GRATTECIELLA's SparkPeople Blog GRATTECIELLA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Goals unmet. Try again tomorrow! So. I didn't meet my goals today. No exercise beyond PT (it's hard since that is already a major time suck). Way over calories (not exactly sure why, but it's a combo of lunch out (even though I made good choices, salmon over Caesar salad), Shabbat dinner with wine and bread, and noshing on cake scraps.) Ok, so maybe I do know why. Gotta get that cake out of the house. The good news is that I finished my report. Now no new projects coming up and some time to decompress! Desperately needed, ... Sat, 24 Feb 2018 02:08:42 EST Review of today Let's review how today went. The good: - fit in a walk and time for myself before my intensive afternoon of interviews - got an allergy shot!!! - ate a healthy breakfast (oatmeal and hard boiled egg), lunch (supermarket sushi), and dinner (BFD: scrambled eggs, pumpkin soup, salad, a little leftover fried potatoes) - did a good job on my work - drank all my water - 10k steps - spoke to my physical therapist and confirmed that my knee is just a little stressed out, not re-injured. Take it... Fri, 13 Oct 2017 02:10:41 EST Sweets, my old nemesis I realized that more and more, lately, I've been reaching for the sweets. There are so many excuses: Jewish High Holy days and the family dinners that come with it. Birthday parties. My own love of baking. A little something to wind down with before bed. My kids' constant demands (and yes, we do let them eat sweets in moderate amounts). The jellybeans hiding in my desk drawer and my car. Diet soda, Skinny Cow ice cream bars. <BR> <BR> I had done a great job of weaning myself off sweets as pa... Wed, 27 Sep 2017 01:53:53 EST Small decisions made daily For the last month, I've been more or less phoning it in to Spark. I've had a long birthday weekend, two trips, two kids starting school, three work projects piled on top of each other, and a refrigerator on the fritz. I've mostly tracked my food, but not 100%, and exercise has fallen by the wayside more often than I'd like. Sure, I'm committed in the abstract, and I'm proud as hell of the 18 lbs I've lost, the way I look in my little black dress, the new shape of my face, and the fact that m... Sun, 10 Sep 2017 00:48:14 EST Leaning Out Friends, I am tired. <BR> <BR> I think I've written this in every blog post I've made for the past few months. Not the fatigue of not getting enough sleep, not the pleasant muscle tiredness after a long workout. I'm existentially tired of all the stuff I do. <BR> <BR> I care for my children and, when I'm not home, coordinate the nanny and other childcare. I work (for myself, but still) either from home, or, more often, with a 60-90 minute commute each way a few days a week, and I care for m... Mon, 31 Jul 2017 21:52:14 EST Did I lose? Or not? Sometimes, weighing in is so confusing! <BR> <BR> See, I don't own a scale. I have had an adversarial relationship with it for many years, and ultimately, it was time for a breakup. So when it broke, out it went. <BR> <BR> Now I weigh in at the gym. That's great, because I'm going to the gym, right? Well, yes and no. I belong to a chain of gyms, and there are two locations I visit frequently -- one has a humongous and lovely space, and is closer, but the other has outdoor bouncy castles in... Fri, 28 Jul 2017 20:02:34 EST Strong, powerful women's bodies Want to be inspired? Then take a look here: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-armour-tells-its-women-athletes-stori<BR>es-through-poetry-in-artful-new-ads/ </link> <BR> <BR> Here are five ads for Under Armour that show beautiful, strong, powerful women at the top of their athletic game, performing. Included are a ballerina, a sprinter, a long-distance runner, a stuntwoman, and a martial artist. <BR> <BR> I think my favorite was Misty Copeland, the ballerina. Jus... Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:21:30 EST My long day: the good, the bad, and the ugly Yesterday was one of my extra-long days at work: Get up at 5:45, out of the house by 7am, at work by 8 (ok, so it was 8:30), run usability sessions all day long from 9-5 with a 1-hour lunch-break, debrief, clean up everything, leave the office around 7pm, drive home, read stories to the kids, reset for tomorrow, relax. I always have trouble with sticking to my goals on these days, but here's what went well and badly: <BR> <BR> Morning: <BR> <BR> <em>250</em> Got up with my alarm <BR> ... Fri, 21 Jul 2017 14:24:29 EST 2017 summer bucket list Summer is going by so fast! Here is a partial list of things I