CHANGE4FIT's SparkPeople Blog CHANGE4FIT's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Revisiting and old friend I can't believe it was last July since I posted a blog. What a year or two it has been. Graduations, weddings, funerals...elections.........Like an old friend, SparkPeople has been awaiting my return and I'm visiting today. Finding my way back around familiar territory and recognizing the vastness of resource here for the taking. Good to be back. Sun, 5 Mar 2017 11:29:59 EST Have you ever noticed... ...when you are exercising that it's like being part of a big, encouraging family? <BR> I think many of us struggle with the ideas the media blast us with when it come to fitness. <BR> You know, you are already fit and look fabulous in spandex? The reality is most of us look average at best and some of us feel more like a chunky monkey. We have fears of being ridiculed for working out-think mean girls at the gym phobia. The truth is we humans are basically good people driven by a biology to s... Mon, 6 Jul 2015 09:48:42 EST Weekend Warrior ..Great and busy weekend. <BR> Spent a good 2 hours wrangling ditch banks with the push mower-that's gotta burn some serious calories and count for some strength training, too. Some of those banks are 8 feet high!. Spent another hour pulling up brick walkway-DH is redoing them, least I can do is demo, right? I'm good at "tearing up" he's much better and "putting it back together" than I am....I think I really got the better end of the deal :) <BR> Mon, 18 May 2015 11:48:31 EST Reflecting, realizing, resetting What a year...... <BR> It's been a year of stress, reflection, grieve and joy-aren't they all? <BR> It has been another year of blind ignorance. Ignoring the benefits of paying attention to personal health and wellness and allowing the distractions of everyday to keep my attention rather than purposefully planning and maintaining awareness of what's really important. <BR> So the confession is I've "found" about half of the weight I had "lost". More importantly, I've "lost" some of my fitness ... Thu, 14 May 2015 09:19:30 EST Finding Wisdom in the Weirdest Places One of my favorite ways to unwind is to enjoy a good magazine. Many of my favorites involve reading about food and cooking. The science and history of a recipe are fascinating-well, to me anyway. I am a huge fan of Chris Kimball and all publications associated with America's Test Kitchen. I always enjoy his editorial-which generally speaks to some New Englanders no nonsense approach to life. However, being from the south, I also enjoy "strolling" through the pages of Southern Living. In the J... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:21:15 EST Sputtering Do you ever feel like a tiny spark who cracks and sputters, but just can't seem to achieve a blaze? Well, I'm feeling this way! My spark is sputtering, it's not to smoldering yet, but it's not totally dead. I will keep fanning it in hopes that it will catch and burn stronger. Right now that's tough-too many easy excuses to avoid doing the right things. <BR> <BR> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:32:36 EST 2015 Resolve A new year. A great "pause" to take and evaluate, refocus and move ahead. What resolutions should I make this year??? <BR> 1- Accept the things I can't change, but be more aware of their negative influence in my life and deny them the power they exert over me. <BR> 2-Celebrate small steps and small successes. <BR> 3-Roll my eyes more-yes, roll them more-then let whatever precipitated the eye rolling go <BR> 4-Laugh-a LOT, at most things, unless it would be seen as entirely inappropriate-as in... Mon, 5 Jan 2015 19:47:17 EST I Haven't Quite Made the Switch Early in this chapter of the journey, I accepted that healthier habits had to be a lifestyle change. I have long understood that "diet" is not a verb. I worked diligently for weeks, months and achieved great success. People were watching and often encouraged me with their acknowledgement of this success. Alas, I let life get in the way. I have found about 15 of those 50 pounds through sheer ignorance-ignoring what I'm eating and more imporatantly the reasons I'm eating. I find myself eating m... Mon, 1 Dec 2014 08:46:48 EST He Left Me! Years ago our daughter screamed these words at the realization that her daddy had left her with her grandmother so we could have a weekend away as a couple. She was almost 2 and we had never gone away without taking her along-a much overdue couples weekend. Upon our return, she-yes, this precocious 2 year old, proceeded to ignore her daddy-overtly-for a week. She would turn away from him. After a week, I suppose feeling he had been sufficiently chastised, she returned to her normal relationsh... Fri, 12 Sep 2014 11:36:01 EST I Am Ticked Off Let me put this out there first-anger is a stage in the grief process and I am angry. I am angry at my friend who just died. She is the second friend to pass this year. Janet, the woman who died in February, fought to the bitter end. She fought even when she was losing the fight and she NEVER once complained. She smiled, she found the beauty in every moment and my anger at her situation came months before she passed away. My anger was at the indiscretion of cancerous processes and the prospec... Thu, 