MTULLY's SparkPeople Blog MTULLY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Interesting Article I subscribe to MyFitnessPal and receive frequent emails that contain articles about healthy lifestyle choices. This article today immediately caught my eye, and I was not disappointed. It gave me some helpful information and suggestions as I continue to work towards to a healthy weight. I think others may find it equally useful, so I am passing it on. <BR> <BR> Ask the Dietitian: Why is Weight Loss So Hard? <BR> <link><BR>weight-loss-hard/?user_id=27519... Mon, 20 Jun 2016 22:20:58 EST When You Are Thinking of Giving In... ...take a deep breath and think again! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 5 Oct 2015 19:08:04 EST Put A Positive Spin On It! Because I associate the word "diet" with so many negative experiences, I prefer to look at it like this: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sat, 3 Oct 2015 14:18:41 EST Just So You Know... can choose to track everything you eat or not, but just remember... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 7 Sep 2015 00:03:16 EST When I Think I Am Not Losing Weight Fast Enough... ...I remind myself that... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 5 Sep 2015 15:21:14 EST This I Know to Be True <img src=""> Fri, 4 Sep 2015 15:31:33 EST I Keep Telling Myself... <img src=""> Thu, 3 Sep 2015 22:37:10 EST On the Quinoa Bandwagon! I picked up some quinoa this morning (about $10 a pound from the bins at my local grocery store). I thought that was kind of pricey until I actually did the math and figured out that it will really make a lot of meals (8 individual servings per cup of dried quinoa). Most likely, I can pick it up at Costco at a better price, so I will be checking that out. <BR> <BR> The first thing I did was follow the directions from the link I posted in my first blog about quinoa ( <link>jeanetteshealthyli... Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:37:31 EST One Step at a Time <img src=""> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 13:53:44 EST A Little Late to the Party... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> ...but I want to get on the Quinoa Bandwagon! I want to eat less meat and have more of a plant based meal plan, so I am looking at quinoa because it is a great source of protein. This article does a good job of explaining quinoa's protein, but also cites other healthy reasons to incorporate it in a balanced eating plan: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>benefits/ </l... Mon, 24 Aug 2015 16:25:05 EST Still Working On It! That would be weighing, measuring, and tracking what I eat, as I have documented in previous blogs. I have always had a hard time with this, but I have kept at, trying to get a handle on it. Earlier this year, in yet another effort to get this right, I decided that I would commit to at least tracking what I ate for breakfast most days. That certainly was a doable goal. I kept adding from there, and I am now on a bit of a streak where I have consistently and accurately tracked everything all d... Fri, 21 Aug 2015 17:59:33 EST Is Weight Loss Surgery the Answer for Me? During a recent appointment with a nutritionist, she brought the issue up. I know people who have been successful with it, but I really hadn’t thought about it for myself. Frankly, I have a low threshold for pain, so the idea of surgery just never appealed to me. However, now that the nutritionist had planted the seed, I began to think about it. It certainly would pick up the pace of losing weight, and that would definitely be a plus. Seriously, what is not to like about that! I brought it up... Thu, 20 Aug 2015 22:28:40 EST In Case of Boredom, Do Something on This List I just read a heat blog on one of my teams, and it struck me as absolutely brilliant! MPETERSON2311 came up with a list of 20 things to do instead of eat. <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5657039 </link> <BR> <BR> I know for a fact that I am most likely to make less than great food choices when I am bored, so this blog really struck a chord with me. Of course, it makes perfect sense, as MPETERSON2311 points out, to actually come up with an ac... Wed, 26 Mar 2014 23:42:10 EST Looking Forward to a Good Week I have absolutely nothing going on this week. For the first time in a long time, my calendar has lots of clear space. No lunch or dinner out with friends or family, no celebrations, no out-of-town trips, no events of any kind, nothing. Finally! In other words, I have nothing that will give me an excuse to not make healthy choices for the next seven days. What I have is a golden opportunity to work on tracking and staying within my calorie range with absolutely no distractions. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 25 Aug 2013 23:32:28 EST This Works for Me! The more I use the SPARK food tracker, the more I learn. Just when I think I have it all figured out, I find something new. Recently, I was checking through the message boards to see what ideas SPARKERS had for using the food tracker, and I found one suggestion for dealing with meals out. One SPARKER said that she made a grouping for a basic restaurant meal, and that is what she entered whenever she went out. A big AHA moment for me! <BR> <BR> I love the grouping option. I have inputted sev... Thu, 4 Jul 2013 02:08:42 EST I thought I deserved a treat… Well, I did! I have been continuing to exercise even though it is crazy hot here, and I continue my efforts to track and stay within my calorie range. Not that I have reached perfection with tracking – not even close – but I still continue to work at, and I am seeing progress and more consistency. <BR> <BR> So, yes, I deserve a treat. Not a sweet treat, of course. That would defeat the purpose. Had you worried there for a minute, did I? I opted for a new CD. Have you seen the movie, “Quart... Tue, 2 Jul 2013 16:40:36 EST A New (at least to me) Twist for Oatmeal One of the keys to weight loss success is eating a healthy and filling breakfast. During the colder months, my go-to breakfast is most often some variation involving oatmeal. This SPARK article included not only information on why oatmeal is a healthy choice, but also a bunch of variations so you never have to have the same oatmeal twice in the same month. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1606 </link> <BR> <BR> Well, now it is summer, and hot oa... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 17:48:00 EST Making Progress In my last blog, I outlined a plan for myself to help form the habit of consistently tracking what I eat and staying within my calorie range. I quickly discovered that I needed to add some additional steps to my plan: make the commitment to be mindful of negative comments and to re-start when you falter. These last two steps, of course, apply to the whole process of forming healthy habits, but I especially need to remember them for this segment of my efforts. As I have heard more than once, f... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 01:26:54 EST Note to Self... I have been losing and gaining the same 10 pounds for months now, and I had just about convinced myself that I just can’t do this weight loss thing. Then I came across this article about how habits are formed <link><BR>ing-the-21-days-habit-formation-myth/ </link> . Since I do understand that losing weight is all about forming life-long healthy life-style habits, I immediately gave this article my full attention. <BR> <BR> The part of this article that r... Sat, 15 Jun 2013 01:13:13 EST Fitbit Decision Made Well, that was easier than I thought it would be! I am so glad I decided to ask my fellow Sparkers for advice. You came through for me yet again! <BR> <BR> I checked out the recommended link with the comparisons, and that helped considerably. <link> </link> <BR> <BR> First of all, it pointed out that the Fitbit Ultra was no longer available. Scratch that one from the list! The Fitbit Flex has potential, but it is not available until May and I am in my ... Mon, 11 Mar 2013 13:19:01 EST Which Fitbit Will It Be? I got some great responses to my last blog asking for your thoughts and recommendations about Fitbit. All in all, people agree that it would be a good investment, and the Ultra Fitbit looks like it might have the most potential for me. In addition to some great recommendations, ZENRYAKU gave me a link to a website that shows the differences, and HUNGRYWOMAN2 alerted me to the fact that there are other companies that are making similar products. I now feel I am pointed in the right direction, ... Sun, 10 Mar 2013 23:08:09 EST Which Fitbit For Me? My next tracking challenge is to track my steps, aiming for at least 10,000 a day. I am sold on the benefits, but I haven’t had much success finding the best way to keep track of those steps. I have tried several pedometers, and they worked for a while. Then they didn’t. Part of the problem (well, THE problem) is I just couldn’t figure out what to do when it stopped working. I think it had something to do with putting in a new battery and resetting it, but I wasn’t very successful. All it all... Sat, 9 Mar 2013 14:00:05 EST Wrapping It Up for the Week I hardly ever blog over multiple days, but this has been a very helpful experience. I focused on something I really wanted to work on and got some amazingly insightful and supportive feedback. I now feel ready to take on a second week of tracking. <BR> <BR> I thank everyone who took the time to read and respond to my blogs. Your words were powerful. I enjoyed reading and responding to other members’ blogs as well. I learned a lot from their words, and I strengthened my own thinking and reso... Fri, 8 Mar 2013 09:56:15 EST Mega Dose of Motivation and Advice I am more a reader and responder on SP, but this week I have done a series of blogs on tracking. As I knew I would, I got a lot of excellent advice and encouragement to help me out. I could not ask for a more caring and supportive group. <BR> <BR> I am on Day 6 of my tracking streak, and, while I most likely won’t be steadily blogging about my progress, I will continue to seek motivation and advice here as needed to keep me on track. That pretty much says it all! <BR> <BR> <em>252</em> ... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 13:01:47 EST Ways to Improve... Day 5, still tracking, and reflecting on how I can improve. Well, it has been a smooth week so far, and I haven't run into any obstacles to success. However, next week I have several things coming up – three meals out and a dinner party at my house. Improving on my success this week means that I need to stay focused and committed to tracking next week, despite the challenges. <BR> <BR> My past excuse for not always tracking the meals I have out was that I couldn’t be accurate enough. Transl... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 15:21:45 EST Keeping on Track with Tracking Day 4, and I am feeling pretty successful in terms of tracking. It really gives me a chance to focus on my food choices and see where I can improve. More protein, less carbs is one thing I am looking at, but I also am looking for ways to increase my potassium. That one is not working out so well for me, but I will keep working on it. Another benefit I notice is that I am better able to stay within my calorie range. I realize that doesn’t automatically happen just because I am tracking, but I... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 13:07:40 EST Working on My Game Plan Day 3 My focus this week is tracking what I eat. How am I managing to stay on track for three days in a row when that has been such a struggle for me? For one thing, I am part of a team challenge and blogging about it. I certainly want to do my part as a teammate, and I also would hate to admit defeat publicly! This is definitely a strong motivator. <BR> <BR> Another thing I do is to give myself some SPARK time. Other SP members are giving me many encouraging comments and/or writing about their s... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 11:29:12 EST Working on My Game Plan Day 2 I am on Day 2 of my tracking streak. Taking the time to plan the night before is key for me. There is just something about writing it down that makes it etched in stone and I wouldn’t think of deviating from it. Not writing it down leaves me with too many opportunities to underestimate my food choices. Not a good thing. <BR> <BR> The SP tracker makes it pretty easy. It has at least a dozen different features that make tracking less time consuming. I especially appreciate the COPY button. I t... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 14:37:58 EST Focusing on Healthy Lifestyle Habits Eat less, move more, drink lots of water, eat lots of veggies – those are the healthy lifestyle habits I have been working on. I have got a pretty good handle on 3 out of 4 of them. My problem area? That would be eating less. I have made great strides with that, but it continues to be my stumbling block. This is not rocket science. I know I can keep portions in check as long as I track what I eat. When I track, I stay within my calorie and nutrient range. I magically manage that because when ... Sat, 2 Mar 2013 12:33:31 EST Got Water? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have read a lot of articles on the benefits of drinking water, but this article does a fairly good job of hitting all the high points. <link><BR>-water/ </link> <BR> <BR> Bottom line, most of us simply don’t drink enough water for optimum good health. We should be striving for at least 8 glasses a day, according to most sources. For me, I think the most important reason for... Mon, 25 Feb 2013 13:13:52 EST Meeting the Challenge I have been stuck in a rut for a while, so I have decided it is time to light a fire and challenge myself to get unstuck. I have had success with the 5% Challenges in the past, so I have joined the 2013 Winter Challenge in an effort to get back on track. The point is for team members to work towards losing 5% of their starting weight in 8 weeks by participating in team challenges that focus on exercise & healthy lifestyle habits. I have found the other challenges to be fun and motivating, so ... Thu, 7 Feb 2013 18:42:18 EST Best Advice I Finally Took That would be "Eat more protein, less carbs". Every breakfast I had this week had 15 or more grams of protein and each snack was a fruit or veggie with a protein. Low-fat and non-fat dairy was definitely a star in my tracker this week. For some reason, I hadn't been eating much lately in terms of dairy. With my quest for protein sources, non-fat Greek yogurt and cottage cheese came back for a return engagement - talk about your protein powerhouse. I am still at the low to middle end of my p... Wed, 9 Jan 2013 23:13:20 EST Making the Case for More Physical Activity I came across this and think it is worth sharing. It makes it very clear why more physical activity is so important. It is a quick and concise read, and I am sure you will come away with some new information and a renewed interest in moving more. I sure did! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>tes-of-exercise-the-key-to-a-happier-h<BR>ealth </link> <BR> <BR> Tue, 8 Jan 2013 00:33:07 EST Think Small to Lose Big One of the many things I have learned from SP is that it is all well and good to have the big picture goal, but you need to set very specific, small, achievable goals to make the big picture goal happen. Today, I came across this article that echoed that idea and was surprised to find something that was not on my radar. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>01/16216297-make-your-new-years-resolu<BR>tion-stick-think-small?lite </link> <BR> <BR> Specifically, the author ... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 21:36:12 EST Nutrition Goals A very timely article was highlighted in today’s SP Top Stories, “9 Noteworthy Nutrition Goals for the New Year”. <BR> <BR> As I said in my last blog, I am resolved to being more committed to becoming a healthier me. This article was full of information that can add substance and specifics to that resolution. I could certainly take something from each of the 9 goals the article cited, but I want to focus on the three I think most important for me right now: <BR> <BR> Goal #1 – Eat more ... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 18:55:01 EST A New Year and a Fresh Start <img src=""> <BR> To be honest, I haven't had much success with New Year's Resolutions. Of course, I am sure that can be attributed to my lack of a clear plan to accomplish those goals and my all-or-nothing attitude. I do believe I have made progress on both points since the last time I attempted New Year's Resolutions. So, I am thinking I am ready to give resolutions another go. <BR> <BR> As I look back on 2012, I didn’t make much prog... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 19:14:37 EST 101 Revolutionary Ways to be Healthy Sometimes the path seems too long, and it is so easy to get discouraged. I find the advice/hints/suggestions on this page to be very helpful in terms of keeping me focused and on track. I think it is worth sharing. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:56:02 EST A Few More Details About the Benefit of Drinking Tea Here is a link to an article I just came across about the benefits of drinking tea. Most I have already been aware of, but there were a few things that were new information to me. I also appreciated that this article cited sources, as well as mentioned some of the controversies associated with the information. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>its/# </link> <BR> <BR> All in all, I found it interesting and helpful and definitely worth sharing. Sat, 1 Sep 2012 09:21:18 EST Unbelievable... Apparently, not even an am 8-time Olympic medalist competing in this year's Olympics is safe from those who feel free to make comments about someone else's weight. Australia's Leisel Jones was subjected to incredibly insensitive and completely inappropriate remarks from the critical press in her country, but when given the opportunity to respond, she handled it like a true champion. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>imming/article/1233819--london-2012-le<BR>isel-j... Tue, 7 Aug 2012 16:20:30 EST What is the single best thing we can do for our health? The answer is simple and doable. I came across this short video, and, even though I have been well aware of the main points presented, it was helpful in terms of reminding me very vividly of all that important information. The speaker, the graphics, and the details are for sure going to stick in my mind. I am confident it will help me stay focused and motivated. It is about 10 minutes long, but it is highly engaging and informative. I hope you are able to take the time to check it out fo... Sat, 14 Jul 2012 21:18:50 EST Giving Up Is NOT an Option Sometimes the problem is that things just didn't go according to plan. Sometimes the problem is that I just didn't have a plan. So what? That is still no excuse for just giving up. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It is Monday morning, and i am getting back on track after a few days of less than healthy choices. Giving up would be failure; getting back up again and moving on is success! No point in giving in to negative self-talk. I... Mon, 9 Jul 2012 12:37:29 EST Patriotic and Healthy I just came across this article reminding me why eating a rainbow of colors is a healthy choice.It is pretty straightforward in terms of listing fruits and veggies that fit into each color and giving the specific nutritional benefit. Of course, I have been well aware of the benefits having read numerous SPARK articles and blogs, but it is always good to be reminded. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/07/04/healthy-red-white-and-blue-foo<BR>ds/?nl=EATS_070412_P1-Bulle... Wed, 4 Jul 2012 15:34:21 EST Chocolate for Breakfast <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I do like oatmeal, especially during the winter. It is just so darn healthy and has that stick-to-your-ribs thing going for it. But the mornings are getting warmer, and hot oatmeal is just not as appealing to me. Luckily for me, I came across a recipe on Pinterest (love that site!!) that was originally posted on Oh My Veggies website (a website for vegetarian food). It is a breakfast shake that has oatmeal, almo... Wed, 23 May 2012 14:38:33 EST Making the Case for Moving More I have read several SPARK articles explaining the hazards of a sedentary lifestyle and the need to move more. It was a real surprise to me to find out that just exercising 30 or more minutes a day just is not enough. I know I am more active now than I have ever been, but I am not where I need to be. I still can sit for long stretches when I am doing computer things, reading, or watching a movie. Not good. The phrase "sitting is the new smoking" keeps running through my mind, and I know t... Thu, 10 May 2012 19:27:35 EST Adventures in Farm Fresh Produce For the last few years, I have been a regular at the local farmers' market. I like my produce fresh, pesticide free, and local, and I just can't find that at the supermarket in my area. I prefer to go to the farmers' market every week, but sometimes that isn't possible. I have read about other Sparkers and their home delivered farm produce, so I thought it was time to check out something like that in my area. I am in northern California and pretty much surrounded by farm lands, so it wasn'... Thu, 19 Apr 2012 22:23:23 EST Think Positive! That was the topic of my WW meeting this morning. I must admit that this is one thing I haven't given much thought to. Yet, if truth be told, I am constantly giving myself negative thoughts. Sometimes I can be my own worst enemy. When someone comments on my weight loss, I usually respond with how painfully slow it has been, rather than acknowledging that I have indeed made good progress. It is so easy to be negative when you are trying to lose weight because, no matter how much we lose, it... Thu, 15 Mar 2012 23:02:04 EST Time to Relight the Fire During my four years on SPARK, I have made a lot of changes in terms of my exercise and eating. At one point, I was on fire and lost some significant weight – 50 pounds – in a reasonable amount of time. Then I slowed down. I have been gaining and losing the same 10 pounds for pretty much the last six months. You would think that such success earlier would have spurred me on, but I got distracted. I looked so much better, I felt so much better, I could do more. However, I wasn’t anywhere... Sun, 11 Mar 2012 19:03:12 EST A Bit of Irish Humor Just in time for St. Patrick's Day! <BR> <BR> Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, 'Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!' Miraculously, a parking place appeared. Paddy looked up again and said, 'Never mind, I found one.' <BR> <BR> Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and asks t... Thu, 8 Mar 2012 17:26:53 EST Looking for New Recipes? Of course, my main sources for healthy recipes are the SP site and the SP cookbook, but I am always looking for new ideas. I have my tried and true favorites, but it is so important to keep switching things up. Luckily for me, there are tons of great sites on the internet (how DID we find recipes before that came into being???) that focus on healthy recipes, but my latest find is the Skinnytaste blog. <link><BR>ndex.html </link> <BR> <BR> Her blog h... Wed, 25 Jan 2012 19:12:04 EST Blogging Day 7 As this week of blogging challenge draws to a close, I am pretty pleased with myself. This experience has helped me identify and focus on a particular habit and actually make some significant progress. As I shared my thoughts, frustrations, and goals, I received tremendous encouragement and a ton of ideas on things to try. It really recharged my level of motivation. <BR> <BR> I am going to continue with my commitment to plan and track daily, but I am also going to focus on another habit - ... Fri, 20 Jan 2012 20:09:12 EST