HMMILLER007's SparkPeople Blog HMMILLER007's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Grateful for all the suport! I was so honored and surprised when the Maintenance Team wanted to feature my blog - I only write sporadically, and usually it's just to vent! But I often get so much positive encouragement, it just lifts me up and helps me to continue doing my best, day-by-day. <BR> <BR> Many people struggle with negative self-talk, and it really takes effort sometimes to counter those thoughts with positive messages. I even do it and my heart is not in it (bad thoughts: "Oh, jeez, you're up again, can't y... Sun, 4 Aug 2013 10:51:23 EST Maintenance sucks sometimes! I've been maintaining a healthy weight range for a while now. My "goal weight" is 137, and using the Maintenance team's guidelines of +/- 3%, I've been successful. I don't always feel that way though. <BR> <BR> Weekends are still challenging. I know I overeat, either at gatherings or just hanging w/my family or even a sugar binge one of the weekend days. I also drink more alcohol (beer or wine), which is just liquid calories. My weight has always gone up, even if it's just a pound or tw... Sun, 21 Jul 2013 11:09:14 EST Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge - my sugar habits I've decided I have a sugar addiction! It probably sounds silly/crazy to some, but I get physically excited when I think about sweet treats. Then I over-dose on them and feel sick. And despite that, I still go back for more when the opportunity presents itself. <BR> <BR> I noticed after 3 weekends of family gatherings and over-eating and over-indulging my sweet tooth, I felt so yukcy on Monday, then cut out most carbs and all sweets that day, then felt better on Tuesday. And one week I r... Wed, 25 Apr 2012 14:40:18 EST Time to get re-motivated! OK, so I've been struggling with the binge eating on weekends lately (and major sugar cravings!). I've been so frustrated by it and disappointed in myself and lack of will power/self control. <BR> <BR> A chiropractor told me the sugar cravings could be a sign that I'm deficient in some vitamins/minerals. That could be, but I can't afford fancy-schmancy vitamins that cost $50 a month to buy! I didn't always have these issues, so I'm thinking it's more stress related. <BR> <BR> As I ponder... Tue, 15 Nov 2011 22:04:42 EST Setting a new (higher) weight goal range So, I've decided 130 isn't in the cards for me - it's just too hard to maintain that weight with the life I've got going on now. <BR> <BR> I'm working full-time at a childcare center, 4 10-hour days a week. That's a pretty long day after being used to working at home doing daycare. I think things are actually going well, but of course I've got the mommy guilt of feeling like I'm not able to give my all to my home-front anymore. It's tough letting go of the control I had of the household. ... Sun, 23 Oct 2011 20:01:28 EST Re-assessing my goals Well, it's about 3 months into my new job and I haven't exploded or anything (lol). <BR> <BR> I'm maintaining an average weight of about 133 pounds - still within my healthy BMI range, but higher than my "ideal" of 130 or lower. My "healthiest" range (according to Prevention's website) is between 132-141 pounds (they say that for women these BMI numbers correlate with less illness and overall the best health). So I'm very well in that range and on the low side of it where ideally I'd lik... Sun, 18 Sep 2011 19:33:43 EST Starting a new job; managing anxiety OK, I've been wanting to get my thoughts out for a while now, but haven't had time and since I've got a lot on my mind, I worried about writing about them here, since it'll probably a scatter-brained entry. But that's what these things are for, right? So here goes! <BR> <BR> I'm starting a new job this Monday. I can't believe it! I've been doing home daycare for 8 years, with a slight break in there where I worked part-time as a teacher's aid at our local school (but still ran the daycare... Fri, 24 Jun 2011 17:10:44 EST The woman I want to be known/remembered for... I read FITWHIT's blog about the kind of woman she wanted to be, and was inspired to make my own entry. I also think about it as "What would people say about me if I died?" <BR> <BR> Heather is... <BR> <BR> ...kind and loving toward others <BR> ...a good mom <BR> ...a great wife to Adam <BR> ...always striving to be a better Christian woman <BR> ...a good friend <BR> ...a hard worker <BR> ...gifted with children <BR> ...physically fit and strong <BR> ...a healthy, mindful eater <BR> i... Thu, 12 May 2011 12:34:01 EST 1 Timothy 4:7b reflections 1 Timothy 4:7b - ...train yourself to be godly. (8)For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. <BR> <BR> WOW! I came across this verse in a Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss broadcast (well, I actually read the broadcasts online on the website - it's faster for me and I'm visual so I absorb more). It really, really spoke to me - I've been SO focused on being fit/healthy for myself and ... Thu, 10 Mar 2011 16:10:36 EST Career change coming up Well, it looks like I'll have to get a job this fall (at the latest). It's bittersweet, because even though I know it should help my family financially, I'm still enjoying doing home daycare and being with my youngest, and last child. <BR> <BR> I'm pretty anxious about the change. First, I HATE change, I'm a slave to routine. I've got a good thing going right now (other than financial considerations). I get to exercise about 30 minutes twice a day, which is really working for me since I'... Wed, 23 Feb 2011 15:02:21 EST Update OK, so I promised myself I was going to do this blogging thing more regularly, since it seems to help in the healthy living lifestyle. So, here I am, writing my random thoughts for this day. <BR> <BR> Last time, I was feeling pretty low about myself and my progress in trying to lose a few holiday pounds. Well, I determined to think more positively and start eating breakfast, and it totally worked! Once again, I proved the "experts" right - eating breakfast DOES help weight-loss (I had restri... Tue, 8 Feb 2011 15:38:20 EST The battle for my heart and mind I have been feeling so bad about myself lately. And I'm getting sick of it! <BR> <BR> I've been fighting to get about 2 pounds off since after Christmas. I know it's not much, and some just starting on their weight-loss journey may think I'm being vain or ridiculous, but that 2 lbs. really bothers me! I don't want to accept them, I fear being complacent because I figure if I let a pound go here and there, the next thing you know I'm back where I started (even if it takes a few years, I don't... Thu, 27 Jan 2011 12:56:07 EST Getting back on track With the start of the new school year for my kids, I see it as a great time to also get back into the healty living groove. <BR> <BR> I got carried away trying to lose wieght and see lower and lower numbers on the scale, until last year in September I had my last period. I wasn't too concerned at first, but as the months wore on and still no "Aunt Flo" I got concerned about the effects on my health. I saw my doc, who suggested I gain some weight and add more fat to my diet. Yikes! That's... Tue, 7 Sep 2010 16:03:47 EST Trying new things A while ago I read a SP blog on dailySpark about Zumba. It looked like fun, so I checked out the website and was surprised to see it was offered in my rural area by a couple of instructors. I've never taken a fitness class before, being too emarassed to workout in front of others, I just stick with my various fitness DVDs. They work great for me, but I've been feeling an urge to branch out and try new things, and Zumba looked like just what I was looking for. <BR> <BR> So I contacted the ... Sat, 5 Jun 2010 09:45:21 EST The Spark: Chaper 9: Week 4, Spread the Spark Chapter 9 has 3 action steps: 1. Spread the Spark to others, 2. Set new goals for your life, and 3. Create your SparkList <BR> <BR> I am always trying to spread the Spark! Every time someone compliments me on how I look, I tell them I did it with the help of SparkPeople. I'm also pushing people to buy the book, and I plan on borrowing my copy to family/friends that are interested (hopefully they'll join the website if they can or buy a copy of the book for themselves!). I've already gott... Tue, 2 Mar 2010 14:56:08 EST Scared to change diet Ok, so I went to the doc last week and told her I haven't had a period since last Sept. (so almost 6 mos. now), and after running some tests, everything looks fine - Pap, thyroid, blood sugar, etc. There was some indication that my hormones are off a little, and obviously I need to do something, since at 29 I should be having periods. She suggested adding more fat to my diet, which on the phone with her sounded reasonable and