NEEDS_MUST's SparkPeople Blog NEEDS_MUST's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Day 162: Trying something new... I've been doing a ton of reading and studying lately. New job, last days of my 2nd semester of school and personal reading (I got a couple of gift cards for Amazon and Barnes & Noble). I've just finished reading "Intuitive Eating" and "Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat". <BR> <BR> I've been 'dieting' since I was a teenager. I was so ready to believe other people when they said I was fat that I started eating the way I thought I 'should' in public while resorting to secret eating in privat... Sat, 7 Jul 2012 20:01:09 EST Day 156 - Thoughts for July... I'm still plateauing. <BR> <BR> Man, it is so hard to remain positive through this. I'm still exercising daily, still eating right, but I feel more and more like I need to try different 'tricks' to lose weight. <BR> <BR> I'm not a very patient person. Like many folks, I want results NAAAAAAAOOOOOOOWWWW! I think that being forced to wait for my body to release fat on its own schedule is the emotionally/mentally hardest thing I've ever done. <BR> <BR> On previous attempts at losing weight,... Sun, 1 Jul 2012 17:50:44 EST Day 142: The reasons I want to lose weight (Summer 5% challenge - redux) This is my second 5% challenge, so I decided to go back to my original Spring entries and see if anything has changed from how I felt then. <BR> <BR> <BR> 1. I want to be healthier. When I first started on this journey back in January, I'd recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure. I didn't want to start having to take pills, so I got really serious about weight loss. <BR> <BR> SUMMER: My blood pressure has improved immensely. Watching my sodium and potassium intakes has really made... Sun, 17 Jun 2012 12:23:39 EST Day 136: Plateaus and making tweaks Still plateauing weight-wise, but I know that it's because I'm building muscle. My clothes are fitting better and better, my thighs are looking less bumpy/lumpy and I have more energy. <BR> <BR> Still, I'm stepping it up. <BR> <BR> I'm trying to eat as cleanly as possible. I'm not eliminating bread, but it's being downgraded. I'm increasing my protein intake. I'm decreasing my processed sweets even more than I already have. <BR> <BR> I've added a 4oz glass of red wine daily for enjoyment (... Tue, 12 Jun 2012 00:24:08 EST Day 129: Belated Weekend Update I had a blast this weekend! <BR> <BR> On Saturday, I participated in a scavenger hunt. It's an annual event in my city that benefits a good cause AND helps dump some money into the local economy by patronizing local businesses. <BR> <BR> You're only allowed to have 4 members on a team and you can't drive. You can use public transportation, your feet or the shuttle they provided - no other wheels. You collect photos of your team doing silly things and/or items from the list provided. You ha... Tue, 5 Jun 2012 00:17:06 EST Day 122 - A little down... My weight is still holding steady. Too bad my emotions aren't. <BR> <BR> I try really hard to stay positive on this journey. I consistently remind myself that it took 40 years to get to this weight and taking 2 years to get it off is not that bad. <BR> <BR> Still, I feel like I have cooties for being this heavy. <BR> <BR> It bothers me that people won't sit next to me on the bus if they can at all help it. I cram myself in as far as I can so I'm not infringing on someone else's space, bu... Mon, 28 May 2012 23:51:53 EST Day 117 - It's working; I'm working... OK. Turns out I am SO not the weekend warrior type. 80 minutes of cardio each Sat/Sun is just too much right now. Only 20 minutes Mon-Fri is not enough, either. My happy medium is 20 minutes first thing in the morning, 20 minutes when I get home from work. I was worried about not being able to spend time with my husband, but I work out while he prepares dinner. So far, so good! <BR> <BR> I didn't lose any weight as of my official weigh in day (it was bound to happen, since I've lost so consi... Thu, 24 May 2012 00:30:40 EST Day 111 - Aw, shucks! You shouldn't