FLUTTEROFSTARS's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=FLUTTEROFSTARS FLUTTEROFSTARS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Who is in your corner? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5593477 I happened across a fellow sparker's blog describing "mental toughness" coaching, and the free 21-day "fatloser.com" program. I signed up for it, and have been really enjoying it. <BR> <BR> In today's video, our mental toughness coach described his own mentor, and how - as he learned to be a public speaker - his mentor was always beside or behind him. Now that his mentor has passed away, he wears a necklace to remind himself that his mentor is with him in spirit, loving him and "wanting him ... Tue, 14 Jan 2014 11:16:54 EST Inspiration and Renewal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5566373 I haven't posted a blog in a very long time. Even though I've been back Sparking for a while now, I just hadn't felt the urge. But SEPTEMBERSPIRIT posted an incredibly beautiful blog entry on "20 Things to Let Go for the New Year", and it inspired me to put "pen to paper" (or fingers to keyboard, as the case may be) and do a little reflecting. <BR> <BR> Here is her list, from Mind Body Green: <BR> <BR> 1. Let go of all thoughts that don't make you feel empowered and strong. <BR> <BR> 2. L... Tue, 17 Dec 2013 09:36:35 EST BLC Mid-Point Assessment http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5104069 Looking back over my goals, I've had some successes and some struggles so far this round. <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>140</em> Nutrition: <BR> <em>48</em> I've been doing really well at keeping carbs under 50%, eating high-volume foods (soups, hot drinks, veggies), and eating lots of protein. <BR> <em>42</em> My nutrition still needs work. I can improve by tracking calories every day. I also need to find a way to date without eating out so much! Or to not let those restaurant meals dera... Thu, 18 Oct 2012 18:04:43 EST BLC: Favorite meal - is it worth it? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5071670 My all-time favorite food is Cheesecake Factory cheesecake. Thank goodness it's expensive, so I have it very rarely - maybe once or twice a year, for my birthday or a date. The calorie count is painful: the Godiva chocolate cheesecake is 1109 calories, 42g fat, 210mg sodium, 105g carbs. Yikes! Even if I split it with someone, that's 555 calories: 50 minutes on the elliptical, or 2 hours of walking! Not worth it! Or, at least, not worth it more than once a year! Sun, 23 Sep 2012 15:57:59 EST Physical therapy - the hip bone's connected to the... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5069051 I had my first physical therapy appt today, and guess what I learned?! My left leg is 2cm longer than my right leg! Really?! Nearly 30 years I've spent in this body, and I didn't know this about myself??? <BR> <BR> So, this has likely been behind a lot of my problems lately - with a longer leg, that hip has to do a lot more work to compensate for the shorter leg, apparently. And if there are muscle imbalances (like the muscles on my right side seem to be weaker), then that can exacerbate th... Fri, 21 Sep 2012 11:00:10 EST Bursitis, boys, and bounty http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5066574 <em>282</em> Bursitis: <BR> I ramped up my exercise around August 1. My sister and I started walking/jogging about an hour a day (sometimes more), 6-7 days/week, and by the end of the month, my hip was really hurting. At my annual, my doctor warned me it could be serious (stress fracture, etc) and scared me into taking a break from exercise to see if it heals. After about 2 weeks of *much less* exercise (although I didn't totally stop walking), it was still aching a lot, so I saw an orthop... Wed, 19 Sep 2012 15:19:50 EST Plan for BLC 20 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5059505 My plan for the next 12 weeks: <BR> <BR> <BR> Nutrition: <BR> <em>45</em> Keep tweaking my “lower carb” experiment (under 50% carbs) <BR> <em>140</em> Work on volume (lots of veggies, hot tea, and broth-based soups) <BR> <em>490</em> Work on protein (egg whites, whey protein powder, yogurt, beans) <BR> <em>271</em> Learn alternative strategies to replace emotional eating. Bored? Try cleaning. Lonely? Call Mom, make plans with friends, check email, etc. Stressed about school and... Fri, 14 Sep 2012 18:43:57 EST Hoooooo-boy, I'm sparking again! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5014090 So, things got pretty busy over the Spring and Summer. I defended my dissertation proposal in April (ouch! stress eating!), went on a 3-week vacation in May (ouch! cruise weight gain!), had to travel to present research at two separate conferences in June and July (ouch! more stress eating), and went on a rather emotional roller-coaster with my BF as he navigated the stress of graduation, moving back in with his mom, starting a new job, finding an apartment, and overcoming his mom's resistanc... Mon, 13 Aug 2012 19:34:17 EST Update on Lower Carb Experiment! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4765127 Well, I've got good news! I've been doing my "lower carb" experiment for 3 weeks, now. My tentative goal was to keep my carbs under 50% on 5 out of 7 days (allowing for 1-2 cheat days per week - usually my date days with the boy!). I haven't quite met my goal every week, but usually when I've gone over on an extra day, it's been very close to 50% (like 51 or 52%). I like the feeling of satiety that this style of eating gives me - I seem to stay full longer on lower calories when I"m eating a ... Thu, 1 Mar 2012 11:08:36 EST An experiment with lower carbs... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4732136 Seeing the whole lotta nothin' that was happening for me on the scale all week (despite staying at the low end of my calorie range and exercising my hardest ever with C25K), I was feeling open to a little change. I came across an article suggesting that having a large, high-carb and high-protein breakfast, followed by a medium-carb lunch and low-carb dinner is beneficial for weight loss. I've also read that for folks with low thyroid function, restricting carbs to under 50% can really aid wei... Fri, 10 Feb 2012 10:35:44 EST New ticker goal! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4724358 So after the "plateau" (or exercise-slacking, calorie-laden vacation) that happened over the holidays, I'm really proud of myself for building back up my momentum in January. The Biggest Loser Challenge is a huge motivator (given that the team is always expecting 1st place finishes and 100% participation, I always feel the pressure - in a good way - to do my part). Also, starting up Couch to 5K has been incredibly powerful - the program is injecting some much-needed new interest/challenge int... Mon, 6 Feb 2012 00:01:58 EST Deciding whether to share my Sparkjourney with the boyfriend... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4711244 Conveniently, we're required to blog about our journey for BLC, and I just happen to be wrestling with a facet of my journey right now! <BR> <BR> So, one of the Questions of the Day on my BLC team asked who is the biggest obstacle in my weight loss efforts. My initial reaction was to say my boyfriend - he's both a major inspiration and a major distraction from my weight loss efforts! Of course, the biggest reason that he's an obstacle is probably that I haven't TOLD him about my efforts, so ... Sun, 29 Jan 2012 22:50:30 EST Live now! Letting go of clothes, making some $$ http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4695358 Sometimes I'm so hard on myself! For example, over the last few months, as I've been cleaning my closet of all of my "too-big" clothes, I was undoubtedly proud of myself (to see how much smaller I've gotten). But tempering the joy was the shame that I had let myself slide so far, and wasted so much money on larger-sized wardrobes instead of tackling the problem earlier and halting my weight gain years ago! When I started grad school four years ago, I was a size 14. When I started sliding back... Sat, 21 Jan 2012 14:59:03 EST Birthday, C25K W1D2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4680630 On Wednesday, the first day of BLC18, I put my money where my mouth is (or, put my booty in my sweatpants? put my feet in my running shoes??) and stopped saying "I think I want to start running, eventually" and actually s.t.a.r.t.e.d. running! <BR> <BR> It was a big switch for me. I'm pretty protective of my knees (after watching my mom suffer with arthritis and a knee replacement), so my plan was to do low-impact exercise while I got started on this journey. That would allow me to build up ... Sat, 14 Jan 2012 17:20:53 EST A new year, a new BLC, and renewed motivation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4673672 So, I was really struggling in November and December. I had some health challenges (including a pulled groin in November), some stressful situations (home alone for Thanksgiving, traveling for Christmas), but mostly I had a big heaping dose of complacency, or perhaps depression. <BR> <BR> There's really no excuse: in my personal life, things were going great - my relationship with Chris is the most joyful, romantic, wonderful connection I've ever experienced. And things were no more hectic ... Wed, 11 Jan 2012 11:32:42 EST BLC17 wrap-up, shifting goals, and laser hair removal! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4610408 BLC ended on a bit of a low note for me, as I had gained weight over Thanksgiving. Still, the scale obligingly swung downwards for weigh in day, so I was at 162 on the last weigh-in of the challenge. This is still a pound up from where I had been a week or two ago, but I'll take it. It means I lost a total of 13 pounds during the 12-week BLC, and my measurements showed a loss of 12.5 inches overall (waist, hips, thighs, arms, chest, bust). <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> Looking at my overall loss ... Sat, 3 Dec 2011 10:21:20 EST Bob's magic formula for emotional eating: (1) Pause (2) Feel (3) Connect http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4605066 I had a bit of a rough Thanksgiving, for no good reason! I was here at home, which I thought would make my exercise/diet plans easier. But, I guess I was lonely/depressed/bored/stressed - I ended up eating a LOT more than I should have, and exercising a LOT less than I had planned! <BR> <BR> <em>147</em> <em>493</em> <em>480</em> Whoops! <em>147</em> <em>493</em> <em>480</em> <BR> <BR> Also, Chris was in town, and we had 3 dates in one week - with a lot of eating out that didn't hel... Tue, 29 Nov 2011 21:23:10 EST Are you ready? Bob Harper's book, chp1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4583582 One good thing came out of my ill-health this weekend - while I was stuck in bed on Sunday, I started reading another of my library finds: Bob Harper's book Are You Ready (Take Charge, Lose Weight, Get in Shape, and Change Your Life Forever!). <BR> <BR> At the end of chapter 1, he asks that we write out our answers to these questions: <BR> <BR> 1) Is there any event that happened in your life that makes you think you are ready to take charge and change your life? <BR> <BR> For me, I think... Mon, 14 Nov 2011 11:00:56 EST Health issues - GI? Menstrual? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4583547 TMI alert: <BR> <BR> It was a really rough weekend. I may have had food poisoning on Saturday - around noon, I started feeling nauseous in the middle of lunch, and felt continually worse throughout the day. Diarrhea started around 5pm, and continued intermittently until around 10pm, followed by cramps/discomfort/nausea throughout the night. The discomfort was so bad that I ended up camping out in my bathroom for much of the evening, on the floor on a little nest of blankets and pillows! <BR... Mon, 14 Nov 2011 10:43:09 EST Adios, "overweight"!!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4576578 Wow! This morning, the scale finally coughed up a good number - I'm down to 163!!! (I've been hovering around 164 / 165 for about 2 weeks). If this sticks, it means I'm officially out of the "overweight" BMI category, and into "normal". Yowza! Of course, that doesn't mean very much - most of my sparkbuddies with overweight or obese BMIs are actually thinner than me, going by measures that really matter, like pant size. Clearly, I still have a lot of weight to lose - my size 14 pants attest to... Wed, 9 Nov 2011 14:51:35 EST Success tastes like tofu? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4572683 So, I had my seventh date with Chris yesterday. And, he made me lunch! Tofu, pasta, and fruit. Did I mention how fun it is to date someone who is also a vegetarian?! How awesome is it that I have a boyfriend, who cooks me tofu?! The mind boggles. I have come so far. I have a boyfriend! I have a boyfriend that is super-sweet and cooks me tofu! I have thus dragged myself (kicking and screaming and whimpering in fear) out of my self-imposed isolation (where my most intimate relationship may have... Mon, 7 Nov 2011 11:16:40 EST BINGO blog! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4568988 The almighty Powers That Be have decreed that BLC challengers shall blog about their successes this weekend, earning BINGO challenge points for each day we do so. It's a fun challenge, and as a person with a tendency to be hard on myself, being forced (encouraged? nudged?) to reflect on the positive is always appreciated. <BR> <BR> <em>249</em> So, in the 5 months since June when I embarked on this lifestyle change, what have I accomplished? <BR> <BR> <em>192</em> Most notably, I've l... Fri, 4 Nov 2011 22:37:26 EST My own personal "Look good naked" challenge! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4561362 So, things are going swimmingly in my personal life. Actually, it makes me grin just to think that for the first time in years I HAVE a personal life! I went on a wonderful 6th date with Chris yesterday - we hiked along the river, saw a beautiful sunset, ate yummy vegan food, and hung out playing games and swapping photo albums at a coffee shop. <BR> <BR> The downside of all this romance is that - eventually - it's going to lead to less clothing, and I'm not the best at all that "love your ... Mon, 31 Oct 2011 12:21:38 EST Update, with photos! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4557713 I'm happy!! Really happy!!! Kind of ridiculously happy!!! <BR> <BR> Here's a photo of the roses that Chris (Mr. English Accent) gave me on our fourth date, a week and a half ago. They've been making me smile all week: <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/9/l593427997.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Last weekend, I cut down on my dates, and only went on 2. The first was a second date with Joe (the OKcupid guy with sparkling wit, stellar conversational skills, and travel experience). Yet, the mag... Fri, 28 Oct 2011 16:22:33 EST YAY! Hit the 40lb mark today! Plus, boy updates:) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4547814 <BR> <em>192</em> This morning was an exciting milestone on the scale - I've lost 40 pounds! I'm just 10 pounds away from reaching my initial goal of 50pounds down, which will put me at my lowest adult weight ever: 155! It's been 4 years since I've seen that weight, and fit into my "skinny" (size 12!) jeans, and I can't wait to get there. <BR> <BR> <em>408</em> I'm not sure if I'll hit that initial goal by New Year's Eve (my hopeful "deadline"), as that would mean I'd have to lose alm... Sat, 22 Oct 2011 12:54:34 EST Boys and cheesecake:) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4530817 So, I ended up feeling pretty overwhelmed, and postponing one of this weekend's dates till next week. Still, that left an unprecedented (for me!) three dates!! <BR> <BR> Date #1 was a first date with a slightly older fellow (8 yrs older than me) here in Atlanta, who is the best "email conversationalist" I have ever encountered. His emails were always so insightful, with just the right balance of telling stories from his own past/present, and asking questions to keep the conversation flowing... Tue, 11 Oct 2011 18:38:54 EST It's raining men!?! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4517477 So, clearly, the universe got the message that I was ready to date. And it's providing! In fact, it's possibly over-providing!!! To the degree that I kept hearing "Hallelujah, It's Raining Men" playing in the back of my mind, and I had to go hunting on youtube for that song... ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F3zGDc4EVI ) <BR> <BR> Date #2 with Mr. English Accent went amazingly! I'm really not the type of girl that finds social interactions easy - I'm an introvert (so social situations are ... Mon, 3 Oct 2011 17:57:02 EST First date pic! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4508833 I did it! I took that giant flying leap out of my comfort zone, and went on a date! Even though I'm not at my goal weight! Even though the fellow had listed "overweight" as a "can't stand," which triggered so many fears and insecurities. But I'm glad I was brave, because: <BR> <BR> (a) It was an excuse to get all done up - get my hair cut and highlighted, learn a new way of styling my curls, paint my nails, do my makeup, and feel feminine! <BR> <BR> (b) It got me to try on ALL the possibly... Wed, 28 Sep 2011 15:17:58 EST Pre-date preparation & progress pics http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4501032 It's been a busy week! In honor of Jenn's challenge, here are five pfabulous things about me: <BR> <BR> 1) I've lost 33 pounds, which means I am only 17 pounds away from my initial goal of losing 50 pounds and reaching my lowest adult weight of 155. I'm also about halfway to my "reaching for the stars" goal of 135-140. <BR> <BR> 2) So far, I've lost 3 pants sizes, from 20ish to 14! <BR> <BR> 3) I've gained a whole heck of a lot of self-confidence - enough to start dating! I'm currently ... Sat, 24 Sep 2011 00:22:32 EST Attacked by a vampire, but wearing size 14! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4487060 So, I survived the thyroid biopsy this morning. Boy, howdy, does my neck hurt!! Have you ever been stabbed in the neck 10 times with a big needle, and had the doctor wiggle the needle around in there while she sucks up neck tissue and fluid? I wish I could say I don't know what that feels like! I swear, a vampire attack can't be any worse (except, possibly, for the potential for becoming an undead creature of the night, afterward)... <BR> <BR> In any case, to round out the awesomeness of the... Thu, 15 Sep 2011 19:10:39 EST Going on a date?! Me?!? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4480930 Things have moved along quickly with Mr. English Accent (who has "excessive overweight" listed as a "can't stand", but seemed otherwise awesome). He's now asked me out! It seems really fast, to me - we did the eharmony guided communication (over the course of about 5 days), then he mailed me, I mailed him back, and his next email gave me his last name and asked me out for next weekend! <BR> <BR> Some good interpretations: from how promptly he always responded, and how soon he wants to meet... Mon, 12 Sep 2011 14:49:16 EST Woo-hoo! 30lb Down, BLC, and online dating! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4472717 What a wild and wonderful ride I'm on! <BR> <BR> I weighed this morning for the first weigh-in of the Biggest Loser Challenge, and I'm officially 175lb, which is a cool thirty pounds down from my starting weight. I can barely believe how fast the summer has flown by, and how incredibly cooperative my body has been in dropping pounds - 30 pounds in a little over 3 months. Go body, go!! <BR> <BR> I'm both pleased a little chagrined to report that I've been bamboozled - unwittingly hooked in... Wed, 7 Sep 2011 23:30:16 EST Waking up - a new day, a new chance http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4462879 So, those who know me might have noticed that I've been MIA for much of August. There was the week in FL, then a week at home struggling to get back into my routine, then the first week of school, and then - this week - 4 full days of "new employee" training. Sadly, I'm not actually an employee of anything other than grad school, but I still had to sit through 4 days of painful paperwork and lectures so I can get a badge and data access at my mentor's organization, and was subjected to discus... Fri, 2 Sep 2011 15:30:44 EST Asked out!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4423728 So, for the last 2 years, I've been single. And prior to the most recent relationship, I had been single for a horrifying 6.5 years (plus or minus a few occasional dates). Why, you ask? Probably a lack of confidence - I'm pretty shy around people I don't know - and that's especially true around men! <BR> <BR> Also, during the LONG STRETCH OF SINGLEDOM, 3 of those years were during college (super-busy!), 2 of those years were during a sort of post-college depression funk (not leaving the hou... Fri, 12 Aug 2011 22:14:14 EST Feeding the right wolf http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4411481 I've been having fun exploring the weight loss resources available at my local library. I now have a currently-reading list: <BR> <BR> <em>203</em> Beck Diet Solution (I own this one) <BR> <em>203</em> Biggest Loser Weight Loss Program (checked it out today - not too spectacular so far - a lot of stuff I already know, although it did get me to write a list of things that I like about myself *grin*) <BR> <em>203</em> Women Food and God (checked it out today - have only read the first chapt... Sat, 6 Aug 2011 22:51:31 EST Facing fears http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4407559 There's probably all sorts of psychology words to describe this, but I don't know them off-hand. All I know is that I'm feeling such a deep sense of relief, that I've TAKEN ACTION on things that were scaring me. <BR> <BR> There are a bunch of things I was putting off during the last year or more, due to finances, fear of getting bad