CLAIREMZM's SparkPeople Blog CLAIREMZM's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Time for a fresh perspective The other day I read a blog about fasting, pointing out that fasting is expected of us, for Jesus said "when" you fast, not "if" you fast. I think I had forgotten about that. It's time to fast. It's time to shift my focus from myself and my desires to God and HIS desires. <BR> <BR> I have found in the past that fasting from food does help to reset my appetite. I tend to get in ruts where food is my panacea. Am I frustrated? I eat to make me feel better. Am I feeling tired? Food makes me wake... Mon, 3 Oct 2016 10:51:26 EST Am I Hungry? Part 1 I just got back from an annual conference. We stay with friends so it's more like a retreat/vacation, and I do a lot of walking since parking is limited. One day I walked 27,104 steps! <BR> <BR> Because I got so much exercise, I didn't worry about WHAT I ate, but I was conscious of when I was eating it. It was easier to eat in a healthy way because our hosts are healthy eaters! That's not to say I didn't eat some cookies or ice cream, but I was aware that I wasn't eating them out of frustrat... Fri, 10 Jun 2016 08:58:49 EST New Challenge: Am I Hungry? I haven't done a challenge for a week or so--my own challenge that I blog about that is. I've been doing the "28 Day Home Workout Challenge" because I cancelled my gym membership (long story for another time) and wanted to prove to myself that I COULD work out effectively without going to the gym. It's been going well in that it is a REAL WORKOUT! <BR> <BR> But I want to be sure that I'm also focusing on my eating habits. I seriously don't think I know what it means to be hungry. That is a b... Fri, 3 Jun 2016 17:58:02 EST Not Eating After 8 p.m. - 4th Report I have learned that I should not post earlier than 9 o'clock about my eating. I ended up eating later last night! <em>2</em> I didn't go bonkers, but I went over calories. Not by a huge amount, but still, over. But I ate because I was hungry and working on a project and wanted the energy. It's debatable as to whether I was really hungry or not. Did I really need the extra energy to finish what I was working on? <BR> <BR> Anyway, tonight I'm really tired and I know I won't be eating anythi... Sat, 21 May 2016 21:13:39 EST Not Eating After 8 p.m. - 3rd Report It's almost 8 p.m. here in Ohio. If I'm going to eat anything, I have 3 minutes. Haha! <BR> <BR> Seriously, I am within calorie range right now and I will not blow it! And I had a little victory tonight. Something happened, I can't remember what it was, but it was something that was a little upsetting for one reason or another, and the thought came into my head: "I want to eat." I thought briefly about doing just that, but remembered that I'm within calorie range now and I don't want to go o... Fri, 20 May 2016 20:00:12 EST Not Eating After 8 p.m. - 2nd Report Today I ate after 8, but the reason was that I did so well in my food choices that I had calories to spare! So I ate a high fiber english muffin, which put me pretty close to my fiber goal and at the lower end of the calorie range. Hooray! Thu, 19 May 2016 22:45:51 EST Not Eating After 8 p.m. - 1st Report Well...I'm doing about 50/50 at this point. On Sunday I ate after 8 because I forgot it was after 8! On Monday, I think I managed to not eat after 8, but I ate a lot of things I shouldn't have. Yesterday was an odd eating day, and I ended up giving in and eating late. <BR> <BR> However, there was little effect on my sleeping. I didn't have trouble sleeping the last two nights. Still, I'm sticking with this. Even if it doesn't help me with my sleeping, it's a discipline that will help me lose... Wed, 18 May 2016 21:56:33 EST Not Eating After 8 p.m. This week I'm experimenting with not eating after 8 p.m. I came upon this idea when I thought that maybe my late night eating was keeping me from falling asleep. <BR> <BR> I've done this for the past few nights, but I'll count tonight as my first day of my experiment. Sat, 14 May 2016 10:46:36 EST Keeping Myself Accountable - Days 5, 6 and 7 I guess I could call this an experimental week. I was able to avoid sweets entirely only for two days. However, on the days I did eat sweets, I didn't eat as much as I have in the past, so I consider that a victory. And I lost almost half a pound this week, so at least the scale was encouraging. <BR> <BR> On to