SANDYBREIT's SparkPeople Blog SANDYBREIT's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Using the Nutrition Tracker The nutrition tracker is a huge factor in letting me know how I'm doing in terms of the quantity and quality of the food that I'm consuming. <BR> <BR> This tracker can, of course, be used after the fact, to record what you've already eaten; sometimes resulting in rather unpleasant surprises. I really like to use it to pre-plan what I'm going to eat during the day -- sometimes I'll sit down in the morning and enter what I'm planning to eat that day, and sometimes I'll go 2 or 3 days into t... Sun, 21 Jan 2018 21:06:54 EST Back to Sparking again! So, here I am again at the beginning of a new year, feeling motivated and ready to rock my plan! I've been away for about a year and a half -- and initially came here in 2012, with high hopes and expectations of getting myself back to a normal weight. Every time I have started out with an "I can do it!" attitude, and every time I've fallen back into old habits for one reason or another, with the resulting feelings of failure and guilt. As time has gone by my body has accumulated a few more... Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:17:14 EST Temporarily off track! Well, the first half of July (and then some) has been quite a challenge in terms of staying with my plan. Relatives visiting here from Florida (for a couple of months), 4th of July holiday, and lots of family get-togethers. Trying hard to stay motivated to plan my meals (often having something come up spur-of-the-moment and throwing the whole plan out the window), and adapt to the situation instead of just going completely off the rails and thinking (more like hoping) I'll do better the nex... Tue, 19 Jul 2016 20:19:48 EST Just for today... For some reason, it seems a lot easier to me to stick to my guns about following my plan when I tell myself that "I'm only going to do this today" -- I'll figure out tomorrow when it gets here! So, today I will: <BR> Walk on my treadmill for 15 minutes <BR> Keep my calorie count between 1400-1500 <BR> Not drink any alcohol <BR> Go to bed by 11 p.m. <BR> Drink at least 64 ounces of water <BR> Read at least one of the motivational articles here on SP <BR> Clean something in my house -- I'm no... Mon, 27 Jun 2016 12:16:05 EST Seeing some progress I've been back for a week now and am feeling good about it; my mind seems to be in the right place for making a good effort. Many times I have vowed to eat less, exercise more, drink less alcohol, etc. -- but until my mind has really embraced the idea it just doesn't work. Usually, when I have had some success it has been more a process of thinking about it for a while and kind of talking myself into it. This time, though, it was almost like a switch turned on; I can't really explain it, b... Sun, 26 Jun 2016 10:44:52 EST I'm back and ready to lose! To celebrate the 1st day of summer (June 20th) I decided to come back to SP - after being gone for much too long - and commit to working hard to achieve my goals of improving my overall health, including losing weight and becoming physically stronger. In part this was inspired by having an elevated blood sugar at my last doctor's appt; however, I wasn't fasting at the time (which she knew), so now I need to have a followup, which in all likelihood will be fine. Even so, it got me to thinkin... Fri, 24 Jun 2016 09:44:44 EST Who knew that carrots could be braided? Over the years I've dug up a lot of carrots where 2 of them had grown twisted together, but have never before found 3 that were literally braiding themselves together as they grew! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 22:21:07 EST Word Cloud Pretty much everyone has encountered a "word cloud" somewhere -- a "visual representation for text data." There are a number of web sites that will help you create them by simply pasting in the text that you want to include, but (so far, at least) my favorite is (It's free.) This is one that I made up related to my weight-loss journey with Spark... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Why not try making one yourself? <BR> ... Mon, 21 Oct 2013 22:32:08 EST Wake-up Call! So... this morning I got out of bed and got on the scale and saw the number "240.0." Yikes -- back in the spring I had managed to hit the "magical" number of 225, which represented a 25-lb loss from where I started a little over a year ago, in September 2012. Over the course of the summer I have fallen away from SP, choosing to "eat, drink and be merry!" We had out-of-state family visiting for most of the summer, and of course... had to show them a good time, right? I was also quite stre... Sun, 20 Oct 2013 20:46:57 EST Breathe In, Breathe Out.... Part 2 So... our weekend challenge for BLC22 is to R.E.G.R.O.U.P. "R" stands for "reflect." Reflecting on the last several months does not make me very happy, I'm afraid. I managed to get appointed as township clerk and have been extremely stressed out ever since, for one reason after another. And, although the word "quit" has pretty much never been part of my vocabulary, after being asked multiple times by our township supervisor and treasurer, "you aren't going to quit, are you?," I woke up on... Fri, 19 Jul 2013 21:44:41 EST Stressed!! As you may have read previously, I managed to get myself appointed to the position of township clerk, when our clerk resigned as of the end of May. And, although she has been very good about answering my calls for help, and spent a pretty fair amount of time "training" me, I was definitely not adequately prepared to take over the job. <BR> <BR> Today's example: I am in charge of billing for our township water system -- a pretty small system, less than 200 customers. Billing should be go... Tue, 2 Jul 2013 18:04:19 EST Cooking healthy -- kitchen staples Cottage cheese (low fat, reduced sodium) <BR> boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders <BR> lean ground beef <BR> leaf lettuce and other fresh vegetables -- from my garden during April-November <BR> fresh fruit -- bananas, apples, berries in season <BR> cider vinegar <BR> olive oil <BR> canola oil <BR> butter <BR> canned tuna <BR> oatmeal <BR> whole-grain bread <BR> brown rice <BR> dried and canned beans <BR> peanut butter <BR> walnuts <BR> honey <BR> canned tomatoes <BR> reduced-sodium ... Sat, 15 Jun 2013 21:46:48 EST S.M.A.R.T. goals ! This was part of last week's challenge for BLC22 and I didn't get it posted in time to claim my points for the challenge, but that doesn't mean I can't still put them down here! <BR> <BR> My goals for the challenge (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound): <BR> <BR> Use my nutrition tracker daily to plan ahead and stay within my recommended calorie range of 1200-1550. <BR> <BR> Walk daily to increase the steps I take from an average of about 3000/day by 500 steps each wee... Wed, 12 Jun 2013 21:30:03 EST Breathe in, breathe out... That's a reminder to myself, and anyone else that may be feeling a bit (or more than a bit) stressed at this moment! Had my first township meeting tonight as Township Clerk, and I don't think I made a complete fool of myself, at least... however, now tomorrow I have to drive 3 hrs (each way) for a meeting/training session for "electonic pollbooks," (for elections), when in reality I have no experience whatsoever with ANY kind of pollbooks, or anything else to do with elections; I also have... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 23:08:33 EST What a great day! Had an awesome day today, took care of a few of my "clerk duties," then went out for a couple of drinks with friends... and in the process encountered a friend who is now going to be my Deputy Township Clerk !! I'm so excited to find someone that seemed excited to take on a job that involves very little work and less pay... but she seems to have exactly the same outlook that I had when I became deputy treasurer, and I think that the two of us will work well together. In a small township li... Sun, 2 Jun 2013 21:49:19 EST It's official! Sworn in as Township Clerk at noon today -- excited to tackle this new responsibility, but wondering what the heck have I gotten myself into!!?? Lots to learn, lots of things to get caught up that have been let slide, and lots of things to get more organized and straightened out. A little odd, considering I've never had that much interest in politics... just hoping I can make some positive changes in my local community, and help out the other members of our township board. <BR> <BR> <em... Fri, 31 May 2013 21:02:46 EST Really?? <img src=""> Tue, 21 May 2013 01:35:20 EST Two new challenges in my life After being retired for 2 years (during which time I've never been bored for even 1 day), I've been appointed to replace our township clerk, who resigned effective the end of May. Have to wonder why I wanted to go back to work... <BR> <BR> Second, I've joined the Biggest Loser Challenge #22 (and hopefully will be placed on