FORBANDE's SparkPeople Blog FORBANDE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community What if this doesn't work... Back in the fall I made a decision to take a break from Spark and focus on spending time with my Mom. We were told in March of 2014 that she wouldn't live long and I wanted to focus my energy on her. I wanted my young sons to spend time with her and make as many memories as they could. We had a wonderful Christmas and endured the nasty, cold winter. We've celebrated Valentine's Day and here we are at March of 2015, looking forward to Easter. It's such a wonderful blessing and gift from ... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 17:11:38 EST A little about me... Our Dazzling Diamond Challenge for the week is to share some information about ourselves. So here it goes. <BR> <BR> * My Spark names represents why I started this weight loss wild ride. FORBANDE = FOR Brendan AND Evan (my sons) <BR> <BR> * I'm 41. I feel about 34 most days. :) <BR> <BR> * My sons are 6 and soon to be 8. <BR> <BR> * I LOVE fall! The most beautiful season in my opinion. <BR> <BR> * I am a fan of "Hell on Wheels" and "The Walking Dead". I can't really explain the l... Mon, 6 Oct 2014 07:19:04 EST BLC Fall Frenzy Challenge - Team Diamonds This week starts the 10 week, Fall Frenzy Challenge with my fellow Diamonds. The weather is perfect. The leaves are changing and I'm seeing pumpkins everywhere. So the timing of the challenge could not be better! <BR> <BR> To kick-off the challenge, we've been asked to share the goals we'd like to accomplish over the next 10 weeks. So here it goes: <BR> <BR> * Drink water and then drink more water and then even more! My goal is 72 ounces per day minimum. <BR> <BR> * Write, blog and ... Thu, 11 Sep 2014 10:22:19 EST Diamonds Summer Challenge - the results... 10 weeks ago the Biggest Loser Summer Challenge got underway. Like all challenge beginnings - motivation, interest and excitement was high. However this momentum quickly faded as "life happened". As life always has a way of doing. <BR> <BR> Not too long before the challenge started, we found out that my Mom has terminal cancer. I made the decision to go forward with the challenge thinking that 1) I need the support of my long-time Diamond friends 2) I need to take care of myself and the ... Sat, 16 Aug 2014 10:56:08 EST Why... Because I want to be healthy. <BR> <BR> Because I want to be fit. <BR> <BR> Because I want my boys to have a role model for health, happiness and success. <BR> <BR> Because I want to wear clothes that don't have an "X" in the size. <BR> <BR> Because I want to inspire others. <BR> <BR> Because I want to live a long, healthy life. <BR> <BR> Because I am more than a number on the scale. <BR> <BR> Because I am worth it. <BR> <BR> Because I deserve it. <BR> <BR> Because I want to ride rol... Sat, 12 Jul 2014 11:11:23 EST You are enough... YOU ARE ENOUGH. When I logged into Spark, those 3 words jumped off the page at me. I stopped and whispered them to myself. It felt good so I said it again. And again. <BR> <BR> I've been incredibly overwhelmed with life's curve balls lately. And when I'm overwhelmed I start thinking of what more can I do and what should I be doing differently. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Those words made me realize that I'm doing what I can and that I am enough. Life's curve balls are not about me not being or... Sat, 29 Mar 2014 09:04:05 EST Spring Goals... With the promise of warmer temperatures and more sunshine, I'm ready to give my goals an overhaul. It's been a long winter and I've been in somewhat of a rut so I'm ready to change things up. <BR> <BR> 1. Get outside more. I have a very sedentary job that keeps me inside most of the waking day. I'm going to get outside for at least 15 minutes 3-4 times a week during my lunch break and then walk in the evening/weekends 4 times per week. I have a very low Vitamin D level which I take suppl... Thu, 20 Mar 2014 08:50:24 EST Save yourself first... Anyone who has flown in an airplane has heard the flight attendant explain that in the case of an emergency, place your oxygen mask on first, then help those around you. I understand why they say to do this. What good are you to those around you if you are dead? But do ya know what? I always heard it, understood why but processed it as "Yeah. Unless there are children or people who need help more than me. They come first." <BR> <BR> I find that I've kind of taken this general appro... Sat, 21 Dec 2013 12:04:59 EST Winter Challenge Goals Each