LITTLEIM's SparkPeople Blog LITTLEIM's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Accountability Day 9 Thought a more thorough check-in was due. After 9 days I have managed a total of 8 avoiding the snacks I have identified as my weaknesses. I decided not to count the day where I had a bit of cake at my friend's because although it was out of politeness it is one of my target foods and also I don't HAVE to have cake to be polite. I need to think differently about things like that. <BR> <BR> I'm proud of my progress so far and excited to see how long I can keep this up for. I think a big chang... Thu, 14 May 2015 16:52:48 EST Accountability - Day 2 (and a request for opinion) So today I have a wee conundrum for anyone who would like to help. I'd arranged to visit a colleague with some of my other ones as she's recently had a new baby and we needed a good catch up. I knew she would probably offer us cake or biscuits so I deliberately avoided any snacks at work - even though another colleague had brought in some home baking. <BR> <BR> Round at my friend's house she offered us biscuits AND cake. I decided to take one small piece of cake to be polite. Now, is this a ... Thu, 7 May 2015 13:36:16 EST Accountabilty - day 1 I did it! No snacks today apart from some healthy almonds. No chocolate, no cake, no cheese, no biscuits! Ok, let's see if I can do it tomorrow too. <BR> <BR> Thanks for all the helpful advice I got on my last blog. The only difficulty in not having any treat foods in the kitchen is that it's not my kitchen. Due to personal circumstances I'm living with my parents for a few months. However, I spoke to my Mum about what I am trying to do and she was very supportive. She even went to a lot of ... Wed, 6 May 2015 16:06:06 EST Making myself accountable Ok, I've got myself into a self-destructive cycle and I need to break out of it. I have put weight on again, which makes me feel bad about myself and so I comfort eat and put more weight on, etc... <BR> <BR> I need to take control of my eating. I need to admit to myself that I am choosing to eat things I know are not helping me to lose weight: chocolate, biscuits, cake, cheese. It's ok to have these things occasionally but NOT every day. <BR> <BR> I am setting myself a new challenge. Every... Tue, 5 May 2015 16:29:06 EST Here's to a happier tomorrow! I'm currently off work for the second day running. Its a nasty fluey/cold bug that I feel like I've had about 4 times now. Hopefully I'll be back at work tomorrow. I can't help but think that all the emotional turmoil I've been through lately has had a knock-on affect on my health! Never mind, I feel like I'm getting stronger every day and that should be good for my physical fitness eventually too. Incidentally, when I picked stuff up from our old flat last weekend I also found my trainers, j... Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:26:56 EST Progress Been snacking a bit on chocolate and cake this week, but only a bit and I've got PMS so sue me. Still managing to stay in my calorie range most days thanks to taking turns to do lunch with my colleague who is also trying to eat healthily. We usually have salad and something like salmon or humus. No carbs and very little if any dairy - doing wonders for my figure! <BR> <BR> I haven't weighed in for a bit as the scales in my parents attic (where I am currently living - very comfortably, thanks... Fri, 6 Mar 2015 14:30:22 EST Feeling more positive So its been about 2 and a half weeks since I made the big, life-changing decision to end my marriage. I have recently been giving myself daily pep talks (in written form) to get all my fears and thoughts out and try to come up with positive ways to view things. On the whole I think I'm doing a lot better. It was a long time coming, I wasn't happy anymore and I think making a choice was actually something I needed to do. I often felt like everything I wanted was on hold because I was waiting f... Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:49:33 EST Persistance in the face of adversity I have done my calories for the first time in a while. Not as accurate as before but at least I have entered them. I am not living at my flat in Edinburgh so I don't have access to my scales but I will see if I can use my Mum's. I have kept up my dairy avoidance a lot, but not entirely over the last few weeks. However, circumstances have made that a bit difficult at times. <BR> <BR> I had lost more weight before Wednesday of this week and then went to visit family in England. I ate more than... Mon, 16 Feb 2015 14:30:28 EST Ups and Downs I'm dealing with some major upheaval in my personal life right now so I haven't felt much like blogging and may not do so much over the next few weeks. That said, although I have sometimes reached for the chocolate I have tried very hard to stay within my range and not let my emotions get the better of my goals for losing weight. It is hard but it actually makes me feel stronger and I think that can only help me right now. <BR> <BR> Life was a lot simpler when I was a little girl... Wed, 21 Jan 2015 14:19:31 EST Big dinner, small steps We had guests for dinner last night so for one night I broke my avoiding dairy plans. My husband had made a delicious orange mousse in a brandy snap basket - they