my next weekly challenge: Not eating after 8 p.m. Sat, 14 May 2016 10:43:54 EST Keeping Myself Accountable - Days 3 and 4 Keep forgetting to blog! But at least I'm not forgetting what I'm supposed to be doing. Yesterday I did well staying away from sugary sweets. Today I did well until the very end of the day when I had a couple tablespoons of pumpkin spice chips (like white chocolate with pumpkin spice flavoring.) <BR> <BR> I'm not discouraged by having the pumpkin spice chips tonight as I'm not allowing the eating of one sugary thing to lead to another. However, I do need to be aware of my late night eating--... Mon, 9 May 2016 23:14:46 EST Keeping Myself Accountable - Day 1 and 2 I forgot to blog yesterday, but I did well in avoiding sweets. When I wanted some, I chewed some gum or ate something that wasn't sugary. <BR> <BR> Today isn't over yet, but I did eat a piece of birthday cake from a party I went to. I allowed myself that without guilt, but I won't eat anything else in the "sweets" category for the rest of the day. Sat, 7 May 2016 16:46:50 EST Keeping myself accountable So, I gained weight this week. I know why. It's because I haven't changed my eating habits. I keep "saying" I need to lay off the sweets, but the "saying" hasn't translated to "doing" yet. <BR> <BR> So, for the sake of accountability, I'm going to blog each day for a week about how I did in the area of sweets. Was I able to stay away from sweets? How did I do that? And if I gave in, what was I thinking at the time? Fri, 6 May 2016 10:32:04 EST So, here I am again... Some days I feel just fine about my weight. I think, I'm not THAT overweight. I'm okay. <BR> <BR> Then I realize that the extra weight I'm carrying makes it harder to keep up with my husband when we walk. <BR> <BR> Or I can't bend over to tie my shoes. <BR> <BR> Or I can't curl up on the couch. <BR> <BR> So, I really have to change. I've tried all kinds of methods and fall short, mostly because, well, I just don't stick to it. And I return to the first thought in this blog. <BR> <BR> So,... Wed, 6 Apr 2016 22:28:04 EST SparkPeople STILL has everything I need to reach my weight goal! Way back in January I blogged that everything I need is on SparkPeople--the menus, recipes, videos, community support. But my eating habits remained the same. <BR> <BR> So in February I thought I'd try Weight Watchers for a while, just to get a boost. I figured, I'm paying for this--it should work for me. Well, no. After a month and a half my eating habits remained the same. I knew I wasn't going to go beyond the trial period, and keeping track of points was more complicated than watching ca... Mon, 21 Mar 2016 10:17:30 EST It's all here on SparkPeople! I don't make New Year resolutions, but I do like to make changes in my lifestyle/habits, and I do this all year long. But there is something exciting, really, about the new year. So, in the spirit of New Year's Resolutions, I declare that I will: <BR> <BR> Focus on God and listen to what He wants me to do. <BR> Eat better. <BR> Stay within calorie limits. <BR> Move more, especially walking more. <BR> Be organized with my time. <BR> Stretch myself to do the things I don't necessarily want to ... Sat, 2 Jan 2016 12:29:47 EST Day 9 of Taming My Sweet Tooth Because of an early Thanksgiving family celebration and preparation for a Thanksgiving dinner at church I haven't taken the time to journal in this blog about my sugar cravings. I haven't even read the challenges! So I'm just picking up where the challenge is now. <BR> <BR> The sugar cravings haven't been too bad today. Yay! I have had a little trouble the past few days...honestly, who in their right mind starts something like this around the holiday season? Haha! But, overall, my cravings h... Sat, 28 Nov 2015 19:00:27 EST Day 2 of Taming Your Sweet Tooth It's near the end of the day and, surprisingly, I haven't really craved sweets today, even after eating a chocolate chip cookie today. It was probably because of the setting--I was at an outdoor event where our church was doing an outreach and I didn't bring anything to eat. So whatever those who were working with me brought to me, I ate. Surprisingly, after I entered the food I ate, I still didn't go over calories. Yay! <BR> <BR> But I need to note how many times and when I craved sweets, a... Sat, 21 Nov 2015 21:15:08 EST Joined the "Tame Your Sweet Tooth" Challenge My sweet tooth has been