NLPOLAK's SparkPeople Blog NLPOLAK's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Bought my new mini trampoline today! I was super excited after having an epiphany about the fact that Christmas deals this week would mean I could get a mini trampoline cheaper...AND I had a coupon that expires by the 24th, so it made sense to use that too. I am pleased with my purchase! However, even though I had read ahead of time to know about the benefits of using a mini trampoline for as little as 5 minutes a day, and then coming on here to plug in my calories burned for a fraction of that time, I was shocked to see that ... Tue, 22 Dec 2015 21:20:53 EST New Fitness Goal!!! I now have a date to shoot for in order to lose the weight and tone up! As of tonight, we have made plans for a return trip to Disney World for Spring Break! The last time we went, I had been a good 10 lbs lighter and was weight lifting/walking regularly. I looked and felt great. This time around, I'm a little worried about my stamina and any random aches and pains I might suffer if I don't get moving NOW. I have roughly 14 weeks, which means 98 days! Good thing I was starting my fitnes... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 19:20:32 EST Out With the Old The past couple of years, I've been feeling blah. I took a step back on here for a while in order to refocus on healing my body, and have found my struggle is REAL. Not just in terms of trying to remain active, but also in how and what I eat. I'm an emotional eater who can't stay motivated to exercise, and I'm often crunched for time and money. That said, I've also learned that I like to cook, I CAN cook, and I am able to stick to portion control on a fairly regular basis. So the good ne... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 07:53:30 EST Feeling Like a Yo-Yo I'm back on here after a long hiatus. Not sure what exactly to do at the moment, but I have to keep moving forward before I drive myself crazy! I'm not where I want to be in my weight at ALL, and have been quite frustrated with not being able to exercise as much as I want to due to time constraints and issues with needing to strengthen my core FIRST so I don't suffer any setbacks while exercising. Hubby says I have to just go walking on the treadmill - which is fine on my days off. I'm no... Fri, 5 Dec 2014 15:55:36 EST Back in action I fell off the proverbial wagon 10 months ago, when my immune system almost completely shut down, and my problematic knee weakened and made it so that my walking sessions actually were off-limits. I honestly felt so lost at first. And then I was frustrated and sick of having pain. Thank goodness I went to my chiropractor, who urged me to do an enzyme evaluation. That's how we discovered how bad off my immune system was, which made my stomach lining inflamed. Once I started on enzyme form... Mon, 21 Oct 2013 07:14:11 EST What happened to adding photos on my page? I'm sitting here having a mindblock. Or maybe it's an ID-10-T error? But for the life of me, I can't find the button to add more photos to my gallery! It doesn't even give me the option...and clearly I have done so before. Hmmmmmmm.... Tue, 30 Oct 2012 10:59:26 EST Almond MILK Joy GOT MILK? <BR> <BR> About two weeks ago, some friends of mine and I were talking about how much milk our households consume, with having hungry kids and hubbies. Some households drink gallons of whole, 2% or skim per month, while others (mine included) go through about 3/4 of a gallon per month. It used to be whole milk that we drank, and I would buy maybe 2 gallons a month. Me, personally, I would only drink 1/4 cup per day with my tea, and before I indulged in a warm beverage daily, I th... Sun, 21 Oct 2012 07:35:36 EST Who or What Leads You? After reading through Philippians Chapter 3 verses 12 through 21 and also Chapter 4 verse 1, I am convinced of 3 things: <BR> <BR> 1. Everyone is called to be mentors - regardless of how old or young you are, there is always someone who will look up to you. So be the kind of person worth following! <BR> <BR> 2. Being out of balance leads to failure - whether it's a Godly relationship, the things you spend your money on, what you watch on tv, or the foods you choose to eat - if you can't se... Fri, 12 Oct 2012 07:02:56 EST A Staff and a Plan I never thought I would make this connection, but here it is. Today I'm reminded of Jesus being like a Shepherd, using His rod and staff to guide me through life. When I have thought of a staff in the past, it conjured up images of condemnation in the form of corporal punishment, or having it waved around me as a sign of blessing or to have a decree enforced. <BR> <BR> But today, I dug further and came up with another truth: while the Bible may talk about God as a shepherd who uses a rod t... Sun, 