DISCOVERLLH's SparkPeople Blog DISCOVERLLH's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Who knew? I have a problem with sugar. Some would call it an addiction. My mom thinks this is funny, and every year buys me a 2-lb box of pure maple sugar candy for Christmas. Having grown up in New England, that is my absolute favorite candy, and I never buy it for myself because it is so expensive. This year I told her DO NOT buy me any! Of course, she did anyway. I gave the box to my son and told him to hide it and only give me 1 piece a day if I ask for one. <BR> <BR> Well.... yesterday my... Sun, 29 Jan 2017 13:52:58 EST Embracing my Inner Mark Spitz (and the Michael Phelps generation is thinking..."Who's Mark Spitz?" LOL) <BR> <BR> Today I went swimming in the YMCA's pool for the first time after finally finding a swimsuit that would cover my rather large posterior, allow me to swim laps, and not make me look like a total frump. No easy task when you are more than a 100 lbs overweight! At any rate, I came away with one more day on my exercise streak and 160 calories burned on my fitness tracker. More importantly, I came away with a... Mon, 25 May 2015 22:28:01 EST Procrastination, Thou Art Vanquished! One of the real issues I struggle with is procrastination. I believe this stems from my inherent perfectionism and fear of starting anything because I might not accomplish it perfectly or because I SHOULD be doing something else that's a higher priority instead. My daughter tells me I have OCD. I just think of it as being perpetually overwhelmed. In any case, it's exhausting. <BR> <BR> My mind is loaded with "shoulds" and "buts" that run like a never ending spin cycle in the washing mac... Fri, 22 May 2015 21:29:14 EST Confidence Last January I was inspired by my SF MRSPRINCIPAL to think of a word to inspire me for the year. My word for 2013 was "Integrity", which for me meant keeping promises I make to myself. <BR> <BR> My word for 2014 is CONFIDENCE. <BR> <BR> I found an old job evaluation tucked away in my filing cabinet the other day. It was written by an astute boss and personal mentor during my first year at a major advertising firm. Under the section entitled, "Areas for Improvement", he wrote that I had "... Sun, 29 Dec 2013 15:46:38 EST Silent Night? Ha! Christmas Eve is anything but silent in our family...and I wouldn't want it any other way. This year there were 16 adults plus 2 children packed around my brother's banquet table on Christmas Eve. The table used to belong to my grandmother, and when we all get together for the holidays, I can't help but feel a strange mixture of nostalgia for Christmases past and wonder at the blessing of having a whole new generation of kids sitting there. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople... Fri, 27 Dec 2013 17:42:37 EST 10 Percent The few times that I tried Weight Watchers (unsuccessfully), my initial goal was set by the woman behind the counter at 10% of my body weight. To me, losing that 25 lbs seemed insurmountable. I always lost five or six pounds, then started roller-coastering. Eventually I would quit. <BR> <BR> When I started Sparkpeople, I realized that 25 lbs was WAY too big a goal for me. I set small goals for myself -- just stay on track for today, take the dog for a walk today, lose 1 lb this week, ge... Wed, 18 Dec 2013 13:55:07 EST Deep Thoughts and Matthew West Anyone who listens to contemporary Christian music has probably heard of Matthew West, an extremely talented singer/songwriter who has been topping the Christian music charts for the past few years. <BR> <BR> I was invited to Matthew's wedding but didn't go. I was mad because I had attended Matthew's brother Joel's wedding a couple of years earlier and never got a thank you note for the gift I gave. Isn't that petty? I'm quite ashamed, now that I look back on it. <BR> <BR> Anyway, one of m... Mon, 25 Nov 2013 13:43:14 EST Yikes! What Was I Thinking??? I had such a great day today. The junior high students behaved well. I even got some compliments from them! I stayed on track with my food and, for the third day in a row, drank tea instead of coffee. In fact, I felt so good, I decided to run to the store after work to look for a few Christmas presents. Or maybe some flannel sheets....Or some makeup....Or something to wear for Thanksgiving....Or Christmas.... <BR> <BR> I started off planning to go to a home discount store, then thought m... Thu, 21 Nov 2013 22:57:09 EST Parachutes A couple of days ago I wrote a blog about being stuck and overwhelmed in my career decisions. I