner, called "The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest". "Blue Zones" are areas of the world where people live longer and have an extraordinarily high number of centenarians. Not only do the people there get very old, they stay exceptionally healthy most of their lives and many of them were still living quite independently when Buettner visited them. His team visited and researched for this book five areas that are n... Tue, 21 Apr 2015 12:08:27 EST Week 4 of the "Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge" So, today is the last day of my challenge, and I guess I'll have to sum up what changes it may have triggered in my life. These were my action steps this week: <BR> <BR> "1. Set your long-term sugar goals. It's unrealistic to think you'll never eat sugar again, so create your own plan for keeping the sweet stuff in your life – but within its place. Map out a plan for yourself going forward. Will you allow yourself a little sugar once a day? A larger dessert once per week? What forms of sugar... Tue, 31 Mar 2015 05:34:14 EST Week 3 of the "Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge" So, I am well into week 3 of the challenge now and the further I proceed the more I am convinced that this challenge was created mostly for people with a more serious sugar addiction than mine, but I'm still sticking to it. Here's what my agenda said for this week: <BR> <BR> "1. Fine-tune your pantry. Stock up on foods (sugar-free and no-sugar-added items) that reflect your low-sugar goals." <BR> <BR> 2. Make sensible sugar swaps. Learn how to make healthy swaps while still satisfying your ... Sat, 21 Mar 2015 09:56:07 EST Week 2 of the "Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge" So this were the tasks this week: <BR> <BR> "1. Find out where sugar may be hiding. You probably already know the most common sources of sugar (think cupcakes or cookies), but how well do you know the unexpected places sugar may be hiding?" <BR> <BR> So far so good, there was nothing really new in the linked articles. One thing in the "15 surprising sources of added sugar" slide show reminded me that this was a relatively new realization for me: somewhat over a year ago I discovered how muc... Mon, 16 Mar 2015 10:28:59 EST My sugar habits So, besides assessing my current sugar habits and listing the reasons I want to cut back (which I did in my last blog post) I was supposed to record my sugar habits all week long. not to change my ways yet, but to keep track of what, when, and how often I crave sweets, and how much I eat. <BR> <BR> One thing is – and last week was the right time to witness it – I get a craving for gummy candy right before my period starts. Don't ask my why it's gummy candy and not chocolate as for every othe... Tue, 10 Mar 2015 11:38:44 EST The "Tame Your Sweet Tooth" Challenge So two days ago I realised I have gotten into some pretty bad habits lately – I feel like I eat a lot more sweets than I used to. So I decided to give the "Tame Your Sweet Tooth" Challenge a try. <BR> <BR> For my first week I am supposed to do a couple of things. Like, assess my current sugar habits with the help of this quiz: <link><BR>ent_questions.asp?quizid=82 </link> , list the reasons why I want to cut back on sugar and record my sugar habits all we... Fri, 6 Mar 2015 18:08:55 EST A belated New Year's resolution – somewhat unexpectedly So, it's been more than one and a half years since I re-ignited my Spark and I haven't been blogging here because not many of my old Spark friends are still around to read my blog. But today I got it into my head I would make a New Year's resolution. Me of all people, I never make New Year's resolutions because I believe they are mostly made to be forgotten about a couple of weeks later. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> But today as I ... Thu, 15 Jan 2015 11:22:12 EST new dumbbells i just got a chance to try my new dumbbells my dad gave me for my birthday - they are handed down from my late grandfather and look pretty antique. it's a nice keepsake of my grandfather, who was always very conscious of his fitness and health and wouldn't allow a gram of fat too much on his frame. <BR> so i pieced together my first dumbbell workout from the SP strength exercises, mostly upper body, and then i added some leg work for good measure. here's what i did: <BR> <BR> * Dumbbell Ches... Sun, 31 May 2009 18:33:49 EST crazy busy so it seems i've fallen behind on blogging again. i don't know where the last week went, but maybe i can use my birthday as an excuse. <BR> <em>211</em> <BR> many, many thanks to all my friends who celebrated with me, sent me goodies and comments and happiness! you are all priceless! <BR> <em>304</em> <BR> over the weekend