were so beautiful it would have been a shame not to appreciate his efforts. I also had some cheese straws before the main course. This means I have decided to add a further day in March to my low-dairy plan. In fact I am thinking about trying to maintain avoiding a lot of dairy during the working week and then allowing myself dairy ... Sun, 18 Jan 2015 05:27:27 EST Success and Caution Avoiding lots of dairy is going well. Apart from occasionally forgetting about milk in things like tea and either having to pour a cup down the sink or returning the milk to the carton if caught in time! My illness is much better (thanks to all the lovely kind people who sent me get well soon messages) but has left me with a horrible cough. My dear husband thinks I should take the day off tomorrow but really I am feeling absolutely fine apart from that so I would feel a total fraud if I did. ... Sun, 4 Jan 2015 07:29:45 EST New Year's Day I am starting afresh from today. I have re-set all my sparkgoals to help me shed the post-Christmas weight and have decided to cut down on the dairy fats I consume. As an asthmatic, I often find that things like cheese can make my condition worse - especially when I'm ill. I was fine at Christmas but then developed a nasty bug in the run up to New Year's Eve (or Hogmanay where I come from). I have spent the last 2 days in bed and am still there now. I didn't get to celebrate New Year at all b... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 07:01:26 EST HEART-FELT THANKS The response to my blog called 'Restart Revelations' has been huge and I wanted to thank everyone who responded. I did reply to a few personally and accepted lots of very kind friend requests but it got to a point where it was difficult to reply because of numbers. So, I have opted for an easier way and am writing a blog response. I hope some of the same people see this. <BR> <BR> So, without further ado: Thank you so much. It made me feel so supported and that my journey is one that many pe... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:42:00 EST Writer's Blog What happens when you write a blog that gets a 'Popular blog post' award? Firstly, you get lots of lovely comments from other Sparkers. Secondly, you (or I really) feel a bit embarrassed and self conscious - as if you went looking for people to say nice things when in fact you just wrote how you felt. And thirdly, you feel a bit pressured. As if EVERY blog from now on until eternity has to get 'Popular' status or you are somehow failing. <BR> <BR> Lastly (phew, I hear you say), you get over ... Sat, 22 Nov 2014 07:55:53 EST Restart Revelations I haven't been on SparkPeople for a while. I let things slide and have gone back to my heaviest weight for a long time. However, I'm back and ready to shift the weight once more and this time I have had a good think about why I gave up before. <BR> <BR> One of my main problems had become motivation. I felt like I worked really hard but the weight didn't shift. However, I wasn't really being honest with myself about how hard I was really trying. I often went over my calories and pretended to ... Mon, 3 Nov 2014 14:51:35 EST Autumn Goal Inspired by a fellow sparker, I have decided to set myself some goals for Autumn: <BR> <BR> 1. to stay in calorie range for 6 days a week <BR> <BR> This is to encourage myself to avoid being too bad at weekends and undoing all my good work during the working week. If I let myself have 1 day a week I think I'll find it easier to be good on the other 6. Will try it anyway and see. <BR> <BR> 2. to drink water at work every day <BR> <BR> I know I never drink enough water so I'm going to carr... Thu, 2 Oct 2014 11:49:52 EST Little break throughs Day Two and I am really pleased that I have managed to stay well within my calorie range! This is very good as I have not been really doing well at this for a while. Lying to myself has become a skill instead - no more! I am also very proud that although I really wanted a wee bit of cake at work today and was thinking of all the reasons why this should be allowed, when instead I stopped and thought about why it was a bad idea. This is a great break through! I thought about the knock-on affect... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:27:32 EST A change in thinking Haven't blogged in ages. I was feeling very disheartened with the whole weight-loss thing. However, I am feeling like I will never lose weight if I just give up. So I have just revamped my page with an image that is not of me at all, but meant to inspire me. I'd love to lose the flab around my middle and I KNOW that I CAN. <BR> <BR> I have adjusted my calorie and nutrition goals a little to see if this helps and am determined to stay in calorie range all week. Even on Sunday when we take my ... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:40:08 EST Public Enemy No. 1: Spare tyre Back from my holiday and back up to one of my heaviest weights BUT very determined to get it off again. I think you know you have to do something when even your underwear is getting tight! I also have a roll of fat around my middle that I dislike very much and which HAS TO GO! <BR> <BR> I order to achieve this I am going to: <BR> 1. Stick to my recommended calorie range <BR> 2. Keep going to my Zumba class <BR> 3. Walk whenever possible <BR> 4. Use the stairs NOT the lift (unless carrying st... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:15:01 EST My Salad Life #25 My last 'official' salad day, 25 salads later. We leave for the airport and our holiday in 2 hours - very excited! <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> My last salad was a version of a Greek salad (different to the one I had earlier in my salad challenge in that it also had avocado and black olives in it and chopped feta instead of grilled halloumi) that I shared with my husband for lunch. We had it with crusty bread (great for mopping up the juices), some tzatziki and roast vegetables from last ... Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:44:28 EST My Salad Life #24 I had a tropical fruit salad for breakfast this morning: chunks of mango, pineapple and raw coconut with a little lime juice for added zing. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In spite of this refreshing salad I am feeling tired and a bit washed out this afternoon. Think I may head over to the park to lie in the sun for a bit. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:44:55 EST My Salad Life #23 I had lunch out with my Mum today so chose to have a slice of focaccia pizza with a '3 salad' bowl in a very nice vegetarian restaurant in town. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My 3 salads were a potato salad with French style vinaigrette, a grated broccoli and cauliflower salad and a very yummy apple and raisin coleslaw. I'd like to try making something like that myself some time. <BR> <BR> I've decided to call a halt to my Salad-a-... Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:35:22 EST My Salad Life #22 I had an early salad lunch today because I was meeting my friend Karen at the blood donor centre during her lunch break. I call my salad 'Green Couscous salad' and it is 1 portion of couscous (60g dry weight) cooked and then with lemon juice, fresh coriander, avocado, raw courgette and some green pepper added with seasoning. I ate it with a spoonful of tzatziki as well as I was worried it might be a bit plain and dry otherwise. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:51:25 EST My Salad Life #20, 21 It's a catch up today as I was at my parents at the weekend and I can't upload the photos I take of the salads I eat unless I have my laptop with me. I wanted a technology-free weekend so I left it at home. <BR> <BR> My Mum is very supportive so she made a lovely salad for us on the Saturday: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It used fig, salad leaves, cherry tomatoes and a delicious blue cheese call Basajo from Italy. Her vinaigrette w... Mon, 21 Jul 2014 05:27:12 EST My Salad Life #19 We're about to go and visit my parents for the weekend as it was my Dad's 70th on Wednesday. I'm really looking forward to seeing them - especially as he's not been very well lately. As such, I did a lot of last minute rushing about today as well as packing. <BR> <BR> Lunch was my daily salad and today I made one up using left-overs that worked really well. I laid a base with little gem lettuce and some tiny bits of an avocado that had mostly gone nasty - I just added what I could salvage! ... Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:09:15 EST My Salad Life #18 I have had a really lovely day today and spent it in the company of my best friend, Hanna. I have known Hanna since we were in High School and we've been best friends since 1993. That's over 20 years friendship! <BR> <BR> We love to explore second hand, charity and vintage shops. Hanna has always had a great eye for fashion and we both love a bargain. We've started to meet up every so often and explore a new part of the city we live in (Edinburgh) and have coffee or lunch out and hunt for v... Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:51:59 EST My Salad Life #17 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today's salad was 'Ribboned courgette with hot smoked salmon and pearl barley'. I have never had ribboned courgette before and was a bit doubtful but actually it was very tasty. You just cut very thin slices of raw courgette with a vegetable peeler and arrange them in the bottom of your bowl. The pearl barley added an interesting texture and all in all I enjoyed this recipe. It was one of the new ones from my 'Sala... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 11:40:08 EST My Salad Life #16 I have begun today with a fruit salad for breakfast: Galia melon, pomegranate seeds and strawberries. A refreshing bowl of fruit and only 90 calories according to my nutrition tracker. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 04:29:14 EST My Salad Life #15 I made up a salad for my lunch today based on what I had in the fridge and some recipes I'd seen on-line. It call it 'Halloumi, Orange and Pomegranate salad' and it is very good. I cooked the halloumi with some cumin seeds before adding it to the other ingredients but purposely didn't use any oil or fat to cook it as the cheese is high in fat anyway. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I used SparkPeople's recipe tracker to work out the ca... Mon, 14 Jul 2014 09:13:23 EST My Salad Life #14 It was one of my best friend's birthdays today and we all went for Afternoon Tea at the very fancy and lovely Scotsman Hotel. Since I knew we'd be doing this I skipped lunch and therefore am having my salad for dinner. It is a combination I have invented myself and I'm calling it 'Humus and Tarator Salad'. It also has little gem lettuce, avocado, carrot and radishes in it. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 'Tarator' is a dish sauce they... Sun, 13 Jul 2014 15:32:38 EST My Salad Life #13 Good Morning Everyone! My salad was a breakfast fruit salad today as I will be going to a friend's house later today for an afternoon of learning how to make my own ricotta cheese with friends. This will also involve a buffet lunch that we all contribute too so I will try to have mainly salad if possible, but this way I know I have had my salad for today already. <BR> <BR> The fruit salad this morning was honeydew melon, orange, fat free Greek yogurt with honey and some of my stewed rhubarb.... Sat, 12 Jul 2014 04:22:43 EST My Salad Life #12 12 days already? It seems hardly possible. I have been enjoying the salads so much! I'm actually thinking of continuing this project for far longer than I originally planned. We go on holiday for about 2 weeks soon - from 24th July to 7th August. I planned to ditch the salad a day thing at that point. However, I'm beginning to think I might try to keep going for as long as I can. I won't be doing SP while I'm away but maybe I can keep the salads going? <BR> <BR> To this end, I bought a book ... Fri, 11 Jul 2014 09:46:31 EST My Salad Life #11 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> A refreshing Summer salad today with prawn, avocado and orange - yum yum. 352 calories in a serving. 42 of those are carbs, 14 are fat and 5 protein. Pretty good for you I'd say and definitely another one to make again. <BR> <BR> It's another gorgeously sunny day in Edinburgh. I spent an hour lying in the sunshine yesterday and plan to do the same again today. Being a teacher means I can take advantage of the glo... Thu, 10 Jul 2014 07:41:57 EST My Salad Life #10 I decided to have my salad for breakfast this morning as at this time of year we have a positive glut of delicious Summery fruits. Today's salad was therefore a very simple 'Melon and Lime Fruit salad' made from half a Galia and half a honeydew melon, chopped and with the juice of a whole lime and a dessert spoon of brown sugar. I shared it with my husband before giving him a lift to work. It was yummy. <em>4</em> <em>491</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 9 Jul 2014 06:08:08 EST My Salad Life #9 For lunch today I made 'Hot smoked salmon, brown rice and flageolet bean salad': <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It was so tasty I went back for more. There around just over 300 calories per serving and it is a filling and really flavoursome salad. Definitely one I would make again. Tue, 8 Jul 2014 10:05:04 EST My Salad Life #8 This morning is something of a catch up. Firstly, this is really Day 9 but I didn't have time to blog at all yesterday, so I will record my daily salad for today later. Secondly, I didn't manage to post photos from the last couple of salad's I had at my parents that my Mum made for me. So, I will sort out the latter first: <BR> <BR> This was the 'Jewelled Quinoa' my mother made on Saturday night: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And this was... Tue, 8 Jul 2014 04:32:44 EST My Salad Life #7 Happy Sunday everyone. I spent most of the morning basking in the sunshine in my parents' garden, reading and chatting. We've only just come indoors as the weather looks like turning to rain. Such is our climate at the Northern end of an island in the sea. Not so far North as the Highlands, obviously, but North enough. <BR> <BR> My Mum and I just shared a salad that she created for me as part of my salad plan. Today's was green lentil and kidney bean with salad leaves, tomato and avocado and... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 09:07:27 EST My Salad Life #6 Today's salad has been brought to you by my Mother. It was a very tasty 'Jewelled Quinoa' salad that we had for dinner with salmon and blanched broccoli. Picture to follow but can't seem to get my camera to talk to my Mum's laptop yet. <BR> <BR> It went beautifully with the fish and was also high in protein. Mothers are super kind. Mine has always been supportive of everything I have done, including all the diets and food-fads I've tried over the years. <BR> <BR> For example - there was th... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 15:41:36 EST My Salad Life #5 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today I tried to invent a salad of my own. I call it 'Puy, Orange and Dolcelatte salad'. Its quite good, but I can't help feeling that it looks a lot better in the photo. I feel like each ingredient is tasty but together it's not quite working - not sure why. <BR> <BR> I think part of this may be because I wanted to use up some left-overs. Now, this can sometimes result in an amazing new combo. However, sometimes... Fri, 4 Jul 2014 07:33:31 EST My Salad Life #4 I have just eaten a delicious salad - Greek Country Salad with grilled slices of halloumi. The only problem is I did not realise how high in calories halloumi cheese is! My 125g of grilled cheese has over 