NUOVAELLE's SparkPeople Blog NUOVAELLE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Fear of failure and its silver lining I haven't blogged for quite a while. More than a month. But it's actually even more than that since I last shared a nice, motivational blog with my good sparkfriends like I used to do not long ago. Which only adds even more suspicions to my fear. To the reason that has kept me away or completely quiet in a corner of sparkland lately. <BR> <BR> The fear that I have failed. <BR> <BR> Again… <BR> <BR> I haven't kept it a secret that I've regained almost 10 pounds. And in the mind of a perso... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 04:12:24 EST 39 years young! I'm wearing my birthday paper hat! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My little girl gave it to me this morning. She had kept it from a birthday party she recently went to. For mom. And she kindly demanded that I wear it all day long. <BR> <BR> And that's probably one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me. And now I'm getting all sentimental so I'd better change subject… <BR> <BR> 39 years! I have no idea how I got here! M... Tue, 17 Feb 2015 02:56:57 EST I need your two cents, sparkfriends! Hello, dear sparkfriends! <BR> <BR> A huge thank-you hug to all of you who have been on my side lately as I struggle with many aspects of the daily healthy living game. Your support has been invaluable, to say the least, and greatly appreciated. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've been trying to figure out many things in my life lately and sort out even more. Next week I'm turning 39 and being only one year away from the 40s, I'm ta... Tue, 10 Feb 2015 14:13:17 EST Motivation rollercoaster motivation rollercoaster (n): a situation in which a person's desire to do something moves suddenly and abruptly from the point of maximum motivation to the point of absolute resignation and backwards. <BR> <BR> And if it was an actual definition in a dictionary, it would be accompanied by my picture these days… <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> <BR> I've been trying really hard since the beginning of the year to get back to a proper schedule of workouts and eating patterns that will lead me to the... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 03:24:52 EST Flexible stubbornness. A resolution about… resolutions! At the beginning of this new year I came across a quote on pinterest. It sums up in a few words what I've always believed about weight loss. So, I had to share it on my sparkpage. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Many sparkfriends liked it and one of them asked me how I've applied this and gave me an idea for this blog. (Thank you, MUSICALLYMINDED!) <BR> <BR> There are a few things that anyone who wants to lose weight needs to underst... Mon, 12 Jan 2015 09:57:18 EST Dear Santa,... I can explain! Hello dear sparkfriends! <BR> <BR> I have to admit I really missed sparkland… As some of you may have noticed I was on a sparkbreak for almost a month. First time ever during my five years here! I tried hard to avoid it but then I realized I had to accept this necessary evil of doing without spark. As my good friend Claire said to me when we met in November, "too much SP will eat you". And in the past two months, I already had too many things that were threatening my sanity and my physical i... Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:45:53 EST That was a loooong streak! One that started back in 2011. <BR> When I decided to change the way I was living until then. <BR> <BR> Two things mainly. Eat right, move more. <BR> <BR> I can't say I have always done my best with my eating. <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> <BR> But exercise is another story. I simply fell in love with it. I enjoyed the way it made me feel, the way it changed my body slowly, the way it made me stronger every day. And I made a promise to myself. No matter how bad my eating is, I will try to exe... Wed, 29 Oct 2014 05:11:57 EST Still running in my fear landscape. Fear landscape. <BR> <BR> If you have watched the movie "Divergent" or you have read the book, you know what I'm talking about. An imaginary place in your mind where all your inner and deepest fears come true. And you have to face them and try to conquer them. Each and every one. <BR> <BR> I re-read one of my older blogs today. One from exactly two years ago. It sums up my fears about running. It's right here, if you're interested: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>u... Tue, 2 Sep 2014 07:07:33 EST Choosing the hardest of the hard. Let's remind ourselves of a few things we already know. <BR> <BR> Being fat is hard. <BR> <BR> Losing weight is also hard. <BR> <BR> Maintaining weight is probably the hardest of the three. <BR> <BR> But do you know what's even harder than all of them? Regaining! Simply because in our minds it's translated as failure. And I know I shouldn't be thinking of a backslide as failure, I know that only quitting should be considered failure and all these motivational – and true – things that we'v... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:35:07 EST Back-to-basic knowledge: A rescuer on demand! A few days ago we had a power cut. <BR> <BR> My daughter has been reading her first book in English. (English is not our native language, I remind you.) I'm the one who's been teaching her English so when she comes across an unknown word, she prefers to "google" it instead of asking me so she can impress me later with the new things she has learned. <BR> <BR> But… there was a power cut. <BR> <BR> No power, no internet. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> I had to remind her. "There is somethin... Mon, 14 Jul 2014 05:10:07 EST You gotta want it, they say. Understatement, I say! I've had some wonderful sparkfriends! <BR> And through their stories I was lucky enough to realize the importance of a key ingredient of weight loss early in my journey. <BR> <BR> Desire. <BR> <BR> The stepping stone, the initial impetus, the driving force, the only thing that can gain momentum and drive us along the road leading to success. <BR> <BR> Back in 2011, when I found myself at the beginning of this uphill road, I used to read about it all the time. <BR> <BR> <img src="http:/... Mon, 7 Jul 2014 04:25:52 EST Weight maintenance can be a highly-skilled life coach! Every experience in our lives has something to teach us. Every ordeal, every struggle that we go through leaves their mark on our personality, our behavior, our way of thinking. Weight loss couldn't be an exception to this. We learn many things about ourselves while in the battle with our weight and we adapt our frame of mind according to the difficulties that we face and the problems we manage to overcome. But who would have thought that this wonderful process continues and gets even stronge... Sat, 24 May 2014 05:07:35 EST International No Diet Day. Hmm… <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have repeatedly voiced my objection towards diets. So, finding out that such a day exists was a nice surprise. I came across an announcement this morning on Facebook and thought "What a great idea to spread the word about the ineffectiveness and health risks of dieting!" Then I saw more posts on the same subject and realized that the... Tue, 6 May 2014 10:27:47 EST The need for new blog visibility The Sparkpeople community was recently introduced to some changes on team pages as you may all have noticed. If you haven't you can read about them here: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=new_sparkteam_features_coming_tomorrow </link> <BR> <BR> TINAJANE76 has already written a wonderful blog and talked about the features that have been removed from team pages or replaced by the "team wall". Her blog was featured today but in case you missed it, here's the link t... Thu, 1 May 2014 06:25:46 EST Thank you SP for making me an exercise addict! I just got back from my doctor appointment where we discussed my high cholesterol problem. She gave me the green light to keep on fighting it WITHOUT medication! <BR> <em>224</em> <em>104</em> <em>521</em> <BR> <BR> She actually said I have nothing to worry about. My good HDL cholesterol is more than enough to protect me from all the bad effects of LDL. <BR> And who is responsible for this? <BR> <BR> Exercise! <BR> <BR> For those of you who are not familiar with all this cholest... Thu, 10 Apr 2014 09:30:46 EST Things beyond our control Last week I had some blood tests done as part of my yearly thyroid check which I had actually neglected for a couple of years. <BR> The good news is my thyroid is still holding strong to the hostile antibodies of Hashimoto disease. <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> And now the bad news. My cholesterol levels… <BR> Higher than ever. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> And I'm not only surprised or shocked by this. <BR> I'm angry. Mad. Furious. <BR> <em>234</em> <BR> <BR> During the past thre... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 08:20:42 EST The two habits that put my maintenance on auto-pilot. It's been over a month since I last blogged. During this month, I've been a bright example… to avoid at all costs!! My life has been "enhanced" with many kinds of worries and troubles, the "sanity-threatening" type. Consequently, I had little time for SP and I allowed myself all kinds of off-track behavior. I repetitively indulged in many temptations like sweets, pizza and wine, I habitually surrendered to emotional eating because it was simply the easiest way to deal with negative feelings a... Thu, 27 Feb 2014 05:15:17 EST Notes to our younger selves. Thank you for all the meaningful responses to the question I posted yesterday. If you haven't already, and you would like to add your answer or your thoughts, here's the link: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5600844 </link> <BR> <BR> When I found this picture on the internet, I was really curious about what most people would answer. And presented here on Sparkpeople, the question gets even more interesting. Because this is a weight los... Wed, 22 Jan 2014 05:30:12 EST Please, share your thoughts! <img src=""> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 04:59:15 EST "Newphoria": The key to bouncing back after the holidays newphoria: the feeling of euphoria and excitement caused by something new <BR> <BR> I don't think it's an official word of the English language – not yet at least! I recently came across it in an electronics store, used as the key word on the advertizing campaign of a computer software company. And it looked really eye-catching and clever. Because we all experience this enthusiasm over anything new, not necessarily material. We never really outgrow the child inside us. And if you've seen the... Wed, 8 Jan 2014 02:59:30 EST What does your past mean to you? "My past does not define me." <BR> <BR> I'm sure you've all come across this quote at least once. I, personally, loved