i had an old girl friend from middle school visiting, and we had the bestest time. we only get to meet about 3 or 4 times each year (she lives 3 hours away) so we alway... Mon, 18 May 2009 16:52:41 EST sad news, and ouchie. so it seems the wedding is not happening. my friend J and his partner S seem to have gotten so upset about each other's different ideas about how their ideal wedding should be that they postponed the whole thing. i'm afraid part of the problem is that my friend J wanted me to be there for his big day. it's not that his partner doesn't like me (we've met and like each other a lot), but S is of the rather seclusive kind and would have preferred a very private wedding. having to plan on such a t... Tue, 5 May 2009 05:02:27 EST getting ready for sweatsuit to swimsuit bootcamp so for those of you who don't know yet, last thursday i joined the "sweatsuit to swimsuit bootcamp", together with thousands of others. <BR> our first optional bonus challenge for today's start into the bootcamp is to update my blog with my starting stats—such as "before" photos, my goals for the month, what i hope to accomplish during bootcamp, or any other measurements. this way, when i complete the bootcamp i'll have proof of where i started and the progress i've made. <BR> <BR> so first,... Sun, 3 May 2009 07:29:46 EST an invitation, and panic today i got an invitation to a friend's wedding. he's my best friend from high school days, and probably the closest friend i ever had, and still have. and he lives in washington d.c. <BR> <BR> the wedding is going to be in connecticut, close to his in-laws. i not only would have to fly to d.c., but i'd need to book flights from there to connecticut as well. no small thing for someone as broke as me. but i want to go! want, want, want! i have to see him wed! i want to see and hear him say "i... Wed, 29 Apr 2009 17:52:43 EST oops - has it really been 2 weeks? appearently it has been 19 days since i last blogged, and the days have been so busy that i thought it might have been 6. <BR> <BR> there's not really much i have to tell, my weight is down to 154 again, i'm trying not to get too excited about it because TOM is around the corner and i know it will make my weight jump up again, but for now i am enjoying the number on the scale. <BR> i think shelly may have hit the nail on the head that stress has been causing my body to hold on to the weight ... Fri, 24 Apr 2009 04:00:23 EST weird weight musings okay, i already hear you all telling me not to focus on my scale too much. but i really don't understand what is happening at the moment, i don't feel like a weight loss veteran, i feel more like a newbie than when i started out on SP. so excuse my scale obsession. <BR> <em>193</em> <BR> the line i had drawn for myself this winter not EVER to go over again was 154.3. this may sound like a weird number to most of you, but in germany it's 70 kg, and i just never, ever wanted to see that 7 aga... Sun, 5 Apr 2009 06:57:56 EST first week challenge update, and else. so i have been on track for a week now. have been sticking to my "frog & toad" goals as good as i can - connecting with friends here on SP, staying within calorie and nutrient ranges (only messed up once), got my 8 hours of sleep every night but this one. while i usually only get 3 or 4 servings of fruits and veggies, this week i got 5 every day. water isn't even worth mentioning - i think it's been over a year since i drank less than 8 glasses of water. it's amazing how this has become so na... Thu, 2 Apr 2009 05:53:50 EST frog & toad <img src=""> <BR> <BR> my dear friend menna posted this challenge on her blog a few days ago, to keep herself on track and re-focus. <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=1901361 </link> <BR> since i just realised that my birthday is 50 days away i decided to join her on that challenge, so i verbalized that frog 'n' toad acronym for myself for better commitment and dedication. <BR> <BR> F-friend... Wed, 25 Mar 2009 10:08:34 EST first day of spring ... ... or actually the third, if i ignore the calendar. <BR> it has been sunny for three days now, and while still chilly and slightly windy the days have warmed up from the mid-thirties to mid-fifties by noon. <BR> i have spent more than an hour in the sun each of these days, and today i took a 5.25 mile walk along the rhine with my good friend. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> this is the rhine peninsula that we love to walk, except the trees aren't qu... Fri, 20 Mar 2009 14:48:08 EST too exhausted to be hungry <img src=""> <BR> <BR> just a quick blog to let everyone know that i'll be gone for a few days - there are several birthdays coming up and i'll be seeing my dad for his on thursday and a good friend in the north of germany for hers on saturday. i'll leave early wednesday morning to visit another friend on my way, because she lives right in the middle between me and my dad. <BR> <BR> did a major "shopping tour" today, if you can really call... Tue, 10 Mar 2009 15:40:20 EST a taste of summer i just made myself a little fix for my blah winter mood - the temperatures are back down to the lower 40s and it has been chilly, gray and rainy for 2 whole days again. <BR> i had a bunch of fresh mint leftover from my dinner on wednesday, and they started not looking so fresh anymore. so today after breakfast i made a big pot of what moroccans jokingly call "whiskey marocain", their national drink of strong, sweet mint tea. <BR> basically it's a big handful of fresh mint leaves to a pot of c... Fri, 6 Mar 2009 08:13:20 EST 68 things my mom taught me be yourself. <BR> live with devotion. <BR> watch your posture. <BR> reach out. <BR> wash your hands. <BR> don't hurt anyone. <BR> be kind. <BR> be patient. <BR> cherish the small things. <BR> don't shuffle. <BR> watch your weight. <BR> be creative. <BR> learn languages. <BR> don't postpone. <BR> clean up after yourself. <BR> speak up. <BR> be thorough. <BR> get your vitamins. <BR> don't push. <BR> be caring. <BR> use a good pen. <BR> finish your sentences. <BR> compliment a lot. <BR> remember... Thu, 26 Feb 2009 13:43:08 EST my itchy soul lately i am having increasing troubles with my atopic dermatitis, which had been pretty much leaving me alone for years up to now. i was in a pretty bad state in my mid-twenties, while i was going through stressful times leading up to my diploma, and handling an unhappy relationship at the same time. <BR> atopic dermatitis makes your skin react abnormally and easily to irritants like certain foods, and environmental "aggressors", sometimes causing a flaky, dry, red rash, sometimes leading up ... Sat, 21 Feb 2009 08:22:25 EST the escape plan i found this while surfing the web this morning, and i thought it describes perfectly how i feel today - the little mouse that can finally just walk out between the bars of its cage. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> comic courtesy of tasarim <BR> <link> </link> <BR> all in turkish, sorry. but i love all the different escape plans! Thu, 12 Feb 2009 09:38:38 EST a blog post for robin my spark friend robin did a wonderful blog post today, in which she tells about reaching out for her dream of a strong, lean and beautiful swimmer's body. <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=1772578 </link> <BR> she asked me what i thought how long it would take to see results from her efforts of swimming, and i have to say i have no idea. but here's how it happened for me. <BR> <BR> i started swimming again - after an almost 10 year absence fro... Thu, 5 Feb 2009 18:11:33 EST ponderings of a (newly) middle aged at a cafe earlier this week i read a quote on the wall - i have googled it and i think it's by george bernhard shaw - saying "youth is wasted on the young". well, if you think about it, it isn't news. we all yearn for some of the feelings from our youth and wish we had appreciated it more. our bodily fitness and health, the sharp wit and innocence of mind, so often do we wish we could go back to that. <BR> but while i was sitting there pondering this it came to me that this saying also includ... Sat, 31 Jan 2009 06:10:25 EST a little success story ... ... that made me very proud and happy today. <BR> <BR> on new year's eve we were joined by a friend of a friend, someone whom i like a lot but don't know very well and don't meet very often. <BR> he declined dinner because - he confessed - he had had a terrible binge earlier that day and was still feeling slightly sick from it. later we had a quiet minute and we got to talking about weight issues - he definitely has some, he weighs in at over 220 lbs at about my height, 5'5". i had always gu... Fri, 23 Jan 2009 17:04:54 EST awesomeness! i have read a lot lately about the fact that BMI measures are actually overrated. BMI is a very unreliable measurement for a healthy weight because it doesn't take into account a person's build (it doesn't work for very tall or petite persons and people with very light or heavy bones) and muscularity (since muscle mass is heavier than fat you can be a very fit and well-trained athlete but fall into the "overweight" range). <BR> but today i have found something that kept me busy for an hour an... Sun, 18 Jan 2009 17:45:11 EST i should be healthier. i have been sick a lot this last year, more than i should have been. i don't know what's the issue, i'm getting my fruits and veggies, i'm taking a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, and another iron and vitamin