BTINCHER2001's SparkPeople Blog BTINCHER2001's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Back to Reality <img src=""> <BR> I'm back in Sacramento. Physically anyway. My body clock is totally messed up, along with the eating schedule. As I suspected, I put on 5 lbs while in Italy. I can get that off pretty quickly, I hope. Looking to reach goal by the holidays. Step tracker is back on my wrist. I'm tracking my food intake. Gotta get right back in the groove. New mini goals: A. Strengthen my legs to handle stairs. ... Sat, 1 Oct 2016 13:45:06 EST First "tour" completed <img src=""> <BR> I completed two of four hiking events. LOTS of rain this week. The next nine days will have lots of walks. I'm looking forward to it. Tomorrow, I will take a train to Montepulciano and hike from there. The countryside is beautiful. Siena is such an amazing city. Artwork everywhere! The Duomo is beyond belief. Pinch me, is this real? (The photo is of a reflection I caught. I really am here!) Wed, 21 Sep 2016 14:19:43 EST Day 7 - Greve in Chianti <img src=""> After yesterday's rain soaked day, I was discouraged. Today was absolutely magical. The day started with a sudden rain shower just after I woke up. I looked out my window to discover a rainbow! Good omen! The Tuscany countryside is absolutely beautiful. THIS is why I made such an effort to get here, and be in shape to go out and hike. Seeing the towns, smelling the rain, hearing the birds, tasting the ... Sat, 17 Sep 2016 17:34:38 EST Florence, Day 4 <img src=""> Took the bus up to Fiesole (fee-YAY-soh-lay) to see the Roman ruins of an amphitheater, heated baths, and a temple. Go to my blog for photos. I treated myself to a nice dinner and even dressed up. The highlight was the dessert: Vinsanto and cookies. This is a sweet dessert wine. The custom is to dunk the cookies in the wine. <img src=" Fri, 16 Sep 2016 04:26:17 EST Florence, Day 3 If I can get the breakfast buffet under control, then I will have a net loss after this trip. Lunch and dinner are doing great. But the breakfast offerings are over the top. It doesn't help that their pantry is not stocked with low fat or fat free dairy products! Starting in the morning, no more eggs. Yogurt fruit and granola just like at home! But I do wish they had bran muffins. Sigh. More photos on my main blog. Weather changes are coming through. Rain followed by a drop of 20 degrees. I a... Wed, 14 Sep 2016 19:01:20 EST Florence, Day 2 Lots and lots of walking today. Mostly because of a misunderstanding with Google maps, I could not find my way back to the Arno River. So I ended up missing lunch. (Italy closes shop after lunch for a couple of hours, like other Latin countries.) I had an apple in my purse and a Kind granola bar in my napsack to hold me over. Dinner is late here. So I was good and ready for FOOD! I started with a liter of still water, followed by a glass of Chianti with a seasonal mixed salad. The server gave... Tue, 13 Sep 2016 19:50:34 EST Florence, Day 1 I landed in Florence about 3:30 PM, and in my hotel unpacking by 4:30. I'm about a mile away from the city center, up on a hill of course. My first task was to find a safe walking route to the city. I figure I walked about 7 miles last night exploring the south side of the Arno River. San Riccolo district was particularly pleasant. I am not traking my food, or my steps. I will be doing a lot of walking during this trip. I plan to eat smart, but enjoy the bounty that is here. For more details ... Mon, 12 Sep 2016 22:37:19 EST Tuscany Blog Info I have set up a blog specifically for the Tuscany trip. You can read it at <BR> I hope to update it regularly, when I have WiFi access. I will leave Sacramento on Sept 11, and return on the 30th. <BR> The blog format will be a series of blocks with a date. Click on the block to see all the text and photos for that date. <BR> At this point, I have 12 lbs to go to goal. I do not expect to reach 151 until sometime in October. But I sure hope the hiking in Tuscany w... Tue, 30 Aug 2016 12:24:48 EST 14 lbs to goal! My doc is already talking to me about maintenance. He is thrilled with my progress. What I'm finding interesting is my new internal voices. What are going to be your next goals? What is my body image now? Gee, I feel like a normal human being! No feeling of inferiority. No embarrassment about my size. Being treated with respect. Having fun putting together outfits and accessories. This is all a new mindset for me. I went to Kohl's tonight to check out athletic gear, specifically skorts which... Wed, 24 Aug 2016 23:39:22 EST Getting in Shape for Tuscany I have 20 more lbs to lose to reach goal. That may not be until next year, given the slow rate at which the lbs drop now. But, that doesn't prevent me from getting myself in shape for hiking up and down the trails among the hilltop towns in Tuscany this September. Today, three of us (women, ages 66-75) hiked from the bottom of a river canyon to a town four miles away, and 963 feet above us! I not only lived to tell about it, but I actually feel fine. I think I'm going to be okay over ther... Thu, 14 Jul 2016 23:19:57 EST Metabolism Continued Part 3 After two weeks of calories between 1300 and 1400, I have gone down to 174 lbs! This is a major break through. I'm