HEALTHYGAL01's SparkPeople Blog HEALTHYGAL01's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Weight loss rewarded at quilt festival Last week I disappeared from SparkPeople to attend my annual marathon quilting event, International Quilt Festival in Houston,Tx. It is an unbelievably large event with 2 full convention center halls of vendors and 2 full halls of exhibits. I also take classes on the third floor of the building so there is a massive amount of walking and carrying supplies and purchases. <BR> This year was very different than the last few years. The show opens at 5pm on a Wednesday for those pre-registered an... Sat, 10 Nov 2012 00:25:20 EST Onederland Finally!!!!! Today is my official weigh in day and I am so excited. My weight is finally below 200 pounds for the first time in decades. It feels wonderful. I saw 199 on Saturday and was excited but tried to not get too excited since my scale seems to bounce around a lot and show up higher on weigh in date. Today however it was a bit lower. I am really excited and really inspired to keep going. <BR> <BR> A funny thing happened today. I decided to get a pedicure. I haven't been to the nail salon in month... Thu, 4 Oct 2012 00:38:24 EST Changes beyond the scale I just got my blood work from my 3 month post-surgical visit. At the visit I saw that I've lost 36 pounds and my blood pressure which had been 140/80 is now 100/70. Now I see that my cholesterol went from 245 to 176. <BR> <BR> I am amazed to see this much change already. I have a ways to get to my goal and I've been frustrated when the scale doesn't seem to move but now I have proof that good things are happening even when I can't see them Thu, 30 Aug 2012 23:57:23 EST 3 month check up was a-ok Had my 3 month post-surgical visit today and was very excited to see that their scale actually reads less than the one I have at home. I've lost 36 pounds since surgery and the office was really pleased with my progress. I was also surprised at my blood pressure. I was expecting a high reading because the cuff was so tight but my blood pressure was perfect where in the past it was at the highest end of "normal". I had blood drawn so will be waiting to see what my serum vitamin levels are. I ... Fri, 24 Aug 2012 17:02:06 EST Health and Spiritual thought I shared something with a Spark friend who thought my thought was worthwhile. I decided to share it publically in case others find it so and so I will be sure to remember it. <BR> <BR> Years ago I took a class that used the first portion of Genesis to discuss the nature of God and Man. The concept that God made Man in His image implies that as we need to love and respect God so do we need to love and respect each other and OURSELVES. We are all made in the image of God. To me it follows that... Thu, 2 Aug 2012 13:08:23 EST Discipline starting with a blog I have been so impressed with some of my spark friends who blog regularly. I do a reasonably good job at posting to teams but somehow avoid blogs. After reading Sprinklechez's blog, I promised I would start writing! I reviewed my spark goals this evening, some I set when I first joined this site years ago. One of the goals was regular journaling, I have not made progress with that goal so I am now challenging myself to "just do it" <BR> <BR> I have been bad about not taking pictures or measu... Sat, 28 Jul 2012 01:29:47 EST Relearning about eating Today was exciting for me. I found myself at a luncheon and I actually found food that I could eat. I had a small quantity of tuna salad and then tried out 3 cubes of melon and a few leaves of different lettuces. I finished at the same time as my friend who had a mo "normal" quantity of food. I was really excited to be able to eat th lettuces. This is the first time that I have eaten raw vegetables since March. That was when the surgeon told me to avoid them to avoid issues with my stomach ob... Sat, 30 Jun 2012 16:57:27 EST Today is an Exciting Day! I had my 1 month check with my surgeon.I'm 5 weeks post op. I've lost 21 pounds and he says I am doing well. As of today, I have no more restrictions. I can lift laundry baskets and not worry about weight (hmm I might not tell DS and DH - just kidding) , I can strength train and core train. He also said I can start eating whatever I can eat - no more soft food restrictions. That being said I should still only be eating a half cup at a time and protein first. He also reminded me that I might... Wed, 27 Jun 2012 15:09:27 EST So far so good I haven't moved around a whole lot yet but I think the some of the pain has subsided. Just got out of the shower and I'm resting up a bit before I get dressed but I feel like maybe I will be able to move a bit today. <BR> <BR> I also got confirmation from my doctor's coordinator that I should now be on soft food. This will mean more choices and the requirement to chew. I'm a bit nervous but excited and I am going to spend some time planning the next days food. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I download... Mon, 11 Jun 2012 11:14:15 EST Unhappily learning to be patient and succeeding at being frustrated I am now 18 days post surgery. On the whole I feel pretty good. My skin is healing and I finally got the remains of the I've bandage tape off my wrist. I am trying to experiment with soft foods - so far only tuna but I think I adore fat free refrained black beans. I am careful about getting in protein and work hard at fluids, my only problem is if I move my side hurts something awful. My surgeon told me that the area that is hurting had a really big hole that they yanked out the damaged tiss... Sat, 9 Jun 2012 21:17:59 EST Just watched Hairspray and feeling a bit sad about it Hairspray is a wonderful musical film ( adapted from a play) set in per-integrated 1960 Baltimore. The main character is a chubby highs cool student who wants to dance on the teen tv show, has a crush on the cute boy dancer (Zac Ephron) and wants a world where everyone can be proud to be themselves no matter the color of their skin or their size ( John Travolta plays her "size 60" mom who does not want to leave her house at her size). <BR> The movie made me happy that the world has changed si... Tue, 5 Jun 2012 15:59:33 EST Just watched Hairspray and feeling a bit sad about it Hairspray is a wonderful musical film ( adapted from a play) set in per-integrated 1960 Baltimore. The main character is a chubby highs cool student who wants to dance on the teen tv show, has a crush on the cute boy dancer (Zac Ephron) and wants a world where everyone can be proud to be themselves no matter the color of their skin or their size ( John Travolta plays her "size 60" mom who does not want to leave her house at her size). <BR> The movie made me happy that the world has changed si... Tue, 5 Jun 2012 15:59:31 EST Why I Want Independence from Excess Weight I have been slip-sliding badly this year. After a year of doctor visits trying to unravel a knee issue, I had arthroscopic surgery to look in the knee and try to correct the problem that did not show on an MRI. The issues impacted my exercise and mobility and then bad eating followed. I gave it a lot of thought today. I seem to be able to stick to my plan for several days or even weeks BUT to get the results I want I need consistency long term. I decided it was time to remember why I want a... Sun, 4 Jul 2010 18:09:22 EST Progress This week I saw again that Spark Streaks are not a tool for me, a recovering perfectionist. I logged in one night close to midnight and that day was not counted. I did not let my head get into a bad loop over it though - I am going to monitor my process without getting hung up on the streaks. The promise I made to blog my progress did help me with water several days where I might have blown it off. <BR> <BR> This week has been good. I have been very consistent about drinking my water. I have... Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:33:45 EST Getting my Spark lit again! Months of inactivity have left tell-tale signs on my body. I can't say that my eating habits have helped. It seems inactivity, pain and depression seem to keep company with each other. I've been on this site long enough to know that "the buck stops here". I need to take responsibility for myself. <BR> <BR> Today I reset my streaks and I am committing to drinking my water and logging my food every day. I intend to blog every week (I've never been that good at blogging). I am going to add exer... Mon, 18 Jan 2010 16:32:20 EST Gratitude with the frustration I decided to accompany my husband on his short business trip to the Atlanta area despite my dr not wanting me to fly. I reasoned that I would stay in bed once I got here and packed lots of things to keep me happy and busy while DH was at his meeting - beads, quilt projects that did not require a machine and books. We got to the airport to leave where we discovered that DH left my suitcase in our kitchen at home. This place is gorgeous and would be a great place to get exercise. Unfortunately... Fri, 23 Oct 2009 15:27:55 EST Frustration I am finally getting my spark back - I set new fast break goals and I am eager to go. I am almost ready to face the scale and not let it depress me. <BR> My right