c supplement. i've drastically reduced sugar in my diet, and i'm getting fresh air and exercise. nevertheless i counted at least 4 colds and 2 urinary tract infections last year. during my last cold in december i decided that i would give myself a break regarding the weight loss an... Fri, 16 Jan 2009 12:39:17 EST an idea for annette! <img src=""> <BR> i wonder if that would work? Fri, 9 Jan 2009 05:07:11 EST 1st swim in 2009 - sooo awesome! today again, a dailyspark blog entry provided me with new insight and understanding. <BR> this time it was coach dean's tip #2 for maintaining motivation. <BR> <link><BR>tips_for_maintaining_your_motivation_2<BR>_the_one_thing_you_should_never_ever_do </link> <BR> if you don't feel like reading the blog right now, i'll sum it up in one sentence: never, ever tell yourself you are not motivated. <BR> and this is exactly what i have been doing these last co... Wed, 7 Jan 2009 12:15:31 EST just for the laugh ... i thought you'd all get a laugh out of this. that's about how i feel today, but i'm going out for a walk in the sun now! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> edit: aargh, SP scaled it down so much you almost can't read it. hope it works for you! Tue, 6 Jan 2009 07:19:28 EST dreams, wishes, goals or resolutions? i admit it, i have been giving new year's resolutions another thought. <BR> <BR> i am a person who claims never to make new year's resolutions, because everyone i know who makes them always tosses them overboard within the first couple of weeks of the year. <BR> but on monday i read an enlightening entry on dailyspark, about wishes and resolutions ( <link><BR>t_3_wishes_and_resolve_to_make_them_co<BR>me_true </link> ), stating that the main reason people ... Fri, 2 Jan 2009 14:54:02 EST Winter Solstice Blessing by Stacy Anne Murphy <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Shed away your tired old coats my darlings. <BR> Shed the tears <BR> that tear you from within. <BR> Like a snake <BR> who has outgrown her skin, <BR> writhe and scrape <BR> until the dull old scales <BR> fall away. <BR> <BR> Slough off the remnants <BR> of your worn-out self. <BR> Peel away the layers <BR> that no longer suit you, <BR> that constrict you, <BR> so a shiny, <BR> smooth,... Sun, 21 Dec 2008 09:46:08 EST my pros and cons on organic food according to wikipedia, "organic foods are made according to certain production standards, meaning they are grown without the use of conventional pesticides and artificial fertilizers, free from contamination by human or industrial waste, and processed without ionizing radiation or food additives. if livestock are involved, they must be reared without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones, and generally fed a healthy diet. in most countries, organic produce may... Sun, 14 Dec 2008 12:19:37 EST how balanced are your nutrients? i still track my calories every single day, even after more than 17 months on SP. an exception are days when i'm out of town, but even then i try to recapitulate what i had as good as i can when i get back home, just to make sure i wasn't totally off in my estimate of what felt right to me. <BR> <BR> most of the days i find that i am pretty balanced in my nutrients, sometimes the fats are a little lower than 30% of my calorie intake, the carbs are usually a little higher but never above 60% ... Mon, 8 Dec 2008 11:43:02 EST progress update december 1st okay, this is not just a post like any other progress update these last couple of months. today is a special day for me. <BR> despite my cold i woke up energized and motivated. i logged on to SP and found a congratulation for being the featured SP motivator today. and i thought about how long i have been here, how i have become involved into this community more and more, slowly but surely. how i became nominated a SP motivator a few months back. then i became a community team member - while ... Mon, 1 Dec 2008 17:32:15 EST how do your friends and/or family members help motivate you to lose weight? i am terribly behind on my blogging, mostly because nothing worth mentioning has happened in my life. i had a good weekend, i'm trying to eat sensibly, i've gotten some exercise, my weight stays stuck. <BR> <BR> so, because i didn't want to let another week go by without a blog post, i looked into the weekly blog prompts for the first time. <BR> how do my friends and/or family members help motivate me to lose weight? that's an interesting question. i have to say, the realization that i HAD t... Wed, 26 Nov 2008 12:32:39 EST a child's question, and an invitation to share as i was riding my bike to work yesterday i noticed that for the first time since i have started my bike-to-work routine, i was facing a pretty strong