11 Sep 2014 10:46:50 EST Because I Can People often ask you why you are doing what you're doing. They don't want to be bothered, don't have time for, don't see any real value in managing their health. Gonna eat what I want, ain't got time to exercise, and while I'm at it, let me whine about my weight and how tired I am. Woe is me mentality? Do you know these people? <BR> Are you ever one of these people? The truth is I will admit that I can get into this negative self messaging-and it is toxic. It is so much better to think about... Wed, 10 Sep 2014 10:41:32 EST Saying Goodbye....Again 2014 has not been a kind year. I lost another dear friend this weekend. I have known her since we were 11-we graduated from high school together and both returned to our home town to serve the community in different roles. Amy-some people are just named right-amiable, a friend. Amy was not awarded the genetic lottery in life. She was not what our society would call a "pretty woman", but she was one of the most beautiful people I have ever had the privilege to know. She had the same hopes and ... Mon, 8 Sep 2014 12:39:30 EST Family Vacation Raising children is like that scene from the 1980's Dracula movie where the young male visitor is at the Count's castle being "entertained" by two lovely, though pale, nymphs who, while providing him great pleasure, are also sucking the life out of him.... Well, it feels that way sometimes anyway. And then you turn around one day and they are grown and leaving the nest.... We haven't had a true family vacation in at least 5 years. My oldest is a nomad of sorts as she build her field biology ... Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:33:31 EST Too Much Garden! So I'm a gal raised in the South-that means canning and freezing and pickling this time of year. Here's my dilemma...I am married to a farmer who likes to grow things for the pure joy of growing things. He tell me not to stress about it and throw out what I don't want to deal with...but, there are hungry people I say! I was raised, in large part, around my Dad's parents who lived through the depression-so I value preserving home grown veggies. But here's the rub-I am a fulltime working profe... Sat, 26 Jul 2014 23:23:53 EST What would you do for fresh peach tart? or cake? I walked five miles just so I could have dessert last night. I had 1/16th of each.. As a dear friend puts it, "I exercise to eat"~LOL. This is not an everyday happening, but fresh peach season makes for some very tempting offerings... <BR> My daughter made both of these, from scratch, while I was at work Thursday. She is fearless in the kitchen! <BR> Peach Tart: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Peach Cake <BR> <img src="http://pho... Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:51:00 EST Getting Back to a Good Thing This summer has been a time to return to some good habits. I let the winter months drag me down and away from the healthy habits I had established last year. It was so easy to make the excuse of too cold or seriously the roads were too icy and dangerous to travel the 20 miles to my strength class. We simply don't do snow and ice well in the south. All that said, once spring sprang I had acquired a new old habit-making excuses. FINALLY, last night between my 19yo and an old friend gently chidi... Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:03:40 EST Further, Faster, Stronger It's so easy to write about back sliding and so difficult to commit to writing about forward motion. I sometimes chalk this up to my southern girl upbringing-one must be demure and self I am going to break with tradition here for just a few lines to celebrate a success. <BR> I've been meandering back to the "wagon" for several weeks now. Somehow, spending time at the beach is a real motivator for me and I had that opportunity over the recent holiday weekend. When I'm at the... Tue, 8 Jul 2014 09:34:48 EST A Date With Little Debbie I've written about Debbie before. I believe I called her public enemy number one...She's one of those "stepford" products engineered to lure us with slick marketing and addict us with the perfect combination of sodium, fat and sugar. Well, that's how I am going to frame my relationship with this popular snack cake and I am such a patsy for her....So it's confession time. I had to go to the grocery store yesterday for washing liquid. Of course I walked through the produce and picked u... Tue, 1 Jul 2014 16:14:04 EST On Habits We often read that it takes only 2 weeks of consistency to develop a habit. There may be some variability on the actual time frame, but it is a relatively short period of time regardless. When I think about how we can build a "new" habit with consistency, I get so excited. How easy to develop a "new improved" habit if you can just make it through said period of time practicing consistency. One thing I have realized (confession: I can be Pollyanna) is that this habit forming has a dark side. W... Mon, 30 Jun 2014 13:09:55 EST Floundering Around a fish out of water and trying to find the way back to the water's edge... Mon, 2 Jun 2014 08:27:51 EST Just What I needed Providence-sometimes it's almost frightening how we come upon "just what we need" in that particular moment. I've been around on Spark for years. Wondered away, wondered back, always find the resources here invaluable, but am just subject to my human nature and the workings of life. I wondered back a little over a year ago, dropped almost 50 pounds over 6 months and then hit the holidays and one of the grayest, coldest winters I can remember. So I casually, almost mindlessly, wondered away fr... Tue, 27 May 2014 13:21:38 EST Looking Back Finally, it looks like a week of spring time temps here in the south! It was a year ago that I began my current journey.