have... WOW! Just WOW, y'all! <BR> <BR> It was completely awesome to come home from my second day at my new job to see pages and pages of good wishes from my fellow Done Girls. <BR> <BR> They had a staff breakfast for us at work today. My SPeeps (Sparkpeople) would have been proud of me skipping the sausage, bacon, pancakes, butter and syrup in favor of the undressed fruit and a scoop of Eggbeaters. <BR> <BR> So far, everything is fitting into plan. I'm working out first thing in the morning (unh... Thu, 17 May 2012 23:18:30 EST Day 107 - End of 5% Challenge Well, amazingly to me - I came within .6 lbs of my 5% goal. I am pretty proud of myself and have developed a lot of great new habits! <BR> <BR> I've noticed how much stronger my legs are getting. The '8' level on my stationary bike used to make me cry out in surprise at how hard it was. Now, 8 seems like a 5 and 10 seems like an 8. Even better news, I was able to get down on my knees and back up again without too much pain (discovered when I needed to get the cat out from under my bed). <BR>... Sun, 13 May 2012 14:13:02 EST Day 104 - I got a job! A for real, permanent (well, after a year) gig! I am so excited! <BR> <BR> I do so much better with structure in my life. I kick ass at eating well when I'm working because I refuse to spend money on eating out for lunch or breakfast. I'm better at menu planning for dinner because I have school as well as work and time is at a premium. Now, I'll also need to fit in my workouts that I've grown addicted to! <BR> <BR> YAY!!!! Thu, 10 May 2012 22:01:22 EST Day 102 - Judgement Somebody wrote something really judgmental on one of my Sparkfriends Sparkpage. One of the things I really love about SP is that it is usually a really safe place to be. Actions like this make me sad, but I do have to remember that humans are fallible and we're all nothing if not human on here. <BR> <BR> It bothers me that many women use nonconstructive criticism towards other women. I'd read an article in Marie Claire a few years ago that went on about some women not wanting to work with a... Tue, 8 May 2012 16:56:23 EST Day 100!!! 100 days! I just wanted to mark the occasion - I can't wait to see what the next 100 days bring. Mon, 7 May 2012 02:26:26 EST Day 99 - Trigger Foods and a Gift Despite an overeating day yesterday, I still lost 2 lbs this week. I call that a gift. Yesterday's frenzy of chocolate-covered toffee popcorn (and eating the entire 9 serving bag) was a signal to me that I am not ready for certain trigger foods to be in my house. Toffee popcorn is a trigger food for sure. <BR> <BR> It's also a signal to me that if I hadn't been working out all week (like my new normal), I could allow myself to start packing the pounds back on. That is not what I want. I hav... Sat, 5 May 2012 17:40:02 EST Day 96 - Color! I try to update my Sparkpage every month with a new color scheme/background. It's a small way to keep myself motivated and a mini-reward for keeping active on SP. <BR> <BR> I find it interesting that I picked shades of purple and blue this month since lately I have been so obsessed with the color ORANGE. <BR> <BR> Many moons ago, I was shopping at Lane Bryant for a dress that was appropriate for a summer wedding. I'd always gravitated towards blues, greens and purples as my wardrobe staple... Wed, 2 May 2012 22:14:57 EST Day 91 - Coconut water In my continued challenge of getting at least 4500mg of potassium daily, I am so glad I've started adding coconut water to my diet. I throw a cup in my daily breakfast or lunch smoothie and with my daily 16 oz glass of low sodium V-8, I'm much closer to making the 4500mg goal a daily reality. <BR> <BR> Speaking of smoothies, I am so into them right now it's crazy. (Crazy delicious!) I'm going through so much spinach, but better to go through spinach than chips, right? I put wheat germ and ch... Fri, 27 Apr 2012 20:15:08 EST Day 90 - Seriously? 