going crazy lately! Seriously, to the point of knowing that this isn't healthy. <BR> <BR> So when I saw the "Tame Your Sweet Tooth" challenge, I figured it would probably be a good idea. I need to do SOMETHIING about it. And since I'm voluntarily removing myself from Facebook for a while, I can take some time to blog about it. <BR> <BR> Yesterday was Day 1, and basically it was just making the decision to do this. Today is Day 2 and I am to begin to note the times wh... Sat, 21 Nov 2015 11:21:42 EST "Oops, I did it again." Remember that Britney Spears song from 2000? I have to admit all I know is a small part of it, and that is, basically, the title of this blog. So, if you think this blog is about that song, it's not. <BR> <BR> It's just about slipping back into bad habits. <BR> <BR> Again. <BR> <BR> I'm not about to give up, although I have thought about it. It's so hard sometimes! And it's not like I have that much weight to lose--30 pounds would be enough to put me in a healthy range. <BR> <BR> But the... Wed, 28 Oct 2015 22:25:35 EST How quickly I forget! Sometimes I think about the passage in James: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (1:22-24) <BR> <BR> Now, I know that James is talking about not doing what God is telling us to do in His Word. But as I'm working on improving this temple of the Holy Spirit i... Fri, 9 Oct 2015 23:26:46 EST Two birds with one stone I have been trying to get up earlier lately. I need to get more things done and the best time to get them done is in the morning. Quite a change for this night owl! But I know I have to do it. <BR> <BR> I'm also, of course, trying to eat less. And one of the worst times for me and overeating is late in the evening. A couple days ago I realized that I could solve both challenges--getting up earlier and eating too much--by doing one simple thing: Go to bed earlier! If I go to bed earlier, I wo... Mon, 28 Sep 2015 23:13:44 EST Tracking today Today I'm tracking my food. If I don't think I can track it, I'm not going to eat it. Period. <BR> <BR> It occurs to me that I can approach this just as I would any new habit: One thing at a time. So today's habit is TRACKING MY FOOD. <BR> <BR> I had to "shout" that so I would hear it. ;-) <BR> <BR> That is all! Fri, 25 Sep 2015 09:29:56 EST Once again I say...I've got to get back on track! How many times will I do this to myself? <BR> <BR> How many times does it take for me to go to my closet, pull out a shirt, put it on and realize that I'll be okay if I only stand. If I sit, I risk tearing the shirt apart at the seams. And so, I change my shirt. Fortunately I find one quickly, but there have been times when, because I've gained so much weight, and so few shirts fit me, that I've had to see if a shirt from the laundry is clean enough to wear. <BR> <BR> Ugh. <BR> <BR> So, y... Thu, 24 Sep 2015 18:03:54 EST Making smaller goals I've been reading a lot lately about making goals. I realize that I haven't been very good at doing this. Most of the time I set my goals so high that I'm frustrated I can't reach them. So I've begun to learn to set smaller goals, keeping the larger goal in mind, but looking for the accomplishment of the smaller goal and the energy that comes from the completion of a goal, even a small one. <BR> <BR> Now I understand why SparkPeople encourages you to make small, attainable goals. Your confi... Fri, 4 Sep 2015 10:33:06 EST Run with perseverance the race marked out for you! I'd say it about killed me, but that would be an exaggeration, really. It wasn't easy, however, to run--well jog, really, for 90 second interval vs. the 60 second intervals from last week of the Couch to 5K training program. Still, I did it, but only in the Lord's help. He reminded me to call upon His Word. <BR> <BR> I'm so glad I've memorized parts of scripture so I could repeat them to myself as I was jogging. It made me smile to go through Hebrews 12:1-2: "Since we are surrounded by such... Fri, 24 Jul 2015 10:22:11 EST Exercise really can give you more energy! The following is from an e-mail I sent to my daughter-in-law in Germany. As I was writing it to her, I thought I'd share it with all of you as well. Note: Fritz is my husband, and Wartburg is a castle in Eisenach, Germany where we visited on our first trip to Germany to meet our daughter-in-law's family. <BR> <BR> I had an interesting thing happen last night. I've gained some weight recently and