easy enough to do. <BR> <BR> Then I hung up. Now I'm freaking a... Fri, 26 Feb 2010 15:45:47 EST The Spark, Chapter 8: Stage 3: Lifestyle Change The action steps in this chapter are: <BR> 1. Continue with SparkTime <BR> 2. Review your goals <BR> 3. Choose at least one motivational technique and incorporate it into your week <BR> 4. Choose at least one way to draw support from positive people <BR> 5. Learn how to overcome hurdles <BR> <BR> I have no problem with SparkTime! I use SP just about everyday, logging my food/fitness, getting points for reading emails, articles, and blogs, all kinds of stuff. I like to log in food in the mo... Wed, 24 Feb 2010 15:21:09 EST The Spark: Chapter 7, Stage 2: Healthy Diet Habits In this stage the book focuses on these action steps: <BR> 1. Take the Healthy Lifestyle Pledge <BR> 2. Adopt the top nutrition Secrets of Success <BR> 3. Track your food for weight loss follwoing SP's guidelines <BR> 4. Exercise consistantly 10 minutes a day <BR> 5. Get adaquate sleep <BR> <BR> I've accomplished all these steps ove the past two years I've been a SP member. The first step was printing and signing the Pledge, which I taped up by my computer since I'm playing on it everyday. ... Wed, 17 Feb 2010 16:02:48 EST The Spark: Chapter 6, Week 1 - Fast Break Well, now we're getting into the action part of the book. It's great, but since I've been a member of SP since Feb. '07 I've done a lot of these steps already. But the refresher is great knowledge. I think the more you repeat something, the more it becomes ingrained and really sinks in. <BR> <BR> The actions steps are write down your fast break goals, plan your Spark time, reaffirm your focus, set up shop, choose 2 rewards, track your food for 3 days. When I joined SP's weight-loss progr... Thu, 11 Feb 2010 15:51:38 EST The Spark, Chapter 4: Cornerstone: Fire Chapter 4 talks the building blocks Personal Leadership, Consistancy and Momentum, and Motivation, all of which makeup the fire cornerstone for self-improvement. <BR> <BR> When it comes to personal leadership, I've been pretty good about follow-through, staying positive, taking responsibility for my actions, etc. At least when it comes to healthy-living. There is the dream of becoming an author always at the back of my mind, and I've done a few things to learn more about it, but to actuall... Tue, 26 Jan 2010 16:01:04 EST The Spark: Chapter 3, Cornerstone: Fitness Just finished Ch. 3 of The Spark. More fabulous info in this chapter! <BR> <BR> Exercise is such an integral part of my life right now - I work out 1/2 hour in the morning, and another 20-45 minutes in the afternoon during naptime at my home daycare. I didn't used to be this focused on it - I did just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week for years, and it certainly helped. But doing this little bit more, making it part of my routine really has added to my life. I used to have anxiety issues (... Wed, 20 Jan 2010 16:38:58 EST The Spark: Chapter 2, Cornerstone: Focus Just finished Chapter 2 of The Spark. It asks some great questions to get started on making some life goals. <BR> <BR> VALUES AND BELIEFS <BR> Q: What truly drives you? <BR> A: My faith and family, for sure! Everything I do everyday revolves around these two things. I find time to do devotions and read my Bible and focus on God for a few minutes a day. I choose to do daycare at home so I can be the best mom/wife I can be - available to my kids when they need me, caring for the home so it... Mon, 18 Jan 2010 15:45:03 EST The Spark: Chapter 1 I was really intrigued by chapter 1 of The Spark. I knew Chris Downie started the company from some money he made, but I didn't know his personal story of over-coming his obsatcles. It was inspiring to read. It makes me think I should have loftier goals and ask myself what can I accomplish with my life or what DO I WANT to accomplish in my life? I really love reading people's personal stories about their lives, especailly when they conquer their demons. <BR> <BR> I also liked the writing... Thu, 14 Jan 2010 18:01:07 EST Embracing fitness When I first started working out regularly, I was only 16 or so and pregnant with my first child. I was terrified about becoming fat after I had her and everyone would tease me or talk bad about me (isn't adolescence lovely?). And I started having back pain and the clinic was worried about my weight gain. So I