KIMBERLY_Y's SparkPeople Blog KIMBERLY_Y's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community My journey continues It has been almost two months since my last blog. So much going on in life. I appreciate all the well wishes from my SP friends. A close family member passed away in June and it was a shock to my family. Have been taking care of my family, especially my DH and my DDs. Exercise has taken a back seat by trying to keep life normal for my girls with their summer activities, but I am back to a consistent routine this month. <BR> <BR> It is hard to stay on track when life takes over. For m... Tue, 5 Aug 2014 07:10:41 EST Letting go . . . not! So, I may have let go of SP for the last 18 days and although the scale has gone up a bit, I have missed out on connecting with my SP friends. I have missed my daily check-ins, my exercise tracking, and reading the blogs. Life has taken over the last couple of weeks. <BR> <BR> To stay accountable, I maintained my exercise regimen for the most part, but have been a bit off with my eating habits. Too much salt in my diet the last few weeks. Just came back from a conference in Atlantic Ci... Sun, 18 May 2014 22:35:08 EST Not letting go of "good" My first year of maintenance has had its ups and downs, but mostly ups. So many hurdles and so many goals, but always baby steps. Setting small goals for myself – higher speed on the treadmill, more burpees in my bootcamp class, a new SP recipe for dinner. If this is a healthy lifestyle, then I am proud to say that I am healthy and I love my life. I do not deprive myself of any food, just the amount of it. And some days it is harder than others, as we all know too well. In the end, I fe... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 23:02:01 EST It's been awhile . . . since I have checked in with a blog. I have been very busy, but I have been sticking with the plan. Very proud of myself for sticking to the plan these days. I have missed my maintenance team friends as I have been away from my daily check in. Felt like I was missing a part of my life each day, so I am glad to be back. Scale is staying the same, even without tracking, but I am not in favor of staying away from the tracking. I think I may just be getting better at maintaining my new life... Wed, 12 Mar 2014 22:57:03 EST My 40th birthday SPARKle dress What a way to usher in my 40th birthday . . . in Las Vegas. As many of my spark friends know, DH surprised me with a trip to Vegas last week. We had the best time together. He is my best friend and I am blessed to have him as my life partner. I was completely surprised by the trip because he had me convinced that he was throwing me a party with my friends and I just did not know the details. He got me! <BR> <BR> So, when I went dress shopping for my "birthday party" dress three weeks ag... Tue, 28 Jan 2014 13:35:52 EST Out for Lunch or Not? Since it is supposed to be Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year, I wanted to share a few moments with you from my day today. I realize how precious these moments are and they make my life so meaningful. <BR> So, thought I would take the girls out for lunch today since they are off from school. When we were in line to order, my oldest daughter (5) was wiggling her first loose tooth. It was not very wiggly. In fact, she just realized it was a little loose last night. My young... Mon, 20 Jan 2014 20:54:23 EST My First Christmas on Maintenance I survived, and it wasn't so bad. I was able to stay under my goal weight after a few days with the family and a ton of yummy traditional food. (Gained three pounds, but that is what the goal range is for, isn't it?) I had so many family members who have not seen me in so many months that I received several compliments about my weight loss to assist me with the willpower. Not having those compliments is going to be the toughest part of this maintenance transition. It has been eight month... Sun, 29 Dec 2013 21:24:38 EST Back to It So I am reflecting on my week and I need to take it up a notch next week. Since I am hosting an open house on Sunday, I have been baking and cooking all week. It has been alittle crazy. With all this cooking, I have not been able to do my normal workouts at the gym everyday. The scale is down, but my energy level is way down. I have been very busy, but I feel the back pain beginning and I know I need to get back to that exercise. My is body is telling me that it needs the exercise. <BR... Fri, 13 Dec 2013 23:31:06 EST Two Weeks Post Cruise Just a quick post to keep myself accountable with my post cruise weight. Still not where I was