CARRIE1948's SparkPeople Blog CARRIE1948's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community The Terrifying Truth About Cheat Days Over the long weekend, I wondered why my weight loss was not as rapid as I thought it should be. As I reviewed the previous month, I was flummoxed. After all, I had hit my exercise goals on all but 1 day and had been over my calorie goal a mere four times. <BR> <BR> Being a researcher, I decided to look at my weighted average weight line and compare it to my days when I over-indulged. <BR> <BR> What I discovered was terrifying. <BR> <BR> For each day I overate (and I’m talking 300 – 400 ... Wed, 4 Sep 2013 17:09:09 EST Internal / External Motivation I'm definitely someone who is internally motivated. I do better in individual sports where I compete against my own records. <BR> <BR> Even as a child, I had little interest in others' assessments. (This made me a really bizarre student, since I NEVER looked at my grades and couldn't understand why my parents thought anything but my view of what I'd learned was important.) <BR> <BR> So, what does any of this have to do with my journey? <BR> <BR> A few months back, I read a blog where the ... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 11:31:56 EST The Girlie Bed <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I promised myself something nice when I got into the 150s. I made it. Barely, but I'm there. <BR> <BR> I've been following this in TJ Maxx and bought it when it went on sale. <BR> <BR> So, now at 64, I have a bed I like. And, I actually make the bed each morning, just 'cause it looks so cool. Fri, 26 Jul 2013 15:00:33 EST Will Eating Healthy Keep Me from Turning into a Turnip? An odd question to be sure, but one that's on my mind. <BR> <BR> I come from a family with horrible eating patterns who think exercise is reaching for the remote. So, heart disease and type 2 diabetes are prevalent. <BR> <BR> I've always joked that I was a mixup in the hospital, since I like healthy food and am an endorphin junkie. <BR> <BR> So, why the blog? <BR> <BR> Despite having 9 siblings, I seem to be the one who deals with things for my mum. Yesterday, when we were on the phone, s... Mon, 17 Jun 2013 13:16:35 EST Rituals (Part 2) <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is my new teacup. Have tried 6 different teas and none are exactly what I'm looking for. <BR> <BR> The search continues tomorrow. Sun, 9 Jun 2013 11:47:21 EST Rituals and Weight Recently, I wrote I mentioned to a team that I wanted to focus on night eating. A Spark friend suggested adding a cup of tea at the end of supper to signal that eating was over for the day. I considered this quite seriously. <BR> <BR> As I did, I realized that this final cup of tea couldn’t be drunk from the 16 ounce ceramic mugs I buy at the dollar store. Nor, could this cup of tea be the green tea I consume by the gallon during the day. <BR> <BR> No, both the cup and the tea must be speci... Sat, 8 Jun 2013 12:27:55 EST Moment of Silence for Fallen Soldiers I seldom put my personal beliefs in the public arena, but today I am. Tomorrow, Monday, Memorial Day, Where ever you are @ 12:01 PM <BR> <BR> <BR> Moment of silence to honor the fallen. Take a minute out of your day and remember those who made the supreme sacrifice for our freedom. <BR> <BR> It is a Facebook Event - Honor the Fallen Sun, 26 May 2013 14:01:06 EST 2013 - The Year of NO My friend Angela loaned me some inspirational weight loss/maintenance books. I'll admit that I'm only skimming the weight loss ones since the authors' stories are so different from mine that I can't relate to the behaviors. <BR> <BR> But, I did pick up one interesting granule I'm changing a bit and adopting for myself. This is the year of NO (Not an Option). <BR> <BR> It is not an option to eat nuts or chocolate, since even the smallest amounts lead to a binge. <BR> <BR> It is not an opti... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 07:43:06 EST Fell Off the Horse, Gotting Back On OK, it's winter and I'm bummed my leg is still in a brace and this may be another winter where outside activities are at a minimum. <BR> <BR> I thought I had accepted this and was changing up my in-house regime to make sure I got the calorie burn I needed. <BR> <BR> I've had several weeks of slow, but steady progress, both with exercise and weight loss. <BR> <BR> And then, BAM!!! <BR> <BR> Yesterday, it all fell apart. <BR> <BR> I made a nice healthy lunch and simply couldn't eat it. No... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 10:00:15 EST Portion Control In the last 7 days, I spent 10 hours on mass transit and 20 hours driving. Both are situations where I tend to eat, mostly out of boredom. <BR> <BR> I packed food, but lets face it, unhealthy food looks a lot more inviting than baby carrots, apples or protein bars after a while. This time, I promised myself I would really work through the consequences of eating food that causes me to binge. <BR> <BR> The big eye opener came when I stopped for petrol at a services place. I went in to stroll ... Wed, 12 Dec 2012 08:19:21 EST Survived, Even Thrived I've just come back from 7 days of torture. A business trip of 3 days, that ended with me walking home from the bus at 1 am. The next morning, I took off in a rental car to get mum and head to a family wedding. <BR> <BR> On Friday, the rental got a flat in the rain and I couldn't get cell reception. So, I started to change the tire and a Good Samaritan stopped. Then, I went to a tire place for a replacement since I didn't want to drive on the tiny spare. <BR> <BR> Made it to the hotel in ti... Mon, 10 Dec 2012 10:07:50 EST Thin Is the New Happy I'm not a big fan of self-help weight loss books, but this one appealed to me on the shelves so I bought it. Good decision. <BR> <BR> Although the book does discuss what the author did, it focuses more on body image, why it's distorted and some hints for getting over that. <BR> <BR> I know I don't have a good image of my body, none of the girls in my family do. This book is helping me think through the root causes and work out ways to overcome them. <BR> <BR> There were several points tha... Fri, 24 Aug 2012 08:39:26 EST When Do You Stop Regressing to Childhood? One definition of insanity is replicating a behavior and expecting a different outcome. I know that, just like I know being around my mother brings back all sorts of childhood angst and overeating. <BR> <BR> Over the last 18 months, I have morped into being a part-time caretaker for my mother, which gets me away from my house and safety zone. My workout schedule disappears and I eat poorly. <BR> <BR> If I look in the mirror, I can see the 50 pounds I've packed on taking care of my mother. ... Tue, 19 Jun 2012 18:19:36 EST FitBit Week 1 Okay, just finished my first full week and, except for my issues with the battery life, I really like it. I am about to be on my third device as I keep getting batteries that don't hold the charge. <BR> <BR> Overall, I really like it. Because it adjusts how many calories I can eat based on my activity levels, if I have a day where I can't push too much due to joints, I know what to cut back my food to so I can stay in range. <BR> <BR> The device is helping me burn more calories 'cause I'm s... Mon, 28 May 2012 12:18:59 EST Gadget Junkie I had a BodyBugg for nearly 2 years. It really helped me focus on getting in enough of a calorie burn to take weight off. My only challenge was the horrific customer service the company offered and the cost of the equipment (how many new armbands and digital display did I buy) plus the cost of the monthly subscription. <BR> <BR> So, when my BB finally died, I decided not to buy a new one. <BR> <BR> That hasn't worked out so well, so I bought a FitBit - it's 1/3 the price with no monthly fee... Sun, 20 May 2012 19:20:11 EST In Repeat Mode For the last several months, my body has been in a terminal loop. I struggle to lose a few pounds and then have a meltdown and gain it all back. <BR> <BR> Admittedly, there's a lot happening in my life - part time care giver for my mum, commuting 300 miles between her and where I live weekly, starting a new business, etc. <BR> <BR> But, I get in a groove and then one thing happens - could even be good - and I fall prey to the old demons. Thu, 12 Apr 2012 10:58:02 EST Eat Snacks with Non-Dominant Hand As I waited in the checkout line at my local market, I scanned one of those "women's" magazines. There was a brief write-up about research done on how eating snacks with your non-dominant hand could help you eat less. <BR> <BR> I thought the concept was rubbish and I was wrong!!! <BR> <BR> I measured out my usual snack of raw almonds and started eating with my non-dominant hand while reading. I only ate half the usual serving. <BR> <BR> Think I'll give this a go a few more times. Wed, 15 Feb 2012 11:13:50 EST Wheat Belly For months I've