news, apathy/depression, etc. Things like finding a dentist here in Atlanta (and it's embarrassing how long I let that slide), figuring out whether to buy denta... Thu, 4 Aug 2011 19:49:52 EST Insight on loneliness http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4404902 If you noticed my status today, it went from happy ("Flutterofstars is getting used to her new haircut) to sad ("Flutterofstars needs a hug"). More honesty would have prompted me to write "Flutterofstars is crying" but it looked too much like a pity party, so I tried to write something more constructive - needing support. <BR> <BR> Anyway, it was a strange day. I was happy this morning - I went walking, did bootcamp week 2 day 7 strength training, ate a yummy snack (greek yogurt and strawber... Wed, 3 Aug 2011 14:50:44 EST Battle cry, Beck, and cookies, oh my! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4398358 Battle Cry: <em>224</em> <BR> For the 8 week battle, we're supposed to come up with a battle cry. I've been giving it some thought, and the phrase that resonates the most for me is "live now". It echoes my desire to let go of mistakes in the past, forgive myself, and move on to make the best choices I can, right now. It also serves as a reminder to spend less time on distractions in my life (computer, reading, TV) and more time LIVING - being more social, getting out of my chair, getting out... Sun, 31 Jul 2011 21:31:59 EST Holy cr@p, this is me, surprised! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4394756 So, one of the preparations for the 8 Week Battle is to post a picture of yourself, before and after. I had the bright idea that I'd take my picture wearing some "goal" jeans, that might be a reasonable goal for 8 weeks - so a size or two down from where I am right now. The "before" picture would show my gut busting out of the top, an inch or two away from buttoning, and hopefully the "after" picture would show me happily wearing the jeans (and even if I'm not breathing, at least they'd be bu... Fri, 29 Jul 2011 19:59:37 EST Need to learn patience... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4393509 Whoops! So, clearly I spoke too soon when I was worrying yesterday about slowed weight loss. After being stuck at 185 (or - with an optimistic interpretation of the wiggly needle - 184.5) for 6 days in a row, the scale took a bit of a dive today, down to 183! As today is Friday (my official weigh-in day), the week actually turned out great for weight loss - right on target. And I would have saved myself a bunch of stress if I were one of those brilliant, patient people that weighs only once a... Fri, 29 Jul 2011 08:17:47 EST Bootcamp drawbacks? Womanly woes? Alert: TMI ahead! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4392729 So, I've completed week 1 of the bootcamp, with all its ST videos and even some extra cardio sessions. Some things I've noticed: <BR> <BR> A) I've felt more hungry, so ended up increasing my calories by about 50-100 (hitting closer to 1400, rather than the 1300 recommended by the "current weight*7" formula) . <BR> <BR> B) Aside from a 1-lb loss the first day, the scale has barely budged. Since I have an ancient non-digital scale, I'm convincing myself that the wiggly needle is now a smidge ... Thu, 28 Jul 2011 19:41:47 EST First battle! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4390990 So, I've joined the 8 Week Battle! It starts this Sunday, and runs for 8 weeks - conveniently encompassing the ever-stressful time when classes start back up. This will be a key time for me keep motivated and keep Sparking, and I think being a part of this battle will definitely help! It looks like it will be really fun - pre-battle challenges include cleaning out the pantry and making a vision collage! I'm also foresee some good times ahead, web-surfing for an appropriate warrior-maiden imag... Wed, 27 Jul 2011 23:35:16 EST Feelin' sore, and (mostly) loving it! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4385065 So, my current goal is to kick myself into gear on the strength training front, because that is the one piece of the new-lifestyle puzzle that I am struggling with the most. Give me a spinach salad or an hour-long walk, and I'm all over it, but show me some free weights and I run for the hills! <BR> <BR> The 28-day bootcamp challenge is going great so far. It makes me do a little bit of strength training every day. Each bit is so short (10 minutes or less!) that it seems entirely manageable,... Mon, 25 Jul 2011 13:21:06 EST 20-Pound Happy Dance!!! And finding allies everywhere... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4380996 The scale said 185 this morning! I'm 20 pounds down from where I started, 2 months ago!! I can barely believe it! The weight has been dropping off, and - as opposed to most other times I've dieted - I've actually, continually felt MORE energy than when I was gaining weight.... not feeling exhausted and deprived for me, this time. Part of that is likely the summer, with its lighter workload and less stress. But I think a lot of it might also be that I'm really learning to give myself healthier... Sat, 23 Jul 2011 12:07:59 EST A question of motivation... Bootcamp Day 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4377567 I lamented a few blogs ago that I've been feeling increasingly guilty about skipping strength training. It was acceptable to miss my 2 sessions the week I was in San Diego, was kind of lame that I didn't "make up" any sessions the week I was home with company visiting (and in fact, did only 1 of 2 sessions scheduled for that week), was again forgivable that I skipped 2 sessions the week I was in Florida. But why didn't I jump back on the bandwagon on Sunday, when I was at home and company fin... Thu, 21 Jul 2011 16:54:26 EST Mixin' it up... at the grocery store! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4373136 So, for the last 2 months (or really, the last 4 years), I've been in something of a food rut. Living on a budget, there are certain foods that I eat VERY regularly - pasta with sauce and veggies, omelets with veggies and 2% cheese, ww bread and peanut butter, bean soup with veggies, chili and brown rice, veggie stirfry and soy crumbles. Plus cereal (summer) or oatmeal (winter) for breakfast. And fruits (frozen for smoothies, or fresh with yogurt and flax), salads when I have fresh veggies. B... Tue, 19 Jul 2011 17:37:14 EST One quarter of the way?! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4371017 So, I happened onto my sparkpage today, and noticed my ticker. Gee, I thought, I'm at 17 pounds down, and I'm actually just 1/2 pound away from the quarter marker on the ticker (17.5 pounds)! Though I've been making all kinds of little goals (each 5 pounds, tracking my weight in excel, keeping track of rewards, BMI benchmarks, etc), I hadn't ever thought about it in larger chunks like this. Soo, that's exciting! One fourth of the way there! Of course, the first weight loss is always easiest, ... Mon, 18 Jul 2011 19:55:58 EST A little self-love goes a long way... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4368993 Perhaps my mind is now veering towards the gutter, but I actually didn't mean for the title to be a euphemism. I'm talking about caring for myself - both physically (exercise, healthier diet) and emotionally (making the effort to feel proud of myself, and reward myself for the things I'm doing right). <BR> <BR> I've been feeling kind of "blah" today - I'm finally back home and with no company, after 3 weeks without my normal routine (1 week San Diego, 1 week of having my folks visiting here ... Sun, 17 Jul 2011 22:56:33 EST 70 reasons for 70 pounds! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4366142 So, I've seen others' lists of reasons for weight loss and a new lifestyle, They're incredibly inspiring! So, while in Florida I started my own list - 70 reasons to lose 70 pounds! <BR> <BR> PS - I'm now home from vacation. During the week, I went swimming with Mom in the pool 5 times, and in the ocean twice, and despite daily restaurant meals, I lost 2 pounds! <BR> <BR> Here are my 70 reasons to lose 70 pounds: <BR> <BR> 1. Having Hashimoto’s means my thyroid will eventually not produce... Sat, 16 Jul 2011 10:31:36 EST Oh mystical grant reviewers in the sky, please look kindly on my offering... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4360487 So, the grant is done! I feel so RELIEVED!!!! My mentor (who is absolutely awesome) was actually quite sneaky about this grant - she told me that the deadline was going to be last Friday... so, I came down to Florida, worked from here, got it all done (or so I thought), sent it to her on Friday morning - and she sends it back with comments and corrections, and tells me we can wait until Monday to send it in. Mind you, this is after weeks of rounds of revisions, already. Soooo, I edit and rev... Wed, 13 Jul 2011 14:29:42 EST