30 Sep 2012 07:54:15 EST Best Fruit Ever What comes to mind when you read the word "fruit"? Is it sweetness? Vitality? Sunny weather? Do you think of your favorite fruit's appearance or taste? Am I making you hungry??? <BR> <BR> I LOVE fruit, sometimes eating them more over vegetables in a day. Why bother with man-made snacks when I can reach for a fresh peach or a ripe banana? And I can even resist the temptation of eating a fudge-sicle in favor of a mango popsicle any day. <BR> <BR> But physical fruit aside, I'm reminded ... Mon, 24 Sep 2012 07:06:37 EST Keeping Little Irritations From Becoming Crises I've spent the last week contemplating my daily bible studies, learning more about character than usual, but not having had a chance to write about anything that really relates to an SP topic. However, today's study on the book of Esther, specifically in Chapter 5, made an impression on me, because it made me see a connection that I would like to mention. <BR> <BR> Whether we like it or not, we all tend to judge people by their actions. Sometimes to a fault, especially when we are finding ... Thu, 20 Sep 2012 08:25:05 EST Making My Mark It seems like there is a lot of talk about legacies, what we accomplish in this lifetime, and what kind of person we want to be remembered as. As I get older, I am faced with thoughts on this, and what things my daughter will hold to. <BR> <BR> I've often gotten hung-up on the things I COULDN'T do...opportunities I let slip away, things I just couldn't get to because of being busy with something else. It makes me wonder if I am doing enough, and if the things I do are as important as I mak... Wed, 12 Sep 2012 06:34:13 EST Weight Loss and Illness Being laid up with a sinus infection and strep throat this week made me put a lot of my weight loss into perspective. At first, I had hayfever bothering me - that wasn't so bad. But as I started to go downhill, so did my energy and appetite. By the time I went to the doctor and was put on medication, I was miserable and constantly thirsty! Somewhere in the middle of it all I began fretting about being off-schedule with my workouts, and was dismayed when I continued to track my foods and s... Sun, 9 Sep 2012 08:38:44 EST Moved by a Song Have you ever had a song jump out at you, touch your heart, and you feel totally connected to it in some way? I have. In fact, I often joke that my life is a continuous soundtrack, and I am able to attach songs to everyone in my life according to different situations. Music wraps itself around me and overwhelms yet completes me at the same time! To not hear music would just be depressing and I would not be alive. Truly. <BR> <BR> So often, songs help me to get through my emotions, help ... Thu, 30 Aug 2012 07:03:07 EST Marriage DNA and Helping Ourselves Be Healthy I stumbled upon a really neat site this morning for a program that I didn't know existed (probably because it's Canadian) called Marriage Uncensored. I was in the middle of a bible study on angry outbursts and the site was one of the related readings, so I clicked it and ended up watching the segment. All I have to say is, WOW! <BR> <BR> You too can check it out: <link><BR>relationships/ </link> and see what you think. If you're a fan of Dr. Gary Sma... Tue, 28 Aug 2012 06:28:02 EST Self-Control Vs. Do's and Don'ts "Is there a difference between (godly) self-control and stubbornness?" <BR> "How is self-control different than just trying to keep a long list of do's and don'ts?" <BR> <BR> Those questions jumped out at me today in my continuing study of self-control, triggering my cross-over thoughts about health and SP. As I've discovered so far, self-control benefits our lives on multiple fronts. And in order to exercise self-control, we also have to know what we're up against and plan ahead. It's th... Sun, 26 Aug 2012 08:29:08 EST How's Your Self Control? This was a very ironic bible study to stumble upon this morning - and the very thing I needed to pursue! <BR> <BR> It's true that self-control is what helps us stay committed to the promises we keep and the lives we lead. If no one had any sort of self-control, wouldn't that mean we'd all be unhealthy bums, living for hand-outs? Of course, that's extreme, but true nonetheless. Think about it. Without self-control, we give in to our every emotion or whim, throw caution or good sense to t... Sat, 25 Aug 2012 08:20:21 EST Contentment Contentment takes on many forms. For some, it is in completing a task. For others, it is in doing something for another person, and witnessing his/her reaction. Being around family is another source of contentment, just as surely as watching the people you care about in your life achieve milestones and goals. <BR> <BR> Being content also means taking a step back - not necessarily to give yourself