NUOVAELLE's SparkPeople Blog NUOVAELLE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Beware of frail foundations. Hey, sparkpals! It's been a while, I know. Believe me, I've been meaning to write a blog for quite a while now. And I started many times. Only to be stopped by my lack of writing self-confidence. Do you have that? It's this kind of inside-the-brain meter that goes up and down depending on whether you feel you can actually create a good piece of writing or a bunch of nonsense. Ok. Now you know what happens to me when I'm quiet... <BR> <BR> But eventually all of us spark-veterans come back her... Tue, 19 Apr 2016 05:06:16 EST The F-word just knocked on my door... No, no, no! I don't mean the bad word that comes to mind. <BR> <BR> You know me pretty well dear sparkfriends. I'm not the type of person who swears and I never use offensive language. But I have to admit. It almost slipped out of my lips this morning when I woke up and I realized it's my birthday. And there's no thirty-something any more. <BR> <BR> <BR> I am officially forty. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> ... Wed, 17 Feb 2016 05:41:32 EST The overconfidence trap Hi friends! <BR> <BR> It's been a looooong time, hasn't it? It feels like my last blog was ages ago! Simply because I couldn't find any reason to blog. Those of you who had been following my blogs in the past may remember that I always blogged with one objective in mind: to help people. When I had something motivational to say or something inspiring to share. And those past few months these things never happened... <BR> <BR> I felt like a complete failure. All the time. <BR> <BR> And I had... Fri, 13 Nov 2015 03:48:57 EST Addictions. Are we ever really free? I was talking with a friend the other day. After years of being a heavy smoker, she finally quit last month. Of course, it wasn't a decision that came out of nowhere. Health alarms made it crucial, as usual. Nevertheless, she's a strong girl for succeeding and I wish you knew her so you could all reassure her of her strength because she really needs to believe in herself right now. The reason is she has a new battle to fight. She had already been carrying extra pounds and quitting smoking has... Wed, 10 Jun 2015 07:45:02 EST The good, the bad and the perfect (who can be really ugly)! Are you tired? <BR> <BR> Do you feel disappointed that you don't see any results? <BR> <BR> Are you sick and tired of starting over every once in a while? <BR> <BR> Is weight loss or maintenance much harder than you thought? <BR> <BR> Have thoughts of quitting crossed your mind? <BR> <BR> Are you already looking for the exit? <BR> <BR> Stop! <BR> <em>227</em> <BR> Calm down and have a little talk with yourself first. <BR> <BR> But which self? <BR> Most of us have three different ve... Thu, 4 Jun 2015 04:20:25 EST Zero tolerance to sizeism I hate obesity. <BR> <BR> Not because it doesn't look good. Not only because experts insist that it leads to major illnesses, many of them life-threatening. But mainly because it steals quality from people's lives. And it does so in an evil and sneaky way, by offering an illusion of freedom. "I don't have a body of a model so I don't need to starve myself in order to maintain it. I am free to eat whatever I want." And it tricks people into living voluntarily blind to all the freedoms that it... Wed, 27 May 2015 08:31:51 EST Once a sparker, always a sparker! I'm still here. <BR> <BR> In my own little corner of sparkworld, watching quietly over my precious sparkfriends, being inspired by them and trying not to forget all the wonderful things this virtual community has taught me. <BR> <BR> This year has been difficult so far. Or maybe I should say challenging. Because I believe in the great power of positive words. It's been a year of change, of tiredness, but thankfully the good kind, the one that comes from wanted and anticipated house renovati... Wed, 20 May 2015 08:43:37 EST 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 person ... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 04:12:24 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 someth... 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 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 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 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 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 re... Wed, 1 May 2013 09:30:34 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 "Dark days" in maintenance Bull's eye! <BR> The number on the scale is finally right. What you've been eagerly awaiting, what you've been working for is a reality at last. Nothing could make you happier. You feel your work from now on is like a walk in the park. You managed to shed all those pounds. How much more difficult could it be to keep them away? <BR> <BR> After all, you're prepared! You have a brand new set of eating habits and plenty of fitness activities that you enjoy doing. You've managed to deal with bing... Tue, 27 Nov 2012 08:36:56 EST "Biggest losers" have things in common. No secret diet, no magic pill. I'm sure we have all realized this by now. All the people who have successfully tried to lose weight and have managed to keep it off, Sparkers or non-Sparkers, managed to find their