leg has been increasingly painful and is limiting my ability to move. I went to a Chiropractor who decided the problem is in the joint and that I need surgery; I went to a surgeon who said the problem is in the muscles and I needed PT to strengthen the opposing muscles. The PT left me unable to walk. Today, I went to a sports/physi... Mon, 19 Oct 2009 20:27:00 EST Traveling and The Spark Convention I have not been home much this May. I went to the Spark Convention and ended up taking a mini vacation to see family and to enjoy the beautiful San Diego weather and scenery. I spent 3 1/2 days back in Houston and I am on the road again - this time in Kanas for a quilt show. The hotel room is quiet, I can now start to blog about my convention experience! <BR> <BR> I am so glad I decided to go to the convention. Convention day was packed with activity and I wish it could have been longer. ... Sun, 10 May 2009 23:04:07 EST I am re-committing myself I have been floundering for some time. This year has been flying away rapidly and I have had a hard time getting myself to do the work I need to do to lose the rest of my extra weight and to make sure I keep it off. <BR> <BR> I have been doing some self talk this week to unravel the problem and decided that part of the issue has been success - I am much more comfortable with my body than I was before I started so the pain level is not keeping me motivated. I had to look at my motivations a... Thu, 2 Apr 2009 13:01:55 EST Progress My strategy of facing the scale after practicing my plan for part of the week paid off. I dragged it out today full of dread. I expected to see a gain and prepared myself to see 215. I was so surprised when the number was actually 205.4. I am about 3 pounds away from my next 10 percent goal and ever so closer to onderland. <BR> <BR> Lesson learned - Stay the course and stay focused. One or several days of eating too much are not a fat sentence unless I give up and don't get back in action. <... Wed, 7 Jan 2009 11:02:01 EST Staying the course/Back on track Not sure why but I really avoid writing - even made journaling a fast break goal but I still avoid it. I have a habit of letting the squirrelly thoughts run in circles in my head. <BR> <BR> The past year I made great progress. I now avoid the gallons of diet sodas I used to drink and enjoy cold water. I can move so much better than I could before (even made it through Quilt Festival without having to sit down every hour). I have clothes not purchased at plus size shops. I even enjoy the fe... Sun, 4 Jan 2009 13:24:01 EST I haven't vanished/Sparkversary I've been largely absent from this site in the past 2 weeks. We survived Ike and have power and our grocery stores no longer have lines to get in. I hosted my friend's family here last week until they got power on Friday. My partner's business was shut down for 7 days because of evacuation and lack of power after Ike and I have been busy trying to help him get things in shape and getting ready for our wedding on October 12. (It is so hard to believe that it is finally almost here - we have... Mon, 29 Sep 2008 22:11:46 EST Waiting for Ike I am really enjoying our day off today and happy to be able to attempt to get caught up on SparkPeople. Life has been so hectic that I have not been able to check in several times a day and I realize now that I do need to have a daily spark break in my life. <BR> <BR> The reason we are off is not that much fun. Right now it looks like our home might be near the path of hurricane Ike. His predicted path keeps moving so there is a chance we will be spared. It is so hard to be waiting. My count... Thu, 11 Sep 2008 21:21:55 EST Descending from the Plateau I missed my regular weigh in yesterday because of the negative thoughts I was stuck in - feeling "fat" and out of control. <BR> <BR> Today was time for my annual physical with the GP and blood work. I decided to weigh before I left so I wouldn't be surprised when I got there. I lost weight - more than I have in a long time - 2.8 pounds! I'm down 66 pounds. <BR> <BR> I was really excited about seeing the dr since I thought he would be impressed - he would have been too but he didn't say anyt... Tue, 26 Aug 2008 22:39:12 EST Stress / Exhaustion I am feeling really stressed and thinly spread. I have a busy life, I added getting a wedding together to my routine and then pow (Yes after 20 years my partner and I are going to be married in October)! I ended up having to help out in my SO's office when a key staff member quit without notice. I'm trying to get things going in the office and at the same time not give up