started doing Denise Austin's prenatal video (her first one). Even though I wasn't super skinny or fit, I enjoyed it and continued exercising regularly after that. <BR> <BR> I cont... Tue, 6 Oct 2009 12:49:29 EST Scale obsessed Ok, I admit it! I'm obsessed with the scale. I weigh myself everyday, most days twice a day. I know "they" say you should only weigh in once a week or month, but I can't go that long without knowing where I'm at. Even after (almost) 10 months of maintaining my weight, I still check in daily. And you know what? It's working for me, so who cares what other people think? <BR> <BR> I would say I'm at a healthy weight - I'm smack dab in the middle for my healthy BMI range, I think my waist... Sun, 23 Aug 2009 10:11:05 EST Prompt: How has weight loss changed your life? Losing weight and getting to my goal has changed my life a little. <BR> <BR> I was always a regular exerciser before, and I never saw myself as "fat," just a little on the matronly side. Plump, maybe. I felt like I was active enough. <BR> <BR> Since losing the weight, I've come to need more of a challenge when it comes to exercise. I enjoy pushing myself and seeing what I can accomplish. I've started jogging here and there, and I find it's not as bad as I thought. I like it, although ... Wed, 27 May 2009 08:38:23 EST Prompt: Do images of celebirties and models make you feel bad about yourself? Looking at beautiful women in magazines sometimes does have an effect on my self-esteem. It depends on my mood, I guess. <BR> <BR> Sometimes I see a fit woman and I find it motivational - I want to look like her. I know if I work at it, I could. Of course, I've got to be realistic. I may not have time to workout for hours a day. The photos in mags, even the images in movies, are often fixed up to portray perfection. <BR> <BR> I was just browsing my Fitness magazine and they had a st... Tue, 19 May 2009 14:53:53 EST Biggest Fitness Accomplishment I'd have to say my biggest fitness accomplishment is the increased stanima and strength I have now. <BR> <BR> I used to get very little out of my workouts (I like doing DVDs). I'd get a little out of breath, but nothing too difficult. Then I found Jillian Michaels' DVDs. I was amazed at the results! I'd never done a DVD that actually challenged me, that got me sweating so much and huffing and puffing. But they aren't so overwhelming that I can't do them the next day. I feel a little ... Wed, 22 Apr 2009 08:31:30 EST My Fast Break Goals I can't remember every one of my fast break goals - I just followed SP's program for weight loss they put you on when you sign up. I remember making an effort to eat better, drink more water during the day, track food and fitness, etc. These are some of the healthy habits the fast break goes over when you start. <BR> <BR> Out of everything, tracking my food and fitness probably was the best thing I learned to do. I've always tried to eat better and drink lots of water, and many of the oth... Tue, 31 Mar 2009 15:25:44 EST Does "streaking" help me reach my goals? Streaking, or keeping track of a goal for a certain period of time consistantly, hasn't helped me a ton. I don't remember to always check the page that records that info, so that's one reason. When I do check in, it is a little motivating to see I've spun the SparkPoints wheel "X" days in a row. I have tried to increase that one, but on weekends (especially Sun.) I take a break from logging everything (and even try to get away from the computer itself), so I don't always remember to spin t... Tue, 24 Mar 2009 08:28:39 EST Other goals besides weight loss? To be honest, my main focus was weight loss, and I've acheived it, so now my goal is maintiaining and staying at a healthy weight. But there are other benefits from doing things the healthy way besides weight loss. <BR> <BR> One is increased energy. I never noticed much before, but recently I've noticed I get antsy if I have to be still for longer than an hour at a time. I feel the need to fidget or move around, whereas I didn't feel this way before. I can't imagine having a desk job - I... Tue, 17 Mar 2009 12:19:58 EST Prompt: What is your biggest healthy eating accomplishment? I'd have to say my biggest accomplishment is reducing portions. Eating too-big portions was my main problem, I think. I like eating until I feel full, so cutting back is really hard. <BR> <BR> That's not to say I do this