tried to pinpoint my trigger food. What is it that sets a binge in motion? I know there are certain foods I can't eat in moderation, so I simply don't eat them. But, are there other, seemingly safe foods I eat that also cause me problems? <BR> <BR> I just finished reading Wheat Belly and think wheat may be the culprit. Although I'm not a fan of eating plans that exclude certain food items, I know I do that with foods I have bad allergic reactions to. <BR> <BR> So, for the ne... Fri, 10 Feb 2012 14:57:51 EST A Duh! Moment For years I’ve wondered why it’s so easy to gain weight and is a real struggle to lose. Now I get it. <BR> <BR> I’ve had a tough 6 months – putting down my first pet, shocking death of my favorite nephew and my husband deciding to leave me for a 22-year-old and start a new family. <BR> <BR> As I often do when stressed, I had a love affair with Ben & Jerry. Seriously, I could down three points in one day. I just worked that out to be 8,000 calories over my basal rate, or 40,000 calories in 5... Fri, 9 Sep 2011 17:00:15 EST Climbing Out of the Abyss My favorite nephew died 10 days ago. He was 26-years-old and, we thought, healthy. He was an Army medic who had just finished tours in North Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan and was stationed in Germany until he returned to uni in the fall to get a pharmacology degree. <BR> <BR> Since my brother (his father) was having surgery and James had just gotten to Germany, they let him go home. He went to the gym, saw his family and went to bed, but never woke up. <BR> <BR> I got this news on vacation. A... Mon, 27 Jun 2011 08:15:28 EST Any Idiot Can Write a Book Apparently, anyone can write a wellness or fitness book. I searched Amazon the other day, looking for books on cycling training when you're older. I figured the way I trained in my 20s would not be applicable now. And, after nearly a year of rehab, I don't want to end up there again. <BR> <BR> So, I ordered 2 books for my Kindle for an upcoming trip and one in print, since it was cycling over 50. The book went back to Amazon. <BR> <BR> Per this self-proclaimed expert, to train, you should s... Fri, 22 Apr 2011 16:42:54 EST Food on Steroids Every Tuesday, I have lunch with my Department Chair at our local and we share an oatmeal raising cookie. <BR> <BR> He is going to teach in New Zealand for the summer term (winter term there), so I spent some time going around time checking out possible cookie sources. I can't keep them in the house because I am an addict – one is too many and a thousand aren't enough. <BR> <BR> So, I eat my sweets in public, where the portions are controlled and I'd be too embarrassed to ask for me. <BR> ... Sun, 20 Mar 2011 13:54:05 EST Hip Flexors and Rowing If you've been following my progress, you know I've been battling and rehabbing from a back injury fro nearly a year. Now that my cycling is pretty much back indoors, I thought I'd start using the rower as well. It would add some muscle and perhaps help strength my core. <BR> <BR> The first time I tired, for only 10 minutes, I felt fine, but 15 minutes later, the old pain came back. <BR> <BR> I had purposely waited until the night before a kinesiology appointment. Sure enough, the bottom tw... Mon, 14 Mar 2011 17:17:07 EST The Quest for a Home Gym I'm a researcher, writer, course designer and anything else I can cobble together to keep body and soul together. Since I live in the gray, I'm always stunned to realize how binary I am about my life. <BR> <BR> My medical team suggested that my Schwinn-Airdyne was not the right in-house bike for me any longer 'cause using my arms and legs together like that pulled at the hip and leg I'm still rehabbing. So, I started a quest for a new bike. I found a new home for the bike and began the quest... Sat, 5 Feb 2011 09:09:47 EST Changing Up My Weight Program My back has forced me to move from free weights to the weight machine. And, over the past several months, I've noticed no change. <BR> <BR> So, yesterday morning, I spoke to one of the trainers. I was doing what I had been told, but was holding steady, something that hadn't happened when I used free weights. (And yes, Angela, I really was trying to get more upper body strength for kayaking.) <BR> <BR> The trainer and I decided I needed to bump up the weights and do more sets with fewer rep... Wed, 3 Nov 2010 09:41:08 EST Second Anniversary of My Epiphany On decade birthdays I pause and think about my