asked for help. And you, dear spark friends, responded so sincerely, so helpfully, so smartly, and so KINDLY that it absolutely amazes me! I have not yet had the time to respond to each of you individually, but I will. <BR> <BR> In the meantime, today I was playing one of my Train CDs while I was scrubbing the shower, and the song "Parachute" came on. It made me think of you. If you are not fa... Sat, 9 Nov 2013 18:32:38 EST Stuck! Alright, sparklers, I need your help! <BR> <BR> This is not directly about my weight loss journey, but it does significantly affect my life, moods, and tendency to overeat. Any help or suggestions you can offer would be greatly appreciated. <BR> <BR> I am really stuck in terms of moving forward in a career and being able to financially support myself. As a quick background, I was an "overachiever" during my early years... president of everything in high school, advanced placement classes... Wed, 6 Nov 2013 12:28:41 EST My Vision I finished my vision collage! <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> I really enjoyed making this, and it definitely helped me think about what I really want my life to look like. For so long my weight has been holding me back, not just because I've been too heavy to fit into a kayak or climb Mt. Washington, but because being fat has sapped my confidence and self-esteem. I have been putting my life on hold "until I get thin", and decades of my life have passed by while I've been waiting for that miracul... Sun, 3 Nov 2013 19:19:55 EST Disappointment A few people have asked me how the cherimoya that DD and I bought last week tasted. Let's just say...not a fan! <BR> <BR> I looked up the fruit on the internet and learned that it is also called a "custard apple" because it's texture is supposed to be custard-like. Several reviewers commented on how deliciously sweet the cheramoya is...supposedly a combination of banana, pineapple, and mango. Some people freeze it and scoop it out like ice cream. My mouth was watering just thinking about i... Sun, 3 Nov 2013 01:16:25 EST The Great Grocery Shopping Extravaganza! I hate grocery shopping. I really do. But I KNOW that if I don't go into the work week with healthy options for lunch, I will end up bingeing. As an added incentive, my DD's pediatrician told me Friday that the reason DD has been getting dizzy and having blurry vision is because her Vitamin D3 is extremely low. I knew that Vitamin D3 helps prevent osteoporosis, but I had no idea it also helps regulate brain functions. In addition, although Chelsea has enough iron in her blood to not be con... Sun, 27 Oct 2013 18:54:08 EST Sweet Sixteen Last night was my DD's "Sweet 16" party. It was a night of accomplishment and choices that perhaps could have been better. The good: I spent the whole day cleaning <em>244</em> , and it felt GREAT to have the former playroom devoid of clutter. The not-so-good: I did eat a piece of pizza, a piece of cake, and a little ice cream, which I hadn't planned. BUT I'm okay with it, because your little girl only turns 16 once, and the night was so memorable that it is hard to be mad at myself. It... Sat, 26 Oct 2013 20:52:44 EST Goals...Part 2! <em>244</em> It was a productive day for me! Writing my goals down just for today instead of the whole month definitely helped, although I would still like to find a way to have more of a long-term vision in terms of where I want to be overall. It's interesting, because my weight loss goals also work better for me when I take a week at a time instead of trying to set long-term goal dates. <BR> <BR> As I thought, I set too many goals for one day (especially starting after 1 pm), BUT it's ... Wed, 23 Oct 2013 20:33:09 EST Goals At the beginning of October, I wrote a blog of my October goals, printed it out the list, and posted it on my refrigerator. It is now the end of October, none of the goals are done, and every time I look at the list on the fridge, I feel like a failure. <BR> <BR> so.... <BR> <BR> I am deleting my October Goals blog and ripping up the list on the fridge. I attempted to do too much and just got overwhelmed. I do not need to feel like a failure! I do not need to beat myself up for not get... Wed, 23 Oct 2013 14:25:16 EST When Spark Isn't Enough I just found a fantastic resource I thought I would share. <BR> <BR> I absolutely love, love, love Sparkpeople, but the one thing I have been frustrated by is the lack of more specific exercise options for the fitness tracker. For example, when I was weeding today and searched "weeding", it came up with no results. There