want to do before summer is over: <BR> <BR> <BR> 😎 go stand up paddle boarding – date set! This will be a week from Sunday morning while the kids stay at my parents' house. <BR> <BR> <BR> 😎 eat at Simmzy's, a very popular restaurant near our house. I have never eaten there because the line is always too long! But this summer, I want to try it. <BR> <BR> <BR> 😎 go to Shabbat evening services on the beach. Next weekend! <BR... Fri, 21 Jul 2017 02:07:04 EST The things I have accomplished since April 1 So, today I gained about 3/4 of a pound since Wednesday's weigh in. I've been doing great with food and exercise, but I did eat out yesterday, so I think it's probably mostly water gain. Nevertheless, discouraging. <BR> <BR> <BR> (I know it's not recommended to weigh in more than once a week, especially for OCD scale watchers like me, but I'm part of two different challenges, so I need to weigh in twice a week.) <BR> <BR> <BR> In any case, no matter what the scale says, I have made incre... Sat, 15 Jul 2017 01:53:24 EST I love oversharing! I have benefited so much from the new and improved Spark since I returned to this site for real in April. My favorite thing about it is the Friend Feed. <BR> <BR> Every day, I start the morning by surfing through the Friend Feed. It is inspiring to see so many people achieving goals, so many happy scale photos and before-and-after photos and Same Shirt Different Day photos. I also love seeing people who are engaging in healthy behaviors, posting photos of meals that might inspire me, high s... Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:16:01 EST My First 5K Yesterday was my first 5k! I have been looking forward to this day for over a year. As a kid, I always hated running; but as an adult, it looks like fun to have some exercise that can be done solo, with minimal equipment, in a beautiful location. Runners don't need to schedule gym classes into their day, or get to the weight room or use special equipment to train (at least not for the running part); they simply lace up and go. And, of course, running burns a ton of calories. I walked a mara... Mon, 26 Jun 2017 01:37:17 EST Operation Plateau Buster: Not Busted Yet So, I really turned up the juice last week. <BR> <BR> I increased exercise intensity, and got in at least three really good strength workouts. <BR> <BR> I worked hard on my running, including a couple of "long" (5k distance) runs and a speed workout. <BR> <BR> I worked hard on keeping my calories in check -- still around 1500-1800 per day, but under the low end of my range most days, and certainly lower than the previous week. And I cut out evening eating (other than diet soda), which is ... Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:54:19 EST Operation Plateau Buster: Monday, Day 6 An excellent day from a weight-loss perspective! Relatively low calorie breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. I was home working, or trying to work, most of the day, and headed to the gym at 5 PM. Despite my snack of cottage cheese and fruit, and later a protein bar, I felt hungry on the way to the gym – but I didn't bonk. Instead I did a great job! Great work out: 20 minutes of strength training, five minutes of rowing, and 33 min of speed intervals running. Ended the day with a glass of w... Tue, 20 Jun 2017 02:36:24 EST Operation Plateau Buster days 2, 3, and 4 So ... still trying to bust through my plateau. <BR> <BR> Friday was a really busy day. Preschool graduation in the morning(!!!), then a 45-minute drive to Santa Monica for a professional meeting, then back home and Shabbat dinner with the family. I REALLY didn't feel like cooking, so I played with the kids while my husband put dinner together. Turnabout is fair play, right? Usually I've been with the kids the whole day while he comes home, the kids swarm to him for attention, and I put tog... Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:02:28 EST Operation Plateau Buster commenced! Operation Plateau Buster commenced today: <BR> <BR> <em>23</em> <em>320</em> 30 min of strength training <BR> <em>314</em> in addition to walking, I added in 5 min of rowing and 15 min of elliptical to shake things up <BR> <em>311</em> over 10k steps <BR> <em>301</em> ate under my calorie range (although still 1950 calories - I have a high calorie range because of a lot of physical activity) <BR> <em>181</em> a glass of wine at dinner to destress and to shake things up <BR>... Fri, 16 Jun 2017 02:10:32 EST What do you do when you plateau? For the past 3-4 weeks, my weight has been holding steady. 