CHOCOHIPPO's SparkPeople Blog CHOCOHIPPO's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Wow, I fell hard, but I dusted myself off and I'm back up! When I last wrote, I was trying to find a way to continue the momentum of the health and wellness program we were having at work. I joined another Sparkgroup thinking it would help as it was already set up as a program...and I tried but failed. Truthfully, I work hard at my job and it takes up a lot of hours per week (certainly more than 40), and was spending several hours a week also working out, meal planning, shopping, preparing, etc. The fact is, I was totally burnt out on all of it. ... Mon, 9 Dec 2013 09:52:53 EST I love this community and other random thoughts... Thanks so much for those of you who commented on my blog from yesterday. I appreciate the early birthday wishes, support and encouragement. <BR> <BR> I did want to address a concern that some of you had regarding my caloric intake. I'm one of those people who does not lose any weight at all if I consume too many calories, even though I'm fairly active. I lose best between 1200 and 1350 per day. I can gain on 1500, even though SP tells me it's the top of my range. When I have super activ... Tue, 13 Aug 2013 11:08:06 EST Things are looking up... I have tried a new way of eating that is supposed to be wonderful for us post-menopausal women. It's a plan through Rodale/Prevention magazine and it involves eating fairly clean and every two hours. This is more of a challenge than you might imagine as I get up at 5:15 every morning, which generates an extra snack per day with a calorie allowance of 1200-1300 daily. The snacks are generally fruits, vegetables, nuts and occasionally whole grains. And while I'm at work and not always hyper... Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:09:16 EST I figured something out.... I am in the throes of poor menopausal sleep, as well as a sufferer from Restless Leg Syndrome (had a sleep study done and was diagnosed years ago). I've been hot/cold/hot/cold covers on and off, several nights in a row. Last night, I came home from work later than planned and really tired. The rain (it's rainy season here in southwest Florida) hit about the time I was heading home. So instead of the invigorating walk or bike ride, I'd envisioned, I sat my tired achy body down on the couch... Tue, 16 Jul 2013 11:07:33 EST My Wellness Challenge Results First, let me say that it was hard for me at the end of this challenge as so many of my co-workers who are new to the ways of healthy eating and exercise had some very dramatic results, while I, who have been towing the mark for six years, had positive results, but far less dramatic. I had to take a moment to think about my journey and all it has encompassed and to realize that much of my "dramatic" progress happened years ago (and in the past 60 lbs.). <BR> <BR> Now for the results: <BR> ... Fri, 12 Jul 2013 09:28:42 EST Challenge Update The wellness challenge is over....I gave it everything I had. While my eating was imperfect and I missed ten days of exercise due to extreme illness, I gave it my best shot. I'm smaller than I was three months ago. I had my blood draw done on Wednesday and will be meeting with my counselor on Monday evening to get the results. What am I hoping for? Well, some weight loss, of course, but I know that I achieved that based on wearing a size smaller, more muscle tone, which I achieved (I lif... Fri, 5 Jul 2013 09:28:34 EST Update: Wellness Challenge Wow. Time has been just flying by! I can't believe we're in the final two weeks of our wellness challenge. Aside from a recent illness, where I didn't work out for about 10 days (in the chest, not the head), I've been working out hard and regularly. During the time of my illness (not completely over it yet), I was careful to stick to my low end of calories since I wasn't able to do my usual workouts. I am so excited to find out the results of this challenge. <BR> <BR> I can see some v... Tue, 18 Jun 2013 12:57:47 EST The Spark Solution - Week One Today we have been asked to review our progress on The Spark Solution. I had a great week and wanted to share my results with you all. <BR> <BR> I decided to try the Spark Solution because, truthfully, I was getting bored with my diet and exercise plan, I had been at a plateau for several weeks, and was looking forward to blasting past the barrier. I want to reach the end of the weight loss part of my journey to wellness. <BR> <BR> At the end of the first week, I found that the food reall... Sun, 19 May 2013 15:31:53 EST Update It's been five weeks now