is only a generic "gardening" available. The number of calories burned between digging a flower bed and hand weeding is markedly different, in my humble opinion, and I am... Tue, 22 Oct 2013 14:07:09 EST To Buy or Not to Buy? I need help! What does everyone do about The Great Halloween Dilemma? Do you buy the candy to distribute or not? <BR> <BR> This is the first Halloween I have been on track with losing weight, and I am really worried about whether I will sabotage myself if I bring bags of chocolate in the house. I thought about passing out candy I don't like, but I remember the excitement of finding the "good stuff" in my Halloween bag when I was a kid and don't want to pass out the lousy candy and disappoin... Sun, 20 Oct 2013 11:30:32 EST Not a Thing My kids say I like to make a thing. By this, they don't mean I sew or build racecars or are in any way crafty or productive. They are referring to my unique ability to make a big deal out of things that aren't necessarily a big deal to other people. The conversations usually go something like this: <BR> <BR> ME: What do you mean you are failing Swimming? How can you fail Swimming? Are you showing up for class? Do you realize how much we are paying for that class? You are probably paying... Wed, 16 Oct 2013 12:15:27 EST I See You! YOU ARE SPECIAL. <BR> <BR> I mean it! For those of us who have been significantly overweight, or who have been in an abusive relationship, or who are alone, or underappreciated by our boss, children, spouse, etc., it is often very hard to believe that about ourselves. So I just want to take a moment and let you know how much you all mean to me and what a difference you have made in my life and my weight loss journey. <BR> <BR> Today someone I have never interacted with before on SP se... Mon, 14 Oct 2013 19:43:19 EST The Battle of the Binge I read Chris Powell's book, CHOOSE TO LOSE, a few months ago. While his weight loss program was not a good fit for me, his introductory chapter really stuck with me. In the chapter, Chris wrote that I am not my body. I am ME... my mind, my emotions, my spirit/soul, goals, dreams, etc. My body is an elaborate machine that houses me and has the sole purpose of keeping me alive. When I am cold, The Machine shivers to warm me up. When I am hot, it sweats to keep me cool. When I am starving, ... Sat, 12 Oct 2013 20:55:19 EST Yes, Size DOES Matter! Yesterday, in a burst of energy (and fear that it will snow and I will have nothing but shorts in my closet), I started pulling my winter clothes out of the storage tub. There were actually very few clothes there because I have been overweight since 1992, and every year I have told myself I am not going to buy clothes until I lose weight. (Sound familiar?) By now, everything I own is either outdated, threadbare, two young for me, or all of the above. I am literally down to a couple of dowdy... Fri, 11 Oct 2013 21:45:32 EST Surviving Olive Garden I survived an impromptu trip to Olive Garden! <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> It wasn't easy, let me tell you. Today my DD and I went to my niece's birthday party, which was an hour away at a pumpkin farm. I ate two Weight Watchers reduced fat jalapeno sticks (which I don't particularly care for but thought I would try) and an apple on the way there so I wouldn't succumb to all the junk food at the pumpkin farm. I did get a roasted corn on the cob, which I consider a success because it was a ve... Sun, 6 Oct 2013 19:32:29 EST Food for My Spirit This morning I decided to take Carmella to the local farmer's market because I needed zucchini and garlic for the dinner I'm planning to make tonight. As we were heading out the door, my daughter called down the stairs that she wanted to come. Unfortunately, the farmer's market was closed for the season. We decided to try the next town over, because I had heard there was a good one on the banks of the river there. That one was closed too. <BR> <BR> I started to get discouraged, but then ... Sat, 5 Oct 2013 18:01:41 EST The Binge Motivation (Part 2) Last week I blogged about a horrible two-day binge and how I felt it was tied to a group of teachers excluding me and my feelings of insecurity. I am over the binge and have been doing well this week, but I'm still trying to educate myself as to what triggered my binge so that I am less likely to repeat it. <BR> <BR> I think that in addition to my insecurity, fear may have played a part as well. As background, I had already met my September weight loss goal (a week early). I weighed mys... Tue, 1 Oct 