continuing at this level, to let my body get used to it. Now that the 10K race is over, I need to continue my walking and exercise. <BR> My focus now, it to get myself ready for hiking in the hills of Tuscany in September. I worked with a trainer a week ago, and learned that I my upper leg muscles are weak. It took 5 days to be able to sit down without pain! <BR> A friend an... Sat, 18 Jun 2016 20:04:26 EST Metabolism Continued Part 2 Well, I averaged 1250 calories a day for two weeks with 2-3 hours of activity a day. I weighed 178.2 at the end of the two weeks. Virtually no change. So I am upping the calories to 1350 average. This Sunday is my big 10K walk/run. I've been training for this, and I'm ready. We are starting the race early to beat the heat. I've promised myself a piece of raspberry peach pie with my coffee, after the race. Grin. So okay, I'll have a salad for supper. The good news is that my belly fat is shri... Fri, 3 Jun 2016 15:12:34 EST Metabolism Continued Well, the great experiment was interrupted by a trip to Maine to visit my 92 yo mother. She is doing well. While I had a great time, my calories bounced from 1100 to 1750. Since I was walking 3-5 miles a day, I didn't gain weight. But I can't say I gave the experiment a good try. <BR> So we are doing it again. <BR> This time I am focusing on 1250 calories a day. So far, I've lost 1 lb. I have 9 more days to continue this round. The counselor suggested that she may ask me to focus on ... Sat, 21 May 2016 17:13:45 EST Metabolism Revisited It has been almost a year since I had my metabolism measured. Since my weight loss rate has slowed way down, I went in today to check what my resting energy expenditure level is. Now it's at 1426, which for me is about 7.9 calories per lb of body weight. (And that isn't much different from last year's measurement.) <BR> The specialist and I talked about my existing calorie consumption and my exercise levels. She suspects that I'm eating too few calories. We are going to try an experimen... Fri, 22 Apr 2016 15:25:02 EST Celebrating Birthdays in Healthy Style One thing our society loves to do is celebrate with food! Birthdays are happy events, and immediately are associated with food like birthday cake, going out for a meal, a celebratory drink, etc. Having just passed my annual milestone, I started to think about ways I could avoid food related celebrations now and in the future. <BR> For this year, I asked to put off the celebratory luncheons so that I was doing only one a week. So far, I have managed to keep the dining out "legal". For next ... Sat, 9 Apr 2016 00:11:54 EST Gum Surgery and Staying "On Target" I recently had gum surgery with bone implants on both sides of my upper chompers. While the tissues heal, I have been ordered to not chew using the affected areas. Chewing with one's front teeth is not real effective! So I have become fairly creative in my meal plans. I am trying to have some balance in my carbs, proteins, fruits and vegetables and stay on target for 1200 +/- calories a day. Here are the foods I have used to date: <BR> Yogurt, banana, peanut butter smoothie <BR> Skim mil... Sun, 21 Feb 2016 23:48:36 EST Do I have it? Heck, yeah! I just finished watching Diana Nyad's Ted Talk, <link><BR>st=the_12_most_inspiring_quotes_from_d<BR>iana_nyad </link> . The clip cuts off with her asking, "Do I have it?" Do I have it within myself to see this challenge through to the end? For me, the answer is "Dang, yes!" I've been working at getting down to a Normal BMI for 18 months. I'm currently on a plateau, but I REFUSE to give up. I'm adding new exercise routines to my activities, and watc... Mon, 11 Jan 2016 17:38:50 EST Walking - kicking it up a notch Part 2 Well, who would have guessed that my determination to walk further and faster would lead to my desire to take a walking vacation in the Tuscany region of Italy! I paid the deposit on two trips, back to back, next September. That gives me 10 months to build up my stamina, and my strength. My home town is flat. I need to find some hilly areas because the towns in Tuscany are built on hilltops! I'll need to walk up and down them - usually about 400 meters ascent. These towns are about 17 k... Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:09:35 EST Thanksgiving Avoidance For the first time in at least 10 years, we are not doing Thanksgiving at our house this year. We have hosted for my sister's children and their kids, and really enjoyed watching the grand kids grow up, and the millenials find their way in life. This year the siblings are not speaking to each other, and one family is going through divorce. I decided that I don't want to have a house full of anxiety, anger, and dysfunctional behavior. I've called off the traditional turkey day. Instead, m... Sun, 8 Nov 2015 23:27:01 EST Central Asia and Eating "to Plan" Steve and I have just returned from an amazing 3-week trip to Central Asia. We visited the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. The food there was surprisingly good. While the natives are not really into vegetables, our tour company and our guides understood that vegetables are important to their guests. Our guides would order 3-4 salads, and we'd share them family style. Salads were typically a cold beet