CELTICMELODY's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=CELTICMELODY CELTICMELODY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Catching up! Solos to practice! Many recipes to enter! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3943494 I've been so busy lately (practicing for our Got Hips belly dance banquet, show, and masquerade ball) that I realized how backlogged I am with entering my recipes into the SparkPeople recipe book: sugar-free homemade "Jam" crockpot egg casserole, low-carb beef stew, low-carb (HCG friendly) beef or chicken curry, low carb meatballs, and "noodleless" lasagne (all of the guts of the lasagne and none of the noodles). So, I'm making a commitment to GET THIS DONE this weekend--along with prac... Thu, 20 Jan 2011 09:45:04 EST Photographer from Chi Trib came to belly dance class last night. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3924204 I take a beginner, intermediate, AND an advanced belly dance class (as well as pilates reformer) every week. At last night's class, there was a photographer there from the Chicago Tribune. She was there to take pictures for an interview the Tribune did with my teacher Raksanna for an article on belly dance. <BR> <BR> I think everyone was at their best and really working hard. I know I was. Since lost 69 lbs (as of this morning), I find that I'm lighter on my feel. But, to get a go... Fri, 14 Jan 2011 09:59:58 EST Every round leads to better and better habits http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3832073 I posted this in answer to fellow Spark Team member Ashley's question and decided to put it on my blog here as well. <BR> <BR> For me following a restrictive diet for short periods of time has helped me see what food items I was overeating because suddenly they weren't on the menu! It was the one problem I had with other commercial diet programs that included breads and starches; when in came to starch of any form I was ADD. Call my "carb blind" <BR> <BR> Two recent happenings got ... Wed, 8 Dec 2010 12:26:16 EST When others are counting on you, take care of yourself first. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3614724 Last January, I had ballooned back up to 208. As of this morning, I am 151.8 lbs. I feel better and have more energy. Little did I know that I was going to need it. <BR> <BR> 6 weeks ago, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. They caught it early, operated right away, and, thankfully, believe they got it all--although he will still under go 6 weeks of radiation as a preventitive. Although, the radiation will be very low dose, it will still make him tired. (He's going to hav... Tue, 7 Sep 2010 11:29:02 EST Totally Blown Away - Randa Kamal & Faten Salama!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3010682 Totally Blown Away – Workshop with Faten Salama & Randa Kamel <BR> <BR> Yes, I had attended workshops in my local town of Chicago. Raksanna always brings in top notch talent from all over the world for her students and the local community to broaden there knowledge of middle eastern dance. But, this was the first time I was going to a workshop in another city…WITH MY TEACHER. <BR> I had no idea what to expect. I wanted exposure to folkloric aspects of the dance as well as oriental. A... Wed, 17 Mar 2010 11:11:03 EST The Missing Ingredient - Passion http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3001303 So, we're sitting around after an intensive workshop - 10 hours of belly dance over 3 days PLUS a St. Patrick's Day parade. Phew. <BR> <BR> One thing led to another and, in the course of our conversation, one lady asked if belly dance was responsible for my own personal weight loss. I didn't really get a chance to respond before the conversation took another path. But, had I been able to, I would have said most emphatically, "Yes!" <BR> <BR> Before I started belly dancing, I was ... Mon, 15 Mar 2010 10:16:56 EST There's a difference between losing the fat weight and becoming thinner! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=2923465 Just today and interaction with a friend of mine taught me that there's a difference between losing the fat weight and being thinner. Losing fat weight is dropping pounds. <BR> <BR> Being thinner involves letting go of the all the things that kept us fat for so long in the first place - all the hurts, all the negativity, all the things we've done that we haven't forgiven ourselves for - and granting ourselves some grace. <BR> <BR> Here's what happened: a few days ago, in response to ... Wed, 24 Feb 2010 17:48:24 EST 30 LBS Down! I hit my stretch goal!