a pat on the back, but more to take in the meaning of it all. Living in the moment can also ... Fri, 24 Aug 2012 06:01:21 EST Health Rehab I'm sitting here in somewhat awed silence this morning as I ponder the truths that were bestowed upon me at o'dark-thirty a little while ago during my daily walk. First of all, I never usually wake up earlier than my alarm unless I'm having an allergy moment, or if I happened to fall asleep earlier than usual the night before. Sometimes I'll even awaken early if I tell myself I want to be up to take a walk. But none of that was the case today! I just simply was UP. And since I felt decen... Wed, 22 Aug 2012 06:55:50 EST Where I Belong Today I am humming one of my favorite songs, "Where I Belong" by Building 429, after delving into a bible study on craving intimacy. Weird, right? Well, the first question was asking me about my need to belong to a group or people and why. Naturally, I thought of the wonderful community on here, and how because of the people who've encouraged me along the way, I have gone farther than I would have on my own in my weight loss! It's amazing the power there is in numbers. Peer pressure and ... Tue, 21 Aug 2012 07:16:07 EST What is Your Destiny? What is your destiny? I know mine is somewhat of a spiritual calling, in that I feel burdened to help others. Maybe that's why I have done so well in customer service through the years. One thing I know is, not one day goes by that isn't useful for SOMETHING. I know that not every day goes my way - and that's probably a good thing!! - but there is something to be learned through each experience, be it good or bad. <BR> <BR> Today's bible study focused on craving my destiny. Ironically... Mon, 20 Aug 2012 07:01:39 EST Surprised Myself! I was both dreading and looking forward to this weekend on many fronts. Being that my daughter's 8th birthday was friday, with a celebration on that day, plus a slumber party last night, that meant lots of sweets, cake, and fatty foods!!! But something happened that I least expected - I actually stayed within my limits with everything!!!! It was awesome! I am really shocked, feeling groggy from having to hear 4 8-year-olds giggling at the midnight hour and at the first crack of dawn...but... Sun, 19 Aug 2012 16:24:31 EST What We Crave What we crave are the very things that control us. Is it food? Drink? Money? Fame? Peace? Family? The longings of the heart are not a bad thing; they just have different meanings. <BR> <BR> Today's bible study is the first in a series of the things we crave. I found that an interesting thought to ponder for SP! After all, my cravings have been for quality food that takes good and makes me feel happy - so it makes sense to dig in to what it is that causes said feelings in the firs... Thu, 16 Aug 2012 07:28:51 EST Hi, I'm Natasha, and I'm an Emotional Eater!!!!!!! If that sounds like the intro for a Food Addict Anonymous' line, you'd be correct. Because today that was on my mind after reading a friend's blog, and it sparked my awareness (pardon the pun!!). I know I've mentioned it before, but it feels good to get it out there anyway - I am an emotional eater!! <BR> <BR> Since being on this weight loss journey, I have learned how to keep myself fueled properly to where those crazy binging snack habits and cravings have mostly disappeared from my diet... Sun, 12 Aug 2012 08:21:33 EST My Greatest Passion Last night I was plagued with a multitude of bizarre mini dreams. While it's not so unusual for me to have very vivid and obscure dreams in story fashion, it's been some time since I have. And I can't remember the last time I had dreams where I was talking to several famous people (even dead ones!). It was, to say the least, very unsettling. <BR> <BR> I often resort to checking out the dream interpretations found on It's always interesting to me how their dictionary point... Sat, 11 Aug 2012 07:36:09 EST Faith Without Works is Like Diet Without Exercise This thought stuck in my head yesterday when I was having lunch with my mother-in-law. We've both been on two completely different weight loss plans, with hers having started a few more months than mine. She's doing WW, while I am solely coming on here to keep track of what I'm eating and how I'm exercising each day. <BR> <BR> It seems her weight has dropped significantly from cutting out various foods and beverages, which is awesome. But here's the thing: she's hit a plateau, which she s... Fri, 10 Aug 2012 07:12:32 EST Verbal Workouts Today's bible study on James chapter 3 made me dig deep into the recesses of my mind to really see where my life has taken me. The study was on controlling the tongue - a much needed lesson today! Here's why... <BR> <BR> When I was a child, I really was into talking! Got in trouble at