CHANGETHEGARDS's SparkPeople Blog CHANGETHEGARDS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I haven't been completely honest... I haven't checked in for a few weeks, and I've had my reasons. Well, one specific reason, really. I'm no longer on a weight loss journey. That would not be healthy for me at this time. Instead I'm on maintenance, and might even allow a little bit of gain. Yes, I am still 25 over my goal (holding steady at my start weight!) and 35 above my pre-pregnancy super goal, but there has been a change. <BR> I'm pregnant! <BR> I didn't know when I started checking in here again, but I found out not lon... Sun, 18 Jun 2017 09:01:43 EST I lost a whole pound! FINALLY! I saw the scale move! I did not expect to see any progress, especially because I got lazy and didn't track my food for the last 2 days, but thanks to being a pound down, I am refreshed and newly inspired to keep doing the right things. Hallelujah! I was truly starting to lose faith in the tried and true methods that work. <BR> <BR> This unexpected pound of progress brought to you by... <BR> - laying off coffee (I just haven't been that into it over the past week. Not all that intent... Thu, 25 May 2017 11:10:08 EST Hoping I'm on the right track This week I weighed in .3 pounds less than the week before. Not a big win, but a little one. I'll take a little one if I can get anther little win, and then another, and then another... <BR> I didn't do much of anything differently, and actually thought I'd had more cheat days than in the previous weeks, but maybe I finally kicked my body into gear so that we can get on this journey together. I'm definitely hopeful. <BR> <BR> I'm a little discouraged and tired, so I'm choosing to forego the ... Thu, 18 May 2017 18:25:48 EST Oh, Come ON! (Or OFF, as it were) Weighed in today (forgot on Monday morning, but Sunday I did not stay in my intake allotment, so it might be for the best), and I am once again holding steady. <BR> COME ON! <BR> Even on "cheat days" when I'm not staying strictly within my intended calorie limits, I'm still staying below my calorie burn. I'm 4 weeks in, having averaged 500-1000 more calories burned than eaten, tracking my intake every day, wearing my Fitbit like it's my wedding band, and the darn scale won't budge! I know I'... Tue, 9 May 2017 10:48:23 EST Thought I was discouraged; Turns out I'm OK I got on the scale this morning for my weekly check in, and I thought that I had actually gone UP over the last week despite tracking my food, staying well under my calorie burn as estimated by my Fitbit, and WAY surpassing my daily step goals. I'm not too far on this journey, so it didn't really freak me out, but I was discouraged. I actually had the thought, "maybe I'm going to hard, and need to dial back some. Perhaps I should be looking at less of a calorie deficit." But, when I logged in... Mon, 1 May 2017 13:37:12 EST Guess who's back? Here I am, a few years later, and ready to get back to it. <BR> Since my last post, I shed several pounds, got pregnant, put on too many pounds, had a baby, enjoyed a nice "it didn't come on overnight, and I won't lose it overnight" period of about 20 months, and now I'm ready to take seriously my body weight and wellness again. <BR> My sweet husband has been on this journey with me, and unfortunately for him at no time has he been able to make progress in the "loss" phase. He recently admit... Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:57:25 EST Now I did it... ...and "it" is not a good thing. I have added back all 25 pounds that I lost last year. On the one hand, I'm glad I know now, instead of another 5 pounds from now. On the other hand... <BR> ugh. <BR> So, tonight I will pack my gym bag, and tomorrow I will go to the gym. <BR> Today, I will track my food diligently instead of just in my head. <BR> Tonight, I will make sure I get all of my steps in, and I will so something physical that I don't usually do (like add in a hand-weight routine, or p... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:54:57 EST Did it! Today, for the first time in 6 months, I went to the gym. I ran into my co-worker there. She is fit and toned, and I very much admire her physical wellness. Yes, genetics has something to do with it (she is nearly a foot taller than me, so her muscles already have that lovely, stretched look), but it was encouraging to see that she "gets her sweat on" at the same place I do. If she can achieve her goals there, I can, too. <BR> <BR> First observation - she spends more time than I do. Yes, adm... Fri, 11 Jul 2014 09:00:17 EST Accountability - I need you, reader! Tomorrow I will go to the gym before work. It will be, I think, the first time this calendar year that I achieve that simple goal. The reason I will go and do that is because I am writing it here, and someone will read it, and then I will be accountable to that person. <BR> <BR> Please let me know if you read this. I really need someone to call me on my *stuff tomorrow if I try to not go. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 10:44:36 EST Whatever happened to my endless energy? My weight loss this year has not been as quick and dramatic as last years'. I know the reasons: I'm not going to the gym (working out at home and at the fitness room in my office), I'm not as energetic this year (still figuring out the reason there), and I'm not tracking my food as closely. Nonetheless, I feel like I am making progress. I am down about 5 pounds from where I was at the start of the year. My tracker, for whatever reason, didn't start at my actual weight early on in 2014, so it ... Thu, 15 May 2014 10:17:04 EST Back on the wagon! I love my Fitbit, and I lost it on March 15th. I was at a public arena to watch the Harlem Globetrotters (it was a really fun show! I am so glad I got to go!) and when we got back to the car, I patted myself down to check my steps for the day, and to my dismay, my tracker was gone. The tracker, the clip/case - both gone. I was disappointed, but I also knew that this was a possibility. The case had been deteriorating, and I had it on my to-do list to replace it, but I hadn't gotten around to t... Wed, 26 Mar 2014 10:21:30 EST Truth-telling to Myself Adding the Aria to my wellness routine is all about telling myself the truth about my wellness, and deciding what I want to do, and am willing to do, to improve my current state of health and ability. Stepping on for the first time was intimidating, and it yielded positive and not-so-positive results. <BR> The not-so-positive: I am up 11 pounds from my lowest weight last year. <BR> The positive: My BMI is lower, and my lean mass higher, than I was thinking it would be. Even though my weight i... Fri, 10 Jan 2014 10:10:30 EST Today, I add the Aria I received a Fitbit Aria (the super fancy scale) for Christmas, and today I am going to figures it out. I tried to tell myself that I would start using it on New Year's Day, but I got scared. Today I will do as deep clean of the master bath, which needs it, and then figure out what the Aria needs from me in order to work. <BR> I'm not too concerned about knowing the truth about my weight. I know that I've been creeping up in pounds recently so it won't register the svelt 125 I optimistically... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 06:00:37 EST I'm ok with looking crazy I kicked my shoes off, picked them up, and proceeded to dance like the girl in Flashdance. I even softly sang "she's a maniac, maaaaaniac that's for sure..." as I pumped my arms and legs with enthusiasm. I was looking crazy, and I didn't let it bother me. <BR> <BR> It might sound like something I do when I get home after a long and hard commute. Yes, on occasion I do, but this was actually the scene at about 11 am when I took a sanity break from my desk. If I had witnesses, they might tell m... Thu, 26 Sep 2013 15:51:05 EST Slipping up Nothing tragic, and probably can be blamed on the long weekend in the mountains with WAY too much food at every meal, but I'm up by 5 lbs. I'm not feeling tragic, but I am bummed. Bummed is the first step toward motivation for me, so I'm interpreting this as a good thing. <BR> Like I said, no tragedy, but I am inspired to have my protein shake for lunch instead of going to the building lobby for Moe's. They come every week, and foregoing them once in a while isn't a bad thing. I don't get a h... Thu, 19 Sep 2013 11:12:21 EST Mighty Meaty Meat Oh, Brazilian Steakhouse. You kill me. <BR> Well, not kill, but maim. <BR> Most accurately, you bring my insides to a standstill. <BR> <BR> It has been YEARS since I went to a Brazilian steakhouse, and my husband had never gone. For our anniversary, we decided, what the heck? We ate light yesterday during the day, and then stuffed meat in our mouths for dinner. It was delicious. It was so much meat that I began to feel a little high by the end. High off too much meat. <BR> <BR> So far tod... Wed, 11 Sep 2013 12:41:25 EST Happy Anniversary to me! Two years, and heading for forever! <BR> The original reason I signed up for SparkPeople about 2.5 years ago was to help me lose some extra pounds before my wedding. SP helped me a lot then, and continued as an important part of my life while I continue