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=2912797 I hit my stretch goal of 178 lbs and, I am now in my stabilization phase for the next 7 weeks. The scariest part of this whole journey was packing up those size 18s and 16s. But, I asked myself, "Why hang on to them? On the off chance that I'd gain 30 lbs overnight? That's ridiculous!" Plus, the Universe has a way of evening this out. I now have a full closet of nice clothes I got from my friend and teacher who starting this journey before me. <BR> <BR> And, I've learned a thing... Mon, 22 Feb 2010 11:23:16 EST 20.6 lbs!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=2830120 My initial goal in round 1 was to hit 181 (a loss of 25 lbs) with a stretch goal of 178. Now, at 186, I am within striking distance. <BR> <BR> At 28 days, and with all that mental bulls**t behind me, I feel it is time for me (well, all of us really) to celebrate how far we've come. <BR> <BR> Tonite, after TOPS, I am packing up all of my size 18s & 16s. I don't want them to spend another night under my roof. This morning I woke up with the strong feeling that hanging onto my fa... Tue, 2 Feb 2010 10:37:57 EST 18 lbs down. Let the mental weight loss begin! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=2813259 I had a "realization" last night. (Epiphany is too strong a word.) For the past few days, I've been in a funk. I know that emotions are stored in the body and, as the fat is released, the emotions come bubbling to the surface--both the positive and the negative. And, that is what was happening this week. It was often too easy to attribute these emotions to outside circumstances: elation credited to our initial successful weight loss, depression credited the slow down of said weight... Fri, 29 Jan 2010 12:44:14 EST 11 pounds down. 'Nuff said! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=2750328 11 pounds down. Sticking to my program is no problem even though it is strict. <BR> I look at my naked body in the mirror every morning and remind myself that I do not want to "wear" any cr@ppy food on my body. <BR> <BR> In the past, even though I overate in private, my excess poundage was and still is there for all the world to see. <BR> <BR> Plus, excess pounds gets in the way of my belly dancing. NOTHING comes between me and my belly dancing. Fri, 15 Jan 2010 15:48:58 EST What a restricted diet teaches us? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=2740288 I hear people rail all the time about restricted diets with advise to "not cut anything out"? <BR> <BR> Ummm. Really? That works for everybody? <BR> <BR> I don't think so. Every one is different and requires difference strategies. A person who has kidney disease must restrict protein severely. A person with congestive heart failure and/or high blood pressure needs to restrict sodium. <BR> <BR> Would someone suggest that a celiac add sandwiches with wheat bread to their ... Wed, 13 Jan 2010 14:13:45 EST Sore but happy. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1843522 I spent the weekend attending a workshop and rehearsals. <BR> <BR> The rehearsals were from an upcoming hafla. <BR> <BR> The workshop was for bellygrams. <BR> <BR> I'm sore but happy. Did I have a great rehearsal? Yes. <BR> <BR> Did I do great in the bellygram workshop? Not so much. I had a struggle. When learning something like dance, there are times when you go to class and everything is humming; you are really feeling the groove and doing great. <BR> <BR> Was this one of... Mon, 2 Mar 2009 15:06:21 EST Start small each morning but START!!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1592162 If I don't do some exercise in the morning, chances are that, unless I have belly dance class or rehearsal, I won't do it. <BR> <BR> I'll let just about anything get in the way: gotta work late, gotta run errands for family (not really. I don't have kids and my mother in law lives 30+ miles away). <BR> <BR> So, I started with a blend of Jorge Cruise's 8 Minutes In The Morning, Curves At Home circuit, and Rick Bradley's Quick Fit. <BR> <BR> I now start out with a warm up that c... Tue, 2 Dec 2008 11:25:38 EST Eat For A Week On A Food Stamp Budget? Don't I Do That Already? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1524520 It started 2 years ago-out west, of course. Then, govenors, churches, and Congress jumped on the bandwagon. Now everybody's trying it. <BR> <BR> The first week in November has now been designated THE week to do this. To put everyone in the right holiday spirit I suppose. Basically, you eat for a week on $25-$28 per person. <BR> <BR> Simple right? <BR> <BR> Does it surprize anyone that plain ole ordinary citizens did better at this than Congress? <BR> <BR> Actually, this is not new to ... Tue, 21 Oct 2008 14:30:13 EST A friend of mine is in a Seattle Sutton commercial!