winter the cold temperatures and snow tend to drive me close to hibernation. The older I get I find that I like a little snow on Christmas and then I'm ready for Spring. However, here in Ohio Spring doesn't come until April or so. <BR> <BR> So until then I'm going to focus on the following goals to see me through the cold months: <BR> 1. Drink 8 glasses of water per day. This is tough as I like to drink hot coffee and tea to warm myself up. <BR> <BR> 2 . More gym time. It's too... Wed, 18 Dec 2013 02:13:40 EST Dear Spark Recipes... Dear Spark Recipes, <BR> <BR> Each morning I log into my email and am greeted with a message from you. Typically these messages have yummy ideas for salads, chicken or healthy makeovers. However the majority of the recipes I've been greeted with this month are cookies. <BR> <em>495</em> <em>495</em> <em>495</em> <em>495</em> <em>495</em> <em>495</em> <BR> The first few were lower calorie makeover cookies and I thought "Thanks for the alternatives.". But here we are a few days lat... Thu, 12 Dec 2013 08:00:31 EST The quiet, courageous voice... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It takes a tremendous amount of courage to fight every bad habit, every piece of chocolate, every moment where you forget that you are worth it and do love yourself. Some days I fight like a champ and come out on top. Some days I take a blow that I didn't see coming and find myself in that old, comfortable place of self-soothing. <BR> <BR> The past few months have been hard ones. There have been family healt... Mon, 9 Dec 2013 07:31:19 EST Weight loss sleep... I've heard of beauty sleep but never weight loss sleep. Imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scale and saw 151.9! I haven't seen that number since high school!! <BR> <BR> Okay, okay. I know it's not really possible to lose over 100 pounds in a single night. My scale somehow got switched from pounds to kilograms. <BR> <BR> Oh well, it was a fun way to start the day. <BR> <BR> <em>246</em> <em>9</em> <BR> <BR> Tue, 17 Sep 2013 06:44:33 EST Fall Pledge... Fall is my favorite season. There is something about the crisp air, the beautiful color of the leaves turning and school getting us back on a schedule that gives a feeling of strength and commitment. I get an amazing feeling that anything is possible and worth giving a fresh shot. <BR> <BR> 4 days ago I stated in the Diamond Challenge boards that my pledge for the fall challenge would be some exercise and tracking my food since I've fallen off the wagon with that a bit. The past for 4 d... Sun, 15 Sep 2013 21:26:39 EST BLC Sun-sational Summer Challenge - the results... Back in June I started a 10 week challenge with my lovely Dazzling Diamonds. Summer flew by and now here it is the end of the challenge. I posted a starting blog with a beginning weight and measurements. I also posted the dreaded "before" photos. So without further ado, let's see how I did. <BR> <BR> Beginning of the challenge ---- End of the challenge: <BR> Neck = 17" ---- 16.5" <BR> Upper Arm = 17.25" ---- ... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 20:09:02 EST STRENGTH... My uplifting word of the day is STRENGTH. <BR> <BR> This is one of those words that depending on the moment or situation, can mean different things. This morning STRENGTH meant seeing my oldest off to his first day of the first grade. As I see him grow older and more independent, it gets harder to let him go even a little bit. <BR> <BR> At this moment, STRENGTH is just getting through the work day. I've been battling a stomach bug since yesterday which has really wiped me out. <BR>... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 11:02:32 EST FORGIVE... Wow! This word is so very powerful and uplifting. Just saying it gives me a sense of peace. FORGIVENESS may just be one of the most important things we can practice in this life. <BR> <BR> I have to FORGIVE myself. FORGIVE all those bad food choices, skipped workouts, binges, abusing my body, mean self-talk and self-loathing. I should treat myself with respect, love and appreciation. My body really does take care of me, especially considering how poorly I have treated it. Is forgiv... Sun, 18 Aug 2013 10:05:38 EST BELIEVE... My uplifting word of the day is BELIEVE. <BR> <BR> Next to the word love, BELIEVE may be the most powerful word in my vocabulary. Any challenge I face requires the I BELIEVE in myself and often times the process. By believing I am worth it, can do and will do it completely changes my perspective on life. I go from being