school, revealed a bit too much about my parents on many occasion (much to their embarrassment!!) and loved to be around my friends. My parents say I was full of life and always a positive influence. <BR> ... Thu, 9 Aug 2012 07:03:25 EST Putting the Blinders On I'm reminded of the necessity of blinders on a horse. Without them, a horse would run amok. With them, a horse can be guided exactly down the path he must take - i.e., wherever the person in the driver seat leads him. <BR> <BR> Today's Bible study from James chapter 2, focused on the need for being impartial - not showing favoritism or criticism for those who are different. The funny thing is, we are all like horses - led down many paths, according to who is doing the driving in our lives... Tue, 7 Aug 2012 09:57:58 EST Exciting Day Today, my daughter starts 3rd grade. In fact, I just got her on the bus about 15 minutes ago. Brings back so many memories of when I was in school, particularly her age. It was the point in time where I remember beginning my life and building the awareness around me. What a sobering thing to think that my child is now turning into a young lady, with all kinds of thoughts and hopes and dreams! It reminds me to watch myself and not discredit her in what she says and does, because I know ex... Mon, 6 Aug 2012 08:17:43 EST Temptation - Oh No! In my last blog, I mentioned the new bible study from the book of James that I started yesterday. Well, today's topic was on temptation. Another dreaded topic, but totally relevant to Spark People. After all, if I hadn't faced temptation in the first place, I wouldn't be here! So here goes. <BR> <BR> From James chapter 1 verses 9-18, we see that temptation is a very bad thing, because it separates us from God. Markedly, those who are poor can focus on the happiness they glean from a sim... Sun, 5 Aug 2012 09:56:15 EST Patience: The Uncomfortable Truth Today's blog is brought to you by a bible study I did this morning on patience. It's one of those topics I usually end up pushing to the side, just because it is such a weighty matter. But because I am determined to bring to light every little thing I used to sweep aside before, I thought, what the heck, I will tackle this one today. And boy, am I glad I did! <BR> <BR> The actual bible study can be found here:<BR>of-james/ (I hope it's ok that I'... Sat, 4 Aug 2012 08:39:20 EST Values and Priorities Today I was inspired to begin my morning after reading a passage in the Good Book that really spoke to me. To me, it was a huge encouragement toward my weight loss journey. <BR> <BR> Philippians chapter 3 deals with instructions to the local people regarding spiritual priorities, and their boasting in any physical advantages. Overall, it is more important to seek Christ than the ideal body. Note: the writer is not saying NOT to live a healthy life or NOT care about the body's condition;... Fri, 3 Aug 2012 07:04:40 EST Exercising at Chuck E. Cheese's Today's exercise routine was a fun change - I went with my daughter to Chuck E. Cheese for an hour and played lots of basketball! I shot hoops for about 10 minutes, with another few minutes devoted to skeeball. I wonder how much that equates to in calories burned? I put my exercise down as basketball. It was our last day together for summer vacation - I work tomorrow and she starts the new school year on Monday. My, how time has flown! <BR> <BR> I'm pretty excited about this week; I was... Thu, 2 Aug 2012 20:06:22 EST The Food Tracker Police Some days I feel like the food tracker police...I have become used to whipping out my iphone to find out the caloric content for foods before I eat them, and to calculate how much I am allowed when I'm offered something (usually by my mom). My family has been making a few jokes about it, and at first they didn't want me to be so strict with myself - probably because they didn't want me refusing the food or they didn't want me to talk about the dangers of eating too much of this or that. But... Tue, 31 Jul 2012 19:51:35 EST Body Bar, Anyone? It's been a while, but I used to do workouts with a 9 lb. body bar. I used it for years, actually. And then every so often when I don't feel like being at the gym. It had been a good year or longer since I last used it...until today. And when I did, I did some bench presses, bicep curls, crunchers, and forward lunges. It felt good! But when I came on SP, I didn't really see anything to match it with my fitness tracker, so I had to go off of what it would have been with all those moves w... Mon, 23 Jul 2012 19:47:34 EST Here's to a good week ahead! This morning as I got ready for church, I donned a favorite shirt of mine that I hadn't worn in several weeks. Immediately I noticed how much looser it fit! So when I took a look at myself in the mirror, I was amazed at