haven't been able to keep up with Fritz very well when we walk. I've learned to like walking by m... Thu, 16 Jul 2015 13:50:30 EST God says: Love Me more than anything else! I have been ill recently--starting with the stomach kind of illness, and that's all I'm going to say about that, except that of all the things I hate, that's up there at the top. <BR> <BR> I have been very careful, then, to pay attention to what I'm eating and how it affects me. This is a good thing--it's mindful eating! I'm not overeating and there are certain foods that are now upsetting my stomach. One of them is coffee. <BR> <BR> Noooooooo! <BR> <BR> Coffee is my favorite drink. I like... Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:46:16 EST I wish I could say...but God says to me... I wish I could say: "I'm doing so well with my healthy eating plan!" <BR> <BR> But God says: I love you even if you aren't eating healthy. It would be better if you did eat in a healthy way, though, because you would feel better and you would be taking better care of the temple of the Holy Spirit that you are. <BR> <BR> I wish I could say: "I'm a runner." <BR> <BR> But God says: You are making progress. Be content with such things as you have, for I have said I will never leave you nor for... Tue, 23 Jun 2015 19:02:40 EST It's a plan! I am reading "Made to Crave" again, and went to the team to see where they were. It looked like they were on Chapter 3, so I read that before I end my computer time today. <BR> <BR> You have to have a plan. That's the main point of the chapter, which is also the topic I have been pursuing lately. In order to get things done, and to keep my eating in check, I have to have a plan. Thankfully, SparkPeople's menus help me a lot with the eating part--at least if I don't have time to plan my meal... Tue, 26 May 2015 11:19:29 EST I don't want to eat. It's very strange. On Friday I was sick--the stomach and intestinal kind of sick. I ate very little on Friday, a little more on Saturday, and a little more than the previous day on Sunday. I haven't felt the nausea since Friday, but I noticed this morning, as I'm feeling unmotivated and a little bored and a little frustrated with myself, that one thing I'm not feeling is hungry. It's very strange because usually when I feel this way, my mind first turns to food for comfort. But today I am feeling like I want to... Mon, 6 Apr 2015 12:41:58 EST It's time to start over. Again. How many times have I told myself that it's time to start over? If I looked back on my blogs I would see that I have said it several times. And I've done it--started over and got back on track for a while, then something happens--a visit from a friend or relative that calls for a dinner out, a particularly stressful time, or maybe just a church potluck. Something gets me off track. And, being that I am not naturally organized nor disciplined, I fall off pretty quickly. <BR> <BR> However, I C... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:51:39 EST What do you think of FitBit? I'm hoping someone will see this and comment. I have lost my Spark Activity Tracker! It must have fallen off my shoe last week and I can't find it anywhere. <BR> <BR> I could replace it with another Spark Activity Tracker, but I'm thinking about getting a FitBit. What is your experience with them? Thu, 19 Mar 2015 14:58:01 EST Addicted to chocolate? I wonder if I'm addicted to chocolate. I think about it all the time. When I am upset, I want chocolate. When I am happy, I want chocolate. When I am bored, I want chocolate. When I am uncertain, I want chocolate. When I want to reward myself, I want chocolate. And, when I eat chocolate, all I want is MORE CHOCOLATE! At least it's not the first thing I think about in the morning. No, that's probably coffee. <BR> <BR> I feel silly. Yet, at the same time, I can see the 12 Steps applying here t... Thu, 18 Sep 2014 19:20:01 EST When given the choice, don't choose like Lot This morning as I was reading and praying Genesis 13, God reminded me not to choose like Lot. Abram and Lot had been traveling together, and both had large herds and many possessions. Fights broke out between Abram's herders and Lot's herders. So it was necessary to part ways. <BR> <BR> Abram gave Lot the first choice of where to go, and Lot chose in the direction of Zoar, where the "whole Jordan Plan was well watered like the Lord's garden or like Egypt." (Genesis 13:10, God's Word Translat... Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:01:36 EST Learning what it means to be hungry The past couple days I've been doing partial fasts. I find in doing so that it's like hitting a "restart" button for my eating habits. It wasn't too hard, especially since I drank water whenever I felt "hungry." <BR> <BR> I put "hungry" in quotation marks because I realized that I don't necessarily know when I'm really hungry--when I really need food in order to fuel my body, or when it's noon and I should be eating lunch now or it's early evening and it's time for dinner. So much of my eat... Thu, 3 Jul 2014 23:00:22 EST God will transform the situation when we make the sacrifice. It's all about sacrifice, isn't it? We have to give up something in order to get something. To get work done, we sacrifice time spent in leisure. We sacrifice for our children so they can have what they need. Jesus sacrificed His life for us so we could have eternal life. Love equals sacrifice. <BR> <BR> So, why don't we sacrifice for ourselves? I don't say this in a selfish manner, for there is sacrifice involved, after all. But if we give so much for others, why can't we give up for oursel... Sat, 31 May 2014 19:12:34 EST What does my craving look like? A bratty version of myself! The question to ponder today is what my craving looks like. The first time I went through "Made to Crave," I think it looked like a big comfy couch, something in which to curl up and forget about the world. But now, as I am consider other studies I'm doing, I'm thinking my craving looks more like me as a spoiled child. <BR> <BR> Always looking to do something better...actually it's more like realizing I HAVE to change my behavior or there will be dire consequences...I began working on someth... Thu, 3 Apr 2014 16:44:51 EST There is power in the name of Jesus = I made it through the day The song "Break Every Chain" has been in my head for days now, and I think I know why. God knows that I need Jesus' power to break my slavery to food. So, literally, one day at a time, I will call on the name of the Lord and walk in His victory to break every chain! <BR> <link><BR>D5Zw2ew </link> Tue, 1 Apr 2014 21:34:27 EST I hope I'm not an April Fool to re-start "Made to Crave" on April 1st! It's been a while since I've bee an active on SparkPeople. I have been entering fitness minutes, so it's not like I've been sluggish. But my eating habits! Arrrgh! I find myself thinking about food constantly, and giving in to the desire to eat. A lot. So much so that I'm slowly approaching the weight I was when I started on SparkPeople four and a half years ago. <BR> <BR> On one hand, I am stronger physically because I am working out on a regular basis since I finally found an exercise budd... Mon, 31 Mar 2014 22:56:38 EST Must. Stop. Eating. With. Abandon! Some time last year I posted a blog about eating "with abandon." When will I learn? <BR> <BR> I got on the scale this morning and was not surprised to see that I had gained weight. My jeans don't fit as well as they used to, and I have resorted occasionally to wearing exercise clothes or my jeans with the stretchy waistband in the back. <BR> <BR> Now, honestly, if I had been exercising, I probably would have at least maintained the weight I was at and my jeans wouldn't be so tight. But I h... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 12:18:22 EST Plank Challenge? I saw this posted by someone on my facebook news feed, and wondered if it was worth doing. So I'm putting it here on this blog so I can reference it. If you know anything about it, let me know! <BR> <BR> Note: I am including the link to the Plank as demonstrated on SparkPeople. The picture on the facebook post was a plank with the body being supported by the lower arms, with arms bent, as shown in this link: <BR> <BR><BR>tos-prn2/1390560_10101965021... Sun, 29 Dec 2013 21:18:26 EST Clean eating = Weight Loss? I just returned this week from a trip to Germany for my son's wedding. It was a busy, busy time of preparations--not much sight seeing this trip, except for the obvious--the Dom (Cathedral) and Rathaus (Town Hall) and castles (Burg) and the rolling hills of the countryside so close to the city that look like pictures from a storybook. <BR> <BR> I had hoped to be able to take walks everyday, but I had to settle for walks to the store and such, as I wasn't driving. And I went on this