179 lbs. <BR> <BR> Now, the good news is that I haven't gained anything. I've lost between 8 and 10 lbs, which is nothing to sneeze at, and I've settled in the 170's, which psychologically feels a lot better than being stuck in the 180s, even though they're only a pound apart. <BR> <BR> But, I'm getting frustrated! Every day I diligently track my food, eat my freggies, drink my water, do my morning and evening squats, plan my exerc... Thu, 15 Jun 2017 01:30:22 EST What do you do on your bad days? It's easy to do a great job on the good days. <BR> <BR> On the good days, I wake up full of energy for my workout, my healthy eating, my water, and my other tasks of the day (you know, the job and the parenting and the house stuff and all the other little things I do every day). <BR> <BR> Other days, like today, I wake up and don't want to get out of bed. On those days, I'm on auto-pilot, doing whatever is easiest, or whatever I've planned for, without any added complications. On a day li... Tue, 13 Jun 2017 18:40:47 EST What Sparkers can learn from the Julliard audition process I just read, and really enjoyed, this blog. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ld-son-auditioned-at-juilliard-2017-5 </link> <BR> <BR> The author, a mother, describes her son's process of practicing for a big cello audition at a top music school. He is 11 years old, and he spends 3 hours a day practicing the same piece of music. When he complains he's bored, his teacher explains how to break the piece down into smaller pieces, practice it in different ways, and find... Sat, 3 Jun 2017 00:22:17 EST Calorie range strategies I had a wonderful vacation, walking all over San Francisco and eating whatever I wanted within reason. This didn't necessarily mean that I splurged (although I did have gelato on Saturday), but it meant that I ate what I wanted to without worrying too much about the calorie count. <BR> <BR> <BR> Today, back on the wagon! However, it was a difficult day to do that, since it was effectively still a weekend. I had a healthy breakfast and modest lunch, and then took the kids to a barbecue. Alth... Tue, 30 May 2017 02:51:30 EST San Francisco! On Wednesday, my husband and I celebrated 8 years of marriage. 8 very eventful years, including buying a house, and the birth of two children, ages 5 and 3. Phew! <BR> <BR> As an anniversary present, my parents will be watching the kids for two nights, and my husband and I will be heading to San Francisco! It can't come soon enough. Our nanny has been away for two weeks, so for the last two weeks, I had zero time to myself -- I was either with the kids, working, or doing household chores, an... Fri, 26 May 2017 00:42:16 EST Bathing suit time! Are you ready for bathing suit season? <BR> <BR> <BR> I'm not. We recently went on a vacation to a beach resort. I packed my two favorite bathing suits with flattering ruching ... and discovered that, after 6+ years, the elastic wasn't working so well, and my breasts felt like they were down around my knees. I left them both in the trash can of the resort and bought a new one. However, this new one, selected from the resort gift shop, has a tendency to let my entire breast shimmy out as I ... Mon, 22 May 2017 14:29:37 EST My Relationship with Food On Friday, I made (and posted) beautiful (if I say so myself) chocolate cupcakes for my daughter's third birthday dinner. Yesterday I posted a newsfeed photo of my kids eating ice cream -- our treat after a morning at the beach. I felt like I was only posting photos of kids eating junk food, so I made a comment that I want my kids to develop a healthy relationship with treats. <BR> <BR> It made me think about my own relationship with food. As a kid, I perceived that my parents were the heal... Sun, 21 May 2017 19:16:07 EST Day by Day Every day is different. <BR> <BR> Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you. <BR> <BR> Yesterday was a good day, health-wise. I didn't get to the gym to exercise, but I made time to walk. I hit 10k steps and ate within my calories. I successfully bypassed Krispy Kreme mini chocolate covered donuts in the breakroom, peanut butter M&Ms in the observation room, and assorted candy bowls around the office (though I did sock away some Gobstoppers for "emergencies"). I came away... Thu, 18 May 2017 23:51:07 EST Survival guide for long days I'm back from family camp! A good time was had by all. We tie-dyed, spent time together as a family, and got to meet some new Jewish families. We spent lots of time examining the flora and fauna of the vicinity (at least, if you count lizards, beetles, and moths as fauna), swam, did art, and learned some sublimely silly