prior to the cruise, but since I celebrated two holidays with alot of yummy food and weigh below goal, I can breathe a sigh of relief. A few more weeks and we are almost through it. <BR> <BR> Added some intensity to my exercise routine with some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) on the treadmill. First learned about it from my daily check in friend, Maree. So, I read an article about it... Mon, 2 Dec 2013 21:13:03 EST Follow up from my first Disney cruise Now, that I have been home for a week and have caught up with life after vacation, I feel like I can update everyone about the trip. It was truly a fabulous vacation and I highly recommend it for those of you with young children or granchildren. The cruise provided us with the quality family time we wanted during the day and the much needed adult time we craved in the evening. Disney, as most of us know, is tops in quality of service and they did not disappoint on the cruise. <BR> <BR> ... Mon, 25 Nov 2013 21:25:54 EST Ice Cream and Pina Coladas Everyday! OMG! That is what I consumed while I was away on the Disney cruise for one week! And wine with dinner every night! And drinks on the dance floor. Good thing I ran 2 miles everyday because I probably would have gained more than 8 lbs. Yes, I said 8 lbs.! Someone told me that I should expect to gain that much. I knew I would gain some weight, but not that much! Good thing I lost more weight before I left in preparation for the this gain. <BR> <BR> Upon reflection, I chose healthy optio... Tue, 19 Nov 2013 20:48:05 EST Tempted by the "food" of another (while maintaining) . . . Tempted but the truth is discovered. . . Remember that song by Squeeze? <BR> These are the lyrics I am thinking about as I embark upon my Caribbean adventure. It's my first day on vacation and I am in bed in my hotel room sparking and tracking. We leave on the Disney Fantasy cruise tomorrow from Port Canaveral, FL. I have been so excited for this vacation since we started planning with friends ten months ago. That is almost as long as I have been sparking, minus three months. I am at my ... Fri, 8 Nov 2013 23:00:56 EST My One Year Sparkversary I celebrated with a piece of crumb cake from the bakery that my husband brought home this evening. It was not in my plan for today, especially since this morning I weighed in at my lowest weight yet, but I decided that I wanted to have piece of the cake. And it was worth it! B&W Bakery in Hackensack, NJ makes the best crumb cake in the tri-state area. It was delicious! And even if the scale goes up for my weigh in day tomorrow, I am happy that I had a peice of the cake. <BR> <BR> I ha... Thu, 24 Oct 2013 22:49:24 EST Ugh! That time of year again! Halloween! All the twixes and twizzlers in the bowl from the parties and fun nights that have already started two weeks before the holiday is here. I was doing so well and then I started to take a small piece here and a small piece there and before I knew it, I had eaten two whole candy bars. I tracked it all, but I was doing so well all day today. (BTW, each piece of candy was between 80 - 90 calories; so since I ate about eight of them, you know where I went on this binge - off the cha... Mon, 21 Oct 2013 22:02:51 EST My second 5K . . . and I remembered my friend and colleague, Renee. She never gave up and I ran with her in my mind today beating my time from my last race in April! <BR> <BR> Got up at 6 am this morning to get the family ready for the Central and Southern New Jersey Susan G. Koman run/walk at Six Flags Great Adventure. Renee, a friend and colleague of DH and I, lost her battle to breast cancer this week. We registered for this race two months ago while Renee was still fighting this deadly disease. We tho... Sun, 6 Oct 2013 15:15:09 EST Kindergarten Jitters Yesterday was the first day I sent my daughter to kindergarten and she did not cry . . . and I didn't cry. It was that bad the last two days before yesterday. She has been so happy to go to school and then just before she entered the classroom on Monday and before walking into school Tuesday, she was very upset. She wanted me to hug her. These were two very emotional days for me. When I am upset, I do not eat much. I continued to exercise because Monday was the first time both of my gi... Thu, 12 Sep 2013 00:13:43 EST Maintenance "Funk" Sometimes I wonder how long I can keep up with myself. How long will I be able to keep up my current physical activity? How long will I be able to continue with healthy eating and meal planning? Will I be able to keep up with this maintenance life-style as my girls start school, get older, and