90 Days? 90 days feels great! I am glad I've been sticking with my program. I think doing this slowly but surely and not making a lot of huge changes rapidly helps me stick it out. <BR> <BR> 90 days in, I've lost inches, weight and excuses. My clothes are feeling better. My 'skinny' jeans are getting too big. I dream about the clothes I'm going to be able to wear someday and can actually picture me in them this time. <BR> <BR> I look forward to being able to spend more money on clothes that will la... Fri, 27 Apr 2012 00:26:42 EST Day 85 - I love you SP, but.... "Congratulations on your weight loss! Note that your calorie needs will decrease as you lose weight. To give you control over your account, we do not automatically adjust your calories when you weigh-in. We recommend clicking the "Change" link next to your weight goal under My Goals & Progress (on your Start page) to update your current weight every time you lose 10-15 pounds. Your program will automatically recalculate your calorie and nutrient needs based on this information." <BR> <BR> It... Sat, 21 Apr 2012 16:03:59 EST Day 78: An hour! Today I did an hour on my new exercise bike. Other than sustained walking when playing tourist, this is the longest I've ever exercised in one time period. I threw Disney's "Enchanted" in my laptop and promised myself I'd work out through the "How Do You Know?" number. I was not expecting almost 10 minutes of previews with the 'Fast Play' option, so 52 minutes later, I was finally at the song and decided to just push through to make it an even hour. W00t! <BR> <BR> I lost another 1.9 lbs, so... Sat, 14 Apr 2012 20:29:17 EST Day 77: A new toy! My MIL has had this exercise bike for over 7 years. It has not been used one single day as anything but a clothes hanger (she's not the first or the last person to do this). She has 'lent' it to my husband and I since now she couldn't use it if she wanted to (her Alzheimer's makes her too fearful). I'm so excited to have something different to do for my fitness workouts! <BR> <BR> Sorry the blog is short - but I have to run to a test for another job opening! Fri, 13 Apr 2012 13:53:44 EST Day 68 - Little Mom is here! My mother arrived late Monday night. She's spending the week at my sister's in honor of my nephew's first birthday. She comes out twice a year now that he's been born (no grandma can resist the baby bait). I call her 'Little Mom' because she's shorter than me and my siblings. <BR> <BR> The fruit/veggie fest has been going well this week. A weekend debauchery with no exercise could have resulted in a gain this week, but since I've been exercising, watching my sodium and eating more freggies ... Wed, 4 Apr 2012 22:57:03 EST Day 65 - GREAT weekend! My husband and I went down to Portland, OR with some friends for a weekend getaway. I love going to Portland, even though it generally means 'food/drink fest' because there are so many fantastic local restaurants and bars. However, it also means 'walk-fest' because we go down on the train and walk EVERYWHERE! We did at least 2 hours of hard walking each day - so I must admit I didn't feel horrible about what I ate. What's even more amazing is that I didn't feel as though I'd stuffed myself si... Mon, 2 Apr 2012 01:24:48 EST Day 60 - It gets easier I was getting dressed in my workout gear, ready to go for a brisk walk outside with my husband. As I was leaning over to tie my shoes, I realized that I wasn't getting into strange contortions so I could get to my feet. I hadn't had to twist my feet to the side to get my socks on. Awesome! <BR> <BR> On our walk, I mentioned this to my husband. He asked if this is the least I've weighed in a long time. I started to say no, that I'd lost 35 lbs a couple of years ago. Then it hit me - I weighed... Tue, 27 Mar 2012 14:19:36 EST Day 59 - "Take what you can use and let the rest go by." - Ken Kesey Ah, the Merry Prankster Ken Kesey. You're really speaking to me with this one. <BR> <BR> I've just entered Stage 3 of the Spark Diet, which deals with motivation and shifting this from a 'diet' to a lifestyle change. One of the action steps was to find a quote I could use as a personal motto. So, I browsed through the helpful links provided to see what spoke to me. Immediately, I was drawn to the "Opportunity" collection. Losing