- driven by disappointment, disgust and dissatisfaction with the current state and a lot of encouragement from my children and DH. The journey started with a rush and quickly became a healthy obsession of sorts. I didn't mind sweating through the southern summer or the inevitable slow downs in weight loss. I was heading in the right direction. Then the time changed, the days... Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:34:57 EST Lose a Battle, Win the War We often hear that it's important to "pick our battles" or "just because we lost a battle doesn't meant we can't win the war". I am pretty sure I lost or am losing the holiday/winter blah battle. I maintained my weight for weeks, but have found a few pounds have crept on recently. I am not being truly honest to say they "crept". I know how they got there-mindless eating and inconsistent activity. I find myself considering the circumstances and having some of the negative self talk that can sl... Tue, 25 Mar 2014 08:44:48 EST A Friend Gone I lost a friend. She was 49, just barely. She had a form of the dreaded C word. She has fought with dignity and grace. She made the choice to do this her way. She lost the battle. She was barely 49. Her youngest daughter and my youngest daughter are BFFs-they have literally been friends before they even knew the other existed-since the cradle. My daughter was there when she died. In a way, she lost someone important, too. Like another is a sad reality that people in their prime must... Wed, 19 Feb 2014 20:54:12 EST Michael Pollan-Cooked I really enjoy Michael Pollan's books and received the latest, Cooked, for Christmas. Essentially, Pollan breaks cooking down into four essential elements-Fire, Water, Air, Earth-and discussues each element in depth-always intriguing. I am currently reading the Water section-think one pot dinners, braises and all that means to family and food. What I found interesting in the passage I read last night had to do with the economy of actual cooking. The short of it is this, the industrialization ... Thu, 6 Feb 2014 08:34:22 EST Nutrition Labels Not the most user friendly source of information to begin it seems that every time I buy a product the nutrition label has changed-calories up or down, sodium up or down, fiber up or it goes. I started entering foods last year and including the month and year as part of the entry, but my discovery today was a bit frustrating. I had entered the product in question in January 2014-yep, last month-all 5 days ago. I looked at the label on the very same product today to find ... Wed, 5 Feb 2014 22:11:27 EST Forgetting the Celebration I started this journey with a goal weight in mind. I am a little OCD, so of course I calculated my calorie needs at various weights, determine how many calories I could comfortably deduct (never below 1200/day and generally never below 1400/day). I then translated this into expected weight loss and mapped out how long it would take me to reach my goal weight, including mini goal markers every 10 pounds. Well, the best laid plans and all that....needless to say I have not accomplished the weig... Tue, 4 Feb 2014 20:28:40 EST All Is Not Lost It's amazing and frustrating how our journey twists and turns. Sometimes I think I have things figured out only to find that my vigilance has not been what it needs to be to sustain consistent change in lifestyle...and then I wonder if I understand anything at all.... But of course, I have learned-I am closer to sustainable, consistent change than I have ever been. A few days or weeks of inconsistency does not mean all is lost. That said, it sure can feel that way! I suppose that is one of th... Fri, 31 Jan 2014 11:33:34 EST Walking in a Winter Wonderland It's a winter wonderland here in the south-this is a novelty for us. Today has been warmer-up to 32-and there really hasn't been a lot of wind. DH and I decided to take a walk down, where else, my favorite farm path. Someone had driven down the path, so we didn't have to tromp through inches of snow, but it was still a balance challenge. Some places were icy and walking in snow boots is a bit different than my usual shoes. When we started out, I thought maybe would would make it to the 1 mile... Thu, 30 Jan 2014 17:27:22 EST The Pink Princess With cold temps, snow and ice all around I pulled out my warmest gear which involves a big pink fuzzy hat I got for skiing some years ago. My children could not believe I bought this hat at the time and begged me not to wear it-especially since I was going to chaperone their youth group ski trip-LOL. I wore the hat and they pretended not to know me-as teens will do. Well, the hat lives, the memories are priceless and we all got a great laugh this morning with a volley of texting that spanned ... Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:52:44 EST Winter Weather In the South, "winter weather" means uncertainty. We have had a temperature range in the last 5 days of single digits to 70s-talk about confusing. Well, today it was my kind of "southern winter weather". High projected in the 60s, chance of rain after lunch, cloudy with occasional peeps of my favorite star, the sun. Great morning to get out and traipse down my favorite 5 mile route. Well, almost. It was a challenge. We have had quite a bit of rain, so part of the farm path is in motion-as in ... Sat, 11 Jan 2014 13:14:48 EST Japanese Steak House Question, do the Japanese really cook with this much oil and salt? My son wanted to eat at the local Japanese steak house after swim practice. I had half my calories and plenty of sodium left to round out my day's nutrition-but not enough for this fare. I really like the "show" of Hibachi cooking, but am appalled at the amount of oil and salt used in the process. I am honestly not sure how to navigate on this menu. Even the veggies are coated in oil, butter, sodium and various sauces which I... Fri, 10 Jan 2014 09:30:55 EST A Wellness Challenge-what a difference they can make Our organization sponsors a wellness challenge that runs 10 weeks at the beginning of every year. It was this very challenge that got me started on my current journey about a year ago. What the challenge did for me was cause me to think-I started doing some Wii fit activities and found I could spend up to 90 minutes "playing". It made me think I should be able to set aside 30 minutes to exercise ANY day. That along with my persistent children got "my ball rolling". It's wellness challenge tim... Wed, 8 Jan 2014 21:15:40 EST What Doesn't Kill Us... ...makes us stronger. Right? Yep, gotta believe there's a lot of wisdom in that statement. I was looking for some fitness motivation the other day and came across this picture. Love it and wanted to share: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 7 Jan 2014 15:03:17 EST A Fitness Christmas and a New Appreciation for Northern Sparkers Yep, it was a fitness Christmas. My family all gave me lovely new work out clothes-they were on the top of my list! New size :), designed for cold weather, bright colors-socks, pants, tops and even a skull cap/toboggan with a pony tail hole in the back. Sleeves that come down over your hands with thumb holes-cool! Who would've thought a year ago I would be ASKING for workout clothes-LOL Today I put some of them on and went out for a 5 mile jaunt down my favorite path. It's a beautiful day in ... Sat, 28 Dec 2013 14:47:20 EST Gratification: Instant v. Delayed We work so hard, as parents, to teach our children about delayed gratification and controlling impulsivity. Interesting, that we don't always practice what we preach and then wonder why they find it so hard...I was reminded of this last night at the IHOP. My 15 yo had a swim meet and afterwards wanted pancakes-not uncommon for a swimmer. As we headed to the IHOP, I was in dread. Would there be a reasonable choice and would I be willing and able to make such a choice. I love pancakes. As I loo... Sat, 14 Dec 2013 19:18:18 EST This is Hard ...navigated the spring-no problem. Sailed through the summer, including a devastating diagnosis for my problem. Fluttered into fall like a leaf on a breeze, but have become more like a ping pong ball in a hurricane. This is hard. Short days, cold rainy weather, so many social obligations, so much temptation in the food department, so much stress..........having trouble with my consistency here. Going over my desired calorie limit more days than not-not by much and still below a "ma... Fri, 13 Dec 2013 09:48:03 EST Peer Pressure As I have become more fit and obviously lost weight, people have noticed. At first I didn't want people to notice and comment-I think this is pretty common based on comments and blogs I have read from other spark members. Then the comments become a type of reinforcement and incentive to stick with it. I feel like I have entered a new phase of the comments journey-peer pressure and expectation. I know part of this is in my head, but people are watching. They say things like "I didn't even reco... Tue, 10 Dec 2013 09:16:01 EST Dancing Our organization hosts an employee Holiday Party each year. This past Friday night was said part. This always involves a meal and dancing. The meal was lovely-steamed shrimp, broiled sirloin, baked potato, salad, green beans, bread, dessert. I enjoyed a Green Apple Smirnoff Ice. And then the DJ got the party started. He was actually a little slow on the start with a shag song and then a slow song and then a song that nobody really wanted to dance to....but then he got his groove on and starte... Mon, 9 Dec 2013 09:46:11 EST Beautiful Dinner Wednesdays are a bear this time of year. My 15 yo swims and meets are on Wednesdays and Fridays. Yesterday was a meet on the OBX about 2 hours away. My DH went to the meet and I went to my favorite fitness class-it's been a week since I did any purposeful exercise and it felt great. After the class, I had some time "home alone" and needed to fix myself some dinner-I just can't take anymore turkey concoctions. So, I made a frittata with eggs, spinach, roasted pepper, mushrooms and