how I can notice my new body emerging! It definitely wasn't my imagination the other day when I saw how I had lost some fat in my neck and collar bone area. Yay! I can't wait to see how the rest of this week goes! :-) Sun, 22 Jul 2012 20:35:09 EST Weight is Creeping Back Up I'm trying not to let it get me down, especially with it only being 3 weeks since I started this journey. But I had been so hopeful earlier this week when I was just around the 4 lb mark, and have somehow gone the other way with in a couple of days. It's not that I have been overeating or eating more fats and carbs than I should. I did end up exercising a lot, but I have cut down from what I did last week when I was over twice as much as I should have been doing. I've noticed my pants are... Fri, 20 Jul 2012 19:50:22 EST Craving Workouts It's really weird, and I never thought I would say this, but I'm finding the more I work out, the more I am craving my next session! Not that I've ever been adverse to exercise, since I certainly was very physically active as a child and even teenager...but I know my hormones and emotions went through the wringer in the past 12 years so much to where I almost have lots myself at times. Getting everything back in focus through being on SP has really been changing my life in more ways than on... Thu, 19 Jul 2012 06:21:49 EST Dinnertime Woes When it comes to dinner ideas, my husband and I have vastly different tastes. Not that there aren't ones we share, but for the most part if I try a new recipe it HAS to be something that is more to his liking than mine because he's so darn picky! I, on the other hand, am content to try just about anything and not make a fuss. Tonight, I made one of the SP recipes in hopes that I would have night #3 of healthy eating. Unfortunately, I might have put a little too much dry herbs in the bread... Wed, 18 Jul 2012 19:24:12 EST Wilting in the Heat Finding fresh produce in this extreme weather here in Indiana has been a challenge. Anything locally grown is dwindling, and now that we have a watering ban for lawns, many gardens are being forsaken. It's really quite tragic! <BR> <BR> I talked to the owners of a farm stand I frequent in the summer months, who told me that this heat has made them not be able to display everything as usual, and that whatever they've had shipped in from different places is going bad way too fast. It make... Tue, 17 Jul 2012 09:15:15 EST Epic FAIL Ok, for some reason I went overboard with the fat without even trying :-( I had small portions of everything I ate today, and did so well until I had a hankering for a small square of banana cake. Apparently that 300 calories plus the other 120 between two nibbles of chocolate and shortbread really messed me up! I feel really guilty today, and I am somewhat apprehensive of how my appetite will be when I get hormonal. <BR> <BR> One of the only good things about this day is that for the s... Mon, 16 Jul 2012 19:30:52 EST Healthy Body, Healthy Mind I find that I have more sane moments because I've been treating my body better! I am able to think clearer, and I definitely have more energy to do spot-decluttering around my house. It's great! Makes me wonder how I'll be this Winter...I tend to have zapped energy when it's not really sunny. But in the meantime, I feel pretty good and I'm holding to that for as long as I can. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> Sun, 15 Jul 2012 09:01:20 EST Made my weekly goal today!! <em>244</em> <BR> I'm so happy that I was able to accomplish my 2 lbs per week goal for the second week in a row! That makes me feel like I can really keep going!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sat, 14 Jul 2012 13:33:29 EST What to Drink? For the last two weeks, most of my liquid intake has been water. This in itself is amazing for me to say, because before, I was lucky to be drinking 4 full glasses of water a day! The rest of the time had consisted of a cup of black tea, herbal tea, or hot chocolate in the a.m., and maybe a glass of some juice or caffeinated soda (no diet varieties for this girl!), if needed in the mid-afternoon or around dinner time. <BR> <BR> Since being on my SP plan, I decided to go (almost) cold tur... Sat, 14 Jul 2012 10:06:57 EST Having to Stay Motivated When I think about all the reasons why I am on this program with SP, the biggest one that stands out is that I really want to be healthy for my family! I just know that in being healthy, it will encourage them to make some better choices. Already, I have seen this work and both my husband and daughter have opted to eat more fruits and vegetables just because I've kept them around the house more frequently. <BR> <BR> But as far as staying motivated to get through each day without slipping u... Tue, 10 Jul 2012 20:47:51 EST