own unique combination of healthy eating and exercise. Each one of us is a different person, with different needs, who needs a different approach to weight loss. <BR> <BR> But we have things in common. Looking back at my own weight loss journey and browsing through blogs of other pe... Tue, 30 Oct 2012 10:39:40 EST The "half-banana" story This is a story about portion control. An important weight loss and proper nutrition factor which can easily turn itself into a boomerang side-effect if you lose balance and moderation while applying its rules. If you're one of those persons who measure everything they put in their mouth by the decimal figures of an ounce, read on. <BR> <BR> Back in my first dieting years, I would often browse through diets I came across in magazines or meal plans that a friend would follow. I had stumbled u... Thu, 27 Sep 2012 08:14:59 EST Scale-free goal-setting! The importance of goal-setting! <BR> It's in almost every weight loss article I have read in the last couple of years. Advice on this subject is given in abundance by every fitness and nutrition expert. <BR> <BR> "Set your goals today." <BR> "Keep your goals small and realistic." <BR> "Write down your goals." <BR> "Share your goals with friends or family so that they can keep you accountable." <BR> "Make a vision collage of your goals." <BR> "Be flexible with your goals." <BR> Advice, whic... Mon, 17 Sep 2012 14:09:24 EST It's about time This blog is about "time". <BR> And it's about time we saw this fitness factor in its real dimensions. <BR> And cross it off the list of excuses once and for all. <BR> <BR> And I'm talking to you, the person who claims there's no free time in your daily schedule for exercise. You're too busy with work, family, errands and you just can't find the time for a quick workout. Well, I'm sorry, your excuse is about to get self-destroyed! <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 4 Sep 2012 10:17:34 EST Finding the runner inside me I still remember myself running in high school. <BR> With terror. <BR> And embarrassment. <BR> And when the pictures come back to me I feel out of breath like I felt back then. As much as no other kid in school. And I still see myself being the slowest than any other kid and crossing the finish line last after everyone else had already cooled down. When I finished high school I was particularly happy that the physical education classes were a thing of my past! <BR> <BR> Ever since then I ne... Mon, 27 Aug 2012 11:09:06 EST Why I used to avoid shopping... for years! "I'm sorry. I don't think we have anything at your size." <BR> <BR> I was at my heaviest. 90 kilograms, 199 pounds. I was at a mall, trying to find a gift for my niece. I went into a store that I would never walk into if I had gone shopping for myself. You know the ones. Where you're lucky if you can find anything bigger than size 10, and both the customers and the girls who work there look like they have come out of the pages of a fashion magazine? That kind of store. And my niece actually ... Wed, 25 Jul 2012 12:43:12 EST A successful year in numbers, facts and pictures! This blog was supposed to have been posted yesterday but certain things came up and I only found time at about 2 am! Being too sleepy to type and upload pictures, I postponed it for today. <BR> <BR> 19th June 2011. That's the day my serious attempt here on Sparkpeople began. I had already been a member for almost two years but with no success. The date wasn't chosen by chance. My husband is the person who talked me into seriously trying hard to reach my goal. He is the one who made me believ... Wed, 20 Jun 2012 13:04:52 EST Good luck, Jess! When I first joined Sparkpeople back in 2009, her story was the first inspirational success story I read. I was amazed by her courage, by her struggle as a parent, by her choices and her hard work. She became one of my first Sparkfriends. Without knowing it, she's been one of my best sources of inspiration. She became a runner. I would always read her training blogs with enthusiasm because they would always help me find the strength inside me to follow her example and find the athlete in me. ... Fri, 15 Jun 2012 06:59:48 EST The ugly truth about maintenance During all those past years that I had been experimenting with weight loss and different kinds of diets, me and my fellow-dieters - some friends that had been in the same time-consuming, energy-draining, frustrating and disappointing dieting nightmare - would always keep in mind the same word: maintenance! Why? Simply because in the mind of a veteran dieter, that would mean the end of the torture! Going into maintenance means we have reached our goal weight and we are finally allowed to indul... Thu, 14 Jun 2012 08:31:37 EST Wow! It's been 16 years! I stepped on the scale this morning. It's not my regular weigh-in day but there was a voice inside me that insisted. "Come on, get on there. It'll put a smile on your face." The last few days, I'm proud to say, I've been a bright example of proper nutrition and exercise. We've had more dance classes as the end of the school year approaches and we're getting ready for our performance at the closing celebration. So, the fitness minutes were easy to gather this month! Right way of eating and lot... Wed, 16 May 2012 08:08:57 EST