songs. (If you're curious, google the one that goes, "Moose, alpaca; moose, moose, alpaca.") <BR> <BR> As far as my health goals, I think I did pretty well. I brought my wate... Thu, 18 May 2017 01:50:38 EST Offline for the weekend I'm headed to family camp this weekend. A few times a year, my family goes to a weekend camp. It's set up by one of the Jewish sleepaway camps in our area. There's cabin or motel-style housing for families, food is provided in the dining hall, and there's programming for families, for kids by themselves, and for adults alone. The kids enjoy it, and I love spending time with the family away from the washing machine, the dishwasher, and the other stresses of daily life. We do art, tie-dye sh... Thu, 11 May 2017 15:08:32 EST Binge vs. Treat So today, for the first time since I recommitted on April 1, I had a binge. <BR> <BR> I ate an entire pint of ice cream in front of the TV. <BR> <BR> Now, it was Halo Top ice cream, so an entire pint is only 240 calories, and high in protein. And it fits within my calories for the day. And I had a small lunch, small snack, and small dinner. But still ... <BR> <BR> In truth, the low calorie count is part of why I finished the pint. I was eating out of the container, a semi-forbidden treat ... Wed, 10 May 2017 01:51:02 EST On fluctuations in weight Today I did a late afternoon work out, and after that, I made the mistake of weighing myself. <BR> <BR> <BR> I weigh in at the gym weekly – I got rid of my home scale years ago after learning that obsessive weighing was only leading me to craziness and mental anguish. Like many of us, I have had a long and complex relationship with the scale. Most recently, I would weigh myself every time I went to the gym -- or not. It was painful to see the pounds creep on. <BR> <BR> <BR> Since I recomm... Mon, 8 May 2017 02:27:09 EST There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in I have spent a lot of time cursing my own human frailty. Why do I binge? Why do I overeat? Why do I yell at my kids? Why do I succumb to laziness, vanity, greed, any one of a hundred other tendencies I would rather not have? <BR> <BR> Here is a beautiful article by a mother of a child with a chromosomal abnormality about coming to terms with what that means, why she couldn't prevent it, and how all these illnesses and frailties are all part of the human condition. <BR> <BR> <link>velamag.c... Thu, 4 May 2017 19:37:05 EST Not binging but splurging Today I woke up in the morning feeling saggy and droopy. Despite over eight hours of sleep (according to my fit bit) I just didn't want to get up this morning. It's been a very kid–intensive week, and the thought of another day spent with them was tiring. I've also been placing more emphasis than usual on exercising. I was just plain tired! So I decided to use my few kid free hours to do some work for clients rather than head to the gym. This was also work I needed to do, and it was nice to ... Thu, 4 May 2017 02:42:29 EST Under calories today! I think I figured out what works for me with lunch! <BR> <BR> <BR> Today, I spent all day with the kids, so of course it was exhausting. I had baked oatmeal for breakfast, to which I add lots of protein powder as well as milk and eggs, so it's high protein. I supplement with a hard-boiled egg. <BR> <BR> <BR> That kept me full until 12:30 or so, at which point, I decided I better have a snack preemptively. (That's new – usually I'm starving at 11:30!) But I wasn't starving! I had some chee... Wed, 3 May 2017 01:28:21 EST Still troubleshooting lunch First of all, I'm very proud of myself today for getting in my exercise even though I couldn't go to the gym as planned. Our nanny cancelled, so I was on the hook for picking up the kids at 3pm. Our gym has a kids' club, but I'm planning on taking them there tomorrow when I go to physical therapy. Today they wanted to play with me! Awww. I couldn't resist. Also, the weather was truly lovely, so I wanted to spend time outside, not at the gym. So instead we walked to the library. In the process... Tue, 2 May 2017 00:33:51 EST On brain chemistry If you've read my other blog posts, you know that a few days ago, I was in complete depression and despair. It had started suddenly. And it ended just as suddenly. No reason, no rhyme. <BR> <BR> Just like that, for about a week or ten days, I was ready to snap at everyone, cry at the drop of a hat, and shout at my children. The depression also had a physical component: I could feel tears forming behind my eyes at random moments, and I was exhausted, needing to go to bed two hours earlier tha... Sun, 30 Apr 2017 