headwind. that made me contemplate the whimsicality of wind for a while, and suddenly i remembered an incident from my childhood. <BR> i remembered when i was quite small, i once asked my mother where the wind went when it didn’t blow. and my mom explained to me - very patiently and wisely - that the wind didn't go away, it was just tired out f... Sun, 9 Nov 2008 13:01:51 EST progress update november 4th almost missed my monthly update AGAIN (completely forgot to post one in october) so i'm doing this right now. <BR> <BR> okay, winter is getting serious now. we've had a first hint of frost, but it's 40F/4C today. the biggest problem for me is the darkness. i can feel myself wanting to hibernate, i get sluggish and munchy. i crave carbs and sweets. my job interferes with my swimming schedule (arrrgh, those ridiculous pool hours) and the best thing i can do at the moment is ride my bike to wor... Tue, 4 Nov 2008 01:34:34 EST grateful heather challenged me today to write about 5 things i am grateful for, and i think this is a wonderful chance to count my blessings. <BR> <BR> first of all, i am grateful for my friends, my SP friends as well as the ones i see on a regular basis. many things in my life wouldn't have been possible without them. as a person who has difficulties admitting problems and asking for help i have to keep recalling this - i get get by with a little help from my friends! <BR> <link> Wed, 29 Oct 2008 15:40:56 EST leaving 150-ville just a very short announcement, since i'm kind of short on time: <BR> first - i left 150-ville for good, i think. my weight this morning is 149.5, it has been below 150 all week and i decided to do my "official" weigh-in a day early since i have to leave the house at the crack of dawn tomorrow. <BR> secondly - this officially puts me into the healthy bmi range now. not that this is really the one important thing that i strived for - i have done a little research a few weeks back and found out... Thu, 23 Oct 2008 05:44:19 EST thoughts about body perception first of all, i think i have to thank you and answer to all the comments on my last blog post - you have all more or less said in unison that i don't really look fat in that picture. thank you ever so much for telling me - i have to agree. the longer i look at it, the more i have to admit that. the effect of the ill fitting t-shirt was a little more noticable in the video clip from which i took the picture, because you could see that it was stuck on my little "lifebelt" as i moved. but indeed... Wed, 15 Oct 2008 13:55:30 EST the good, the bad, and the ugly - in reverse order i'll start with the ugliness first and keep the good for last, besides, i can't keep SP from posting the picture on top instead of at the bottom of this entry. <BR> <BR> i had a major revelation when i went through our video footage that we planned on using for our recent vj gig last friday. i came upon a shot of myself the boyfriend had done last year because i was wearing a t-shirt showing our logo. looking at that picture, i practically heard my jaw drop. this was taken in early august la... Wed, 8 Oct 2008 13:30:44 EST a mountain to climb after i had successfully convinced myself that i'm not in a good enough mood to answer to STRIVE4BALANCE's challenge to blog about our proudest accomplishments and our biggest mountains to climb, i thought i might just do it to get some stuff out of my head - it may well improve my week. <BR> <BR> when i started my weight loss journey a little more than 14 months ago, my main motivator was this: there were a lot of things going on in my life that made me unhappy - job troubles, financial tro... Wed, 24 Sep 2008 16:56:16 EST good or bad weekend? i usually don't start off my blogs with a warning, but this post may be a huge downer. well, maybe it only is to me, because it concerns people i love. but i need to write it down to see it in words. i am still very confused by the events of the last days. <BR> <BR> this has been a wonderful and terrible weekend at the same time. <BR> i went to a birthday party of an old friend on saturday, back in my old hometown. it was wonderful to meet so many old friends, even my ex who has moved to ber... Mon, 22 Sep 2008 09:57:31 EST bike trip i just wanted to put into words that i had an absolutely wonderful day. <BR> i met with my friend sybille after breakfast and we rode our bikes 13 miles down the rhine on one side of the river, crossed the river on the shuttle ferry, had a light lunch and coffee, and rode back home on "our" side of the river. it was a truly beautiful day, with sunny blue sky and around 60F, just cool enough so it wasn't a big sweat. <BR> on our way back we passed a little japanese garden with lots of ponds w... Fri, 19 Sep 2008 15:29:37 EST