I continue working more hours? <BR> <BR> The fact is that I like my new healthy life-style and I use my free time to keep up with it. So, when my free time begins to dwindle, I wonder if I can st... Sat, 7 Sep 2013 14:45:20 EST Goals for September? Happy September! I, like my many of my spark friends this morning, am contemplating my goals for the month. It is a month of getting back I to a routine and making a new routine. Going to get back into my healthy eating routine with more healthy recipes now that the BBQ seasons is closing. that has really been my misstep lately. Also, going to get back to the gym five days per week. One thing that will be changing is that I will not be able to do my bootcamp class on Wednesdays anymore... Sun, 1 Sep 2013 11:20:51 EST Inspired by my Spark Friend Today, I am taking some time for myself and catching up with my spark friends as I try to get back into a routine since girls will be starting school soon. My oldest is off to kindergarten on Sept. 9 and my youngest is starting Pre- K on the same day. OMG! I am not sure to be happy because I can go to the gym by myself or cry because I will miss them! But, I am preparing for a return to my gym routine and healthier eating. <BR> <BR> My Spark Friend Amy has taken steps to get back on tr... Wed, 28 Aug 2013 09:39:11 EST What I am learning when life takes over. . . This is my second day back on my exercise program with my classes at the gym after three weeks without classes. I have been running my girls around to swim classes, meeting up with friends, going to the pool, and visiting my mom in CT, so the days have really flown by, but I have really missed going to my exercise classes. Life seems to have taken over. But, I am learning a lot about myself in this transition to maintenance. <BR> <BR> First, I am beginning to realize how much I rel... Wed, 31 Jul 2013 13:41:33 EST And then there was home-cooked meals . . .and update Visiting my mom with my girls for a week each summer is so much fun, but it inevitably brings a week of indulgences without much of a chance to exercise. I am going to report about my week of fun without any guilt because I am over it and I enjoyed myself! <BR> We left on Monday morning for the three hour trip by car and arrived early afternoon just in time to spend the afternoon in the pool. Had a nice dinner of home-made beet soup with a salad and beer outside. I skipped dessert. ... Fri, 26 Jul 2013 16:49:05 EST The Aftermath of Vacation Before I left for my week away I made a commitment to myself to keep tracking and exercising so that I could maintain some accountability. Well, I was about 60% successful. I exercised with bike riding and walking everyday, not my usual workouts but I stayed active. I tracked my food four out of the seven days. Moderation was the trickiest part of the trip because I wanted to have wine and mixed drinks with my meal and have dessert. Usually I pick one or the other but I found myself indul... Wed, 10 Jul 2013 07:50:10 EST My Commitment to Myself on Vacation As I prepare to leave for vacation, I am also making a commitment to continue to track while I am away because I do not want to undo all of this hard work. Consider this my Commitment to Myself. I am making myself accountable to all of my spark friends. <BR> <BR> My Commitment to Myself on Vacation <BR> 1) Continue to track food and exercise everyday; <em>347</em> <BR> 2) Exercise everyday ( not bringing a car with us on the island but bringing our bikes, so this should not be too d... Thu, 20 Jun 2013 22:47:32 EST Excerpt from My Journal 6/10/2013 - Really wanted to stay on track yesterday but I really went overboard. I opened a bag of terra chips after dinner and I ate the whole bag. I should never have opened them. Then, after a nice healthy dinner, I ate a s'more with my girls and some pieces of chocolate. For some reason, once I have more than my fair serving of a treat I feel as if I cannot stop and I want more. In fact, while I was eating the chips I thought about the fact that I should stop and that I was not hungry ... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 13:35:59 EST 10 years from now? The question is how do I visualize myself and my life ten years from now? <BR> <BR> I expect to be healthy and fit, maintaining my weight loss and continuing to exercise. Hopefully, my family is healthy with me and we can take some adventure trips to some of the national parks for some scenic hikes. Thinking about my life 10 years from now and visualizing me . . . I want to be active and healthy watching my girls play sports and being involved with their activities too. I hope my busine... Thu, 30 May 2013 13:08:20 EST Tried two new recipes last night Made the SP cookbook salsa chicken for hubby and me, then, made cauliflower crust pizza for the girls. Great recipes! I tried both of course and found them highly satisfying. Salsa chicken recipe is found in SP recipes. I did not use the slow cooker and just did the 45 minute version in the pan. It was excellent. It is the most popular recipe on SP. So if you have not tried it, I urge you to do so. Very simple and I had everything on hand. <BR> <BR> Wed, 29 May 2013 17:29:55 EST Getting the family to be more active with me As I reflect on my journey thus far, I feel the need to look at making my physical activities more fun. I enjoy going to the gym for my morning classes, but sometimes, I feel like it is the same thing. Now that the weather is getting nicer, the girls and I have been outside more, playing soccer and running around, but I love the idea of getting them into running and hiking. I am not a hiker, (yet!). But I love walking and we have some great trails in some great parks around our area. I t... Tue, 21 May 2013 12:22:20 EST Update: Sugar Binge Last Night I was doing so well and I hit a road block yesterday. After being in Atlantic City for a conference this week and really doing well with my food choices this past week, I lost my motivation to exercise. I have not done a workout since Tuesday. I walked a lot in AC and walked 3 miles on the boardwalk but I just feel so tired and lethargic. I was up late during the week, 2 and 3 am having fun with hubs and my friends, so I think I am paying for it now. Not as young as I used to be. That c... Sun, 19 May 2013 10:30:32 EST My first 5K . . . who would have thought I like running? After three months of running on a treadmill (first walking, then walking and running), I finally did it! I completed my first 5K with a goal of running/jogging the whole race. I started running on my 39th birthday this past January when I got my FitBit. My husband and daughters came with me to the race. He ran the race too, even though he has not run anywhere in two years. We started out together and helped push the girls in the stroller, an extra 90 lbs. or weight. <BR> <BR> <img... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 15:55:35 EST I did it!!!!!!! Goal weight obtained!!!!!!! I have been smiling all day, even through my weight training class!!! It has been an amazing journey and it is only just beginning. I think the most impressive thing is how much I have learned about myself. I have pushed my body to challenges that I have never done before in exercise. I am truly amazed at how much stronger I am now. I complete the 28day Bootcamp Challenge with coach Nicole. I use 6 and 8 lb. weights in my classes. I can run a 10 minute mile (finally)! I am really win... Fri, 12 Apr 2013 15:14:19 EST Wanted: Kid Friendly Meals As I was sparking yesterday with my SparkFriend, Kimberly, we were commenting on the fact it is so difficult to get our kids who are under the age of 6 to eat chicken or protein without it being breaded. A few months ago, I started to try to introduce my two girls to new foods whenever my husband and I eat them because I am tired of having to cook them different meals. Abigail is 5, as of yesterday, and Madeline is 2 1/2. It is time they eat what we eat everyday. I want my girls to learn... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 09:15:28 EST Wanted: Ways to Capitalize Upon Improvement It seems to be working. Following a fitness schedule, tracking my food, and making healthier food choices. My goal is to change my lifestyle and I feel like I am on my way. It became clear to me that I am making improvements because I no longer have to eat everything that is in front of me, nor do I want to eat everything that is in front of me. For instance, I gave my husband a surprise birthday party Saturday night at an italian restaurant. We had hot and cold appetizers including cala... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 13:46:50 EST Quick and Easy Meals My action step from Spark Coach for my reference: <BR> <BR> When I don't have too much time to make dinner, here are some go to recipes: <BR> <BR> 1)Whole grain pasta with sauted veggies and sauce <BR> <BR> 2) Spinach/Romaine salad with fresh veggies and a protein (egg, chicken, or fish) <BR> <BR> 3) Spinach and Tomato pasta salad with feta cheese and capers <BR> <BR> 4) Coucous with spinach, feta cheese, and walnuts <BR> <BR> 5) Black beans and salsa on a tortilla with tomatoes and spi... Mon, 25 Feb 2013 20:39:41 EST Clues: Can you guess where I am? Clues: <BR> Although I have to come here on a weekly basis, I do not enjoy coming here. <BR> <BR> Usually, others have difficulty staying out of the way. <BR> <BR> It always takes at least one hour (if I am lucky) to get everything and get out. <BR> <BR> I usually try to eat beforehand. <BR> <BR> (Drum roll . . . ) <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Yes, the grocery store, probably one of my least favorite places. The whole process is so esoteric. Put your food in a cart. Take your food out of t... Fri, 22 Feb 2013 21:03:32 EST Chocolate Chip Cookies They are not usually my choice for an indulgence, but this week I could not just have one, I had to have two. And then I had to have some candy. (Thank you Valentine's Day). And it just seems that I was unable to control myself with my choices. Red wine on Thursday, red wine and a cocktail last night. . . with home-made pasta and seafood. I am salivating just thinking about all of it again. <BR> <BR> As I am getting closer to my weigh-loss goal, I am trying to get into the mind-set fo... Sat, 16 Feb 2013 10:55:28 EST Plateau Busted!! Today marks the final day of my Plateau Busting Program with SparkCoach. I was skeptical when I started the program, but today I weighed in at 137.2. That is about 5 pounds in the four weeks. I wanted to bust the low 140's because I could not get over that hump and I am proud to say that I stuck to the program and it worked. <BR> <BR> With support from my SparkFriends and encouragement, I tried new exercise routines. ARW inspired me to start running two weeks ago, something that I... Wed, 6 Feb 2013 09:16:33 EST A Setback or a Different Perspective? It was my niece's second birthday party yesterday and I overdid it. I started out doing a great job with my choices and then the chips and guacamole came out and that was it. I ate cheese and crackers too. These are the types of foods that are my nemesis. I love snacks and appetizers. The good side was that I did not give in to eating the mini hotdogs and I did not have a single alcoholic beverage. So, in my mind I may have told myself that I could eat more chips and cheese because of t... Sun, 3 Feb 2013 10:01:20 EST "Snow!" That was the scream I woke up to this morning at 7 am. "Mommy, mommy, can we go out and play in the snow?" As I rolled over and looked at the clock, I smiled to myself as I remembered how happy I used to be when I saw snow on the ground in the morning. <BR> <BR> The girls let my husband and I sleep for another hour before it was time to make them breakfast. Although it was only 1/2 inch of snow, we were thrilled to see it. In NJ, we usually have one or two good snow storms each winter ... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 14:14:26 EST Loving "Positive Peer Pressure" Last January I took steps to change my life by exercising at least three times per week to strengthen my core after having my two daughters. I have been struggling with a herniated disc in my lower back for several years now. It seemed to get even worse after my two pregnancies. It got so bad in 2011 that my mother had to come down from CT to take care of my girls for me because I was flat on my back in bed. (Lying straight on the floor only made it worse). I cannot tell you how painful ... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 22:24:48 EST A "Delicious" Weekend Went to a new spa in Atlantic City this weekend for my birthday and I had dinner with my husband and in-laws afterward on Saturday night. After exercising, drinking alot of water and getting a relaxing facial, I drank some wine and ate a delicious meal at Iron Chef Marc Forgione's restaurant. I had short ribs with a few bites of some sides, including ceasar salad (probably the best I have ever had), waffle fries and spinach. After dinner, Chef Marc came to the table to wish me a happy birt... Sun, 20 Jan 2013 21:49:24 EST Today is a "Good" day . . . which got me to thinking, why is today so much better than yesterday. Why am I so happy today? Is it waking up and seeing a 1.4 lb loss? That doesn't hurt. Could my weight loss bring me that much happiness today? I hope there is more to it than that. Could it be that I slept for eight hours last night and feel refreshed? <BR> <BR> While I was working out at the gym this morning, I thought about how happy I was too. I was looking forward to baking cranberry-almond oatmeal cookies (a S... Fri, 11 Jan 2013 16:25:47 EST Portion Distortion Quiz Just took it and got 10 out of 16 questions right. It was alot more difficult than I thought. Since I started sparking in November 2012, I have tried to really make an