MSJESSPDX's SparkPeople Blog MSJESSPDX's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community The Travel Reckoning Whew! Back home after a short, busy trip. I had a great time, reconnecting with colleagues from around the country, and attending sessions that were fun and informative. <BR> <BR> Part of the trip included eating and drinking, as it always does with this group. A huge part of this journey is evaluating old habits, and making changes as needed. This week would have been an excellent example of how a person could do this...but a person did not, and instead ate rich food, and drank far too much... Fri, 10 Jul 2015 07:51:04 EST Turbulence and the Scarf of Terror Yesterday was a travel day; it was no big deal, except for a couple instances of turbulence throughout the flight. Me being me, the slightest bump convinces me that the plane is about to plummet from the sky! It didn't, of course, and here I am in a hotel room, planning on visiting the National Museum of History before my conference starts this afternoon. Knitting helps me on planes; I think having something to do with my hands distracts me, or helps me focus. Hence the Scarf of Terror! <BR> ... Tue, 7 Jul 2015 07:37:12 EST Cake, beer, and airplanes I did it! I made it through the Fourth, managing to indulge a bit, have fun, and stay in my calorie range. It took more planning than I usually do (pre-entering the evening's cake into my tracker in the AM), and I was probably a bit neurotic with my friends ("How many shrimp do you guys think are in 6 ounces?"). Still, it paid off! I finished in my calorie range, and if you take beer and cake carbs as "nutrition," I finished in a healthy value range as well! ;-) Joking aside, I managed to do ... Sun, 5 Jul 2015 09:44:34 EST Motivation, Marbles, and "Supernatural" First and most importantly, tracking food is working really well for me! For the first time, I can say having all these ridiculous devices (phone, Kindle, Chromebook, work computer) is a benefit. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, there will be a way to track my food. (For the record, the only one of these gadgets I purchased myself was the phone! The Kindle was from a nephew who works at Amazon, and the Chromebook was a Christmas gift a couple years ago--I'm really not a techie person, ... Sat, 4 Jul 2015 09:55:05 EST Hard time lifting my dog--ugh! Whew, hello 3 day weekend! It got off to a bit of a rough start around here--my dog, Jimmy, broke a toenail, which can apparently be quite a big deal for dogs. He spent a few hours at the vet, and when I picked him up he was *very* heavily sedated. Moving him around (he couldn't walk so well) was quite challenging, and I was reminded of my lack of functional fitness. Granted, he's 80 lbs, but still. He's fine, but it was a long night, as he was in and out of sleep, and need help going outside... Fri, 3 Jul 2015 09:39:21 EST Successes and stresses! Just a quick check-in this AM... <BR> <BR> Success! My weight is down today! I'm trying to actively reference my SP Nutrition Reports, and replicate meals/days that worked. My last two days were identical in what I ate, and I'm enjoying finding foods and habits that will be sustainable for me (and delicious!). <BR> <BR> Success! Work has been frustrating lately, but some things are starting to come together, and I'm getting a handle on some situations and timelines that have been challengin... Thu, 2 Jul 2015 09:26:03 EST Back on Track! Yes! Yesterday was great, food-wise. I'm back down, a few ounces below where I was after my insane salt/sugar/fat orgy, in fact. I'm trying to look at major "lapses" as an important part of all this, as that can help me develop resiliency. I mean, not all the time, because regains are stupid, but occasional challenges and small stumbling blocks? Sure--bring it! <BR> <BR> I haven't jumped into the fitness part of the equation yet, for a few reasons. The first is practical--so much weight adv... Wed, 1 Jul 2015 09:48:07 EST My Television Binge Binge Ugh. Well, there it is, my first bona fide binge since restarting this journey. Last evening I binge watched some tv ("Jane the VIrgin," if you were wondering--cute show!), and binge ate some food. It started with dinner, pork cutlets, when I had 2 1/2 servings. That in and of itself wouldn't have been so bad, because I had actually been craving meat, and have been struggling to get enough protein. However, things took a turn when I dug into a stash of nuts, these sample packs of different va... Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:21:46 EST Living and Losing, Losing and Living Living my life and losing my weight do not need to be mutually exclusive! This is such a struggle for so many of us, me included--how easy it would be to stick to our regimented eating and workout schedules, portions, pre-tracked foods, and generally avoid "risky" situations that swap out some knowns for unknowns. How easy, indeed--and how lonely! I've cancelled or avoided plenty of plans because I was anxious about tracking, or not drinking, or just general self-consciousness ("I'm not read... Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:34:27 EST My Weight Loss Vision Statement Browsing through SP this morning, I came across the Mind Over Body series--such good stuff in there! I read the article on writing your own weight loss vision statement, and it resonated with me. I'm not super-prepared to do this, but I'm feeling an urgency to get something down now, even if it's not perfect and needs to be revised later. <BR> ========================================<BR>================================ <BR> <BR> What do I want? Why am I working to lose weight? I want to beco... Sun, 28 Jun 2015 10:12:38 EST What Food Is (and isn't) I'm working hard to get back on my health journey! A huge part is changing my relationship with food, which has become a destructive one these past couple of years. <BR> <BR> Food is: <BR> Fuel <BR> <BR> Food is not: <BR> Comfort <BR> Courage <BR> Entertainment <BR> Safety <BR> A reward <BR> Friendship <BR> <BR> Of course, there can be positive associations with food, such as celebrations, reunions, or just a nice meal shared with loved ones. But even then, the joy and comfort should come ... Sat, 27 Jun 2015 10:19:01 EST 18 minutes And now back to our regularly scheduled programming! Well, sort of. <BR> <BR> Made it to the gym just now, for the first time in several days. The last couple weeks have been hectic, but mostly in a good way. After I posted last time, a good friend and her 3-yr old daughter stayed with me for a few days. It was fun hanging out with them, but very busy--we did all the touristy stuff (Aquarium, science museum, zoo, parks), and spent a ton of time just catching up. <BR> <BR> After they left, ... Thu, 4 Jul 2013 16:00:38 EST 14 Minutes Made it to the gym this morning, and did two more minutes on the elliptical than yesterday, plus crunches and a plank hold. It's only Day Two, but I feel like I might get somewhere! <BR> <BR> I'll only post my minute increment increases until I hit the full 28 minute elliptical cycle, I promise! <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> Have a great day, everybody! Mon, 24 Jun 2013 09:42:46 EST My Motivation Marbles <img src=""> <BR> <BR> There are my Motivation Marbles. The one on the left, with the green marbles? It says, "Pounds Here" and has 73 green marbles, one for each pound to lose, plus special clear marbles for 5% increments, and one big "diamond" at the bottom for my goal reached. <BR> <BR> The one on the right says "Pounds Away," and is empty, as you can see! <BR> <BR> I know this is a common tool, and I've seen it around the Web, esp... Sun, 23 Jun 2013 22:00:53 EST 12 Minutes Yep, 12 minutes. That's what I did on the elliptical today, plus 25 crunches and a 30-second plank hold. That's it, that's all I could manage at the gym. <BR> <BR> And that is freakin' awesome! <BR> <BR> Why? <BR> <BR> Because I went to the gym, that's why! I haven's been to the gym since...wait for it...February. And then I only went once! I haven't been to the gym more than five consecutive times since October. October! <BR> <BR> I went for a short walk with a friend between rain shower... Sun, 23 Jun 2013 20:52:07 EST My (food) landscape has changed! Oh my gosh, you guys. I mentioned this in my previous post, but I am astonished at how much dairy I eat. After only three days of almost no animal products (the exception being I ate some fancy granola that had honey in the ingredients list--whoops!), the landscape of my food is vastly different. Not eating dairy, meat, or fish, I am by default eating more veggies and fruit. Of course, I'm also eating a lot of calorie-dense foods like nuts, avocado, and beans, so I'll be curious to see what t... Wed, 19 Jun 2013 23:08:56 EST Vegan Before 6 I'm giving Mark Bittman's book, "VB6," a try. The idea is that you eat vegan before dinnertime, then can eat whatever you'd like (within reason, of course!), in terms of meat, dairy, whatever. Yesterday was my first full day, and it was pretty easy! I ended up eating vegan dinner, too, just because that's what I had on hand. I