2013 12:32:24 EST The Binge Motivation (Part 1) Thursday morning I weighed in two days early because I was doing well and wanted to see if I had lost any weight. I was down more than a pound, which was my goal for the week. I then proceeded to binge for two days straight. <BR> <BR> I'm not talking about a few extra calories. I'm talking about a half gallon of Moose Tracks ice cream,a pound of cheese, a plastic cup full of Hershey's kisses, muffins with butter, and lots and lots of nuts. <BR> <BR> Today I weighed in (on my regular weig... Sat, 28 Sep 2013 10:30:11 EST Gratitude I tend to complain. A lot. As in, "When Mom ain't happy...ain't NOBODY happy!" <BR> <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> Today, however, when I was walking my dog, I was filled with an attitude of gratitude. Instead of focusing on the fact that I have struggled this week or that I didn't have a sub job lined up for today, I really tried to enjoy the moment and be thankful for the day I was given. <BR> <BR> So, here are the things I was thankful for on my 27-minute walk down the Illinois-Michigan St... Fri, 20 Sep 2013 18:04:05 EST Buh - Bye, Breyers! <BR> I stopped at Jewel on the way home from the neurologist's office today to pick up the melatonin he suggested I get. Not the best decision, since it was 3:30 p.m. and I was hungry. First mistake. <BR> <BR> While there I figured I might as well pick up a few groceries. I wasn't able to find Ezekiel bread at Wal-Mart the other day and thought Jewel might have it in their freezer section (they didn't). I was half-way down the freezer aisle when I realized my second mistake...I WAS IN T... Wed, 18 Sep 2013 19:50:28 EST Reality Check I have been feeling so EMPOWERED lately about my ability to stay on the SparkDiet. A couple of good weeks staying on track both calorie and exercise-wise had me feeling pretty confident. The scale was moving in the right direction. I was regularly tracking my food. It was all going to be smooth sailing this time, right? <BR> <BR> Wrong. <BR> <BR> Today I reminded myself of those alcoholics and drug addicts profiled on the TV show "Intervention" who go through rehabilitation only to fall ... Tue, 10 Sep 2013 21:35:19 EST Ooey Gooey Waffle I woke up craving an ooey, gooey, strawberry waffle. It was all I could think about. <BR> <BR> "Well," I thought, "It's Sunday. It's my free day. I can go get a waffle if I want to." <BR> (I ignored the fact that I went over on my calories last Wednesday and decided I was not going to have a free day today and the fact that I do not have any money to buy unnecessary waffles. My cravings have a mind of their own.) <BR> <BR> It is bad when the waitress at the pancake house doesn't even ha... Sun, 8 Sep 2013 14:21:25 EST Plodding Along...For Now I just finished a 28-minute walk around my neighborhood. I usually walk my dog for 10 - 15 minutes a day, but today I felt that I need to start upping my exercise a bit, so after our regular walk, I dropped Carmella off at home and continued on my own. As I was walking, I became very conscious of how heavily my gym shoes hit the pavement and how sluggish I felt. Truth be told, I was plodding along in much the same way an elephant walks. No wonder! Carrying around an extra 100 pounds is lik... Fri, 6 Sep 2013 20:38:47 EST The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Yesterday was BAD. One of the most stressful days I have ever had in my life. <BR> <BR> My 15-year old daughter has been having daily headaches for a couple of months now, which has been concerning me because she is a girl who never used to get headaches. Yesterday morning she informed me that she found a big lump behind her right ear. About a year and a half ago, she had noticed a little bump there. Her dermatologist checked it and said it was just a mole and nothing to worry about. The... Thu, 5 Sep 2013 12:49:48 EST September 2013 Goals I am going to keep this month's goals simple, rather than list too many goals and get frustrated when I don't achieve them all. <BR> <BR> 1. WEIGHT GOAL: Lose 10 lbs. <BR> <BR> I will achieve this goal by following the Spark Diet (1250 - 1500 calories /day). I will exercise 20 min./day. <BR> <BR> 2. JOB GOAL: Submit one job application per day. <BR> <BR> I will achieve this goal by doing a job application immediately after dinner, before watching t.v. <BR> <BR> Short and sweet, easy to r... Sun, 1 Sep 2013 12:53:31 EST Too Fat for My Genes Yes, all you teachers out there, I spelled it correctly. GENES. Although I'm also too fat for my JEANS, now that I think about it! <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> The signs have been there, of course. I have just been too stubborn to accept them. Last week was the final straw. My father's routine stress test showed abnormalities. The results scared the whole family, since just last year Dad underwent a heart bypass with complications. He also had multiple stents put in several years before... Sat, 31 Aug 2013 11:42:45 EST One of Those Nights My poor cat, Tsar Nicholas, has been suffering from bladder inflammation again. He had blood in his urine, and was quite miserable before the doctor put him on prednisone. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I decided that to prevent bacteria from growing, I would completely clean out the litterbox. There was only 10 minutes until Project Runway, but if was quick, I could dump the old litter in a Hefty trash bag, scrub out the litterbox, sweep the ba... Fri, 30 Aug 2013 13:00:46 EST Too Blessed to be Stressed Wow! Lots of things have been happening in the past few weeks, and unfortunately SP had to take a backseat for a bit. <BR> <BR> I asked for prayers for my 9-month old niece a few weeks ago. She was seriously ill and the doctors couldn't figure out why. After two weeks in the hospital, a pediatric gastroenterologist from Children's Memorial Hospital finally diagnosed her with Hirshsprung's Disease, which is a condition that develops during gestation. Without going into all the details, ... Thu, 2 Aug 2012 00:42:50 EST I am NOT the Biggest Loser Several months ago I felt hopeless about my weight and thought that the only thing that would help would be to audition for the TV show "The Biggest Loser". This would kill two birds with one stone, I thought...get back to my skinny self (who has been hiding under a layer of blubber for 20 odd years) AND bring in some money (since the contestants get paid $750/week and the winner gets $250,000). Wow! I could pay off the house, buy new clothes, get a fresh start.... <BR> <BR> They weren't ... Fri, 15 Jun 2012 11:32:24 EST Setting an Example I am really worried about my DD. She is 14 years old and does NOT eat right. I blame myself for this. From the time she was a baby, she would projectile vomit baby food. (We know now that it was acid reflux.) When she was about 3 years old and learned that meat came from animals, she refused to eat meat. We would try and make her eat it, and she would throw up all over herself. The pediatrician said it was psychological and that we shouldn't force her to eat meat but to supplement her ... Thu, 31 May 2012 19:17:07 EST My Bucket List Have any of you seen the movie, "The Bucket List"? It's a great movie! Anyway, I was inspired to write my own list of things I want to do before I "kick the bucket". Looking at this list has really helped me start to rediscover who I am deep down inside, what brings me joy, what's important to me, etc. It was a real surprise to realize how many of the items on my list involve outdoor activities, especially around water. I am almost 49 years old, and I have wanted to do several of these t... Mon, 28 May 2012 22:29:43 EST A New Hope Hi, everyone! Wow! I can't believe I've been MIA for a HALF A YEAR! Where does the time go? Needless to say, it was NOT a good decision to "take a spark break", since I weigh 8 pounds higher now than when I left. Grrrr... <BR> <BR> But all that is ancient history. Time to move forward! I am SO EXCITED because I made the decision to join Weight Watchers yesterday, went to a meeting, and joined. What a huge difference from the last time I tried WW about 10 years ago or so. No more of ... Sun, 27 May 2012 09:40:53 EST Woo Hoo! Veggies! Sorry I have been MIA for the past two DD has been very sick (high fever/vomiting) so I've been focusing on taking care of her. <BR> <BR> To follow up on my last blog re: my panic over grocery shopping and subsequent gorging on homemade cookie dough because there was nothing else to eat in the house.... <BR> <BR> I GOT GROCERIES! WOO HOO! <BR> <BR> Admittedly, this does not sound like a big deal. But when I am in the midst of a depression it is REALLY HARD for me to get out of ... Wed, 16 Nov 2011 13:12:57 EST The Sustenance Correlation I gained 2.2 lbs this week. <BR> <BR> Now, before you respond with hugs and well-intended comments that it could be water weight, etc., let me assure you that those evil 2.2. lbs are indeed FAT. <BR> <BR> How do I know this? Because I've been eating like a hog all week. <BR> <BR> Yes, it's true. I set my November goals, one of which was to NOT buy and eat a