my wellness journey. My SP friends have come and gone, but my lessons, and the way I interact with my body, my food decisions, and my inner voice that has to balance the way I look in the mirror vs. the way things "should" look according to fa... Tue, 10 Sep 2013 10:01:09 EST Incredible Energy! FYI - Some men might find this entry to contain "too much information." I think most ladies will be able to handle it. <BR> <BR> I had forgotten what this feels like! I woke up today with what can only be described as Incredible Energy! I used to feel like this on a fairly regular basis, but over the last few years I could tell my default energy level was lower than it once was. I attributed this to settling down, working a desk job, no longer being a college kid, etc. I found that I more ob... Tue, 3 Sep 2013 13:37:43 EST Great Article on Happiness I am often accused of being a happy person, and I love that. Just the other day, the relatively new employee at my office invited me to lunch because I always seem so positive to her. I haven't learned to love this new employee yet, but I appreciate her for the skills she brings to a challenging job, and I am excited to get to know her better. <BR> <BR> Enter this article about happiness that SparkPeople put on the start page today:<BR>ss_articles.a... Thu, 29 Aug 2013 10:12:06 EST Sometimes a little thing is a big thing! And for my husband, a little thing like his blood pressure numbers, is a big thing! <BR> A couple of years ago, at age 30, my husband was diagnosed with high blood pressure and put on prescription medication to help lower his numbers. He changed prescriptions a time or two, was on the medicine for almost 3 years, and recently started to consistently "forget" to take the pill. I was upset by this, but I also know my husband is not one to appreciate being reminded. I know he needs to make anoth... Wed, 24 Jul 2013 10:49:07 EST Pomodoro Technique I think I'm late to the party, but a coworker introduced me to the idea of the Pomodoro Technique a few months ago, and I finished the *free* downloadable .pdf version of the book this morning. You can read it yourself here: <BR> I've decided to give it a try. I've printed some of the sheets that are used for tracking (I need to make copies, but that won't cost me any time), I've got a plan to try a downloaded timer for now, and to purchase one laterthis week... Mon, 22 Jul 2013 10:59:28 EST Alive and Kicking You wouldn't have known it last week if you checked my FitBit feed, but I am still alive, and am now able to get back into the swing of things! <BR> For those who might follow my postings regularly, there was MORE health drama. I am not used to this, and hope it isn't a symptom of being 30-something. I would hate to think I'll be out to pasture by 40, but if this is what is meant by "your body changes", I object! <BR> The latest: I came down with an ear infection and was put on Amoxicilin on ... Tue, 9 Jul 2013 12:38:55 EST Harley Quin Butt - This blog rated PG-13 I have to admit, I feel a little self-conscious writing about this where it can be seen publicly, but I'm also kind of proud. <BR> My dear husband and I are both video game players. We have different styles of game that we like. He likes the long-form narrative-type games where you are the main character on some type of epic adventure. I find these to be like really long choose-your-own-adventure movies, and I enjoy watching his progress. I will often workout in the same room while he plays... Thu, 27 Jun 2013 10:30:04 EST Insult to Injury Note to reader: I'm just complaining. No need to fix the problem, because the problem is all attitude. The way I fix mine is to gripe for a minute, and then I get over it. Yes, it is a silly coping mechanism, but it works for me. <BR> <BR> Can't I catch a break?! May ended up not being a great month for me health-wise because I set my step goal too high, and then was traveling and sick for a good part of the month. No worries - I started over for June. <BR> June has been wildly busy for wor... Tue, 25 Jun 2013 16:53:05 EST Why I didn't make it in May I came up just a few thousand steps short of my goal in May. To be exact, I completed 493,894 of my 500,000 step goal for the month. A mere 6,106 steps, or less than 3 miles short, but I didn't do it. Here's why: <BR> In May, I gave up on having a life, and was just stepping. <BR> <BR> I stopped going to the gym, and instead I just stayed on the Gazelle for HOURS every evening so that I could get my steps for that day. I declined invitations to go out and be with friends if they weren't will... Tue, 11 Jun 2013 13:53:31 EST