CASE4GRACE's SparkPeople Blog CASE4GRACE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 46%, but not for long That is my body fat percentage as it was measured last night by a personal trainer at LA Fitness. I am almost half lard! (no wonder I float effortlessly in the pool! LOL!) <BR> <BR> I started this journey at 54.6%, and had gotten as low as to 42.9% a year ago. I plan on blowing that number out of the water this year. My goal is to get to 30% by the end of the year, and eventually 25%. <BR> <BR> We will be working with this personal trainer as a family over the next 12 months - only once a... Fri, 21 Jan 2011 11:51:13 EST Where I've been and where I'm going... I don't know if anyone will even read this. (It's pretty long-winded even for me!) but whether anyone ever reads it or not, I know I needed to write it for myself. Here goes... <BR> <BR> It's been two years since I started my weight loss journey, and a year and a half since I had adjustable gastric band surgery. The first year went well - I lost 90 pounds (including pre-surgery weight loss). By Christmas 2009 I was at my lowest weight, 185. I was feeling good - maybe even a little cocky. (sy... Wed, 5 Jan 2011 16:17:54 EST Getting back on Wow, where do I start. It feels like I've been gone for an eternity, but really it's only been about a month. Things were really spinning so out of control that I finally had to take a break. We were days away from having our home go into foreclosure, and were in the process of packing and preparing to move. Our debts had mounted to the point we were preparing for bankruptcy. My oldest son was having heart monitoring done because he was having periods of lightheadedness and has a known heart ... Mon, 29 Mar 2010 13:43:43 EST Dr Oz is spreading the Spark! I subscribe to Dr Oz's email newsletter, and I was happy to see a reference to the new book The Spark, as well as and in his January 18th edition. I think Dr Oz has been sparked! <BR> <BR> "Start your day off right. The Spark -- a new weight loss book from the founder of -- recommends these smoothie ingredients for a calcium-rich morning meal: 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of mango chunks, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds, and... Mon, 18 Jan 2010 07:43:52 EST Six months after surgery I saw my surgeon's office today for my 6-month postop check. Here's how I'm doing so far: <BR> <BR> Upper GI x-ray shows band is in place and anatomy all functioning normally. <BR> Fluid level in band is adjusted appropriately now - I'm at my sweet spot! <BR> Weight lost so far: 82 pounds (43 more to get to goal weight of 150) <BR> Body mass index: Dropped from 48 to 34.5 (10 more points to go to get to "normal") <BR> Body fat %: Dropped from 54.6% to 42.9% (9 points to go to get to "norma... Tue, 8 Dec 2009 15:53:45 EST I gained 6 pounds and some much needed perspective... It all started with Thanksgiving - I really didn't do too bad with my choices, actually. I started my day with a walk, and "healthied up" some of the dishes we served. I enjoyed the turkey, cranberries, roasted fresh sweet potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes w/cauliflower, a little spoonful of apple stuffing, and jello salad. I said "no" completely to gravy, rolls and butter. I did indulge in a piece of apple pie for dessert later and some Chex mix while we played games, but that was about it. O... Mon, 30 Nov 2009 13:12:39 EST Out of balance and need to take back control Since starting my weight loss journey 11 months ago, something I have become more and more aware of is just how many areas of my life are seriously out of balance. Everywhere I look, there are extremes, most resulting from my own lack of self-discipline. <BR> <BR> too much excess weight <BR> too many bills/debt <BR> too much "stuff" <BR> too much to do <BR> too much STRESS <BR> <BR> too little energy <BR> too little money <BR> too little time <BR> too little organization <BR> too little B... Tue, 17 Nov 2009 16:55:10 EST To all my Spark Friends I came across this article through the RealAge Newsletter (by Dr Oz) today. <BR> <BR> "You might drop more preholiday diet pounds if you tap into this simple technology: e-mail. <BR> <BR> Yep, in a study, dieters who got a little love, support, and motivation through e-mails dropped more weight than the dieters who hadn't received cyber support." <BR> <BR> <link><BR>t-with-this-simple-tech-trick </link> <BR> <BR> I can attest that all of the support... Mon, 16 Nov 2009 11:09:45 EST My life challenges I don't like to whine about my problems, but I'm feeling like I need to open up about some challenges I'm dealing with in my life lately: <BR> - Finances - pay cut and loss of income, some "bad" financial decisions, mounting credit card debt with increasing minimum payments and interest rates, medical bills, an adjustable mortgage we can no longer afford for a house we now owe more on than it's worth by about $50,000. We are losing ground each month, and