one of the teams). As active as I am on SP, my strong point seems to be more toward encouraging and motivating other members, rather than myself. So, I am VERY hopefu... Wed, 15 May 2013 23:10:49 EST Goodbye April ! <img src=""> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 22:20:33 EST A pictorial history of my garden cart Then (1986 or so) <BR> <em>26</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Now (demolished by my well-intentioned husband who thought he would "fix it up" <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> The heir apparent (ordered from Gardeners' Supply Company - - $299 with FREE shipping!) <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> <i... Thu, 25 Apr 2013 10:01:16 EST Stupid husband tricks So, for literally years I've asked DH to cut a new piece of plywood for the back end of my trusty old garden cart (purchased in 1986 or thereabouts). Then, last fall I bought a book with the plans for making a similar type of cart considerably cheaper than what a new one would cost and thought it would make a good winter project. Mentioned it a couple of times over the course of the winter. A few days ago I said "I guess we didn't get a new cart built over the winter, I think I'm going to ... Wed, 24 Apr 2013 13:43:49 EST I think I've figured out what my problem is... <img src=""> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 11:48:56 EST Renewing my vows... to Spark People, that is. This has become an all-too-recurring theme for me -- still struggling to truly get back on track. Keep gaining and losing the same 3 pounds, ever since January -- I probably could have lost at least another 20 pounds in that time if I had just kept losing and not gaining back! Somewhere here on SP I saw a quote that was something like "if plan A fails, remember you still have 25 more letters." I must be up to at least "E" or "F" by now... except it isn't really t... Sun, 21 Apr 2013 23:07:45 EST Is that the sun ? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It was so nice to see it shining through the trees this morning!! By 1:00 it was cloudy again, but at least we had it for a while... Now I am just hoping that the new winter storm, Xerxes, doesn't dump a bunch more snow here! <BR> <BR> <em>41</em> Sun, 14 Apr 2013 15:48:47 EST Mother Nature is Cruel !! Today is April 11th and the weather forecast is for us to get 5-9 inches of new snow... we still have a couple of feet of snow piled up in most parts of the yard (and garden). And my husband just came in from taking the dogs out for the last time and said "it's #$%^&* nasty out there!" I'm seriously starting to wonder if summer is actually ever going to get here.... meanwhile, however, I started 2 flats of tomato seeds today (no, I don't plant them all myself, I give a lot of plants to fri... Thu, 11 Apr 2013 23:24:04 EST Trying to stay on track Six months with Spark People, and I have been in a bit of a slump for the last couple of those months. Not the first time over the course of those 6 months (although it HAS been the longest), and probably won't be the last -- but I'm still working toward my goals and have no intention of quitting. This end-of-winter time of year is always energy draining for me... gloomy, still lots of snow on the ground, and where the snow is melting there's lots of MUD on the ground. So it's me and the t... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 17:10:57 EST Staying motivated <img src=""> <BR> <BR> "How do I stay motivated?" seems to be a common question for those of us trying to lose weight. We start out with lots of enthusiasm, make some progress, and then slowly start slipping back into old patterns. I think that is the point where the vast majority of people give up, instead of really digging in for the long-term battle. I've done that before... you may have, too... but this time I am determined that ... Thu, 24 Jan 2013 11:41:49 EST As if I needed one more reason... to lose weight! <BR> <BR> The February Reader's Digest notes that airline seats are designed based on testing standards that are nearly 50 years old, and are meant to restrain a 170-pound passenger; but today the average American man weighs 195 pounds and the average woman 165, and "these seats may not be as safe for heavy passengers during a crash." Uh-oh... <BR> <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> Sat, 19 Jan 2013 11:39:28 EST Rambling COLD last night (down to about 8 degrees F), and the power went out a little after 10 pm. We stayed up until around midnight, after lighting a few candles and an oil lamp, and listening to music on a battery-powered player, hoping it would come back on, but no such luck... so, turned off what we could, threw another blanket on the bed, I replaced my usual PJs with a long-sleeve turtleneck and sweatpants, and hoped for the best. i woke up at 2:22 a.m. and the power was back on, promptly fel... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 00:54:51 EST My umbrella with the googly eyes... After the umpteenth time of seeing a commercial on TV for an antidepressant drug, showing a woman with an umbrella that represents her depression "hanging over her," it came to me that I -- and probably a lot of other people -- also have things "hanging over me" that keep me from moving forward and doing what I want to do. It could be baggage from past relationships, health issues, financial issues... or, in my case, unfinished projects. <BR> <BR> In what now seems the distant past I enjoye... Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:27:13 EST Christmas! Well -- ate and drank and talked too much tonight, but had a great time with my extended family! My in-laws are the BEST !! Shed a few tears remembering my (100-year-old MIL who left us a couple of months ago), and laughed a LOT about past events and even future events.... my BIL and I agree -- we need to raise chickens!! (unfortunately, my husband and SIL are not quite in on this plan). So, a couple of steps backward, no doubt, but I'll try to make up for it in the coming week -- whatever,... Tue, 25 Dec 2012 23:00:12 EST I am so ready for Christmas... to be over with! <BR> <BR> No real point even in buying anything for my stepchildren and step-grandchildren, everything we get for them is either (1) something we were told to buy, or (2) returned to the store and exchanged. One year I bought some pretty interesting, age-appropriate toys for the grandkids from a catalog that had things not available in our area, and their mom sold them on Ebay. We also rarely see them on Christmas Eve or Christmas, and if we do it's after they've already s... Tue, 18 Dec 2012 23:12:35 EST I need a 23 pound bowling ball ? ! This morning there was a show on the Science channel called "Machine Made," that had a segment on how bowling balls are made. I've been bowling in leagues for years, so of course that caught my interest. Well, a "tip" flashed on the screen that said you should choose a ball that's roughly 10% of your body weight... uh, oh, they don't MAKE them in that weight (never mind I can't throw a 16-pound ball)! So, I guess I'll have to reverse the formula for yet another reason to be motivated -- I... Sun, 16 Dec 2012 14:21:45 EST Everything is a choice Many years ago (26, to be exact, but who's counting), when I was going through a divorce and at the absolute low point of my life, wallowing in despair and self pity, lying on the couch, crying, and half watching TV, a show - maybe 60 minutes, or something similar - came on, showing children in a cancer ward, facing devastating disease and sometimes even more devastating treatment. That show brought back to me the words I heard from my dad when I was much, much younger, on more than one occa... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 23:22:56 EST Well, no wonder I have heartburn! Totally out of control today -- as in, I consumed just about twice the calories that I should have. The easy way out is to blame the stress of a funeral today, memorial service tomorrow, and a 2nd funeral coming up on Monday -- which is all real enough! However, in the end I have to just realize that there are other ways to deal with the stress and other difficult situations, and stay focused on my goals. The really scary thing is that the way I ate (and drank) today is pretty much the way... Sat, 24 Nov 2012 00:19:49 EST Coloring my hair turns out to include a non-scale indicator... So, I have this old denim shirt that I put on when I color my hair. I've had it for years, but I don't think I have ever been able to button it across my belly... but today, guess what? Yep, that's right -- I now can! Amazing how good such a small thing can make me feel -- but it takes a lot of small steps to reach the end of the journey, and we need to celebrate each and every one of them!! <BR> <BR> <em>211</em> Mon, 19 Nov 2012 22:31:57 EST Well worth reading - from Spark People From SP resources - 10 steps to healthy lifestyle <link><BR>er_body_fat.asp </link> Wed, 14 Nov 2012 