this much weight has got to be one of the biggest opportunitie... Mon, 26 Mar 2012 21:41:21 EST Day 57: 25.4 lbs gone!! W00t! I'm very excited to see the first 25 lbs gone! The work is WORKING! I can definitely see a change. The first places I lose weight are always in my face and my waist You're next, hips and upper arms!! <BR> <BR> I've been remiss in mentioning that our fur baby turned one on Thursday. Here's a pic of our big girl now: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And here she is when we first brought her home at 7.5 weeks: <BR> <BR> <img src="http:... Sat, 24 Mar 2012 21:26:57 EST Day 56 - A table we can eat at! For the last 7 years, I have not had a table in my home where I can sit down and eat. Really, it's been longer than that. In my prior life, I know there was a lot of mindless eating in front of that TV - especially with snack foods. For the last two years, I only bring what I am allowed to eat to the table - my servings and nothing more. This way, I can mitigate the mindless part by controlling the portions. I don't get seconds and I make sure I drink water before, during and after my meal. <... Fri, 23 Mar 2012 23:42:54 EST Day 53 - Salt in the wound... Okay. I'm a professional at weight loss. I've dieted off and on since I was a teenager. I read about nutrition, exercise and diet constantly. I KNOW that it's not about any one 'diet' - that it's about lifestyle change and making small, sustainable healthy changes until they are second nature. Even knowing all that, I have fallen and gotten back up on the wagon so many times. The good thing about the wagon? Something good sticks every single time I fall off and stays with me when I'm back on.... Wed, 21 Mar 2012 02:14:03 EST Day 50 - Happy St. Patrick's Day! 3 more lbs gone! <BR> <BR> Today is Day 1 of the Spring 5% Challenge. I've logged my starting weight for the challenge and am aiming to lose 16.6 lbs by the end of it. I am excited for the opportunity to be part of this challenge and the Casual Traveler team! <BR> Sat, 17 Mar 2012 19:18:23 EST Day 44 - The Reasons I Want to Lose Weight (Spring 5% Challenge) 1. I want to be healthier. When I first started on this journey back in January, I'd recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure. I didn't want to start having to take pills, so I got really serious about weight loss. <BR> 2. I want to move more easily. A few years ago, I injured both of my knees. While I no longer have the intense pain I had then, I still can't do squats, lunges or even easily be on my knees if I have to get something from a low shelf. I can feel how the exercise I do ... Sun, 11 Mar 2012 20:05:01 EST Day 43 - 20 lbs gone! I was stunned when I got on the scale this morning. 5 lbs in a week is a big loss for me. I guess stepping up the exercise was what my body was waiting for! Exciting! <BR> <BR> Yesterday was the start of the 2 day cosmetics trend show at Nordstrom's. I went to the Trish McEvoy counter and loved my makeover. Bought a bunch of stuff, too. A few hours later, I broke out in a terrible rash - all over my face and eyes. That has never happened to me before. Good thing I had a second appointment t... Sat, 10 Mar 2012 13:11:17 EST Day 40! Dah DA-DAHHHH! (Trumpet sound) <BR> <BR> 40 days in! Feeling good, feeling strong and ready to go the next 40 (and the next 40, ad infinitum). <BR> <BR> I read all over Sparkpeople where people say that 'salty snacks are my big problem' or <BR> 'sweets are my downfall'. I have tried over and over to categorize myself. Do I have a 'sweet', 'salt' or 'fat' tooth? <BR> <BR> I really enjoy salty foods. Bacon, hot dogs, chips, popcorn, etc. I really enjoy sweets. Cupcakes, doughnuts, puddings,... Wed, 7 Mar 2012 17:37:56 EST Day 39 - A new toy! First of all, I had my second interview today. The boss said I'd know tonight or tomorrow morning if the position is mine. It looks like it would be a challenging and rewarding position, so I hope I get it! <BR> <BR> On to the new toy! <BR> <BR> As I was browsing the apps on my Nook Color, I found one called Pepperplate. It's a meal planner - and I've used plenty of meal planner apps but have never been satisfied. This one is fantastic! Like Pinterest, you can put a button on your bookmark ... Tue, 6 Mar 2012 19:44:17 EST Day 38 I am lucky in so many ways. In past attempts at weight loss, I've gotten over some big nutritional/lifestyle humps that seem to have stuck, so I'm going to count my healthy lifestyle blessings! <BR> <BR> 1. Drinking water. I *hated* water for most of my life. Things that have no taste have always been unpleasant for me (I'm talking to YOU, Nars Cosmetics lip glosses that are so gorgeous on but taste like plastic). I would reach for ANYTHING except water when I was thirsty. About 15 years ago... Mon, 5 Mar 2012 21:34:31 EST Day 36 15lbs down! Amazing! I'm excited to collect my Spark Success Photos! I'm also adding a new goal at this point in my journey since this is where I usually start back-sliding. I'm going to aim to spin the Sparkpoints Bonus Wheel every day. That means earning 25 points daily on SP. I figure if I commit to checking in and utilize all the tools available to us on here, it can only bolster my strength of will. <BR> <BR> I armed myself with some new tools as well. Just got my Sparkpeople Cookbook a... Sat, 3 Mar 2012 12:09:52 EST Day 29 12.4 lbs down now! I'm aiming for 30lbs lost by the beginning of June as part of a challenge on one of my teams. I don't usually give myself date goals like this, but I thought it would be fun to try , to see what I can do. It will take an average of 1.35 lbs lost weekly over the next 13 weeks, not leaving much room for plateaus - but it's not like I'm going to beat myself if I don't make it exactly by the beginning of June. <BR> <BR> This week has been interesting. The interview I was supp... Sat, 25 Feb 2012 14:28:36 EST Day 22 - 1st 10lb goal met! 10 lbs gone (well, 11 really)! <BR> <BR> I only have to do this 19 more times! <BR> <BR> It feels good to reach the first milestone. I like changing my ticker to the first 20lbs I need to lose and seeing that I'm more than halfway there. <BR> <BR> In other news, I finally secured an interview for a job I applied for last July 1. If I pass the interview, then I do a polygraph (which I should pass as well - I'm a goody two-shoes). I know the polygraph part takes a really long time. In the ... Sat, 18 Feb 2012 22:29:50 EST Day 18 - Things that make me feel better I always feel better when I get going on a new plan. In addition to my current weight loss/fitness goals, I am also preparing for the next steps in my work life. I got my hair cut on Saturday and I freaking LOVE it! For my entire life, I've had stick straight, baby fine hair. The only way I could get any bend to it was to use chemicals (perms, color, what have you). Now, most likely due to the aging process, my hair has got lots of natural wave to it. My hairstylist, Jana, is a WHIZ at releas... Tue, 14 Feb 2012 22:40:16 EST Day 16 - It's been a week... So, I found out on Tuesday that we were getting laid off six weeks earlier than expected. On Friday, I found out I passed the test for the job I was going for, but wasn't in the top ten scorers. <BR> <BR> Normally, whammies like these would send me into lethargy and I-don't-care mode. I'd be less careful about my food and give up exercising entirely. <BR> <BR> I didn't do that this time. I kept up with my routine and lost 2 more lbs this week. I'm going to apply for Training Benefits throu... Sun, 12 Feb 2012 11:40:36 EST Day 10 For the first day in quite some time, I don't have a knot in my shoulders from stress. Taxes are done, new semester has started and hey - there really IS something to the exercise combating stress thing. <BR> <BR> <em>20</em> <BR> <BR> Since there is no more overtime during lunch breaks (yay!), I can get back to a little bit of fitness on my lunch break in addition to eating and studying. Lunch is a time where I know I need to multi-task, so I am good about bringing my lunch every day an... Mon, 6 Feb 2012 21:32:09 EST Day 9 Whew! That Tiffany Rothe video still kicks my abs (and back, and butt...). I've started warming up with one