bakruptcy and foreclosure may be in o... Fri, 6 Nov 2009 16:22:40 EST A "light" pumpkin pie to try this Thanksgiving... I have never made this recipe - just received it in an email today and wanted to share. I'm definitely going to try it. I often skip the crust and just bake the filling in custard dishes. It's a very healthy treat that tastes great too! <BR> <BR> The Best Light Pumpkin Pie <BR> <BR> This pumpkin pie saves 100 calories per slice from the traditional version and it tastes identical! <BR> <BR> 1 cup ginger snaps (about 16 cookies) <BR> 16 oz can pumpkin <BR> 1/2 cup egg whites (about 4) <... Thu, 5 Nov 2009 12:26:40 EST Rediscovering my shoulders So last night, as I was sitting on the couch watching the Biggest Loser (I am so addicted to that show now!) I reached inside the collar of my shirt to scratch my shoulder, and I was so surprised I stopped dead in my tracks. Was that my shoulder? It felt normal--I mean normal-sized--like all the fluffy padding was gone and I could actually feel definition of my bones and muscles there, the way it should be! I'm sure it didn't just happen overnight, but it was the first time I noticed it. I a... Wed, 14 Oct 2009 20:06:26 EST I hate "liquid" days and need some help! So, tomorrow afternoon I go in for my third band adjustment. I'm excited to think that I am progressing in my journey, so why is it all I can think about is dreading 2 days of liquids? I mean, if I could make it through 2 weeks of liquids after surgery, why now am I such a whimp that those two days of liquids after my fills just drive me crazy?! All I can think about those days is eating, and last time I actually cheated and went to Dairy Queen twice for a shake. OMG, the calories! What was I... Tue, 29 Sep 2009 23:11:50 EST My favorite veggie burger I have found a veggie burger which is truly blogworthy...Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean burger. I've always enjoyed eating this variety of veggie burger, but today instead of the usual "on a bun with some American cheese and ketchup" routine, I kicked it up a notch. I added some grilled onions, avocado and tomato slices, and a little cheddar cheese and put it on a lightly toasted Arnold sandwich thin. It was absolutely delicious! I will definitely be making this again. What a satisfying ... Fri, 18 Sep 2009 15:29:58 EST Biggest Loser season premier So, did you catch the season premier of The Biggest Loser? I never used to watch this show--it made me angry that people got eliminated when they were working so hard and clearly needed the resources and support of the show to support their efforts. I was really against the fact that the new "healthy lifestyle" they were developing was so extreme that it would be impossible for most people to maintain that intensity after the show. But, mid season last year, for some reason, I started watchin... Wed, 16 Sep 2009 12:10:45 EST Me...running? I can hardly believe it, but I just RAN on my treadmill! <BR> <BR> I have always been intrigued with running. I remember trying to take up jogging as a teenager (I was overweight then, too) and it just never worked out for me. I admired people who were runners--to me, that was the ultimate sign of fitness. I was embarassed that I couldn't do it--always the last one across the finish line in gym class, limping the last leg of the track with legs and lungs burning and a stitch in my side. I ha... Wed, 5 Aug 2009 22:58:18 EST I rode my bike for the first time in years! One thing I haven't done in years because of my weight was ride a bike. Tonight, my husband and I decided to pull our bikes out and ride up to the grocery store to pick up a few items. The store is pretty close, so I suggested that we go pedalling around the neighborhood some first to get some extra exercise. Hubby, being the voice of wisdom that he is, suggested that we better not, because we haven't biked for so long, we'll probably get sore and tired and then not make it to the store. I'm ... Tue, 14 Jul 2009 22:50:26 EST Afraid to buy new clothes I have been struggling with this for awhile now, and I am hoping this blog will just help me come to terms with it and move on. <BR> <BR> I am afraid to buy new clothes. I don't even want to go to the store and try them on. I've lost almost 60 pounds, and I'm running out of things I can wear, and the things I am still wearing are just hanging on me. At first I thought it was just about the money, but I am beginning to realize that was just an excuse. What's really bothering me is fear--I'm ... Mon, 13 Jul 2009 22:29:10 EST They told me this might happen... But I didn't really believe it....that weight loss might stall when graduating from liquids to purees. Day 1 of purees, and I was up 1 pound, but that came right back off the next day, so I thought that was the worst of it. However, since then I have continued circling the same pound or two, so I think I'm temporarily stuck. <BR> <BR> I have been eating typically between 800-1000 calories a day (I do share