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1501408 Her and her husband have lost 25 and 50 pounds respectively. <BR> <BR> I'm so proud of her. <BR> <BR> They showed it during the White Sox game. Wed, 8 Oct 2008 11:13:53 EST Everything old is new again!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1387298 I'm looking through my new "toys" <BR> <BR> My newly aquired old Weight Watchers cookbooks-the ones from the 1980's under the old exchange program. <BR> <BR> In the Menu cookbook, I noticed that many of the dinners (and some of the lunches) start of with a broth soup consisting of clear broth and vegetables and spices. <BR> <BR> Gee, didn't we just read about starting a meal with a clear broth soup or salad or both to fill you up so you eat less? <BR> <BR> Also, I noticed that man... Thu, 7 Aug 2008 17:07:07 EST Rethinking that old exchange plan http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1384644 Am I the only one out there that finds the Weight Watchers Points plan less than satisfactory when it comes to results? <BR> <BR> Especially when compared to the old exhange program (I'm talking the Quick Start Exhange Program circa 1984)? <BR> <BR> I'm sure it (Points) works for some people; it didn't work for me. Resultswise (is that even a word?), I do better with structure. Forcing myself to think in terms of "I must eat 4 servings of vegetable and 3 servings of fruit." etc. <BR> ... Wed, 6 Aug 2008 13:30:05 EST Belly Dance Show At The Paramount Copley Stage a Success! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1234055 I know it's been awhile! But, I had a good excuse. <BR> <BR> Our show went off without a hitch! I hadn't DANCED on stage in 20 years. And, I'm so glad I didn't "wait until I was at my desired weight." <BR> <BR> I've done that in the past-WAITING to live until I was magically thin. How sad. <BR> <BR> Anyhoo, we performed a sword dance and a drum solo. <BR> <BR> And, yes we had a male dancer-a beginner! Talk about BRAVE. He was great though. Kudos to him. <BR> <BR> I f... Wed, 28 May 2008 11:19:13 EST (no title) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1151049 Ever notice that there are two things people think it's all right to do? <BR> <BR> Number One: Pat a pregnant woman's stomach. <BR> <BR> Number Two: offer opinions about your weight or diet? <BR> <BR> Fri, 18 Apr 2008 10:24:24 EST Weekly BIGGEST LOSER in Local "Big Loser Contest http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1086479 Whoo Hoo! <BR> <BR> When they announced this contest, I thought "No Way could I win a weekly prize--much less the big prize." <BR> <BR> If been at this awhile so my "big loss" that most people have the first few weeks is behind me. <BR> <BR> So, I kept plugging away--focusing on my 3 healthy habits and doing more belly dancing. Sometimes up; sometimes down. <BR> <BR> Six weeks into the whole thing---BINGO! I won the weekly prize! <BR> <BR> Now, the whole point is the jour... Thu, 20 Mar 2008 10:52:28 EST It's Not the Journey; It's the Results!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1070167 Okay. <BR> So some of my Spark buddies and other friends have told me they've had nonsupport type issues with their spouses. You know the, "You've tried that before and gained it all back." or " All you have to do is stop eating that carb stuff and eat what I eat!" Or, you don't do enough exercise. You should be doing 2 hours of exercise a day if you are really serious about losing weight. " <BR> This is followed by, "Oh by the way, my brother and his kids are coming for a visit.... Wed, 12 Mar 2008 11:19:53 EST It's Not the Journey; It's the Results!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1070165 Okay. <BR> So some of my Spark buddies and other friends have told me they've had nonsupport type issues with their spouses. You know the, "You've tried that before and gained it all back." or " All you have to do is stop eating that carb stuff and eat what I eat!" Or, you don't do enough exercise. You should be doing 2 hours of exercise a day if you are really serious about losing weight. " <BR> This is followed by, "Oh by the way, my brother and his kids are coming for a visit.... Wed, 12 Mar 2008 11:19:49 EST Starring in My Own Movie http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1059613 First it was the Kirstie Alley commercials, then Valerie Bertinelli, and now Queen Latifah. There's no doubt in my mind that Queen Latifah will succeed as well as Kirstie &Valerie did. Why? Because they were celebrities? <BR> <BR> Well. Sort of. For them the stakes are high. It's do or