my workouts or the appointments I already had. That leaves a lot of driving and only working part time which leaves more ... Mon, 25 Aug 2008 19:08:38 EST Gratitude Today was a wonderful day - my neighborhood was NOT struck by a hurricane that we were sure would be passing right over us. The area was really quiet. My partner closed his office. My son's college was closed. My quilting play date was canceled. That gave me the opportunity to work at my quilting room alone and think while I worked. <BR> <BR> The one thought was gratitude. I am grateful to not have to deal with hurricane damage. I am grateful to have lost 1/2 of the excess weight I am carryi... Tue, 5 Aug 2008 22:26:54 EST Loving my body NOW Yesterday was a difficult day. I paid my second visit to a Traditional Chinese Doctor. (In an attempt to see if he could fix a long standing IT Band injury that keeps me from walking/moving well without steroid shots). This time with my significant other (SO) in tow to hold my hand (and so I could get his reaction to what was going on). One of the first things the doctor said was "You still too fat". SO thought that was really funny since it was as if I could make major changes in 4 days. T... Sun, 27 Jul 2008 20:04:28 EST Progress Again? Monday's weigh in showed me at 3.6 pounds below the mark that the scale kept bouncing up to over the past month. Yipeee! I hope this bodes a return to progress. I am going to write my insurance agent to see if he can do something with the new number in terms of getting me either better health coverage or reduced rates. <BR> <BR> I noticed something else to celebrate. I have lost 61.5 pounds. If my goal is 155 (I may revise this as I get closer but I think it is a valid healthy goal), I need ... Tue, 22 Jul 2008 12:09:21 EST Sparking My Life My plateau continues. I've listened to my team mates' feedback and decided on my course of action. I am going forward and continuing with the healthy habits I've been working on AND I am going to focus on the positive - all the wonderful changes I've made and how much better I feel now than when I was at my peak weight and gaining. I am focusing on appreciating my body. I am also going to continue to give it the best nutrition, exercise and rest that I can. <BR> <BR> I've also thought about ... Wed, 16 Jul 2008 22:57:40 EST Frustration begins with an 'S' as in S-C-A-L-E-S. I was looking forward to my Monday weigh in. It seemed that my plateau was shattered last week. Lately I have been stronger and exercising more. I am regaining my bicycle endurance and my clothes have become very baggy. I was sure that the scale was going to put me at the weight I need to be to qualify for better health insurance rates. No go! Not only was the weight back up but each time I tried my scale the number was different. In the past, this might have led to an eati... Wed, 2 Jul 2008 16:35:35 EST Progress I went on a club ride today for the first time in 2 years. I did the 30 mile route and really did not have trouble with it (Thursday I did 18 miles). This is the longest ride I've done since being back in the saddle. The best part is that I don't feel trashed now. When I first started riding I would sleep all day after this ride. <BR> <BR> The most exciting part was my club jersey. I own 2 club jerseys; one is a 2x and the other a 3x. Even though they are club cut not race cut they have alw... Sat, 28 Jun 2008 14:05:39 EST Inertia and Ranges I finally talked myself into getting out of the house this morning. Since I retired I have a terrible time getting anything done in the morning. I love the freedom of the 1 hour breakfast and coffee BUT I have lots of things I'd like to get done. I woke up this morning and knew I should get some cardio in. I had planned on a bike ride. I finally got out on the bike but it wasn't until 10 AM and I was up at 7:30 (ok it does take 15 to 30 minutes to get the gear, sunscreen and tire inflation to... Thu, 26 Jun 2008 13:44:24 EST Perserverance Pays The scale finally moved downward this week - 2.4 pounds. Last week I made sure I stayed in my calorie range and drank at least 8 glasses of water a day. I exercised AND I focused on getting my protein in range. <BR> <BR> Jules gave me a lot to think about. I'm not sure where the nutritionist put my nutrient goals. The ones she gave me when I started were different than the spark generated ones - calories are lower, protein higher and fat/carbs therefore lower - originally <BR> 1400 kcals;14... Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:20:14 EST A reward and This journey is different I had another reward the other day at the gym. They measured me for body fat using calipers and by their measurements I am now OVERWEIGHT. That is so exciting for me. I was even pleased that DH understood (he is a skinny clueless guy usually) why being OVERWEIGHT is a good thing. It is so much better than morbidly obese. Once the scale starts moving downwards again, my weight will be where the insurance companies believe this change. It really does feel good to be making major positive chan... Wed, 18 Jun 2008 11:36:03 EST Celebrating Success - Little Things Mean So Much I traveled to Chicago with DH last week and was really pleasantly surprised. Not only did I no longer need a seat belt extender but I was actually able to tighten the belt a bit. I was extra excited because I was able to unfold the tray table all the way and actually put my water glass on it. In the past the tray did not go all the way down since my stomach held it up and I would just use DH's tray. This is a small reward that actually shows the difference I have made in my body. <em>244</e... Mon, 16 Jun 2008 19:17:09 EST My metabolism is getting less efficient! I am so excited. 3 years ago I took an RMR test to determine how many calories I need to stay alive while at rest. The number (1280) was much smaller than I would have liked (especially since we are not living in famine conditions). I have been losing weight by sticking between 1200 to 1400 calories a day, eating "whole" foods, drinking water, eliminating all diet softdrinks and all labeled corn syrup and exercising. <BR> <BR> My coach (who is a highly trained personal trainer and dietitia... Wed, 11 Jun 2008 08:07:46 EST Practicing what I preach This week the scale was up slightly (0.2) pounds. I am listening to my own advice and not getting down about it I checked last weeks food records and my calories were in range all week. I had my water and I did do a good bit of exercise. This week I am going to add exercise. <BR> <BR> I also talked to my coach who is a nutritionist as well as a personal trainer and tomorrow I take another resting metabolic rate test. The last one I did was about 4 years ago and it told me that I need 1280 ... Mon, 9 Jun 2008 14:01:50 EST Progress This week I was pleased to see another pound gone. My weight loss curve has really flattened out but I am still pleased that the line is heading down. I have so much more energy than I used to have and I am finally learning to feel good about myself. <BR> <BR> I think if I weren't learning to feel good about myself the weight loss would be much harder. It is easier to eat good foods in appropriate quantities when I want to increase my health. A big change from eating destructively out of se... Mon, 2 Jun 2008 21:21:44 EST Increase Consistency I just noticed the "spark streaks" feature. One of my fast break goals was to journal regularly. That is one of the goals I let slip through my fingers. I enjoy writing if I have an issue or thought I am wrestling with. Much of the time my "writing" is long team posts or email to close friends. <BR> I was reminded of that goal at the same time I finally decided to join the community team to enforce at least weekly blogging. <BR> Amazing that the reminder comes just when I decide to do someth... Mon, 26 May 2008 09:29:14 EST Things are Different this time A friend noticing my weight loss asked me "why" things were working now. I think she is struggling with her weight and does not understand why I've been successful when I've just managed just to gain weight in the past.That got me to thinking. I've wondered too since there were many diets I could not stay on. What is different and why is it working? <BR> <BR> In the past I absolutely could not do food records. My mom dragged me to Weight Watchers when I was 12 years old and I never learned h... Thu, 3 Apr 2008 13:42:57 EST No more deprivation This year I chose a word rather than a resolution to guide my new year. My word of the year is "self love" since I decided everything I want to accomplish could be done as an expression of self-love. Last weekend I found out that keeping this word in mind made the difference between joyful healthy eating and feeling deprived. <BR> <BR> I went to a quilt retreat in the Texas hill country which is noted for deep-fried or sweet Southern cooking and heavy german / czech food. I brought my rice c... Wed, 6 Feb 2008 10:29:12 EST Success and Habits I got an email today with a great tag line: <BR> Motivation gets you going but habit gets you there. Zig Ziglar <BR> Before I could share it, I had to verify it myself (not sure why she is a very trustworthy friend - must be my academic