life and my goals. So, two years ago today, I seriously considered my weight and what it foretold for my life and decided it was time to do something. <BR> <BR> Being me, I spent the next three months reviewing all sorts of programs and deciding how I would approach this project. <BR> <BR> In January 2009, I joined The Biggest Loser website and eventually found a team that inspired me. In April of that year, we moved to SparkPeople, where I ult... Sat, 16 Oct 2010 05:56:11 EST Falling Off the Wagon When do we learn? Seriously? <BR> <BR> I never think of myself as an emotional eater, but last night, after nearly 2 years, I fell off the wagon. I'm tired from one of my pain meds and still in pain. <BR> <BR> Last night, between the pain and the exhaustion from the nerve pain meds, I couldn't read or concentrate on a tennis match on TV. <BR> <BR> What I could do was eat. <BR> <BR> Since there are only healthy foods in the fridge, my pig-out contained a mere 500 calories, but I did it. Af... Tue, 12 Oct 2010 08:46:35 EST Pain Meds and Weight Loss I'm wondering if daily use (every 4 hours) of pain meds can affect weight. <BR> <BR> I generally don't take anything, but the pain clinic convinced me that I needed to take opiates to stop the pain, even if I don't like the idea. Actually, I still didn't take them until I read this book about chronic pain and understood the biology about what long-term pain does to neural pathways. <BR> <BR> So, for the last week I've been diligent about taking the meds, even though they make me a bit of a ... Thu, 23 Sep 2010 16:47:27 EST One Pain-Free Day I had a cortisone epidural on Wednesday and yesterday, for the first time in so long I can't remember, I had an almost pain-free day. I could walk like I wasn't 100 and actually made it through I workout DVD. <BR> <BR> The relief was short-lived. I woke up an hour or two after midnight in agony and have been up ever since. <BR> <BR> So, I guess the answer is staring me in the face. The disc degeneration is at the point where surgery is the only option. <BR> <BR> I've already sent an email ... Fri, 10 Sep 2010 05:37:58 EST It's a New Week!!!! I am so happy it’s the start of a new week, ‘cause maybe that means the bad stuff that just kept happening and happening last week will stop. We all have days, or weeks, where things don’t go the way we expect. And, we recover ‘cause we’re resilient. Nonetheless, I’m happy last week is over. <BR> <BR> It started out Sunday morning. My left leg wouldn’t move. It wasn’t numb, it was simply not functioning. Oh well, it’s 4 am, I’ll read. Pull out the Kindle and the battery is empty. Where is th... Sun, 15 Aug 2010 07:42:53 EST Maintaining Weight Loss is Harder than Losing It I've been struggling this summer. So, it seems, have many Sparks friends I have come to respect during my 20 month journey. <BR> <BR> Why? Because maintenance is harder than losing weight. <BR> <BR> I hate to frighten those of you still struggling to get the weight off, but it's a dirty, little secret no one talks about. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, it's also true. <BR> <BR> Losing weight and keeping it off isn't like other difficult things you've accomplished. I mean, once you learn to craw... Fri, 13 Aug 2010 18:28:01 EST Strange "Helpful" Advice As anyone who's followed my journey knows, I'm suffering from back problems, which are radically changing what exercise I can do. This has led to some depression, which is an unusual state for me. (Energizer bunnies get more frenetic when under stress.) <BR> <BR> For the last month, I've made the rounds of various specialists to determine exactly how many discs have to come out and how much of a spinal fusion I'm in for, plus find someone who's willing to work on a spine that already has hip... Fri, 6 Aug 2010 16:05:48 EST Walking, Walking, Walking I am a freelancer and work virtually, which is a perfect arrangement for my sometimes chaotic life. No one cares when I work as long as I make deadlines. <BR> <BR> A few weeks ago, my favorite client decided to institute 2 weekly 20-minute conference calls so the freelancers didn't feel out of touch with the office staff. <BR> <BR> I HATE conference calls. They tend to be a waste of people jockeying for position and interrupt the flow of my research or writing. <BR> <BR> So, I've worked o... Tue, 3 Aug 2010 07:43:34 EST Changing Goals I was so close to what I thought was my goal weight that I could honestly envision myself getting there. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, I doctor just changed it for me. He wants me to lose 10 pounds before surgery. Actually, he'd like 15, but I pointed out that I would be dangerously thin. <BR> <BR> I mean, my BMI is 21, my body fat percentage is 23, but he looked at a height/weight chart for my ideal weight. <BR> <BR> When I suggested that losing 10 pounds could take me a long time, since I'm l... Mon, 26 Jul 2010 12:34:39 EST I Dreamt About Ice Cream I'll admit it. When I'm in a lot of pain, I seek comfort food. Not unusual, I know, but a habit I have been working hard in the last 18 months to improve upon. <BR> <BR> As you know, my back has been slowly deteriorating to the point where it impedes a lot of what I want to do. This is especially annoying in the summer when there's so much to do. <BR> <BR> I've been doing what I can to get in exercise and looking for things that I can still do. I've also been in pain. <BR> <BR> I bought a... Tue, 20 Jul 2010 07:36:42 EST Amazing Back Relief After weeks, months and years of intermittent back pain, my new doctor finally tried something that seems to be working. Anti-inflammatory patches. They're made for patients who have heart surgery, but who cares? <BR> <BR> Since I have issues with stomach bleeds, I can't really take a lot of meds, since they immediately cause GI bleeding. These patches carry the stuff without going through the GI tract. There is still a risk of bleeding, but not as quickly. <BR> <BR> They last for 12 hours ... Sat, 17 Jul 2010 07:26:55 EST One Step Forward, Two Steps Back Lately, I've been struggling with exercise. More precisely, I've been searching for a new routine since the Y radically changes it's program during the summer. My plan had been to use this to try new classes since I couldn't take spinning 3 times a week. <BR> <BR> So far, I've flunked out of step and zumba. I'm incredibly uncoordinated. Dislexia makes it hard for me to follow a step for a while and both classes moved on to the next step before I could master the one they had been doing. Coup... Tue, 13 Jul 2010 07:15:02 EST My Body Is Failing Me Okay, I am finally admitting defeat. This sciatica won't go away. I've tried heat, Chinese herbal patches, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants. The combination of drugs helps, but leaves me a zombie who can barely get out of bed. That means I don't exercise and ultimately gain weight. <BR> <BR> This past weekend, I worked thru the pain and really feel it this morning. <BR> <BR> So, it's time to try something new. <BR> <BR> This is summer. The time of year when I'm most active and w... Mon, 28 Jun 2010 08:34:59 EST Traveling I leave this Friday for nearly 2 weeks and have spent a lot of time thinking about what this could mean to my progress. <BR> <BR> Usually, I bring my scale with me, but I've decided that after all this time, I should be able to make good decisions without it as long as I plan. (Translation: I don't trust the airlines not to destroy it in transit.) <BR> <BR> I've already checked the supermarkets in the area and found a Whole Foods. I booked my B&B based on the fact that they give a free gym... Mon, 31 May 2010 08:35:22 EST Measurements Matter Why do I have such a hard time remembering to take my measurements? <BR> <BR> I have been really struggling the last few months with losing weight. I'm so close to my goal that it takes about 6 weeks to lose a pound. However, I knew my body fat % and BMI were both coming down, so I took my measurements. The last time I had done that was about 12 weeks ago. <BR> <BR> The numbers were a complete shock. Except for my upper arm, I had lost inches everywhere. <BR> <BR> Lesson learned - the scal... Thu, 27 May 2010 07:52:05 EST Normal Eating I picked up several books with the phrase "normal eating" in the title recently, hoping to find the true path to help me in the maintenance stage. <BR> <BR> They all say some of the same stuff, just spin it with their own orientation. None of it was really enlightening. There were no ah-ho moments. <BR> <BR> But, it made me think. 