on the wellness challenge through work and I'm not 100% where I'd like to be, but I'm doing well. If I had to give myself a letter grade, it would be a B+. <BR> <BR> What is going well? I've religiously done my strength training twice a week since the challenge started and do all seven of my machines each time. I've increased the weights several times. At the end of my last workout, it told me that I lifed 7,550 lbs. that day (15 reps, 2 sets per machine). It ma... Fri, 10 May 2013 13:13:39 EST It's still a work in progress I am in the third week of the health challenge at work and I feel really strong in my efforts to participate, but not quite at 100% of where I'd like to be yet. My children came in last Wednesday (until yesterday) to spend the week with me and I had to come up with a viable alternative plan that would work for the challenge and for me, without having too much of an impact on the time I spent with my family. Phew. Some challenge. <BR> <BR> So I did strength training on consequtive days (wi... Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:29:46 EST Week One - Completed! I have completed the first week of my health and fitness challenge, which began on April 1st. I was able to accomplish everything I set out to do with one exception: <BR> <BR> YAY's! <BR> <BR> 1) Completed two days of strength training, setting up 5 of 7 machines for additional 5 lbs for week two. Strength - YES <BR> 2) Completed Zumba 4 times, power walked two times (due to pain, opted not to run). Cardio - YES <BR> 3) Ate mindfully, following my daily food plan - YES <BR> 4) Weigh... Mon, 8 Apr 2013 10:56:50 EST It's happening... Did another early morning workout at the new gym today. Did all seven of my strength training machines, doing two full sets of 15 reps each. Decided to challenge myself more next week by upping the weights on a few of the machines because it didn't feel like I was working hard enough. We'll see how much difference those five pounds will make. I bet it will be a big one. <BR> <BR> I've put in a lot of sweat equity this week and have worked my plan really well, with the exception of today.... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 23:14:47 EST Day One: And she's off... I'm proud to tell you all that I got up at my regular time,started up my Keurig, put the coffee in a travel mug, brushed my teeth, let out the dog, and went to the new health club and did my strength training. This evening, I grabbed my husband and my dog and we went for a walk. Great start. YAY1 Mon, 1 Apr 2013 21:23:54 EST It starts tomorrow... So I went to the new gym on Friday evening for my wellness challenge and we discussed how I could up my exercise regime and make sure I'm working on everything I need to so that I'm successful. I'm working out the schedule tonight, but it boils down to five to six days of cardio (making sure I'm doing interval training), two days of strength, two days of flexibility and a lot of stretching. I'm also supposed to give myself a rest day, but it's okay to walk the dog that day. So I'm trying t... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 18:06:55 EST An opportunity too good to pass up... My organization is offering a health and wellness challenge starting April 1st. As part of the HR team, that is helping this along, I wanted to get involved. But for selfish reasons, beyond work, as I'm getting closer to my goals, I wanted to use it as a springboard to find out where I'm at, what's working, what isn't, what more I can do, other adjustments I can make, all offered by trained professionals. They also offer a free three month gym membership and some great classes that I can t... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 10:28:30 EST Another day, another goal....phew! This weekend I had a couple of goals that I hoped to accomplish. The first one is that I was attending a three hour Zumbathon. My goal was to accomplish going all out and dancing for all three hours...and I did it!!!!! I had a lot of fun, I was a bit achy yesterday, but I did it. And that was after having been sick for most of the week. I rocked it! <BR> <BR> The other goal was that I had been flirting with the 140's for the past few weeks. I worked out hard, ate healthy, and limped my... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 19:55:05 EST Why are there never as many hours as you need? So here is my dilemma, it's ongoing and annoying, I have only 24 hours in a day. My workday takes up at least 8 hours, sometimes more, and my commute adds an additional hour per day. I workout most days for anywhere from 30 to 120 minutes, most days coming in at a respectable hour. I meal plan, cook healthy meals, log, blog, post, clean, do laundry, take care of the doggy and my husband (not necessarily in that order), and lastly, myself. I carve out time to stay in touch with my daughter... Mon, 11 Mar 2013 11:06:05 EST Made it through the week...phew! I am so glad to see this week end. I struggled all week long with being overtired, wanting to eat beyond my calories, making time for my workouts, doing my strength training (I got all three in) and the only casualty was a day of running. I'm going to do my long run on Sunday. I'm excited to have built up my stamina. Again, my fellow butterflies, I would never have made it through without all of your caring and support. Looking forward to the next challenge.... <BR> <em>88</em> Fri, 8 Mar 2013 23:24:16 EST This is not easy....but it's good... This has not been an easy week. It's been crazy busy. I'm super tired. And my schedule has been off, but I'm keeping my promises to myself and to the group. And I realized that it's easy enough to do, if you keep your eye on the prize. And you are honest with yourself. And you have a contingency plan...or two....or three. Most of all, the only reason this is easy for me, is that I have the support of my Sparkfriends and fellow butterflies! Your encouragement and warmth mean so much! Thu, 7 Mar 2013 22:28:21 EST Day 5: What can I do better? Well, this week is another fun-packed, filled to the brim week, which means getting everything done is a challenge. I have overscheduled myself and am struggling to get everything done I need to (like online traffic school, have to have it done tonight. Did a bunch of it last night). So I'd have to say, less procrastination, and less overscheduling would help. How has that affected my goal for this week? Well, I'm having some trouble getting my ST in, although I did do it last night and ... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 14:21:15 EST How is it going so far? I've been working hard on developing my new habit, adding strength training to my exercise program. I found something I liked (Sparkpeople Body Sculpting DVD) and decided which routine I'd add to which day, and added it to my calendar....and then, epic fail. I ended up staying far later at work last night than I'd intended, had to stop at the Vitamin Shoppe to pick up a couple of supplements I'd run out of, and then went home and made dinner, which was more labor intensive than I'd imagined... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 16:36:39 EST How I will encourage and motivate myself to succeed Well, I have a strength training video scheduled for today, but it's getting late, and I'm not sure I'll get it done. So, worst case scenario, I will move it to tomorrow morning instead of tonight. But I'm trying to rally some energy to complete this task tonight. <BR> <BR> I hadn't really thought about any kind of reward system, as doing the workout should be reward enough, but I like the idea. So if I do my three days of strength training this week, I will reward myself with a new sport... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 22:31:45 EST My new habit, day two So I covered a lot of ground in yesterday's blog. I posted my habit and my plan. And got lots of sparklove and support, which I greatly appreciate. <BR> <BR> So today, I wanted to elaborate on my plan. I took my home daily calendar and wrote in the days that I want to do my strength training, then I decided which of my dvd's I was going to do on those days. I've committed to at least 20 minutes of ST on those days. I start tomorrow, most likely after work. I'm looking forward to it. I... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 20:44:25 EST A new habit.... I've been charged as part of my Winter to Spring 5% team to develop a new habit. <BR> <BR> I've developed several habits I'm very proud of that have helped me achieve my current level of success. I now drink 8-10 glasses of water daily, drink soda/pop only one time per week. I work out 4-5 times per week, a mixture of Zumba, running, walking, and stretching. I eat healthy and within guidelines pretty much 7 days per week. So what new habit can I add? <BR> <BR> Well, I've not been terrib... Sat, 2 Mar 2013 19:27:02 EST The thrill of victory...the agony of defeat! Well, I had such a great week the week before last and then...I blew it. I had three bad nights last week and I didn't lose anything (but thankfully I also didn't gain). My husband will not be travelling for the next several weeks and I intend to use this time to develop and implement a few