dish (often teamed with corn kernals), eg... Fri, 23 Oct 2015 10:19:30 EST Vacation and "Dieting" My husband and I are going to tour the Silk Road, starting Sept 29th. We'll be gone for 3 weeks. My challenge will be to eat healthy and get exercise while on this extended trip. My research tells me that vegetables and fruit will be available in "the Stans". Probably a lot of rice and lentils as well, and regional breads. I'm going to have to be careful with the carbs. <BR> I'm packing only my current size so there is no room to go off the deep end, unless I buy a new wardrobe there. N... Thu, 24 Sep 2015 15:22:29 EST Walking - kicking it up a notch I've been walking since I received my Spark gizmo. I added a walking class this summer. I'm now up to 3+ miles of walking almost daily. It has made a huge difference in the speed at which I'm losing weight. I will certainly cross the 200 lb mark in August! I'm not walking quickly. 3.3 mph seems to be my maximum at this time. But it does burn calories, and I'm enjoying it. This class has taken us out on different trails in Sacramento Valley. Hills are out there to be conquered. <BR> Ka... Sun, 26 Jul 2015 21:35:13 EST Metabolism - A follow-up to my 4/25/15 blog As promised, I am following up on my comments of 4/25. I took a Metabolic Rate test at Kaiser today (Ree/Vue Indirect Calorimeter). My metabolism is FINE! I learned that my resting energy expenditure is 1613 calories per day. For me, maintaining means eating 1613-2096 calories per day. If I want to lose weight, I have to eat 1291-1613 calories. **This is significantly less than SP was recommending for me.** So I'm changed my caloric goals in my SP program. I've also told it to NOT adj... Wed, 20 May 2015 20:47:47 EST Plateau??? It sure is frustrating when the weight refuses to come off! My scale readings have been bouncing between 217 and 220 for 6 weeks. I am exercising more, and purposely not eating all my allotted calories. It isn't helping. <BR> I've made an appointment at Kaiser to have my metabolism measured. That way I'll have my own caloric baseline from which to plan. Their education department will help me with this. I hope it works! I'll follow up on this blog after the May 20th appointment. Sat, 25 Apr 2015 12:29:37 EST You know you're getting smaller when... Well, I'm slowly moving off the 220 lb plateau. In the mean time, my body is shrinking. I'm having fun noticing the things that are changing. <BR> 1. People are regularly making comments about my slimmer appearance. Talk about positive reinforcement! I love the compliments. <BR> 2. My skin is starting to sag and jiggle. I figure in time, that might go away. At least I hope so. I'll cross that bridge when I get to goal in another year. <BR> 3. I'm now wearing XL sized clothing. Thri... Tue, 14 Apr 2015 23:15:14 EST Still going strong! I realized today that I overlooked my anniversary of quitting my job, and becoming "retired". That happened on the 21st. This week was another milestone, of receiving my Medicare card. So here I am approaching my 65th birthday, and I'm more active than I have ever been since college! I'm walking, going to Jazzercise classes, getting outside to garden or going birding. I love this new found freedom, and the fact that my body seems to be liking this. Amazing. <BR> The weight is coming off... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:26:17 EST Body Massage I was mulling an interesting thought yesterday afternoon, as I gazed at a billboard of a gorgeous young woman with defined collar bones and blond hair swept into a french twist, wrapped in a luxurious towel, and someone's hands giving her massage. I wonder how the masseuse feels about customers who aren't so shapely and thin. Do heavy folks get turned away? Is there a weight limit for the massage table? <BR> Obviously, I'm not experienced with this level of luxury. I could be, but honestl... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 23:52:49 EST Looking back at 2014 2014 was the year I decided to focus on ME. I improved my life by quitting a very stressful job, and replaced that activity with bird watching and nurturing a garden. In July, with my doctor's prodding, I started working on my weight. Kaiser's tracking tools are terrible. I returned to SparkPeople and have focused my efforts there. (I'd read the SparkPeople book a couple of years ago. Now I have the time to use its tools.) <BR> In 2015, and probably for the rest of my life, I'll need to ... Thu, 25 Dec 2014 00:44:30 EST Size 22 Pants I was size 26 when I started this journey last July. I had a pair of size 22's in back of my closet, reminding me of my goal. I noticed my 24's were baggy, and thought, "What the heck? Let's try on the 22." OMG! It fits perfectly! Then I went out to the garage to find my box of smaller pants, I'd stored away. It wasn't a fluke! They all fit except one, that was a miss-labeled item because I couldn't pull them up past my knees! Ha, ha! <BR> From there, I started dragging out more smalle... Thu, 2 Oct 2014 15:43:44 EST Responding to My Body Okay, Body. I hear you! You have clearly informed me that you want a balanced meal plan with carbohydrates in proper perspective. You like carbs. You also like some fats to keep the skin subtle. So I'm going