Final Day: A-MAY-zing Month This month I allowed myself to be step-obsessed. I wanted to make my Fitbit overjoyed every day, and I wanted to achieve that by taking 500,000 steps during the month of May. <BR> I have had some set-backs, which meant that some really high-quantity stepping was in order this week. I was feeling under-motivated this morning, so I took some time during the lunch hour to determine exactly how far I've come, and how far I have to go. Here are the numbers: <BR> <BR> May 1-7, I took 79,462 steps.... Fri, 31 May 2013 12:31:17 EST My new normal? I have weighed about 125 pounds for about 2 months now, and it feels really good! Yes, I had an initial goal of getting down to 115, which would be a total loss of about 30 pounds, but maybe a loss of 20 pounds is more realistic for me. No, I'm not giving up, but I am allowing myself to move slightly away from the "I've gotta lose weight" mentality and into the "I've gotta stay fit and active" mentality. I like my current activity level (although some days I want to take a break) and I like m... Thu, 30 May 2013 10:04:34 EST 100,000 steps in 4 days Think I can do it? <BR> I was really on a roll to meet my goal of 500,000 steps in the month of May until late last week. On Friday I fell victim to the "I don't feel good"s after something I ate returned with a vengeance. I didn't get around much that day, and my step total was very low (less than 5,000). <BR> On Saturday, I was back to feeling good, and so my hubby and I went to the lake. It was not a particularly active day (mostly sitting and chatting with old friends) but I forgot my Fi... Tue, 28 May 2013 12:39:03 EST Why I Love Going to the Dentist I must say, there is nothing better than going to the Dentist's office after a positive life change. Since it is the dentist, you probably don't see her/him more than every 6 months, so they get to show genuine shock and awe at your new self. Yesterday morning as I approached the patient's chair my hygienist said "You've lost weight. Like, a lot. You look great!" Gotta love that. <BR> <BR> Mere days ago, I was wondering if I would make my goal of 500,000 steps during the month of May. Fear n... Thu, 23 May 2013 14:43:18 EST Setback for my A-May-zing month I just now came up with the word "a-May-zing" as a way to describe this month. Corny? Yes. Am I going with it? Yes. <BR> I started May with a serious sense of renewal. I set a goal of achieving 500,000 steps for the month recorded on my Fitbit (that is an average of about 16,200 steps per day, which is more than 400% of the Average American's step habit!) and getting to my gym 3 times per week to make more lean muscle so my bikini will look extra good. I was even hoping to shed a couple more... Mon, 13 May 2013 10:50:41 EST A FREE fabulous book for business This is about mental health and happiness in the workplace more than physical wellness - my usual topic. <BR> <BR> For anyone looking for an easy read that can help you be a more effective, better-liked, and more well-rounded leader, here's one that is FREE for a limited time! <BR> <BR> Love Works by Joel Manby <BR> <BR> I have a hard copy, and read it in a couple of evenings. It is a great book and the principles have helped me greatly in my work life. Download for free here: http://www.a... Fri, 3 May 2013 14:03:35 EST May renewal Early April I achieved a goal, and it felt great! It was thrilling to see my scale all the way down to 125 - the lowest it has been in probably 5 years or more. Additionally, I feel good, I look good, and I even had a friend teasingly tell me, "I'm going to need you to stop losing weight, ok? You look a little too good." (Actresses say that kind of stuff. If you aren't friends with any, you should find one. They make fantastic cheerleaders.) <BR> I pretty much rested on my laurels for the mo... Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:38:15 EST Fired Up: It Is Not A Good Joke I am a fiery person - meaning I can take hold of a piece of fuel and it literally warms me up while I work through it. This fuel is not the type I like, but it really get me going. <BR> My friend Tracy had this as her Facebook status when I saw it this morning: <BR> <BR> I was a block away when I saw him pin the other boys' arms behind his back, then he pushed him into the trunk of the car and closed it! I turned off my blinker and headed straight towards them. The older boy was laughing ner... Thu, 25 Apr 2013 11:26:51 EST Zip line! Pictures are worth so much more than words, so here are some favorites from my Zip Line experience with my husband yesterday. We were at North Georgia Canopy Tours for the 2.5 hour Sky Bridge zip tour. Tons of fun! We highly recommend it, or another zip experience, for anyone looking to enjoy the great outdoors. <BR> A quick note - if you have dry or sensitive skin like me, wear extra moisturizer and take some to replenish after the experience. My face was red from wind-burn by the end. It we... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 11:00:14 EST Goal Obtained! <em>362</em> <BR> Yeah! That's me! The hottie with the hand weight! <BR> I jumped on the scale this morning not expecting much. I mean, I weighed in at the doctor's office this week at 129.5, so I was expecting right around that. Given, my home weigh-ins are before breakfast and often after morning cardio (hey, losing water weight can count if you're consistent!) and naked, and the doc's weigh-in was at 11 am, post breakfast and post replenishing water and fully clothes except shoes, but s... Thu, 11 Apr 2013 10:32:02 EST I am terrifying, apparently I took a walk during my lunch today. It was lovely! Spring has arrived in Atlanta, and I couldn't resist the chance at some Vitamin D, so out I went. <BR> I encountered several companions of the avian variety, including these geese who posed for a photo. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I did shock and dismay a gentleman who was heading out from his building, I am assuming for lunch. He was engrossed in some action on his smart phone when I saw him... Wed, 10 Apr 2013 14:01:49 EST Extra pounds are like house guests Not always, but sometimes, I think that extra pounds are like house guests. This came to mind today because a co-worker who has been working really hard on her fitness and weight loss shared that she is down 7 lbs! She shared that she had been struggling with just a pound here, half-pound there, but then suddenly it all came off! Here's my completely unscientific take on it: <BR> <BR> Pounds are like house guests. They show up, and we are happy to have them. We think the cheesecake or dinner... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 13:20:14 EST It's my birthday! (And my Achilles is inflamed.) Happy Birthday to me! I'm like a little kid for my birthday. I don't need a big party, but I love receiving birthday wishes, cards, pats on the back - it makes me feel special. This day and age with social media wishes coming in at every moment is great for me. I feel encouraged and loved by so many friends and acquaintances from so many various walks of life - it is really fun for me. <BR> <BR> But my plan for today isn't going to be what I had in mind originally. I was going to hit the gym... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 06:29:31 EST Almost there! <img src=""> <BR> I think this one is going to come up sideways, but that pic is of me and Badass Dash Teammate Jonathan. Tomorrow is race day! I made bandanas for the team from a scrap of fabric that i had at the house. <BR> <BR> I woke up with a sneeze and a little congestion this morning, but I'm just going to drink a lot of fluids, eat wholesome foods, and not worry too much about it. A coworker brought her cold to the office 4 days ... Fri, 29 Mar 2013 09:12:59 EST Bragging, sorry This is bragging, pure and simple, and I know it. I am proud of my accomplishment, and I'm so happy to be able to share it. If bragging is going to bother you, stop reading now and know that I'm on your side and hope you have something to brag about soon. <BR> <BR> Ready? <BR> <BR> I'm wearing my "skinny" slacks! Last night I was bemoaning that I needed to get to Goodwill to purchase clothes that fit me better. We ended up being too busy to get that done, so this morning as I was getting dr... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 15:31:32 EST Man, I hope I'm a Baddie <link><BR>gia.html </link> <BR> I am participating in the BadA-- Dash this Saturday at Stone Mountain Park, and today I learned that the map is up. Oh my goodness... I think it looks completely do-able and I'm looking forward to the challenge, but it makes me a little nervous to think that on Saturday I'm going to be out of my house, out of my comfort zone, on a 7 kilometer trail AND conquering obstacles like the "Treacherous Tires" and "Hellacious Hurdl... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 10:57:16 EST Community is everything This is what I avoided today: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> A lovely offer from an anonymous co-worker. You know how I avoided it? The willpower of a SparkFriend who goes by "WheatOnTrial". She would have had no problem saying no to an offer like this, so I decided to take a leaf from her book and look, smile, and walk away. She's on a wheat-free streak, and while I don't have any aspiration to be wheat-free, I can see the value of saying no t... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 11:46:47 EST Cure for a stiff neck? Better yet, what are the causes? I was walking through the Botanical Garden yesterday evening with my husband, having a great time, when the right side of my neck and shoulder just stiffened up. No warning, and no clue why. I took off my purse and carried it in both hands to see if maybe I had just left it on that shoulder too long, and it made no difference. I stretched, I breathed into it, I did neck and shoulder rolls... Nada. <BR> <BR> When we got home, I continued to give my shoulder at... Fri, 22 Mar 2013 09:08:04 EST WOWEE, FITBIT! I love my Fitbit. I received it at the end of 2012 as a Christmas gift, and thanks to its truth-telling, I have been making some real change in my habits and lifestyle. The changes have resulted in 15 pounds of lost weight, more energy, more sex appeal, and a happier me! I'm still on my journey, but the Fitbit has been an awesome companion so far. <BR> <BR> I wrote to Fitbit to express my adoration (they have an email that is something like "") and appreciation for the ... Wed, 20 Mar 2013 10:55:22 EST I was bad this weekend... But today begins a new week, and all is not lost. <BR> <BR> Actually Saturday was alright, so I should clarify and say that I was bad yesterday. I started the day fine with a healthy, moderate breakfast. I even made active choices (went to play Paintball, walked to and from the pub for St. Patrick's Day fun), but my food choices were abhorrent! I drank 2 beers, had fish and chips, and ate TONS of popcorn at the movies last night. Ugh! <BR> <BR> The good news is, I'm not beating myself up. Y... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 10:54:50 EST Thinny-People Habits During my fitness journey, I've been tucking away observations here and there that I think will help me. Here are some behaviors of some of the thin folks that I have observed and that I think translate to some of the reason why they are thinner than others around them. <BR> <BR> 1) Eschew the Spoon <BR> Thin people don't use spoons nearly as often as an average eater. They might use a spoon to stir lemon into their water or tea, but then it sits unused. Compare that to those who clean thei... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 14:59:17 EST My Time "It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” James Gordon <BR> <BR> Personal triumph: I checked my scale again this morning, and checked off another pound lost! <BR> <BR> Now to the blog: <BR> In the breakroom today, I had finished my lunch (I eat unfortunately quickly) in about 7 minutes, and was chatting while a few folks filed in and out, heating soups, cutting apples, etc. Someone asked "So, are you just hangin... Wed, 13 Mar 2013 14:09:56 EST Ain't Skeered At lunch today with co-workers, the latest Diet News made it back into the headlines. You know what I'm talking about - a quick 'round the room occurs and everyone says what they are no longer eating, eating more of, giving up for Lent, Hawaii, the rest of their life, etc. A lot of fad diets are mentioned and poor dietary advice is given, but we all politely nod our heads because that person has every right to choose how they want to fuel their body and I have no authority to tell them that t... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 16:23:50 EST Clearly, I've stepped it up Whether I wanted to or not, my last few workouts have definitely been on a new, tougher level, because I am SORE! I took it easy yesterday after hitting the gym in the morning. I still feel it a little today, which isn't crazy unbelievable, but it is a bit out of character. I did stretch out after the workout, and that might be what added to the soreness. It isn't that I feel too tight or like my muscles are full of acid, but I have that good soreness that you get when you did just the right ... Mon, 11 Mar 2013 10:03:53 EST So slouchy today I have a mood indicator on my desk which was set to "bouncy" from yesterday. A co-worker came by, took one look at it and then me, and said "Oh no, we need to change that" as he picked it up and changed my mood to "fuzzy." I think he's right. <BR> <BR> Maybe it is the Friday wind-down, maybe it is the 16,000+ (yeah!) steps I took yesterday, and maybe I'm getting a head cold, but I am incredibly slouchy today. A little stuffed in my nose, and a little scratchy in my throat... I just don't wan... Fri, 8 Mar 2013 10:06:24 EST