candy bar every day. This was a challenging goal for me, believe it or not. Last night ICAMETHISCLOSE to stopping at Walgreen's un... Sun, 13 Nov 2011 10:11:22 EST Who Am I Anyway? <BR> There is a song in one of my favorite musicals, "A Chorus Line", called "I Hope I Get It". In the song, a dancer named Paul wrestles with what to tell the director who is casting the show. <BR> <BR> "Who am I anyway? <BR> Am I my resume? <BR> That is a picture of a person I don't know. <BR> <BR> What does he want from me? <BR> What should I try to be? <BR> So many faces all around, and here we go. <BR> I need this job, oh God, I need this show." <BR> <BR> The song is singing itself... Tue, 8 Nov 2011 23:40:40 EST Being Thankful Part I: Nov. 1-15 I admit...I stole this from MOM2PIPER....but it's an <em>345</em> idea, particularly since I struggle with depression. During November, I am going to make a concerted effort to be THANKFUL and COUNT MY BLESSINGS rather than focusing on what I lost and/or do not have. <BR> <BR> Blessings I am thankful for: <BR> <BR> 1. My kids, my kids, my kids, my kids, my kids.......They are truly amazing, and I wouldn't trade them for the world! <BR> <BR> 2. That my years of being overweight have ... Wed, 2 Nov 2011 14:09:46 EST November Goals Here are my goals for November: <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> Follow the 5K Your Way Training program and walk a 5K. I have already registered for the Bonfield Express on Thanksgiving morning, which I will walk with my niece (LIVEELOVER), daughter (LITTLEBLACKNEKO on SparkTeen), and sister-in-law. On Day 3 of the training program ....1.5 miles today! <BR> <BR> <em>11</em> Lose 6 lbs. <BR> <BR> <em>493</em> Eliminate candy bars. I know people say that it's best not to ban any particular ... Tue, 1 Nov 2011 13:39:46 EST My New Favorite Thing I am so excited! (Yes, admittedly, it doesn't take much to get me excited...LOL) <BR> I just discovered Fitness Maps on SP! This is officially my New Favorite Thing. <BR> <BR> I had no idea such a tool even existed on here! SP continues to amaze me. <BR> <BR> Anyway, I signed up for the 5K Your Way challenge, which trains people to walk a 5K in 5 weeks. This is a better fit for me personally than the C25K, which messed up my knees (I think I am carrying too much weight for that one). Any... Fri, 28 Oct 2011 21:57:12 EST What is wrong with me???? Warning: I am wallowing in depression. You may want to find another blog to read. <BR> <BR> Well, it's one step forward and two steps back. After searching for two years for a teaching job, the one I was so excited to land last month turned out to be a horrible, horrible experience. The job was not at all as described. Talk about teaching to the test! My class consisted of students from Yemen who had never been to school before, could barely speak English, and who had no concept of numbe... Thu, 20 Oct 2011 10:59:23 EST God Finds Me Again Unbelievable! Earlier today I was down in the pit of despair, questioning whether God really loved me. On the verge of losing my house, unable to pay my bills, and unable to find a job, I felt alone in the world and hopeless. I binged (1,035 calories at supper alone!) and then felt rotten for binging. Then I logged onto my personal email account, where my father had forwarded a news article to me about the unfortunate death of David Wilkerson, founder of Teen Challenge. (For anyone who does ... Sat, 30 Apr 2011 20:17:56 EST Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word OK, spark friends, I need you! I'm feeling very sorry for myself right now and am blogging instead of hitting the chocolate chips, coconuts, and pecans that are leftover from making Easter candy for the kids. Seriously...I'm thisclose to opening that pantry door! So I'm mustering up all the strength I have to fight this compulsion to eat when I'm feeling depressed and decided to blog instead. I apologize in advance for whining. <em>24</em> <BR> <BR> I was actually having a positive day, ... Sat, 30 Apr 2011 16:30:33 EST Some Thoughts on Success Today I feel successful in my weight loss efforts. Tomorrow I may not...and that's long as I stick with my program and keep plugging along. Feelings don't have to rule my life or chart my course. When I'm feeling discouraged, it sometimes helps to read the following two thoughts on success. My hope is that by sharing them, they may help someone else. <BR> <BR> ***** <BR> If at first you don’t succeed, you’re in good company: <BR> -ABRAHAM LINCOLN: His first business as owner of... Fri, 29 Apr 2011 15:03:13 EST