feta-beautif... Thu, 5 Dec 2013 09:44:28 EST Sometimes it just works out... Well, I am still recovering from the Thanksgiving gorge. Someone brought us handmade candies as a hostess gift-chocolates no less. Yep, I've been indulging-geez, they're delish. Staying within calorie range has been a challenge-one I have lost most days lately (Lita, thanks for the range challenge today). So, I decided not to track "all" my food from yesterday and just accept that it would be out of range and today was a fresh start. Then that little inner voice got the best of me and said, "... Wed, 4 Dec 2013 13:58:30 EST Naviagating Thanksgiving... ...harder than I thought it would be.... <BR> Somehow in the past week, I have lost my way. Well, at least strayed from it. Primarily, I have placed purposeful activity on a shelf, but there is this nagging little voice in my head that says, "don't slip away". It has been one week since I engaged in activity that made me sweat and allowed my mind to wander freely through random thoughts. I can honestly say I miss it. I have to also admit that it is so easy to find reasons (aka, excuses) to NO... Tue, 3 Dec 2013 09:18:47 EST Spinning Part 3 I think this is a love hate relationship. I went to my third cycling class last night. Have to admit the saddle wasn't as painful as it has been. I could actually endure longer periods of standing to pedal, too. I still can't say I love it, but I can say I appreciate it's value. Definitely uses a different set of muscles than anything else I do. My 19 year old rower was home and she went with me. She said it was a challenging work out, too. After cycling, we went up to the erg (rowing machine... Wed, 27 Nov 2013 08:37:39 EST Preparing for Thanksgiving It's always been my favorite holiday...not sure why. I have always said it was because we could convene with family without all the trappings of Christmas. This year, I'm hosting. We will have about 12 for lunch-not too bad. Maybe an opportunity to shake up a few things, substitute some healthier options-pretty sure my mom and I do not make mashed potatoes the same way....and I'm toying with adding some sort of green salad. I have some really nice recipes with fall fruits like pears and apple... Fri, 22 Nov 2013 09:36:05 EST I Need To Go Shopping Some times NSVs can be frustrating. I just finished hemming pants for my fall wardrobe-thinking they would carry me through spring....NOT. They are falling off-I can literally take them off without undoing them-My DH saw me this morning, did a 360 appraisal, grabbed the waistband and said, "I am pretty sure we could both wear this pair of pants-at the same time". Guess I shouldn't complain...but now I need to go shopping and I do not have time to go shopping! Thu, 21 Nov 2013 08:17:44 EST Wrestling Sometimes on this journey I feel like I am in a wrestling match and I am not clear on the next best move. This past week has been a struggle. I have been hungry. I haven't felt well. I have not wanted to exercise, but have felt like something was missing when I didn't. I have had multiple challenges in keeping my eating on track. I have wrestled with lots of thoughts about this whole process. All in all, I would say it has been a growth experience and like so many episodes of growth, it has b... Tue, 19 Nov 2013 09:11:32 EST Small Victory Sometimes those small NSV victories come in the strangest ways. Cardio-strength class is a staple of my Wednesday nights-I really like the class. When I started doing it back in May, I held 3 pound weights and had to put those down before the end of the cardio circuit sets. Now, I carry 6 pounds in each hand and carry them through the entire 4 sets of cardio ciruit-this is not that NSV. Last night, I was able to complete the entire abd portion, noticed greater range of motion in the oblique w... Thu, 14 Nov 2013 08:27:42 EST Another Spin Class... I said probably not...but the truth is that I used some muscles I am not accustomed to using in that intro to spinning class. I could tell this 1-2 days after the fact when those bad boys were sore-in the best kind of way. So, last night, I headed to Walmart to pick up a cushy seat cover (those spin bike seats are not kind to bony structures) and headed to the Y for a spin class. It was challenging and I couldn't do all of the "Jump" sets or the full duration for the endurance climb, but that... Wed, 13 Nov 2013 08:20:17 EST My Take on Spinning Went to an introduction to spinning class. I am not a big machine fan and that's probably critical here....did not love it. I think if I have experience with an activity, such as biking or walking, in the real world, I just can't find pleasure in the mechanical version. I really despise the treadmill-why do this when I could take a brisk walk? The spin bike was only a slightly better experience for me-I couldn't help but look down and think about where I could be going on my real bike. Maybe ... Thu, 7 Nov 2013 11:01:53 EST Autumn Splendor Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day in northeastern North Carolina. We started that annual chore of washing the siding and windows....Around 5 pm, I looked out from our deck and across the pond that borders our side yard and here's what greeted me: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 4 Nov 2013 11:03:01 EST