filled with doubt and self-loathing to being filled with hope and respect. I look at obstacles as stepping stones instead of mountains. And if I'm lucky, a little of th... Sat, 17 Aug 2013 10:49:21 EST ENCOURAGEMENT... My uplifting word of the day is ENCOURAGEMENT. <BR> <BR> Nothing in my life or in this fight for my health has been accomplished without some sort of encouragement. My Mom and Dad have listened and let me take risks because they know that I'll work as hard as I can at what I set my mind to. My little sister has been a workout buddy in the past and a sounding board. My sons fill me with so much love that I feel invincible some days. My two BFF's keep me laughing as we stumble through life... Fri, 16 Aug 2013 07:30:52 EST PERSEVERANCE... My uplifting word of the day is PERSEVERANCE. <BR> <BR> The definition of perseverance: <BR> 1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. <BR> 2. Theology . continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation. <BR> <BR> Both definitions define my life to a "T". I have been steady, not perfect, in my work to improve my health. I have had many difficulties and obstacles to o... Thu, 15 Aug 2013 07:35:14 EST God Breezes... Any of you who are FlyLady friends will recognize the title. Basically it's when something unexpected (and usually needed) comes to you. I had one of those last night and then it was confirmed after a few minutes on Spark. <BR> <BR> Yesterday was a very long day at work. We had several meetings to discuss a project that's going horribly and trying to devise a plan to save it. Basically it boils down to loads of extra hours (and a lot of praying). I've already been putting in extra hour... Sat, 10 Aug 2013 13:42:21 EST Rainbows and Puddles (My first 5K! - lots of pics)... "The happiest 5K on the planet!" And it's true! The Color Run is fun, full of laughs and smiles, lots of great music and color. Loads of color! <BR> <BR> On Saturday, I participated in my first 5K - The Color Run in Columbus, Ohio. This was one of those days that I will cherish forever. I participated in my first official 5K. My BFF participated too. And I met a dear SparkFriend and fellow Diamond teammate (VALYNN26) and her family. <BR> <BR> The race starts off with music, a dan... Mon, 22 Jul 2013 22:05:22 EST Sun and fresh air therapy... Here in my part of the world, it's been raining. Pretty much every day for over a week. This certainly is not what we are used to for June and July. It's made it a little more difficult to enjoy the outdoors but hey, the grass and plants look great. <BR> <BR> Yesterday we enjoyed a break from the rain during the day. I took advantage of this and went out to the Trail and walked 5K. I'm definitely no speed demon (yet) but was so pleased that I was able to tackle it. <BR> <BR> The Tr... Tue, 2 Jul 2013 08:20:24 EST To moderate or not to moderate... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> "Everything in moderation." How many times have you heard that? I've always considered it one of the weight loss mantras for success. And when you think about it, it does make complete sense. Nothing is off limits. You do not have to feel deprived. Just a little won't hurt. <BR> <BR> I've been battling with weight loss and getting healthy for, well.... maybe forever. And I've told myself "Everything in mod... Wed, 26 Jun 2013 23:37:14 EST Summer Sun-sational Challenge Goals... The BLC Summer Challenge is officially underway. This is a 10 week challenge full of lots of fun, support and inspiration. As I read over the goals of my teammates for this challenge, there seems to be a theme of balancing lifestyle changes with living life. What an important theme this is! What kind of summer is it if you avoid BBQ's or ice cream after your sons' baseball game? It's definitely necessary to stay focused on diet, exercise and improving my health. But it's equally importa... Tue, 18 Jun 2013 23:38:07 EST Diamonds... “Diamonds are held under tons and tons of pressure, extremely high temperatures of fire and shuffled under shifting of tectonic plates, for a long, long time! Yet when they come out from there and are put on display for their beauty; does anybody stop to evaluate the diamond based upon all the sh!t it's been through and say "Remember that disgusting hole it used to be in? I bet it was hell in there!" No, people don't remember where a diamond has come from; they just see the beauty of it now. ... Sun, 9 Jun 2013 20:10:05 EST Putting it out there... I am a part of a fabulous Spark Team that is about to start a Summer Challenge. To get the ball rolling and get us focused on our goals for the next 10 weeks, we were asked to blog our "before" pics along with our measurements. Then we'll do the same at the end of the challenge to showcase our results. Ya know, some accountability and focus. <BR> <BR> I have went back and forth and back and forth about this blog. Sometimes I'm gung ho and see it as a necessary part of the process and t... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 22:43:16 EST Lack of focus... As I read over my last blog I have to smile. I remember that girl that wrote that blog. She was optimistic and energetic. She had a clean slate, a new 10 weeks to tackle her next set of goals. That girl really started strong and thought "I GOT THIS". <BR> <BR> Fast forward to today (10 weeks later) and this girl is thinking things like "Wow. What a rough 10 weeks.", "Whew... That flew by.", "Thank goodness for the upcoming Summer Challenge." and "Man, Steph. How'd ya botch this one ... Mon, 20 May 2013 22:53:49 EST Spring Focus It's finally starting to show signs of spring in my neck of the woods. The daffodils, tulips and crocus are peeking out. The maple trees are starting to bud. And it's a muddy, rainy mess where the temps can be anywhere from 30 to 65 all in the same day. <BR> <BR> Looking to summer, I've come up with some goals to supplement my current monthly goals and give me a little push through the spring months. <BR> <BR> Goal 1: Daily Meditation - This is new ground for me. I want to slow myself d... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 23:03:57 EST March Goals - the halfway point update... Happy St. Patrick's Day SparkFriends! <BR> <em>137</em> <em>440</em> <em>438</em> <BR> <BR> March is flying by and I wanted to take a moment to review my March goal progress. <BR> <BR> * 1000 fitness minutes. <BR> <em>2</em> Well. I'm a little behind. I'm sitting just over 400. I haven't been moving as much since I've been working more. I finished two major projects last week. My work schedule should ease up for the rest of the month. I know in the long-term I need a s... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 17:51:34 EST March Goals Last year I was a part of a fantastic challenge team that encouraged a blog that outlined your goals for the month and then weekly blogs to review progress and keep on track. I really enjoyed the support and accountability those blogs provided. I've taken a few months off from doing these blogs and have missed doing them. So with March, they're back...... <BR> <BR> * 1000 fitness minutes. I had around 900 in January. 800 in February. Morning workouts have helped up my minutes but ther... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 06:37:19 EST Best version of you... "Be the best version of you. Right here, right now." - Dolvett Quince <BR> <BR> The first time I heard this I was sweating like crazy and trying to keep up with interval drills. The second time I heard this I was sweating like crazy and doing a better job keeping up. The third time I heard this I was sweating like crazy and thinking "I got this!". This is when it hit me. <BR> <BR> Be the best version of you. Right here, right now. Do the best you can at this moment. Each day, each... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 08:42:25 EST Today I will... Today I will love myself for the person that I am. <BR> <BR> I will appreciate what a great job my body does for me. <BR> <BR> I will look in the mirror and see the good stuff. <BR> <BR> I will eat well. <BR> <BR> I will exercise. <BR> <BR> I will smile at everyone I meet. <BR> <BR> I will hug and kiss my boys and tell them I love them and they are my Valentines. <BR> <BR> I will tell my Mom and Dad that I love them. <BR> <BR> I will count my endless blessings and be thankfu... Thu, 14 Feb 2013 07:14:52 EST Time to get uncomfortable... I do like my comfort. I LOVE my Yoga pants, a hot cup of coffee and reading a book. I LOVE cheesy, gooey pizza, chick flicks and a glass of wine. Things that make me feel cozy, warm and soft-hearted. All of these things are truly wonderful to me. The problem with these things is that none of them challenge me. None of them are helping me to reach my goals. None of them will take the long-term place of accomplishment. <BR> <BR> So, it's time to get uncomfortable. It's time to swit... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 17:33:38 EST The motivation is in the doing... Back in my college days, Susan Powter was that era's Jillian Michaels. Susan was intense, strong, loud and beautiful. I remember her "Stop the Insanity" pleas and her exercise video was the first I ever owned. She was super. She was inspirational. And she was definitely motivational. She would say things like "There is no fairy godmother of willpower.", "This is simple. Eat, breathe, move." and my favorite, "The motivation is in the doing." <BR> <BR> That's right. The motivation is... Sun, 20 Jan 2013 21:49:28 EST 2012 Review and 2013 Goals 2012 was a good year for me overall. I saw some fitness firsts: two virtual 5Ks, 1000 monthly fitness minutes, working on that dang plank, trying Zumba, my fitbit and joining the Y. I tried various things with regards to my eating: sweet potatoes, protein powder/smoothies, coconut water, almond milk, lowering carbs/sugars and lots of veggies. I began working with my doctor to get my Vitamin D level to a good place. I lost some weight, probably around 55 pounds. However I also gained som... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 16:33:19 EST Dealing with stress... This time of the year is just plain crazy but also fun. Crazy because we have to do our "usual" jobs plus celebrate the holidays. For me this means getting together with family, holiday parties, special church services and events and delicious baked goodies and candies. So how will I deal with it?? <BR> <BR> 1. Eat good-for-me foods - So if someone gives me a cookies, I do not have the cookie for breakfast. I have eggs or oatmeal. Something that nourishes my body. In the past I would... Fri, 14 Dec 2012 06:38:52 EST December Goals WOW! It's December already!! Where has the year gone!?! <BR> <BR> With this being the last month of 2012, the plan is to finish it strong just like I started it. :) <BR> <BR> 1. 1000 Monthly Fitness Minutes - I have much improved my fitness minutes and have to keep myself moving. This is a busy month and it's critical to keep moving so I can avoid those treats and the holiday stress. <BR> <BR> 2. Say goodbye to the 300's FOREVER - This is an extremely aggressive goal. I know this ... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 10:01:53 EST My worst obstacle... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> How true is this?? <BR> <BR> For me, my worst obstacle is me. I can talk myself into, and out of, healthy food choices, exercising and just that I'm worth it. It's is amazing how hard it is to undo negative self-talk. After years of doubting myself and thinking "I can't", it is a constant effort to believe I can. <BR> <BR> It takes Sparking and tracking to see the facts. I have lost weight. I have incre... Sun, 18 Nov 2012 08:13:44 EST November Goals After coming off a not-so-good October and letting it slide into November, I wanted to take a minute to do a progress update and let everyone know I'm still in this. <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I have been really working on my fitness minutes this month. This has been my weakness since Day 1 and I'm happy to report, I'm doing much, much better. For a geek like me, the tools make a huge difference. Earlier this month I purchased a fitbit and have had that sucker on constantly since it came... Sat, 17 Nov 2012 11:08:40 EST Never give up... Fellow Sparker MICHELLESMILES_ or if you LIKE her on facebook, Leaving Obesity Behind, posted this image on facebook yesterday. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This really got me to thinking about how much time I have invested in getting healthy, losing weight and getting fit. I do more than think about it daily, it is constantly on my mind. Even when I am struggling or just not doing it, I'm thinking about it. It comes with every f... Sat, 20 Oct 2012 10:13:35 EST October Goals WUB for Week 3 October is flying by! Time to review my goals and refocus for the week. <BR> <BR> 1. Cardio exercise 5 times per week - Not good this week. I worked around 20 hours of overtime which has left me tired and grumpy. Granted the thing I probably need most is the exercise. However the thing I did most is work. I can only go up from here. <BR> <em>231</em> <BR> <BR> 2. Get rid of 10 pounds - Despite the busy week and no exercise, the scale inched down another 1/2 pound. I'll take it! ... Sat, 20 Oct 2012 09:01:47 EST October Goals WUB for Week 2 The weather is perfect and scenery beautiful. I love October!! Shame the month has to go by sooo fast. Time to review my goals and refocus for the week. <BR> <BR> 1. Cardio exercise 5 times per week - I'm either off or on. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground. I had three days of great cardio and the other days, no cardio. The perfectionism beast does have a strong hold on me. I can hear my inner dialogue now "Why bother? If you can't spend much time, don't do it all. What's ... Sat, 13 Oct 2012 15:06:13 EST Comfortably numb... At my highest weight I was what I describe as comfortably numb almost all the time. I was going through life, doing what I had to and a lot of the time, even smiling. People had no idea that the smile I projected was a mask protecting me from the emotions I did not and could not deal with. I was keeping myself numb to the unhappy emotions, numb to the difficulties of life and as a side effect, numb to happiness. <BR> <BR> At the first sign of any negative feelings, confrontations or stres... Mon, 8 Oct 2012 07:26:38 EST 18 inches... I heard recently that it's 18 inches from your brain to your heart. This 18 inches while relatively small in size, is extremely significant when there are things that you know in your mind but don't let into your heart. Not letting something into your heart means that you don't truly believe or feel the thing that the logical, rational part of your mind knows to be fact. <BR> <BR> For me, these things are nutrition, exercise and self-worth. <BR> <BR> Like most of us, I have read everythi... Fri, 5 Oct 2012 22:53:33 EST October Goals Thank goodness for October! I love the beautiful colors and weather. Plus it seems that the overall Spark is renewed. There are loads of challenges and those that were away for the summer are back. All of which inspire me. <BR> <BR> I've been thinking about my October goals over the past few days. I realize how I need to push myself yet be reasonable given my job is the busiest it's been in several years. I'm blessed for the work but know that it will mean longer hours. So this mont... Thu, 4 Oct 2012 06:00:01 EST September MUB OK. My motto for September must have been better late than ever. I was late posting my goals originally, didn't update weekly and am now late posting the results. Yowsa!! <BR> <BR> I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Instead I will review and move on to October. :) <BR> <BR> 1. Morning workouts 4 times per week - Well, I had a two decent weeks and two bad weeks. I am a morning person so getting up early isn't a problem. I think the hard part is fitting it in and then not feeli... Wed, 3 Oct 2012 21:18:14 EST September Goals Wow!! How did it become the 8th of September already?? I should be writing a Week 1 update blog but am just getting to thinking about and listing my goals. Oh well, better late than never. Let's get to it..... <BR> <BR> 1. Morning workouts 4 times per week - Exercise is my weak link. It's not that I don't like it. Because I do and have found activities I enjoy. I just fail to prioritize it because I've built it up in my mind as taking a long time that I don't have. Completely over ... Sat, 8 Sep 2012 12:49:51 EST Owning your victories... I had the following dialogue with one of my clients this week: <BR> <BR> Client: Wow! You've lost weight. <BR> Me: Yeah. Just a little. <BR> Client: No. It's much more than a little. You look great. <BR> Me: It's not that much. Thanks for saying that. <BR> <BR> And then we went on to talk about thyroid and Vitamin D issues and other girl talk. <BR> <BR> After our conversation I started to give myself a mental beating. What is wrong with me? This person gave me a wonderful co... Mon, 3 Sep 2012 11:25:03 EST August MUB Time to review my August goals. <BR> <BR> 1. Eating out less - The month ended strong. I think a big factor in that was my son starting kindergarten. He had zero interest in the school lunches and wanted to pack his lunch. While I was packing his lunch, I took care of mine. It made a great difference. <BR> <em>248</em> <BR> <BR> 2. 800 Fitness Minutes - Fail. I am rethinking this goal for September. I have had it on the list for the past two months and have made little progres... Sat, 1 Sep 2012 20:27:59 EST August Goals WUB for Week 3 Time to review my August goals to see how it's going. <BR> <BR> 1. Eating out less - I did pretty darn good this week. I think it helped having my son start school. Preparing his lunch caused me to think about my own. Funny the things we do for our kids but don't do for ourselves. <BR> <em>180</em> <BR> <BR> 2. 800 Fitness Minutes - Thankfully I had a very active weekend. Those minutes gave me a boost towards the goal. Now the focus will be getting in more movement through the wo... Mon, 27 Aug 2012 05:35:32 EST