new "safety controls" for my emotional overeating, something I tend not to do much of when he's home. <BR> <BR> I used to have a little dollar store bucket that I filled with "distractors" like readin... Mon, 25 Feb 2013 10:32:11 EST The beast was definitely tamed this week...and giving permission Yesterday, I went home just exhausted. I'd been averaging about 5 hours of sleep every night, and had a busy workweek, and just came home pooped. To add to that, I got out of work late on Tuesday night, so only did Zumba, not my 30 minute Couch to 5K. I planned to try to do it on Wednesday, but it didn't work with all of the things I needed to do, so again, I just did Zumba. I decided I'd run outside yesterday, so I could be home at a reasonable time and get to bed early. It poured all d... Fri, 15 Feb 2013 11:35:38 EST I fought the best last night... and won! Last night I was baking (healthy) valentine goodies for my co-workers and my husband after working a full day and going to a high energy Zumba class. I was tired which is when my resistance to emotional overeating is way down. I was so tempted....and a few times I reached for some "stuff" to eat....but put it back down. I stayed within my range last night and it was a battle I fought several times, but I slayed the beast and I won. And today, a couple of the treats I made are on... Thu, 14 Feb 2013 10:05:17 EST I am coping so much better now... Thanks to all of you who have read and commented on my blogs. I have been working really hard to get used to my husband's new schedule and to do better with handling my emotions. I am proud to say that I have done really well so far this week and have curbed overeating. I've been better organized and feel like I'm more in control in general, which seems to help me not to emotionally overeat. <BR> <BR> I am now in preps for the 5% winter to spring challenge and I'm excited to give it my be... Tue, 12 Feb 2013 23:10:39 EST I am struggling....but staying strong This week I decided to give myself a gift. The gift of doing what I feel I need to do for myself. I am taking the time I need to get things done so that I can sleep at night. Tonight I paid bills rather than work out, but it really needed to be done. My husband's new job has been tough on me. On both of us, really. He is traveling a lot and I miss him. It also leaves me responsible for everything else. I am also under a lot of stress at work. I keep asking my boss to tell me what her... Tue, 5 Feb 2013 21:23:21 EST The end of a cruddy week and onwards... Last week was a very bad week. I dropped my husband at the airport very early on Monday morning, headed home sad, and got...a speeding ticket, all before 5am! I was super tired at work, our new dog walker couldn't get my dog to come out of her crate or stop barking at her, I paid a few too many bills, so was done to a couple of hundred dollars, and then found out that my husband's company had made arrangements for him to rent a car, but without his new company credit card, ended up taking a... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 20:24:18 EST Why? Why not? I have now begun my 7th year on my weight loss journey. When I began this 6 years ago, I weighed 205.5 lbs at 5'2". I carried all of my weight in my stomach and looked pregnant. I started exercising and then began physical training. A couple of week later, I began Weight Watchers. I lost weight slowly and realized after a bit, that the Weight Watchers program was not the right one for me. I had to force myself to eat all of my points on many days. I got sick, stopped working out, gaine... Mon, 7 Jan 2013 20:09:41 EST Tada......Drum Roll Please..... I am down one pound!!!!! The weigh in went great. Although I was fine seeing the results, it was nice to have the verification on the scale. Next week, I hope to see even more. I've been really rocking it! Sat, 5 Jan 2013 22:18:47 EST Tomorrow is the first weigh in of 2013.... or as I like to call it, the rest of my life. This is the year I will finally reach my goal. I dodged another cake at work today (even though it looked amazing). I have been working out really hard all week and carefully planning my meals, my workouts, etc. Even though I'm not sure what story the scale will tell, I feel good, I'm feeling that good ache that comes with strength training and I feel like my body is looking so much better than it did. I am curious to see what the scale has t... Fri, 4 Jan 2013 22:25:51 EST week 1, 2013 This has been a good start to my goals for 2013. I have worked hard to get my steps in this week. While I haven't reached 10K every day, I will average it by the end of the week. I have worked out several times, have added some strength training and toning into my routine and am eating really healthy. Feel my resolve is strong as is my focus. Stay tuned... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 20:18:41 EST A New Year's Wish May your days be filled with happiness <BR> May you love what you do and do what you love <BR> May you enjoy being fit and healthy and strong <BR> May you experience love of others <BR> May you experience love of self <BR> May you appreciate all that is good in your life <BR> May you overcome all that is not <BR> May your spark continue to ignite <BR> May you accomplish all that you set out to do. <BR> May we continue to share our journey together. <BR> <BR> Happy New Year! Mon, 31 Dec 2012 19:55:26 EST Goals and planning and research....oh my! It's that time of year. I am working very hard to set up my goals for the new year. I don't believe in resolutions, as I've stated before. I do believe in goals, because they can be met. So here are my goals for 2013: <BR> <BR> 1. To reach my weight loss goal (30 more lbs.) by August 23. <BR> 2. To reach my interim weight loss goal to 138 lbs. by April 1. <BR> 3. To add one additional intense cardio workout weekly. <BR> 4. To add weight training back into my workout schedule 2-3 time... Sun, 30 Dec 2012 22:11:42 EST Seasons Eatings!!!!!! Well, I survived the foodathon of Christmas 2012. I had only one "bad" food day, where I hit the top of my range and beyond. I got everything back under control the next day. I also made sure to work out as much as possible, getting as many steps in daily as I can. I find that any time I do an hour workout, it's easy for me to hit 10,000 steps. Tomorrow I weigh in and I'm hoping to see some positive movement. I see inches melting off, and my size smaller clothes are getting looser and m... Fri, 28 Dec 2012 21:25:55 EST The season is finally done! I don't mean to keep sounding all "humbug" but this is a tough time of year for all of us who are Jewish who don't understand all of the commercialism of the Christmas season. We do understand the religious importance and respect it. We also enjoy giving and receiving gifts in the spirit of love and peace. But we often feel left out because our Christian friends don't stop to acknowledge that there are holidays out there other than Christmas. I appreciate the cards and good wishes even if... Tue, 25 Dec 2012 19:19:10 EST More treats? Bah humbug! This has been a really stressful week. When they talk about the season of giving, I didn't think it meant tons of fattening food and stress. I thought it was about peace on earth and good will towards man. I also have my daughter in town visiting and since I'm working by day, didn't want to exercise at night and have less time with her. I miss my routine. I've not succumbed to temptation, but I've been overtired all week which for some weird reason makes me hungrier. I'm tired of all t... Fri, 21 Dec 2012 20:12:53 EST Stop the Madness.....Please? I am suffering this holiday season big time. Every counter in our office on both floors is groaning with food! From chocolates to cheese puffs, homemade cookies, cakes and gingerbread, all flavors of popcorn, and a couple of Harry and David pears. When I see it, I want it. When I'm overtired I think I'm hungry when I'm not. When I'm stressed I want sweets........AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR<BR>RRRRRRRRRRGH! Enough!!!!!!! I've only succumbed once with one Hershey's kiss. So far....stay... Wed, 19 Dec 2012 20:37:19 EST Merry Fitbit! My Fitbit and I have a strange relationship. I love wearing it. It motivates me to move as much as possible. I also like to see how many calories I burn. But my Fitbit also has magical powers. It is virtually indestructible and water resistant. <BR> <BR> A couple of weeks ago I went to Zumba and when I came home, I got out of my sweaty clothes and showered. I dressed and went out with my husband and realized I hadn't put my Fitbit back on. I put up a load of laundry and after about 5 ... Tue, 18 Dec 2012 23:15:53 EST An interesting conversation with my husband... Saturday nights are date nights for my husband and me. We spent a lovely day yesterday, followed by a healthy and delicious dinner and then on to Dairy Queen for a small hot fudge sundae (I had the calories left for it). <BR> <BR> At dinner we started to talk about my last 30 pounds and why I've always sabotaged myself when I get within 10 pounds of my goal weight. I finally understand what the problem is. In talking with Cliff, it became clear