back to the SP recommended pie chart, and I will try to keep my foods balanced to that plan. The bottom line is that 1200 calories plus an hour of exercise makes you a very happy camper. <BR> If you are happy, then I'm happy. We can make this work. <BR> <BR> Hey body. Have you no... Fri, 26 Sep 2014 18:30:24 EST Respecting One's Body I just read an SP Article about Loving One's Body. The closing paragraph was as follows: <BR> Take care of your body <BR> Diets, pills, quick-fixes, binging, not exercising, over-exercising, all these things disrespect one of the greatest gifts you have been given – your body! You only get one per lifetime, so give it the respect it deserves. You will not only feel better, but you just might become someone else’s role model! <BR> <BR> I have a problem with that last paragraph. The diets an... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 23:05:27 EST Still Reducing Carbs Yes, I lost 2 lbs this past week. That's better than any week during the past two months. I'm going to keep doing this, and see how it goes. <BR> Now that I'm 14 lbs down, I'm starting to fit into clothes that I couldn't wear before. This is a treat! I have more size 26 pants to give away to Good Will. But I don't have many 24's for the interim... Such a problem! <BR> No one is noticing the difference yet. I figure I've got drop 25 lbs before they will notice. But I know. And this i... Fri, 12 Sep 2014 20:49:24 EST Follow up - Reducing Carbs I'm still finding it difficult to get close to 40% fat, 30% carb and 30% protein. My husband eats low fat, and tons of fresh fruit and veggies, to keep his heart healthy. So I'm adding fats, and eating small carb servings (like rice, pasta and bread). So far, the weight seems to be coming off more quickly. I weigh in tomorrow. We'll see. <BR> I am starting to see my first goal of weighing 230 by the end of 2014. I think I'm going to get there, and perhaps surpass that. My goals in vari... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 22:51:50 EST Changing the weight-loss formula? Last Monday, there was an article on All Things Considered about a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It adds to the body of evidence that cutting back on carbs, not fat, can lead to more weight loss. <BR> The big point here, is that both groups lost weight. But the low carb group lost twice as much weight. Both groups had the same amount of calories. <BR> I've provided a link to the article, in case you want to read or hear it. <BR> <link> Thu, 4 Sep 2014 00:22:46 EST Aim for your goals I just read an interview with the Sacramento King's newest rookie, Sim Bhuller. Sim is 7'5" tall, and of Indian-Canadian heritage. He was talking about working toward one's goals. He said, "My message is just that if you work hard and really aim for your goals, you can accomplish anything. There will always be ups and downs in the journey. But at the end, you have to push yourself hard to achieve your goal." <BR> His statement is exactly what SP is all about! We are setting goals to direct... Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:50:55 EST Social Eating It seems to be human characteristic to celebrate special occasions by sharing food. Yesterday, I had two examples of social eating, and I want to share how I managed to keep them controlled. <BR> On Fridays, my husband and I go to the coffee shop to meet friends, and celebrate the week. This place has wonderful raisin scones. Unfortunately, they run about 500 calories each. So I split mine with an elderly (thin) friend. I still got to celebrate and enjoy a special treat, and so did my fri... Sat, 16 Aug 2014 14:11:30 EST One Day at a Time Weight loss is a slow process, especially as an older person. I have to remind myself of that. There are no quick fixes. After all, these unwanted 100 pounds crept on to me over the past 10 years. It's going to take a while to work them off. <BR> I'm finding that I need to increase my physical activity to lose weight. Sure starving myself might work, but that is not a healthy approach. Besides going to Jazzercise classes 5 days a week, I'm working in my garden. I recently started addin... Wed, 6 Aug 2014 18:33:40 EST 18 Months later Wow. It's fascinating reading my previous entry. So much has happened since then! <BR> My husband's surgery has been postponed for another 5 years or so. The aorta is not dilating any further. The valve will need to be replaced, but not now. <BR> Mom's health took a bad turn. I went to Maine for two months, and got her to specialists. She is now age 91, and still living on her own. She is doing well, with 2hr visits Mon-Fri by a caretaker. I just got back from 10 days out there, and I'... Sat, 2 Aug 2014 23:29:15 EST 2013 - a year of challenges 2013 is going to bring some challenges in my life. My husband, Steve, is expecting open heart surgery some time between May and October. His next tests in April will help determine when his upper aorta needs to be replaced. <BR> So how does this affect me? <BR> 1) I'll need to give him full time care for the first 8 weeks. <BR> 2) That means my chorus will need to find a substitute or replacement director. I'm facing that with a lot of mixed emotions. I'm ready to hang up my hat, but... Mon, 31 Dec 2012 21:27:36 EST