400 calories - eek! <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> Oh well, never mind - the salad itself was very tasty and very low in calories. Next time I will have half the quantity of halloumi. Hopefully no major harm done and at least this way I have reached my protein goal for once. As a vegetaria... Thu, 3 Jul 2014 08:49:15 EST My Salad Life #3 Today's salad is 'New potato salad with gazpacho dressing'. I'm making enough for us to have some with dinner tonight as well, but plan to eat some for my lunch just now. <BR> <BR> I was worried a potato salad might be high in calories but this one seems to be packed with flavour and hopefully is low on calories. I'm going to put the recipe through the calculator after lunch so fingers crossed. <BR> <BR> I weighed myself this morning and there has already been a small change - from 68.5 to ... Wed, 2 Jul 2014 07:27:03 EST My Salad Life #2 A friend of ours is staying with us so last night we had dinner out. I dread to think of the calories, but never mind - fun was had. This morning I am uncertain of what we're going to do today. She leaves this afternoon but I don't know what we'll be doing for lunch. As a result, I decided to have my second salad of the challenge for breakfast. <BR> <BR> I made us a fresh fruit salad of chopped peach and strawberry, topped with 0% fat Greek yogurt with honey. It was delicious and perfect aft... Tue, 1 Jul 2014 04:32:34 EST My Salad Life #1 I've been doing Sparkpeople on and off for almost 2 years now. In that time I have lost weight successfully (reaching at my lowest 63kg) and sometimes gained again (reaching at present 68.5kg). I have found that sometimes my attention waivers, I get bored and lazy and a little disheartened. At these moments I have discovered that a short break from SP and a bit of thinking on my part often gets me back on track. I have to rekindle my interest and come up with new ways to make my healthy lifes... Mon, 30 Jun 2014 08:39:36 EST It all got a bit explodey I like to try new recipes on SparkPeople. Tonight I'm trying a pasta bake with squash and goats cheese. Mmmm, yum. <BR> <BR> Only problem is - my blender had a bit of a problem mixing the squash and cheese and exploded a bit. On me. And the kitchen. <BR> <BR> Luckily, I was only trying to blend half! And I managed to rescue some of that batch. Had to get my husband to help me clean up though. <BR> <BR> Here's hoping it still tastes good! And it will have less calories as some of them lande... Thu, 12 Jun 2014 14:19:30 EST Clap along if you know what happiness is to you I tried a zumba class today and I loved it! This is so exciting for me as I have spent most of my life not enjoying exercise or sport and I feel like I've finally found the exercise for me. It's so much easier to do something that you actually like. <BR> <BR> I'm going to go to this every Tuesday and my husband and I are going to swing dancing on Wednesdays. Plus I'm still working on gradually upping my cross-trainer (elliptical trainer in US I believe). I have reached 11 mins so far. Surel... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 16:43:21 EST Little steps Weight not dropping much so far but I am making a much bigger effort to stay in calories and I have been sticking to gradually upping my elliptical trainer so today I reached 9 mins! Very proud of me because I was so afraid to get back on it for ages. Thu, 15 May 2014 12:11:41 EST Motivation I haven't blogged for ages and I haven't been doing very well with my calories this week at all. I am keeping dairy to a minimum (difficult sometimes to avoid entirely as a vegetarian when eating out) and I plan to keep this up as I do find it helps me lose weight and I think its good for my asthma. I have also been trying to do more exercise by doing things like dancing around my living room, walking across the park and into town and getting back on my elliptical trainer. Admittedly, I can't... Wed, 7 May 2014 12:59:07 EST Positive restart Ended up having a big unplanned break from SparkPeople because so snowed under at work and so exhausted when I came home that something had to give. However, I did keep up my no chocolate until Easter Sunday (yesterday) and, having had a bit of a chocolate feast on Easter Sunday itself, I have decided to do two things: <BR> <BR> 1. Re-start SP - hello! <BR> <BR> 2. Give up Dairy like cheese, milk, yogurt, etc for about a month again. I did fairly well at that today but forgot a couple times... Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:08:39 EST Re-start Starting over. Again. But trying to be positive about it. It was about time I got back onto SP properly and actually faced up to the weight I am now. <BR> <BR> So - a new journey is beginning. Wish me luck. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 5 Apr 2014 11:26:54 EST Say Thank You for the Good Things Haven't blogged in ages. Haven't felt like it much. However, I learned an important lesson today - we need to remember to say thank you for all the good things in our life and not just worry about what we don't have or feel is wrong. I started today by thanking God for all the good things in my life and you know what? There were lots of them. And it made me feel great. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 13:47:00 EST