that I was afraid I'd do poorly once I got ... Sun, 16 Dec 2012 21:23:21 EST The doctor's delight I w saw my doctor back in May because I needed some new medication. I had just started to lose the 30+ extra pounds I'd gained after moving to Florida and things weren't going really well. I wasn't finding a job, I felt fat, ugly, self-concious and had little to no self-esteem. The doctor asked me how I was and I began to bawl in his office. He said, let's treat the underlying cause of your symptoms and treat you for depression. Who knew? So for the past several months, I've worked hard... Thu, 13 Dec 2012 22:15:47 EST The twelve days of temptation (at work) - Part II On the first day of temptation my coworkers brought to me a sugar cookie with sprinkles..... <BR> On the second day of temptation my coworkers brought to me two chocolate bar minis and a sugar cookie with sprinkles..... <BR> On the third day of temptation my coworkers brought to me three candy canes, two chocolate bar minis and a sugar cookie with sprinkles.... <BR> On the fourth day of temptation my coworkers brought to me four Hershey's kisses, three candy canes, two chocolate bar minis and... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 22:15:35 EST The twelve days of temptation (at work) - Part I On the first day of temptation my coworkers brought to me a sugar cookie with sprinkles..... <BR> On the second day of temptation my coworkers brought to me two chocolate bar minis and a sugar cookie with sprinkles..... <BR> On the third day of temptation my coworkers brought to me three candy canes, two chocolate bar minis and a sugar cookie with sprinkles.... <BR> On the fourth day of temptation my coworkers brought to me four Hershey's kisses, three candy canes, two chocolate bar minis and... Mon, 10 Dec 2012 21:22:07 EST Another day, another test, another....VICTORY! Today was a crazy busy day at work, but enjoyable. However, today at an orientation I did at the end of the day, my co-worker brought in pizza for the group. She had called and asked me if I drank diet soda or what I'd like. I said I was going to pass on the pizza and probably just drink water. She was very sweet and brought me a bottle of SmartWater (my fave). Then I raced off to Zumba, danced my rump off, and then we had a party with some amazing food. I by-passed my beloved red velve... Fri, 7 Dec 2012 23:15:23 EST Today I followed my plan...success! I went to my lunch meeting today not knowing what would be served. I made sure to eat a filling but lower calorie breakfast, and packed some pistachios and an apple if I needed it later. Went to the meeting and they served various sandwiches. The least lethal was a turkey wrap with american cheese stuffed with tomato and lettuce and a bit of mayo. I had a half-wrap. They also had an amazing pasta salad that was in a cheesy caesar dressing. I had probably less than 1/4 cup. It was reall... Thu, 6 Dec 2012 20:42:56 EST 'Tis the Season... I find this time of year generally easy to navigate because I do my best to stay focused on my goal, but this year I'm struggling. I have lunches out for work, where I have no say in what I'm being served. I have a couple of parties, where I hope to bring something and avoid temptation. I'm doing my best to work out as much as possible to help mitigate excess calories. If I'm served something I have no control of, I intend to eat only a small portion of it (1/3 or 1/2). I will also contr... Wed, 5 Dec 2012 22:26:13 EST Moving right along.... It's been a long time since I've blogged, only because I've been so busy since I've started working and that leads me to my topic for today, which is life. <BR> <BR> I was really dedicated to my health and fitness before I started my job. I wasn't sure how I would be able to deal with the new job, different hours, eating and sleep patterns and still maintain a workable level of success. But I am. I'd like to say it's been easy, but it's been a challenge. <BR> <BR> I'm eating healthy ever... Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:27:37 EST The journey begins with little steps When I rededicated myself to sparking, I changed the way I always did it. I always went full out immediately, burnt myself out, and fell off the wagon. This time, I decided to set up some small but achievable goals and work from there. I started out working out (cardio) 3 times per week for 20 minutes. After a couple of weeks, I increase the time to 45, then 60 and 5 times per week. Now it's six times per week. I added strength training (upper body only due to IT band injury) and starte... Wed, 3 Oct 2012 14:54:57 EST