don't know if it's something I'll stick with, but even just the one day has already made me conscious of how much dairy I eat--yikes! Reading labels in the store, I was... Tue, 18 Jun 2013 09:50:41 EST Here's to a great weekend! What a great weekend! Not much happened, but I'm working on actively seeking more positive things in my life, and this weekend bore that out. A couple visits with friends, some good walking in my local park and, yes, more healthful food choices! Far from ideal choices, mind you (Hello, potato chips that happened to leap into my cart and were way too delicious when I ate them), but better (hooray for healthy breakfasts and a huge reduction in dairy consumption!), <BR> <BR> Volunteered again t... Mon, 17 Jun 2013 10:40:28 EST The Good Parts My last two posts were entirely too mopey, or at least existential, for my taste! Heading into a long weekend (YAY!), I'd like to post about a few really positive things happening right now. <BR> <BR> My friends are not judging me for my weight gain. (Or if they are, they're very, very polite!) I'm learning to address it in a way that doesn't make anybody uncomfortable, but still helps me share my need for support. I said to a co-worker who's been working very hard and healthfully to lose we... Fri, 14 Jun 2013 11:44:47 EST Fake it 'til you make it I had a boss once who told me "Fake it 'til you make it" when I was learning public speaking. Even if you don't feel like an expert, or even very confident, just go out there, and act like you are, regardless of what you actually believe about your abilities. <BR> <BR> This advice, as sketchy as it sounds, has helped me time and time again. That mantra "Fake it 'til you make it has gotten me through first dates, job interviews, camping trips, volunteering efforts, and yes, more public speaki... Thu, 13 Jun 2013 12:27:18 EST Itty bitty baby steps Okay. I made one choice today that will sound Not Impressive to some, but reflects my being a little more conscious about my food intake. Finally having my sink back (yay!), I was really wanting to cook. Who knew the prospect of washing dishes could be so exciting? <BR> <BR> Anyway, I went to the store, and bought some tilapia, veggies, and a container of deli mac salad. Deli salads are a weird downfall I have--if it's some kind of mayo/pasta/something, I'll scarf it down without a second th... Wed, 12 Jun 2013 21:27:38 EST It's been too long when you forget your password! So, it's been about a month since I've logged on here. I don't have any overwhelming feelings of shame or embarrassment, but neither do I feel ambivalent, and certainly not defiant, like this doesn't matter or anything. I'm not sure what I feel, exactly, so I'm going to use this post to summarize what's been going on, with my weight and my life, and see if I can sort some things out. <BR> <BR> (By the way, there's a plumber here right now, doing en epic sink snaking--very loud, to say the le... Tue, 11 Jun 2013 15:28:47 EST When Predictability is a GOOD Thing Predictability is good when: <BR> <BR> * I know my workouts will be safe, and I won't be tripping over shadows or rolling my ankle (ouch) <BR> <BR> * I know about what's going on inside my body, and I don't have any surprise gastrointestinal "events" <BR> <BR> * I know when my body is tired, and when I'll wake up <BR> <BR> * I know when I'm hungry, and when I'm satisfied <BR> <BR> Such basic things! But these are all huge indicators of health for me, and maybe for you, too. Rolling my an... Sat, 4 May 2013 15:56:44 EST "MAY" I share my goals with you? I was going to start a challenge thread in one of my team forums, but I suddenly got shy and self-conscious or something, and decided to keep my sudden burst of enthusiasm contained to my page! <BR> <BR> My Marvelous May Challenge: <BR> <BR> 16 gym workouts (weights + cardio) - This is 4 workouts/week, which isn't the ideal 5, but will give me consistency and accountability. <BR> <BR> To curb my unhealthy snacking. My meals are fairly balanced and healthy; it's the snacking that does me ... Tue, 30 Apr 2013 20:51:21 EST Freedom, Death, Rice Cakes I'm taking a couple days off work, so I'm in the middle of a 4-day weekend--heaven! <BR> <BR> First things first: I've been eating like a maniac. A really, really hungry maniac. I'm still processing the stuff I wrote about in my last post, as well as the unbelievably thoughtful and supportive comments from folks (thank you!). So, even though I ate an entire Toblerone bar and an entire bag of potato chips in two days (!), I'm not letting other things go un-addressed, if that makes any sense!... Tue, 30 Apr 2013 00:41:21 EST A painful conversation Tonight I took a friend out for her birthday drinks, and we had a moment talking about my weight that was terrible, wonderful, and absolutely necessary. Her name is Michelle, and she has been a professional mentor of sorts for me, and is a great friend to boot. Worth mentioning, she's transitioning from a high-level corporate position to life-coaching, and man, she has mad coaching skills, it seems! Here's how I found this out: <BR> <BR> I made a passing reference to "not taking care of myse... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 22:45:35 EST One small step for Sunday Last week I pretty much phoned it in, if that. Not having a chance to get online much, I stuck with the SP app--which is okay, since I could do basic tracking and logging in, but I felt like an SP Slacker, not blogging or encouraging others. I'm hoping this week is better on that front! <BR> <BR> And it's off to a great start, thanks to CBAILEYC, who organized a walk this morning. Five miles flew by (partly because she's so darn fast!), as we walked and chatted about life, fitness, and dogs.... Sun, 21 Apr 2013 16:00:10 EST Whew, it's the battery! So, I though it was super-weird that the scale hadn't moved at all the past week and a half or so, no matter what. I had a couple days of high-salt, icky, PMS-y eating, and didn't gain a pound. Had a couple days of *extreme* intestinal distress, no eating and many trips to the bathroom (gross, sorry!), and no loss, even temporary. Nothing. Weird, because these were some extreme things that would normally show some fluctuation, for better or worse! <BR> <BR> Today, I hopped on the scale for m... Sun, 14 Apr 2013 13:38:58 EST Do you have weight-loss "rewards"? I go back and forth about weight-loss rewards, and these days I'm excited about my little treats for small milestones! They're kind of dorky, but read on if you're interested! <BR> <BR> 1 lb loss: An episode of a TV show. I don't have cable or internet TV or anything, so I can only watch DVDs. I borrowed a season of "Grimm" from my dad, and for each lb I lose at my weekly weigh-in, I can watch an episode that week. It's a fun, free motivator, and a nice treat to watch 1-2 hours of tv a week,... Tue, 9 Apr 2013 12:57:51 EST Monday's Humble Goal Tracking, tracking, tracking! <BR> <BR> When I'm tracking my food honestly, I do *so well*! I am so accountable and mindful. I eat healthy portions of the best stuff. <BR> <BR> When I'm tracking my food dishonestly--"forgetting" to record that second cookie, "not having time" to turn my computer back on before going to bed, "not really needing" to record the tablespoon of cream in my coffee--I'm so-so at best, but still accountable. I mean, at least I'm here, which is something. <BR> <BR... Mon, 8 Apr 2013 10:11:05 EST Went tire slashing, I guess. So, a few days ago, I was all, "Yeah! I've got this week owned! Raawwwrrr!" Yeah, not so much. This week snowballed, with a rough day at work, then some poor sleep, than some bad food decisions, and another rough day at work, than some wine, and discovering the chocolate-peppermint brownies I made at Christmastime in the freezer, and, well, you get it. <BR> <BR> I need to not be rocked when my schedule and/or plans get knocked out of whack. I did that thing this week, where there was a flat ... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 22:14:47 EST Planning saves lives! Well, okay, that might be a little dramatic, but planning saved my day, at least! <BR> <BR> I very carefully packed my lunch this morning, which was no easy feat. It was one of those "I don't feel like going to the store, what can I cobble together from the crisper drawer, pantry, and bread box?" kind of mornings. That was my morning: breakfast, dog walk, shower, dress, then off to work. <BR> <BR> And then all heck broke loose! It was a *day*. Some of it I expected (meetings, a community pr... Wed, 3 Apr 2013 00:03:30 EST Conversation with a scale Me (stepping on scale): "Wow, did I not gain weight this weekend? I ate so much yesterday! Meat, cheese, tortilla chips, a couple Easter sweets. Heck, I even had a beer! What gives? I mean, I wasn't expecting to lose weight, but what a relief to not have you go up today! Thank you!" <BR> <BR> Scale (sighing patiently): "Look, I'm giving you a break today, Sweetheart. I know how hard you've been working this past week. I know you've been eating really intentionally, drinking your ... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 15:39:31 EST Arrows in my quiver Oh, bleurgh. (That's me, with a full post-brunch belly.) A couple friends just left, after brunch and a trip to the dog park. Done cleaning up, now just digesting! Safe to say it's going to be veggies, water, and Greek yogurt for the rest of the day...worth it, though. Totally worth it. <BR> <BR> So, I was reviewing the goal SP set for me when I joined: 50 lbs by mid-September, which would take me down to 161. No big deal, right? Except... <BR> <BR> 161 was exactly the lowest weight I reach... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 17:21:20 EST Shoes make the woman See these shoes? See how shiny and new they are? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Well, they're not going to stay that way! <BR> <BR> Yesterday, after much agonizing about my budget ("If I spend $100 on shoes, that's $100 I don't have for credit card bills, a car repair I'm saving for, yada yada, yada..."), I decided my health and fitness need to come first! I'd had my other shoes for 1 1/2 years, and they were killing me. Seriously,... Sat, 30 Mar 2013 12:32:51 EST My book group is reading WHAT?! I've never belonged to a book group before. The main reason was that I figure I only have so much time for "fun reading," and I'd like to choose how I spend that precious time. However, I have found myself in a book group after all. I finally decided that since half my books are recommendations from friends anyway, I might as well get over myself! <BR> <BR> SO. Our first book is "The Delta of Venus," by Anais Nin. None of us knew much about it, except that it was "literary erotica." We figur... Fri, 29 Mar 2013 16:32:49 EST Condiments. I love condiments. So, earlier this week I did the right thing, and tossed out all the junk that was in my kitchen. (I'm holding on to the Easter candy though--Cadbury Crème eggs are truly a special treat!) Out went the storebought cookies, so long leftover pizza, adios leftover spaghetti. Welcome, Dave's Killer Bread, sole, salmon, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus! And also, my weakness: <BR> <BR> Condiments. So many condiments. <BR> <BR> Oh my gosh, I love condiments! Fancy mustards, oils, nut butters, relis... Thu, 28 Mar 2013 12:29:04 EST Post Regain Self-Consciousness I'm really feeling conflicted about getting support from people around this journey. Not on SP, of course, this place is great! No, I'm speaking specifically about my office-mates. We're a tight group, having worked together for years in a social services agency. They were an amazing support and circle of strength for me when I lost 80 lbs. They encouraged me, cheered my successes and comforted me when I messed up. But they have now seen me regain 40 lbs, and my feelings of anxiousness and as... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 10:30:46 EST The "Whoosh!" and a reminder... This being my first week, I'm experiencing the "Whoosh!" know, when every day the scale goes down a pound or two. I know that usually this doesn't stay gone, or I'll at least resume a healthy weight-loss rate soon, but still...I love the first week! It's so motivating. <BR> <BR> But it's also a great reminder: my body doesn't want this weight, it doesn't want to be this heavy. It's like my body is saying, "See? See how this needs to go? This is the right thing to do, You!" Now I just n... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 13:01:15 EST Spring in my step Today was mostly beautiful, and definitely beautiful by Oregon standards! <em>211</em> I felt badly for the parts of the country still socked in with snow, but really pretty days are few and far between in a Portland spring--lots of rain and dreariness, punctuated by moments of warm sun. What a difference weather makes, huh? I don't think I have winter depression or anything, but man! Do I appreciate gorgeous days! Everything is a little brighter, feels a little more manageable. <BR> <BR... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 23:54:15 EST Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise At the beginning of 2013, I set 5 resolutions: <BR> <BR> 1. Lose 25% of body weight <BR> 2. Reduce credit card debt by 25% <BR> 3. Read 25 books <BR> (Those first three are the "healthy, wealthy, and wise" part...get it?) <BR> <BR> 4. Send 25 birthday cards <BR> 5. Host, over the year, 25 different friends in my home <BR> <BR> Fun goals, right? It's now the end-ish of March and I am torching through 4 of those goals! My debt is down around 8% (!!), I've read 9 books, sent 6 cards, and have... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 00:26:47 EST