training). I found a treasure trove of Zig Ziglar quotes including: <BR> People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing.. that's why we recommend it daily. <BR> <BR> I read both of this with "Yes, that does let me lose successfull... Mon, 31 Dec 2007 18:49:37 EST My word for 2008 My friend sent me a link to a blog that talks about choosing a word to guide actions in 2008 rather than an action. The blog includes a list of potential words and a "for instance", you might look at the clutter around you and decide the word should be release to allow yourself to deal with clutter and excess weight. (Really, read the original - it is much better than my paraphrasing). <BR> <BR> I thought that word would be good for me since I really want to deal with the clutter I have crea... Sun, 30 Dec 2007 00:12:44 EST Motivation Today I spent the day in a rather boring seminar about building a dental practice. I was fully engaged in the last hour when one of the attendees asked the group leader, a highly successful young business man, "How do you stay motivated?". His answer applied to my motivation to do what needs to be done to lose weight. <BR> <BR> He said he isn't always highly motivated. Some days just aren't as good as others. On the whole he prefers to ask not "how can I be motivated" but rather "what am ... Fri, 7 Dec 2007 00:47:24 EST Valuing Myself I watched the Oprah special today showcasing people who have lost huge quantities of weight. The woman who lost 560 pounds said her turn around came when she met friends on line who valued her. She slowly learned to value herself and that is what made her start taking care of herself. She said that the realization that she as a human being has value since she is human was the key to her weight loss. <BR> <BR> This is so very true. I have worked on treating myself as I would a friend for man... Wed, 28 Nov 2007 21:15:23 EST Things I can control Today I had a good chat with myself. I decided that there are things in my life that I have complete control over. I can choose my attitude and outlook and I can choose how I react to my environment and how I treat myself. <BR> <BR> For today I choose to have a happy outlook. For today (and many tomorrows), I can choose to eat healthy foods in proper portions, I can choose to get enough rest and I can choose to exercise. Wow - what power! I've never felt that powerful before! Tue, 27 Nov 2007 20:55:58 EST Small Steps and Gratitude I did not succeed at a public streak but the intention to do so really helped me put extra energy into getting my water and produce in. Maybe I can do better at the blog part now! <BR> <BR> This week it occurred to me how much little steps can influence me. When I manage to get a bit of extra exercise in, or I log my food daily, I am more motivated to take the other small steps that help me succeed at my challenge. I was so excited that I was able to connect to SparkPeople over Thanksgiving ... Mon, 26 Nov 2007 20:49:54 EST Small Consistent Steps I just read an article on the value of taking small consistent steps to reach a goal. It says that the SparkPeople program is: <BR> "More than anything else, it emphasizes the idea of creating (or breaking) new habits through small actions over time. " The article follows by suggesting a streak of small steps. <BR> <BR> My personal way of being is to start a project and go at it to the max. I want to do whatever I'm attempting perfectly and completely for results seen yesterday. The concept... Tue, 23 Oct 2007 18:39:47 EST Random weekend thoughts I want to get better about writing but find that I just don't do it unless I have had an aha moment - things going really well or things going really bad. I decided I could write when I am just content so I might as well get started. <BR> <BR> This weekend I've been lucky to spend time with friends, doing what I love to do (working on quilts), I've had quality time with DH and have started and made progress on a project that has been nagging me and that I was stalled on (long arm quilting my... Sun, 21 Oct 2007 18:43:12 EST Patience My spark email article today was just the thing I needed. It compared losing weight to driving in traffic - it may take a while to get to your destination, there may be starts, stops and detours but if you have a map of how to get to your destination, you will eventually get there. <BR> <BR> Wow - patience is the lesson I need to keep re-learning. <BR> <BR> I have been so frustrated that I haven't been able to get more cardio exercise in. A year ago I was doing endurance bicycling (hours at... Wed, 17 Oct 2007 19:30:42 EST