18 months ago when I started this journey, I used food to deal with my emotions. Now, I use food as fuel so I can be active. I am consciously aware of what I eat... Fri, 21 May 2010 08:02:02 EST Why I Don't Read Magazines Actually, that's not true. As soon as the Economist is delivered, I curl up with a pot of tea and prepare for hours of interesting reading. <BR> <BR> What I don't read are most popular magazines and today I realized why. <BR> <BR> I was at the car service place, skimming through magazines while I waited. <BR> <BR> I know I struggle with body image, but I also know I look reasonably good. But, looking at the women in the ads, I felt like a cross between the Goodyear blimp and the Pillsbury ... Tue, 27 Apr 2010 09:15:25 EST A Matter of Semantics I've been reading lots of posts lately about "cheat" days and the phrase makes no sense to me. <BR> <BR> If we're truly embarking on a lifestyle change, doesn't the phrase intimate that this is a temporary journey? <BR> <BR> I'm not opposed to ever eating something fattening. I merely think it is something we should be conscious of and weave it into our day. <BR> <BR> I don't even mind eating more calories on a given day. But, I do have trouble with the phrase cheat. I don't see myself as... Sat, 17 Apr 2010 13:30:22 EST Body Image I just read a blog that made me think. <BR> <BR> Why is it when we lose weight, we have so much difficulty seeing ourselves as what we've become rather than what we were? <BR> <BR> It's not as if I spend a great deal of time in front of mirrors. In fact, the only full-length one is in my daughter's bedroom. <BR> <BR> Yet, when I think of me, I see this chubby woman who's perky. <BR> <BR> That was me a year ago, but it's not who I am today. <BR> <BR> How do you change your view of yourse... Wed, 7 Apr 2010 12:59:35 EST Stress Reaction I've been pretty stressed out the last 2 days. First, I spent 3 days with my family and all the baggage that entails. I came home to find a rush project from my favorite client. <BR> <BR> I had no context for the project and the outline I got made no sense. The client and I were supposed to chat about it yesterday so I could hunker down and work. Did I mention the deadline is start of business in the UK on Wednesday of this week? <BR> <BR> While I waited for her call, I worked on some other... Mon, 5 Apr 2010 19:07:01 EST Tired of Excuses Today I bumped into someone I used to volunteer with. We hadn't seen each other since I started my journey and she commented on my weight loss. When I told her what she'd been doing, she said, "Oh, it's easy for you, you have discipline." <BR> <BR> My birth family constantly makes similar comments. The reality is no one is born with discipline. I mean, seriously, have you ever seen a disciplined baby? <BR> <BR> Why do people find it easier to claim losing weight is easy for someone else 'ca... Fri, 26 Mar 2010 22:47:46 EST Interesting Article on Weight Loss - Part 2 Okay, Cornell has finally gotten with the 21st century and put the alumni mag online. <BR> <BR> Here is the link to the article: <link><BR>option=com_content&task=view&id=707 </link> Tue, 9 Mar 2010 08:15:56 EST Interesting Article on Weight Loss I was going thru the Cornell Alumni magazine last night and there was an interesting article about weight loss. <BR> <BR> Here is what hit me: <BR> <BR> "In people who who are susceptible, a "Feed forward" mechanism develops. that is characterized by a resistance to signaling pathways that come to the fat cells to the brain. Eating junk food sparks a vicious cycle: "Not only does it taste good. Not only does it have high calories. But when you eat it, it interrupts the signal between the fa... Mon, 8 Mar 2010 15:03:03 EST I Did It!!! Today, I took a 2-hour endurance spinning class. There was a point, about 20 minutes from the end, when I thought my legs were going to explode. But, I released the tension just a hair and powered through it. <BR> <BR> I'm still in a state of shock that I could do it. <BR> <BR> We mirrored the Modesto to San Jose ride, which has some wicked mountains. There was a 4,000 ft one that took 18 minutes of climbing. By the time we reached the top, I couldn't believe I'd done it. Then, when we coa... Sat, 6 Mar 2010 17:10:54 EST What Motivates Me I've had to think about this for a bit. A lot of things motivate me to make healthy choices, but my motivations have changed substantially since I started my journey in January 2009. <BR> <BR> 1. Feeling Fitter <BR> I was never heavy until I got sick and had to come back to the USA. But, away from family and the life I loved, unable to be active, I used food as comfort. Now that I am slowly getting fit, I like the feeling of being more like the old Carrie. <BR> <BR> 2. Buying Clothes <BR> ... Tue, 2 Mar 2010 16:02:03 EST