it the first time I read it on an inspirational poster and made it my motto back then. But while on this life-changing journey towards a healthier life, I started to change my mind. We are all too eager to forget about our past actions sometimes. But do we really want to "renounce" our past so easily and pretend that all the things that we feel sorry for, disappointed or ash... Thu, 5 Dec 2013 03:27:12 EST Being off track is terrifyingly difficult! I fell off the wagon. <BR> <BR> With my eating that is. <BR> <BR> I took the wrong path and messed up most of the healthy habits I had fought for years to establish. <BR> <BR> Why? Stress, hard times, overwhelming emotions. I let them take control of my meals and snacks. And they chose what I put in my mouth according to what they believed I needed. More carbs for comfort. More sweets to fight disappointment. More salty snacks to ease anxiety. <BR> <BR> And this same pattern has been goin... Fri, 15 Nov 2013 03:12:03 EST Friendships lost in cyberspace I used to believe that the internet is not a great place to start a friendship. It doesn't provide the proper environment for a relationship to flourish. Anonymity, lack of personal contact, distance, possible doubts and suspicions, could not be the right foundations for a strong friendship. <BR> <BR> And then I found Sparkpeople. <BR> The whole situation here reminded me of this quote I had read about friendship: <BR> <BR> <img src="">... Thu, 17 Oct 2013 03:28:38 EST Be... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I’ve always considered this question meaningless and kind of…well…stupid. <BR> First of all because a kid has no idea of what they will want to be when they will be totally different persons in a world that will have probably changed a lot. And, honestly, the best answer I’ve ever listened to this question is the following one. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> ... Mon, 9 Sep 2013 07:58:04 EST Getting rid of the excuse generator! I haven’t been in my best mood recently as you may have probably realized. <BR> And, I confess, I have repeatedly – and with overwhelming guilt – turned to food for consolation. <BR> And I have been avoiding the scale (which has brand new batteries and always insists on revealing the truth!) <BR> But I’ve learned how to deal with these emotional eating crises. Sooner or later I come to my senses and show myself the way back to the right track. <BR> <BR> But I don’t ever remember ha... Thu, 5 Sep 2013 08:00:40 EST Oh, no!... I’m hungry!! (A vacation blog.) I know the title may sound misleading, as this is, indeed, a summer vacation blog. But I promise to explain everything in a while. <BR> <BR> Summer vacation is over and summer itself is coming to an end. We’re supposed to be feeling rested, re-energized, with batteries fully-charged and ready for winter, right? Well, this year that’s not quite the case. <BR> I could tell you that we had a great vacation, enjoying the woods in my mountain village and swimming at the beautiful beaches of Nort... Thu, 22 Aug 2013 03:41:31 EST Motivation recharger: ON Eating habits. <BR> They differ greatly among people, based on age, family background, culture, profession and anything else that shapes our attitude towards food throughout our lives. But the mindset under which we make our choices as to when and what to eat puts us in four big categories. <BR> <BR> 1. The small minority of people who eat whatever they want, whenever they want and it has no effect on their scale or their body analogies. (If you think they don't exist, I'm sorry to disappoin... Thu, 18 Jul 2013 07:18:37 EST Biking update: Never too late, never too old! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I could have convinced myself that I can’t do it. And, believe me, my old self would have done exactly that. Quit without even trying. Scared of humiliation. Frightened of the possible failure. Held back by dozens of possible “what if’s” created in huge dimensions inside my mind. <BR> <BR> But above everything else in my life, I’m a mom. And I couldn’t refuse my kids’ desire to go biking together. They were my mot... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 11:02:51 EST Sparkpeople: A mindset-transformer Most of us stumbled on this site while searching for a way to lose weight. Free tools, lots of resources, a new approach to the weight loss science made it look quite appealing to the exhausted and disappointed dieter. Little did we know that given the right circumstances and using it the right way, it could literally transform our mindset regarding healthy living. <BR> <BR> When someone gets started here, they have to be ready for change. Real, deep, gradual and irrevocable change. And as m... Fri, 21 Jun 2013 11:05:23 EST Two years later... and time to stop the chase. Have you ever wondered what happens here on Sparkpeople when the deadline you have personally set for reaching your goals expires? When this date that you anticipate as the glorious day that you’ll be exactly where you have dreamed of, comes and passes and… you’re not there yet? <BR> <BR> I used to change that date every time I saw it approaching and I knew I didn’t have enough time to reach my goal. I would push it a few months later and use the opportunity to regroup and rethink about my s... Thu, 20 Jun 2013 13:53:00 EST My new summer goal and a little secret! At the beginning of last fall, I had posted a blog about the increasing use of bikes in our neighborhood. It contained some really interesting facts