die with life & career on the line. <BR> <BR> I've been thinking that the reason that I failed on diets was that, for me, the stakes weren't high enough. <BR> <BR> So, now mentally I'm te... Fri, 7 Mar 2008 10:37:36 EST Information & Logic Do Not Change Behavior http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1055949 Information & Logic Do Not Change Behavior. <BR> <BR> Committment & accountability do. <BR> <BR> I've mentioned earlier about the Mindless Eating book and it's ideas. I've encorporated their suggested 3 "mindless behavior changes" and their 30 day checklist as a way to hold myself accountable. <BR> <BR> But, what I really need is to make my weightloss behaviors automatic so I don't have to think about them or "white knuckle it" to my weight goal of 150 pounds. <BR> <BR> How ... Wed, 5 Mar 2008 17:38:24 EST Prebagging my own 100 calorie packs http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1052555 Old habits die hard and I still find myself reading every diet book known to man looking for that "diet charming" <BR> <BR> What can I say? <BR> <BR> I'm always going back and forth between what's easiest to fit into my life and stick to and what will peel the fat off the fastest: Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!" <BR> <BR> A good book to read because it really isn't a diet book--more like a readable research tome--is Mindless Eating. In it, the author suggests trying ... Tue, 4 Mar 2008 11:02:33 EST Back From Vacation Verdict? WEIGHTLOSS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1040121 Okay. <BR> <BR> I took my annual trek to Orlando to get my winter dose of seretonin-boosting southern sunshine. <BR> <BR> We went to Disney on two days. And, Sea World on one. <BR> <BR> When eating out, I tried to get a salad and veggie soup with each meal. <BR> <BR> Since we were staying at my parents' house, we were able to cook some meals at home. AND, we usually pack in peanut butter sandwiches and apples to Sea World since they do not have as many eating establishm... Wed, 27 Feb 2008 17:47:18 EST Can't Lose Weight Because I'm Too Broke? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=959277 I've heard it said that the universe will keep bringing you the issues you need to deal with. Along with rising gas prices, rising property taxes, and other costs, I've been "tuned in" to stories regarding weight and economic issues. <BR> <BR> Recently, I read an article that linked economic status with weight. The article reported that those in the lower economic status IN GENERAL (I know there are exceptions to everything) tended to be more overweight than their more affluent count... Fri, 25 Jan 2008 17:27:05 EST Cut My Grocery Bill by 50% & Lose Weight? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=908348 Say it isn't this easy. <BR> <BR> A friend of mine whose income was recently cut in half said that she needed to cut down on grocery costs. <BR> <BR> She is also trying to pull off 35 pounds. <BR> <BR> Her solution: <BR> <BR> Portion Control! Big Time portion control. <BR> <BR> She has 2 children: 3 & 5. She says that she was cleaning off their plates of half eaten food and realized, "I'm feeding them the same portions I eat. And, MY portion is probably too big too." ... Wed, 9 Jan 2008 11:12:01 EST So, How did the experiment go? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=859656 Good for some reasons. Okay for others. <BR> <BR> The good part: Forcing myself to stick to a $25 budget, left NO room for eating out. (I lost 12 pounds!) I've gotten more creative with cheap ingredients: who knew there are 200 ways to fix cabbage and carrots. Cheap doesn't have to mean super starchy. But, it does mean monotonous. It's a lot of work to plan, shop and prepare healthy menus in the first place. Having a strict budget takes hard to a whole new level. I challenge... Wed, 12 Dec 2007 17:31:13 EST Remember The Pain To Forget The Gain http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=852650 I was reading an interview with Dr. Jay Piatek posted on fatnews.com. He was saying that he has his patients associate obesity & overweight with pain--whatever is painful to that particular patient. Avoiding pain is the single biggest motivator for human beings. Whether you want to avoid diabetes, arthritis, attract (or in some cases keep) a mate, avoid hurtful comments, avoid financial disasters related to obesity related medical bills or whatever. <BR> <BR> For me, I want to perfor... Thu, 6 Dec 2007 14:20:36 EST TOPS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=834718 5 pounds down at TOPS last night! <BR> <BR> Last night, I talked to a guy named Don who lost 30 pounds 17 years ago