02:49:40 EST Time for more protein! Today I swam for the first time in at least six months. Wow! What a workout! I swam for about 40 minutes, 40 lengths of the pool, (a little more than half a mile), a mix of freestyle and backstroke, and at the end, I exited the pool completely wrung out. Sometimes swimming is boring, but today I mostly enjoyed the tranquil back and forth with nothing to accompany me but my own thoughts. Also, a shout out to my new friend Marian in the locker room, who gave me her spare swim cap when I discove... Fri, 28 Apr 2017 03:13:56 EST Playing with our food Mentally, I'm feeling SOOO much better today. Not sure why, but I'll take it! <BR> <BR> For dinner, I made buttermilk-beet borscht (a super easy and yummy recipe, and a great way to start a meal), followed by pan-seared grouper and roasted cauliflower. Since the kids don't usually eat soup, they requested carrots. So I busted out the purple carrots I'd bought recently at the farmers market. <BR> <BR> <img src="">... Thu, 27 Apr 2017 02:33:49 EST Tough times and rocky seas I have been having a tough time for the last week or two. Lots of stress, lots of enmity towards the children. Who, of course, usually deserve it -- but a good mommy just doesn't act on all those feelings of frustration. There's a difference between saying you want to scream when you see the messy toy room, and crying tears of frustration because you're literally restraining yourself from screaming. A difference between feeling annoyed when your three-year-old yells at the top of her lungs fo... Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:32:15 EST Lack of Stopping Power I felt tired all day today. I also felt that I deserved some self-love after a long weekend. So I picked up my favorite healthy lunch, poke with brown rice, and biked down the beach to eat it in a beautiful spot. <BR> <BR> <BR> Have you tried poke? I love it! It's a Hawaiian raw fish salad or relish, most often ahi tuna, usually served on or with rice or salad (I do brown rice, or a combo), and alongside seaweed salad. If you like sushi, you'd love it -- it's like deconstructed sushi. We ha... Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:33:51 EST Recovering from the weekend It's been a tough weekend around here. In many ways it was a normal weekend, but when you have a five-year-old and a three-year-old, even a normal weekend can be tough. So much whining! So much crying (from both of them, and finally, from me). I can be very very hard on myself about little things – losing things, not preparing properly for the days activities. When you're the mom, sometimes it feels like everything is your fault, including children's meltdowns. Emotionally, I am ready for a b... Mon, 24 Apr 2017 02:01:19 EST Small but Steady First of all, my apologies to my Spring 5% Weight Loss Challenge team, the Awesome A's. I DID track food, drink water, and exercise yesterday (25 minutes on the exercise bike was the highlight) but forgot to log it on the team log. So no perfect attendance for me this week! And perfectionist that I am, it's really getting my goat that I forgot. But even though I forgot to track it, I personally still reap the rewards of my responsible behavior. <BR> <BR> It's also my second consecutive week... Sat, 22 Apr 2017 13:35:17 EST The perfect is the enemy of the good I'm very proud of myself today! On only five hours of sleep (a bad start, I know), I conducted a successful series of usability test. Along the way, I managed to get in a 15 minute walk around the office complex, and I also resisted the following temptations: <BR> - Candy in various bowls around the office <BR> - Doughnuts, chocolate, and cake pops in the break room <BR> - M&Ms in the lab observation room <BR> - and finally, a free mocha that got brought back to me after a trip from Starbucks... Thu, 20 Apr 2017 01:58:35 EST Nerdstrong Love the nerdy things in life? You might like sci-fi based workouts at Nerdstrong gym in Hollywood: <link> </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> It's a neat concept, and a fun article, but in all seriousness: how many of us have ever felt that we were out of place at our gym? How many of us have ever been bored by our workout? Far too many. I love the idea of creating a work out around topics of interest, and using that to motivate you. <BR> <BR> <BR> And in some ways, isn't th... Tue, 18 Apr 2017 23:38:43 EST Challenges: the good and the bad Right now I'm a member of two different challenges via two different apps. From Spark, I'm participating in the 5% weight loss challenge as a member of the Awesome A's