my log, if anyone wants to check it out), primarily protein, and carbs I eat are usu... Sat, 4 Jul 2009 09:11:42 EST It's official, I'm a bandster... I came home from the hospital Friday evening and today is my second day of clear liquids. So far, so good. It's all still a little surreal--after waiting for so many months for the big day to arrive, it came and went so quickly. <BR> <BR> I couldn't wait to weigh myself when I got home...dumb move. I was up 5 pounds from the morning of admission. Of course, I know that can't be fat, it has to be fluid retention. I'm thinking I should stay off of the scale for awhile least until I'... Sat, 13 Jun 2009 11:55:40 EST Surgery date is almost here... So, my surgery date is finally here, this week on Thursday (6/11). Seems like it has been forever that I have been waiting for this. I started this journey last October, and for the first three months I just floundered--ate what I wanted, didn't exercise, and gained more weight. It wasn't until the middle of January before I started changing my lifestyle, and gradually over the following 5 months I felt like I really had this new lifestyle down. I lost 45 pounds and felt fantastic. <BR> <BR... Mon, 8 Jun 2009 17:15:37 EST The puppies are here! <img src=""> <BR> My sweet little doxie, Heidi, delivered her puppies on Tuesday night--two boys and four girls. Sadly, the last puppy, a little boy, was stillborn. That really broke my heart. Thankfully, the rest are healthy and doing great. The smallest weighed only 3-3/4 ounces, and we are supplementing her with puppy formula to help her get enough nourishment. She's up to 5 ounces as of today. The largest one, also a girl, was 7-1/4 ounc... Fri, 17 Apr 2009 22:19:04 EST What a gift! I just had to take a minute to share what a gift my husband is. He has loved me through thick and thin (well, much more thick, really) and never, ever made me feel bad about myself for being overweight. In fact, he can make me feel beautiful even on the days when I feel I'm at my worst. In all my weight loss endeavors, he has always supported me and never judged or criticized me when I didn't do everything right, or even when I gave up. He takes walks with me anytime I ask him to help me get ... Fri, 3 Apr 2009 21:03:03 EST What does success really mean? A new way of thinking... This past week, I was invited to a catered dinner event at work. At first, I didn't want to deal with the temptation, figuring I'd probably "blow it" like I always have in the past. But I knew that attending was the right thing to do, because one of my employees was being recognized at the event, and I wanted to be there for her. <BR> <BR> In the past on the day of the dinner, I would have eaten very little to "save up" my calories so I could indulge that evening. Of course, that thinking... Sat, 7 Mar 2009 12:15:13 EST That darn scale... I woke up this morning and weighed myself, and the scale has hardly budged even though I have been working hard at doing things right and have consistently stayed at or below my calorie limit and started walking on the treadmill again. I was frustrated, and I heard that little internal voice nudging me to just cash it in "If you're going to work that hard and not see any results, what's the point?" But after a deep breath and a little attitude adjustment, I decided that I'm not going to allow... Sat, 17 Jan 2009 22:18:26 EST Small Victories Well, it's only been a few days since I determined to give up perfectionist all-or-nothing thinking, and I've already been tested a few times. I have had 3 work meetings in the last two days that involved lunch and/or breakfast, and tonight family movie night with pizza. Thankfully I made it through all of these without jumping ship and actually had results that I am proud of. Instead of getting nervous about how I would make it through without eating things I shouldn't or wouldn't know how ... Fri, 16 Jan 2009 22:12:14 EST My battle with All or Nothing "It's all or Nothing"...a phrase that sounds definitively positive when most people use it. After all, giving something your all demonstrates commitment, drive, is swearing an oath that you will accomplish what you are setting out to do. Yet this phrase seems to be at the root of many issues in my life, and while I have known for awhile I struggle with this, I never fully understood why...but I think I am finally beginning to. <BR> <BR> Most people only think about the "a... Tue, 13 Jan 2009 22:39:49 EST Day 1 Today, as the saying goes, is the first day of the rest of my life. After so many failed attempts to attain a healthy weight, today I am starting the preliminary diet given to me by my surgeon's office to help prepare me for Lap Band surgery. My goal is to take 20 pounds off within the next 2 months, also hopefully before we go to Vegas in March which will make the flight a little more comfortable. I have been working on chewing more thoroughly and not drinking with meals here and there, but ... Mon, 12 Jan 2009 09:52:20 EST