and has kept it off though KOPS. Turns out he's a friend of SEATTLE SUTTON! He sold her the first plastic food containers she used! Talk about your small world. <BR> <BR> I lost 45 pounds through Seattle Sutton and working out with a personal trainer. <BR> <BR> The good news is I kept it off. <BR> <BR> TOPS is cheaper than Weight Watchers and, I found ... Wed, 21 Nov 2007 09:40:33 EST Rethinking the meaning of the word Salad http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=829443 By the way.... <BR> Sorry I haven't blogged in a few days. I fell while at lunch and banged up my knee. I was able to go to dance class last night with no ill effects. I still maintain that anyone that thinks that you cannot get a good aerobic workout from a hip shimmy, I urge you to try it! <BR> <BR> Anyway, as I said before, My husband and I have challenged ourselves to see how healthy we can get while sticking to a bare bones food budget. Since in season produce is the cheapest,... Fri, 16 Nov 2007 12:05:55 EST Volume Food Versus CHEAP Volume Food http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=826912 Dr. Barbara Rolls at the University of Pennsylvania has done alot of research into satiety (what food/meals make us satisfied. <BR> Without going into lots of detail (Dr. Rolls does a much more eloquent job than I ever could in her books, Volumetrics and The Volumetrics Eating Plan.), the more VOLUME in the food you eat, the less hungry you are-the more SATISFIED you are. When we are playing the weightloss game, we need to get the volume from lower calorie foods--in other words, fruits... Wed, 14 Nov 2007 12:04:00 EST Seattle Sutton who? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=819797 Okay, I go back and forth between low-carb versus the US Gov't pyramid as to what is the best diet. <BR> <BR> When I'm swinging toward the US Gov't food pyramid, I start missing my Seattle Sutton. For those that don't know, Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating is a FRESHLY prepared (i.e. not frozen) low sodium meal plan based on the ADA diet. Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating is based in Illinois-- although they can now deliver through out the contiguous 48 states. They deliver freshly... Thu, 8 Nov 2007 16:18:40 EST 3 Apples A Day? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=817025 As I said before, I am a diet book junkie. You name it I've read it. Even William Banting's Letter On Corpulence from a century and a half ago. <BR> <BR> As soon as something didn't fit, I'd chuck the diet. I finally figured out that there is always a grain of truth in every diet book. Always SOMETHING I can use, and, therfore, my IDEAL diet is a patchwork quilt-if you will-of all these bits and pieces. <BR> <BR> I came across a book by Tammi Flynn entitled The 3-Apple-A-D... Tue, 6 Nov 2007 17:57:59 EST Diet Charming AKA The Right Fit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=811516 All my adult "overweight" life (I wasn't always), I've been looking for my "diet charming" much the same way that the princess in the fairy tails is always looking for her prince charming. <BR> <BR> My "diet charming" would be a low calorie diet full of my favorite foods that I wouldn't have to cook; where I could magically pour butter, cheese or cream sauce over my veggies without clogging my arteries or slowing my weightloss; and where I can effortlessly lose weight eating just the jun... Fri, 2 Nov 2007 13:10:38 EST Reagan was right? Tomato paste is a vegetable? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=810284 In my search for cheap (read free)diet menus, I came across a site called "Hillbilly Housewife." On this site, they tell you how to feed a family of 4 for $45 for a those with a bare pantry. Although the menus have more carbohydrates than I eat, there were plenty of things for me to take away. (This is the site I got the bread recipe from.) One thing that she did on this site was make tomato sauce, tomato soup, and even barbeque sauce with tomato paste. <BR> <BR> I was curiou... Thu, 1 Nov 2007 15:33:38 EST Broke! The Key To Weightloss? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=810080 We just got our property tax bill which DOUBLED. So, now we're broke. Perhaps, being broke will do for me what no commercial weightloss program has been able to do. <BR> <BR> When we looked at expenses, the amount of money we spent eating out (not to mention the amount of calories) was glaring. Yes, I know Applebee's has a weight watchers menu. And, yes I do eat the Fiesta Chicken off the WW menu but, still. <BR> <BR> So, I had to find my own weightloss program and it had t... Thu, 1 Nov 2007 13:10:52 EST