about cycling, so if you hadn’t read it, you can find it here: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5055987 </link> <BR> <BR> The update on that is really good news! Bikes are becoming more and more popular and an increasing number of people from all ages have started using them. <BR> <BR> In ... Thu, 13 Jun 2013 06:53:40 EST How? Last weekend I went to a wedding. I met with people that hadn’t seen me for a long time and many of them commented on my weight loss. Along with the good comments came some really weird ones about my pre-weight-loss state. People can be unbelievable sometimes. As if my old self was fictional and not real and I won’t mind at all if you just tell me that my face looked swollen back then!!! (Yes, believe it, that’s one of the comments I heard.) <BR> <BR> Anyway, the question I heard the most ... Thu, 30 May 2013 15:41:22 EST For Sparkparents... Before I became a mom, I would sometimes be critical of parents and the ways they were bringing up their children. Not realizing my complete ignorance on the subject, I thought I would have done better in many cases. Then reality came… And it hit hard… Parenting was the most difficult thing I had ever faced in my entire life. <BR> <BR> So, when I started realizing that, I promised myself two things. First, I would carefully listen to every parent that had a story and an opinion to share. Eac... Thu, 23 May 2013 13:45:19 EST A lifestyle change or... … just another fancy term for a lifelong diet? <BR> <BR> I have to admit that this possible misconception had crossed my mind a couple of times in the past. Especially after returning to old habits at the end of a strict, depriving diet. And seeing the pounds returning as well. The idea of a lifelong diet seemed like the only – dreadful! – solution at times like that. But I hadn’t really given it much thought until recently. <BR> <BR> I was reading an article here on SP. To be honest, I rea... Wed, 1 May 2013 09:30:34 EST 5% Challenge: 8 weeks in retrospect How fast eight weeks went by! Our first landing to the first city of the challenge seems like yesterday. <BR> I was a first-time challenger and I was in great anticipation of these eight weeks. New things, new friends, motivation, an interesting virtual-travelling competition and… goals. And expected results. <BR> <BR> So, how did it go? Am I happy with the results? Did I meet my goals? <BR> <BR> Answering the last question,… not really… <BR> <BR> Why? Simply because life got in the way. ... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 06:48:34 EST Working out (at home), Part 3 - Three things to remember Results. <BR> This is what we all expect when we start a fitness program. We may be trying to establish the habit of working out as a part of our new, healthy way of life but let’s be honest. Usually, we are driven by the desire for some changes. Lose weight, reduce belly fat, see some definition, we all expect a little “something” to happen. And this is true for any fitness schedule whether it’s done at home or not. But since we don’t have anyone to talk about it at home and ask for their op... Fri, 12 Apr 2013 08:11:04 EST The strongest of the motives The first thing that caught my attention in the online world this morning was a video made by the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. It was made for a new campaign called “Make health last”. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_embedded&v=Qo6QNU8kHxI </link> <BR> <BR> Mixed feelings, right? Fear and hope contradicting each other as the images of two different endings appear before our eyes. Some of us may have already thought about old age. Others may think that t... Thu, 11 Apr 2013 05:43:45 EST Working out at home, Part 2 - Do's and Don'ts Being your own coach requires much more obedience and discipline than what would be required by a trainer. He’s not there to correct you so you have to ensure your safety, your right posture and your efficiency yourself. Everything you’ve learned about a correct workout will have to be put into practice. You’ll make some mistakes. But there are some things you’d rather make sure you do and some others that you’d better avoid. <BR> <BR> DO: <BR> <BR> <em>48</em> - Start by visiting a docto... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 08:24:09 EST The key ingredient in the maintenance recipe! I’m probably not in maintenance mode. If I were, I would still be at my best-ever weight of 68 kilos that I reached last summer. <BR> <BR> I’m not in weight loss mode either. If I were, I wouldn’t be battling the same couple of pounds every weekend – borrowing the words from my good Sparkfriend Maura. <BR> <BR> Maybe I’m at this “transition to maintenance” phase that the leaders at the “At goal and maintaining” team so wisely added to the team name. And I’ve been here long enough to have gi... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 10:43:57 EST Working out at home, Part 1 - Pros and Cons So, you decided to make exercise a habit. Good for you! This is one decision your body will be eternally thankful for. And since the first step is always the hardest and the path between the decision and the actual action is sometimes… never walked, forget about all the difficulties (no gym membership, no money to afford one, no friends to join you for a walk, etc. etc.) and start now! Begin working out at home. A fitness habit that comes with many advantages as well as drawbacks. Let’s look ... Wed, 20 Mar 2013 09:26:20 EST A streak that leads to strength <em>362</em> 91 weeks of at least 90 minutes of exercise per week. <em>320</em> <BR> <BR> That’s my current fitness streak. And it would be much bigger if I hadn’t gone through some terrible weeks of lower back pain prior to the last time I pressed the reset button here on Sparkpeople. Because when I last restarted my attempts to lose weight, back in June 2011, I promised myself that no matter what happened with my weight, no matter how good or bad my eating habits would be, I would do... Wed, 13 Mar 2013 10:26:14 EST The weight loss tool that I love to hate! My relationship with the food tracker has been a love-hate one. I never liked the idea of writing down everything I eat, even though I had heard of many dietitians and nutrition experts who would recommend it. According to them and to many researches and surveys, it can highly contribute to everyone’s weight loss efforts. <BR> <BR> When I first joined Sparkpeople, I tried to use it for a couple of days. All products were in American brands and most measurements were in oz or packages which I... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 08:56:49 EST Coping strategies for emotional eaters. Thank you 5% challengers. <BR> Thank you Sparkfriends. <BR> A big thanks to all of you who read my last blog about old habits and emotional eating and took the time to comment. This is a tough subject and any kind of support is welcome and truly appreciated. <BR> <BR> Many of you asked about my strategies on fighting emotional eating. So, I’m back to clear a few things out. <BR> <BR> Starting with the need to put a label on our cravings. Not all of them are caused by our emotions. Sometimes... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 09:09:36 EST Old habits die hard. This week’s 5% Challenge calls for blogging on a new habit that we’d like to develop. <BR> I’ve been thinking about it over the weekend. <BR> I’ve spent the last two years forming new, healthy habits. I think I’ve managed to establish many good ones like drinking lots of water every day or making healthy choices when it comes to food. I cook my family’s meals most of the time using fresh, healthy ingredients. I work out at least five days a week and I try to grab every opportunity for more ex... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 06:19:02 EST Getting older. Healthier. Fitter. We can count our age in many ways. <BR> We can count them in days. In experiences. In smiles. In knowledge. In happy moments. In people we’ve met. In goals we’ve reached. In dreams we’ve realized. Or simply in years that we’ve been on this earth. <BR> <BR> Today I choose to count my age in terms of fitness. After all, this is Sparkpeople. That’s why we’re all here right? <BR> <BR> I look back at my younger years and realize that in terms of fitness… I was quite old! There are so many thing... Sun, 17 Feb 2013 03:43:29 EST Winter 5% Challenge - Goals and commitments <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So true. Both of them. <BR> Setting goals and trying to reach them. Challenging ourselves and trying to succeed. Creating healthy competition between ourselves and…us. Key attitudes to success. <BR> <BR> So, here I am, ready for a new challenge. Butterflies, daisies, teddy bears – or was it just bears? – are just a few of the team na... Wed, 6 Feb 2013 02:51:55 EST Our taste buddies! Let’s admit it. <BR> We all love food. <BR> Because if we didn’t, we would have never searched for ways to lose weight and we wouldn’t have ended up here on SP. The reasons for making food a close friend are different for each one of us. So are our preferences. When we think “comfort food”, some of us picture chocolate and cookies, others crave chips and fries. Our taste buds decide what kind of food is enjoyable, indifferent or not to our liking. And whether we like it or not, our taste bu... Wed, 30 Jan 2013 10:36:40 EST Tackling holiday gain: the cool-headed way! So, how much did your ticker move backwards? 2, 5, 10 or more? Or you don’t even want to know? Whatever the number, known or unknown, I bet you want the holiday weight to vanish overnight, right? That’s what I want, too! But I’ve felt the panic before. Actually, it used to be the aftermath of every holiday season for… as long as I can remember! That’s the reason I know how destructive this kind of panic can be. It always leads us to the wrong decisions and makes us fight a lost battle. Until... Wed, 9 Jan 2013 09:33:49 EST Finding beauty! I haven’t posted a blog here for more than a month! Too many ideas, so little time… And even though I have many health, weight and fitness-themed blogs in mind, I’m going to start the year in a different way. This blog is about beauty. The beauty of winter, the way we saw it during our new year’s trip. <BR> <BR> We had decided to start this year in a very different way. No big festive dinners, no guests, no fireworks. Just us and nature in the peace and quiet of our isolated village in the m... Mon, 7 Jan 2013 10:15:30 EST Welcome, Christmas spirit! We're glad to have you here! You were a bit difficult to find this year. Things have been difficult and our minds have been preoccupied with many thoughts, most of them on the negative side. So, I guess Christmas spirit had a slight difficulty entering our hearts. But there's a blessing in being a parent. Actually, one of many blessings. Children have their own way of bringing the holiday spirit in a house. They carry it in their smiles and they generously spread it through the excitement in ... Mon, 3 Dec 2012 09:49:20 EST