of my Leslie vids and then move into the booty-shaking waist workout. I feel it strengthening my back and I still freakin' LOVE IT! <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I shopped for some low-sodium snacks for Superbowl Sunday. I found out that two of my favorite existing snacks from Trader Joe's are already low sodium. The seaweed wasabi snacks and the bird's nests are things I really enjoy. I'm not ... Sun, 5 Feb 2012 13:45:52 EST Day 7 & 8 Well, CLEARLY I was doing something wrong! <BR> <BR> The only thing I changed about my diet is adding reduced sodium/high potassium to my focus. With that result - I must have been retaining some serious water! I lost 7.8 lbs in a week. I know I won't keep it up at that rate (nor would it be healthy to), but it's nice to be so close to my first 10 lb goal. <BR> <BR> That new workout I found? What a good one! I felt muscles I hadn't felt in quite some time for a couple of days!! <BR> <BR> T... Sat, 4 Feb 2012 15:12:06 EST Day 6 I am exercising my option to, well - NOT exercise today. I am just flat out wiped and I am ok with that. The calorie differential will even out since I slightly overate yesterday and slightly under-ate today. <BR> <BR> Still, I am holding myself accountable. I know this means not perfect attendance this month. I'm using one of my five days. So, 4 left - with the goal still being 23 out of 29 days or more of daily exercise. Fri, 3 Feb 2012 00:39:24 EST Day 5 The test went well. I am sure I passed, but the question will be how well I passed. They're testing 300 people and will only interview the top ten scorers. That's a 3% chance to just be interviewed! Fingers crossed!!! <BR> <BR> I went over my calories today. I knew I would because it was a 2 tall latte day. I'm not going to kick myself over it - tomorrow is another day. The reason I'm not writhing in guilt right now? I found a great 10 minute workout on Youtube - a Tiffany Rothe booty-shakin... Wed, 1 Feb 2012 23:04:39 EST Day 4 I'm excited! I'm testing for a job I really want tomorrow - permanent and paying more than I've ever made in my life. I've taken this test (and passed it) before for a different agency, but they are very slow in hiring and I still haven't been called in for an interview. Just to compare, I applied for the first gig back in July '11. I got the email to schedule my test in late November. The test was in mid-December. I've done everything they've asked me to do - including observing the workplac... Wed, 1 Feb 2012 01:13:14 EST Day 3 I am starting to feel better. When I drink lots of water, when I eat lots of vegetables, I know I feel better. When I break a little sweat exercising, I feel better. How easy it is to slip back into old habits. I worked a little overtime today, so I got back to town later than usual and still needed stuff from the grocery store. When I got to my house, I didn't feel like exercising. I thought - I'm beat. It's only 10 minutes. I won't even miss it. <BR> <BR> It's only 10 minutes. <BR> <BR> I... Tue, 31 Jan 2012 00:18:12 EST Day 2 I have decided on a reward for my first month(ish) goal. I need to join a gym. I know that I get bored just doing the Walk Away the Pounds videos (as good as they are). There are physical activities I actually enjoy. I love to swim. I love to ride stationery bikes. I like treadmills. <BR> <BR> Before I invest in the gym membership, I want to make sure I commit to exercise. So, if I meet my goal of working out at least 10 minutes a day for the whole month of February, I can go ahead and join... Sun, 29 Jan 2012 18:23:21 EST Day 1 I went to the doctor's for my annual lady exam on Thursday. I weighed myself before I went because I knew I'd be too heavy for their scale. My blood pressure was crazy high. Since it's been twice now that I've been measured that high, I'm officially high blood pressured now. <BR> <BR> My doctor asked me if I wanted her to prescribe me weight loss pills. I said, "No. They scare me.". She checked herself and said, "Right, they have been known to raise BP, so that's probably not a good idea." ... Sun, 29 Jan 2012 01:03:19 EST