team. So far, I have lost 1.4 pounds in the first week, and I have been very motivated to increase my exercise, drink my water, and track all food. I don't want to let my teammates down! I've also enjoyed the opportunity to make new spark friends through that team as well as through the feed. Via one of the feed members, I als... Tue, 18 Apr 2017 02:26:18 EST Danger: late night snacks! It had been a low-calorie day, thanks to getting up late and modest meals. After an evening workout, I was hungry and under my calories. So I decided to treat myself to a Skinny Cow ice cream bar. Delicious. Except ... That delicious chocolatey taste was so good that just one bar didn't seem satisfying. The taste coated my mouth. I yearned for more! Fortunately, tonight I managed to squelch the craving with a small handful of granola and a spicy ginger candy. But it so easily could have bee... Mon, 17 Apr 2017 02:09:11 EST Another mostly successful day A great morning bike ride with the family - a fun way to be active. And since I was towing my daughter and all our stuff up and down hills, I definitely got a workout! The family got gelato at the halfway point; I tasted theirs, but got myself iced coffee instead as my treat. Tonight I had another victory. My husband and I ate at a fancy restaurant. I ate slowly and consciously, and despite getting a 3-course prix fixe, I managed to come in only 18 calories over my limit (with exercise adde... Sun, 16 Apr 2017 01:57:36 EST Friday, Friday So ... I am 40 cals over my goal for today. That includes all the calories I earned from exercising too. Disappointing! But I had the following successes: - exercised for 66 minutes, including my first jog in over 6 months - reached 10k steps for the 4th day in a row - made healthy food choices all day - forewent chocolate cupcakes for dessert on favor of tea and fruit - AND lost 1.4 lbs since Monday. I'd call that a successful day! Sat, 15 Apr 2017 01:00:50 EST It's not what life gives you, it's how you respond A great video on positivity and seeing the glass as half full: <link><BR>s/videos/10154734275256939/ </link> <BR> <BR> This man went through extreme tragedy, losing his young son. And in the aftermath he discovered: I could cry in a room every day for the rest of my life, and that wouldn't bring him back. So instead, I need to go out and make every day just a little better than the one before. <BR> <BR> Amazing and inspiring. What has life given you t... Fri, 14 Apr 2017 13:15:12 EST I am the kind of person who ... Listened to a great podcast today: Freakonomics' episode called, "Could Solving This One Problem Solve All the Others?" <link><BR>-problem-solve-others/ </link> <BR> <BR> In this podcast, two scientists talk about a project to figure out how to effect long-term behavioral change. And one thing they said really stood out to me. They talked about how long-term behavioral change isn't just about consciously changing a behavior every time; it's about chang... Fri, 14 Apr 2017 01:55:53 EST Running for my life Here's one more reason to get back to running when I'm cleared by the physical therapist: <BR> <BR> An hour of running may add up to 7 hours of lifespan. <link><BR>ell/move/an-hour-of-running-may-add-se<BR>ven-hours-to-your-life.html </link> <BR> <BR> In addition to the other benefits: <BR> - efficient calorie burning <BR> - beautiful location (I run along the beach) <BR> - takes no equipment other than a decent pair of shoes <BR> - great training for ... Thu, 13 Apr 2017 02:28:39 EST Two days in and feeling great I've just started the Spring 5% Weight Loss Challenge, and I feel terrific! It's amazing what a big difference it makes to have some confidence that I'm on the right path. <BR> <BR> I've committed to eating within my calories (and I unlinked my Fitbit so that I don't get all the erroneous extra calories from my daily movement); I've committed to exercise (not necessarily a lot, but consciously each day) and drinking all my water each day; and I'm eating consciously and mindfully. I also am ... Wed, 12 Apr 2017 16:39:23 EST 10 Reasons to Lose Weight As inspired by the Spring 2017 5% Weight Loss Challenge: <BR> <BR> - Have energy to run, jump, and play with my children <BR> - Fit into my clothes (nice dresses, work pants, maybe even my prom dress) <BR> - Not have to buy new clothes <BR> - Feel great when I look at myself <BR> - Stay healthy as I age <BR> - Less stress on already damaged knees <BR> - Feel great about myself as I look at photos <BR> - Look great in a bathing suit this summer. Maybe even buy a bikini! <BR> - Smaller waist ... Fri, 7 Apr 2017 16:54:35 EST