perfectly everyday - I don't! Especially on weekends, I find my willpower isn't so strong and I tend to overeat, but I'm always trying to remain aware and be careful. I also figure if 5 out of 7 days I do really good, it's better than overeating everyday. <BR> <BR> I t... Tue, 10 Mar 2009 08:42:04 EST Prompt: How do the weekends affect your diet and exercise routines? The weekend is a time to relax, right? That's the mentality anyway. I used to take weekends completely off - no counting calories or exercise, just fun and relaxation. <BR> <BR> But I've come to realize that this can cause setbacks in the results I've achieved. So I've changed my ways, a little. It's been a process, one that I'm still going through. <BR> <BR> First, I took up exercising Sat. mornings. It means setting my alarm so I get up in time to fit it in before the kids are up and... Tue, 3 Mar 2009 13:25:46 EST Weekly Blog Prompt: How do you deal with setbacks? How I deal with setbacks depends on my mood, to be honest. <BR> <BR> If I'm feeling pretty good about myself and confident, I tell myself I'll get back on track right away, either today or if the day is done then I'll make up for it tomorrow. But if I'm having a "fat" day, and I feel bad about myself, I beat myself up about setbacks. I think I'll never change. But usually this negative thinking is short-lived, because I know the only way to accomplish my goals is with positive thinking an... Tue, 24 Feb 2009 09:32:30 EST Blog Prompt: Do you avoid HFCS? I have recently learned that high fructose corn syrup is really really bad for you. I know it's in a lot of processed/packaged foods. But it's in l0t of stuff, so it's hard to avoid. <BR> <BR> I try not to eat too much packaged stuff - crackers, cookies, granola bars and such. That should help. But I'm not freakish about it. I don't read every label of food I buy and look for it. I'd probably not be able to buy half of what I do if I was trying to avoid it! I know it's really bad for ... Tue, 17 Feb 2009 10:47:52 EST Weekly Blog Prompt: Easier to be healthy single or attatched? Personally, I can't speak for myself on this topic, I've always been with my high school sweetheart. But I do have an opinion on the subject. <BR> <BR> I think it'd be easier, for me anyway, to be healthy single. First, I would be able to cook more nutritious meals at supper instead of the convienence foods the family loves. I could ban all junk food and I wouldn't have to worry about the whining and complaining, or begging for it. I could workout in the evening, doing more gentler exerc... Tue, 10 Feb 2009 16:34:13 EST Blog Prompt: Are you sticking to your New Year's resolutions? Since I don't make New Year's resolutions, I don't have any to stick to! But, I do have a goal of keeping my weight between 130-135 pounds, so if you want to call that a resolution, go ahead, but I didn't make it for New Year's. I made it sometime last year, in the fall. So far, so good. <BR> <BR> I started counting my "maintainence mode" at the end of October, 2008. I breastfed my son up until then, and I attribute some of the weight loss I had to breastfeeding (even though by the end t... Tue, 3 Feb 2009 14:57:38 EST Blog Prompt: How do you save money on healthy groceries? I've always been very frugal when it comes to groceries. I shop at Aldi Foods, which is a chain of stores that has cheap prices on items. I also shop at Walmart, which has the cheapest prices in this area. I try to buy produce in season, and at the farmer's market in the summer when it's up and running. I also buy canned and frozen produce, since it keeps longer and can be cheaper when out of season. Another money saver: I plan all my meals. I know on the weekend we'll go out a couple t... Tue, 27 Jan 2009 15:25:47 EST Blog Prompt: What fitness acheivement makes you feel the proudest? I think the fitness acheivement that makes me the proudest is how far I've come along in terms of what I'm able to do. <BR> <BR> In the beginning, I would only do about 20 minute workout DVDs, and that was enough. It's been several years since I began exercising, and now I need to do a minimum of 30 minutes, and that's just my AM workout. I also like to do another 30 minutes of something (yoga, strength, cardio, Wii fitness) in the PMs (I can do this during naptime, since I run a home dayc... Tue, 20 Jan 2009 09:21:14 EST Blog Prompt: Which healthy goal is the