effort to control my portion sizes. A half cup of pasta really is a portion. And not much of a portion if I do say so. Oh well. It seems to be going well. <BR> <BR> I challenge you to take the quiz. I learned a great deal and I am sure you will too. Mon, 7 Jan 2013 18:11:04 EST Really Getting Back on Track . . . Just started Spark Coach to get out of this plateau I have hit with my weight in the low 140 range. I want to break 140! The Spark Coach says to "Celebrate the little things." I have tracked my food and exercise this week and will give myself a treat of a manicure and pedicure tomorrow! I really like this idea and saw that some of my challenge friends have started to do this. It looks like it is working for them, so I thought I might try this reward system. <BR> <BR> When I hit 141 ag... Fri, 4 Jan 2013 21:02:32 EST A new day, a new week, a new year . . . A sigh of relief . . . it feels good to start a new year. I have to admit that I overate on New Year's Eve and yesterday with all the leftovers, but I am back on track today with my calorie counting and a good work out. Drinking lots of water too. I usually weigh myself everyday, but I have skipped the scale since I know that it is going to show weight gain. And why should I spoil my positive mood. It feels good to have the holidays behind me. The house has been cleaned out of the desser... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 14:26:12 EST Healthy Holiday Happenings 2012 . . . Crash and Burn Just when I thought I could stick to my mental awareness of what I was eating, I indulged too much this week and did not exercise. AGGHHH!!! I was doing so well. On Christmas Eve, I tracked everything for the day, including the holiday meal my mom made for us that night. I did not indulge in desserts and thought I could do ok on Christmas Day. But, I got the cookie itch on Christmas morning. They were delicious. Don't get me wrong, I did not binge like I would have last year, but enoug... Fri, 28 Dec 2012 19:02:35 EST Healthy Holiday Happenings 2012 . . . Lentil Chips So one of my weaknesses are salty snacks. I will go for the chips over the dessert every time. Recently, I tried lentil chips with sea salt. There are other flavors too. I love them. They have 70% less fat than potato chips and they have protein and fiber in every serving. By the way, each serving is 22 chips! <BR> <BR> My husband loves them too! I do not miss my potato chips. Thu, 13 Dec 2012 22:40:57 EST Healthy Holiday Happenings 2012 . . . Exercise = Energy What a week so far. . . I have not exercised since last Thursday and I have no energy today. I know that one is completely connected to the other but I find myself having one of those days where I put my work out clothes on this morning, but I have not exercised yet. It does not help that I threw my back out on Sunday and have alot of tension pain in my neck, but that is no excuse. I know that I will feel better if I exercise. I am using this blog to commit to at least 30 minutes today. ... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 09:37:26 EST Healthy Holiday Happenings 2012 . . . Stick to a Plan Went to my first holiday party of the season yesterday. Knowing that this was going to be a hannukah party with potato latkes, I planned my calories for the day. And I mentally prepared for the party by telling myself that I was not going to deprive myself but that I would not go overboard. I made sure to start with protein first and I had a serving of baked chicken before the latkes. <BR> For anyone who is not familiar, latkes are basically shredded potatoes fried in oil! They are... Sun, 9 Dec 2012 10:34:29 EST The Aftermath: Dr. OZ's Three Day Detox Program Fifteen days since my detox ended and I have kept five of the six pounds off. So it has been a great way to keep some of the water weight off and has given me some new smoothie options. This morning I made the breakfast shake and it kept me satisfied until lunch. I find this to be a great way to do a quick detox with one meal. Fri, 30 Nov 2012 17:16:33 EST The Aftermath: Diary of Dr. OZ's Three Day Detox Program Last night I substituted a shake for my dinner because I felt had not been eating healthy. While my calorie intake was fine, I was not getting the fresh fruits and vegetables into my diet. So I made a shake for dinner with raspberries, spinach, almond milk, almond butter, avocado, lemon juice ,and flax seeds. It filled me up and I felt good the rest of the night. <BR> <BR> I woke up with 1/2 lb. lower on the scale and felt good. I have maintained my healthy eating today and kept my ca... Tue, 20 Nov 2012 21:56:23 EST