trip not ... Sat, 12 Oct 2013 08:48:24 EST Exercising at home...not so bad! I enjoy going to Planet Fitness. I really do. The staff is friendly and there are always enough cardio machines to work out on, and the strength training machines are usually available as well. But tonight I just didn't want to leave the house. So I decided to exercise at home. <BR> <BR> It's been a while since I used the SparkPeople videos to work out, not because I didn't like them, but mostly because I was able to get my exercise somewhere else. Tonight I found a 10 minute kickboxing vide... Wed, 21 Aug 2013 20:16:18 EST "The Spark Solution" is pretty good so far! I hadn't thought about blogging during my adventure with "The Spark Solution" until now. I doubt I'll write every day, but I have to report that so far, things are going pretty well. <BR> <BR> I was beginning to get discouraged about weight loss. All I kept doing was gaining weight. Eating out much of the time and not making time for workouts wasn't helping. But I knew I needed a push, especially when it came to food, because I knew that once my life slowed down a little bit I could get back... Wed, 24 Jul 2013 23:40:21 EST It's not "just like starting over," it IS starting over! Wow. I got on the scale today and found that I had gained five pounds in a month. Am I surprised? No, not at all. I allowed all the things I was doing: helping my son who lived an hour away to get his driver's license, helping that same son clear out his apartment for his move to Germany, getting ready to be a team member on a retreat, and Vacation Bible School, to give me an "excuse" to eat out, not go to the gym, and eat whatever I wanted. So I'm not at all surprised that I gained five poun... Fri, 19 Jul 2013 10:31:43 EST Am I finding my inner athlete? I had the strangest experience this morning. When I woke up, my body was craving exercise! I've NEVER awakened like that before. Me? Wanting to exercise? No, NEEDING to exercise! It had been several days since I'd had a good workout, and because I'm really busy right now, I was going to excuse myself if I didn't get to the gym. I guess that isn't an option any more. Is this what it's like to find your inner athlete? Tue, 25 Jun 2013 23:17:06 EST Changing my eating partner I got on the scale today and was not surprised to see that I have gained weight. I know why: I've been eating with abandon. Hmm...I think I should change that to a capital "A." I've been eating with Abandon. I think it's time to choose a different eating partner. <BR> <BR> When I eat with Abandon, he always taunts me. "You know you want this cookie. Go eat it. Don't eat one. Eat three or six." And then he says, "Hey, there's ice cream in the freezer! If you don't eat some your husband will e... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 09:55:52 EST Trusting God every day to feed my spiritual hunger ("Made to Crave, Reflection Questions, Chapter 6 For several months now I've been reading the devotional "Jesus Calling." It's a very good devotional; I recommend it. Written from the perspective of God speaking to us, and I have experienced God speaking to me through this devotional just what I need to hear for that particular day. For instance, today's entry included a reference to Exodus 16:15-20, where it is described how the Israelites were to gather only the manna they needed for that day. They were not to hoard any extra overnight, o... Thu, 18 Apr 2013 14:00:42 EST What do I hunger for? ("Made to Crave" Reflection Questions Chapter 6-continued) How is it that I keep forgetting what to do when it comes to food? As I've blogged, before-- I know the good I should do, and yet I don't do it. Hmm...sounds familiar... <BR> <BR> "So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me fr... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 10:03:37 EST Practicing Self-Control (Made to Crave, Chapter 6) It's been so long since I've blogged the answers to the questions in "Made to Crave" I've forgotten how I titled it. But I think that the answers are probably more important than the consistency of title. And these questions are pivotal for me right now, so I think I'll take them more slowly. Perhaps one of you will be inspired as well. <BR> <BR> ". What is your response to the idea that we grow closer to God when we deny ourselves something that is permissible but not beneficial? Have you e... Mon, 8 Apr 2013 10:57:03 EST