hardest? Why? I'd have to say the hardest healthy goal for me to follow is not snacking on sugary foods. There are times when I just crave something sweet! The hardest time to resist temptation is when I'm hungry, of course. The next hardest time is after the kids are in bed - the best time to enjoy a treat without sharing or nagging for their own! It's like a little reward for making it through the day. But most of the time (80-90%) I can overcome these urges and stick with my plan. And when I do de... Wed, 14 Jan 2009 22:18:30 EST My "Healthiest" Weight Range I was playing around with the BMI calculator on, and I made up a chart for myself with my ideal/healthiest weight range. I've posted it in my bathroom and bedroom as a motivator. <BR> <BR> For me, being 5'5'', this is what I've found: For a normal BMI, my weight should be between 115-150. But the calculator also mentions the "healthiest" BMI range for women is 22.0-23.5, which for me means 132-141 pounds. This is exactly where I've wanted to be! To be even more specific, ... Fri, 9 Jan 2009 11:07:57 EST Blog Prompt: Does your significant other influence your eating habits? Does my husband influence my eating habits? In a popular Northern expression, "You betcha!" <BR> <BR> My hubby loves to eat! Now, luckily for him he has a physically demanding job in contruction, so he burns a lot of calories a day just going about his business. However, I'm sure it'll catch up to him now that he's about 30 years old - if not now then pretty soon, here. He has the worst eating habits! He usually skips breakfast, snacks on processed junk food, and over-eats at supper tim... Wed, 7 Jan 2009 13:16:42 EST New Year Resolutions Personally, I don't make New Year Resolutions. Just because it's a new year doesn't mean I need to make major changes for myself. I like to make little resolutions all year long! <BR> <BR> I think people who make New Year Resolutions often don't meet their goals and then feel like failures. Forcing yourself to make a resolution just because it's the thing to do is just setting yourself up for failure. At least if you're going to bother with it, take some time to think about what you real... Tue, 30 Dec 2008 17:21:49 EST Fitting in exercise Some people may truly not have time to exercise. If you're getting up at 5:00 am and you're on the go until 10:00 pm or later, then you may have trouble fitting in a regular exercise time. Especially if you don't get a decent break during the day. <BR> <BR> I make time to exercise. I could get up at 6:00 am and be ready for the day, but I choose to get up at 5:00 am-ish (I do hit the snooze at least once!) and get in a workout first thing in the morning. I didn't always get up at 5, thou... Sat, 27 Dec 2008 09:33:19 EST Clothing size and self esteem Clothing sizes are actually pretty relative, right? I mean, I could go into Old Navy and be a 12 or 14, but at Fashion Bug or Walmart I'm a 8 or 10. Don't even get me started on the specialty shops! I won't even go in them! I can tell by the headless dummies they have in the front display I won't fit into those clothes - plus at almost-28-years-old and with three kids, I feel too "old" or mature to wear that stuff anyway. <BR> <BR> So if size is relative, why do I feel better about mysel... Wed, 24 Dec 2008 10:44:21 EST Is organic food healthier? Organic food is healthier for you. I just read an article stating that it contains 25% (some 50%) more nutrients than conventionally grown produce. That's a big difference! Not to mention there aren't any chemicals or treatments on the produce. <BR> <BR> That being said, personally I can't afford to buy organic foods. My husband has a good job, but a lot of his income goes to insurance, and I'm a self-employed home daycare provider, so I have no health benefits. We're not broke, but spe... Mon, 15 Dec 2008 08:24:35 EST Avoiding weight gain during the holidays This year instead of mindlessly eating every treat and traditional holiday dish that comes my way, I will be more thoughtful in what I choose to indulge in. There are some favorites that are more loved than others, and perhaps I will indulge in them more so than the others. But overall, I hope to me more mindful of what I'm stuffing in my mouth, rather than eat with abandon. <BR> Also, to cut calories and keep my weight in check, I've cut back on what I eat at breakfast and the starch... Tue, 9 Dec 2008 15:28:47 EST