11:48:56 EST Must.Keep.Pushing Started week #2 of the "5K Your Way" walking program today -- I'm so happy I started this, because it is really making me stick to my plan to increase my walking time and distance, I'm afraid otherwise I would really be slacking off! Our weather has been so gloomy and uninspiring -- I desperately need some sunshine, even if it's cold out. But, I should be used to this, I've lived in the UP since the early 1970s. So get over it, already! At any rate, today's challenge was to walk 25 contin... Mon, 12 Nov 2012 15:53:59 EST Coming out of the closet... No, not THAT closet. I wanted to wait until I felt like I was making some progress and was going to stick with my plan (at least pretty much) before I talked with my husband about what I was actually doing, although of course he couldn't help but notice that I have cut way, way back on drinking and have been eating smaller portions than previously, as well as using the treadmill pretty regularly. Yesterday we were sitting at our local bar and grill, having a drink and discussing some local ... Wed, 7 Nov 2012 11:53:11 EST National Elections today Did you get out and vote today? I'm very fortunate to live in a rural area where you rarely have to wait long to vote, can't believe the long lines of voters they are showing on TV. Not sure I normally would wait that long to vote, but this year I definitely would have! Now all that's left is to see what the results are... Tue, 6 Nov 2012 18:47:12 EST 5K your way 11/5/12 Started my first week of the "5K your way" walking training program yesterday -- yesterday's challenge was to "walk 5 minutes continuously," which was no problem and I tried pushing my speed up a bit from my usual (which is a rather pathetic 22-25 minutes/mile, but that's why I'm doing this!). Today was a "cross-training or rest" day, so I walked half an hour. I'm doing all of this on my treadmill, there's no way I'm going to stick with it if I have to walk outside in the weather we... Mon, 5 Nov 2012 17:45:58 EST There's losing... and then there's LOSING ! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This was the Spark Quote of the day on my ipod a few days ago... why do I love it so much? Because it is encouraging in a couple of different ways -- <BR> <BR> When I first read it, and read the "quote reflection," the meaning seemed to be that if you think you are going to lose the battle you have already taken the first steps in that direction, which is kind of a negative reinforcement. But as I thought more ... Wed, 31 Oct 2012 10:58:42 EST Hitting a mental wall Well, I knew this was bound to happen... the last few days, although not wildly out of control, I have not felt the drive to make the changes I know I need to make. Haven't been exercising (although I've been doing quite a bit of garden clean-up, I know I have to develop a habit of structured exercise) and basically feel like a slug on a rock! On top of that, this chilly and blustery weather is making me want to cook (worse yet, EAT) all the typical comfort foods -- mashed potatoes, mac & ... Tue, 30 Oct 2012 17:03:59 EST Still struggling to increase potassium in my diet Posted the question of how to get more potassium in my diet on the community nutrition board and had suggestions of bananas, baked potato, and avocados -- all rich in K+. <BR> <BR> I did pretty well with breakfast this morning, with yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup of Grape-Nuts, plus a cup of orange juice, for over 800 mg - which is more than my tracker has shown for many days in total. Did discover that a number of the items I've been tracking are not giving a value for potassium content, so tha... Thu, 25 Oct 2012 15:51:25 EST Wednesday Weigh-day, week #6 -- WOO HOO !! Very excited to step on the scales this morning and see the number 239.8 !! (officially 10 pounds down now since starting on 9/12/2012). This was made even sweeter by the fact that my plan for dinner last night was thrown out of whack when, after carefully planning my calories to stay at a fairly minimal 1300 for the day (my goal is set at 1200-1500 daily), we were invited to join my husband's sister and her husband to go out to eat for their anniversary. This was just to our local bar & g... Wed, 24 Oct 2012 10:28:56 EST Lost week No tracking, no exercise, no weighing in, too much drinking of alcohol and not nearly enough water, too much sodium, too much fatty and high-carb food, too many calories! In short, very difficult to keep things anywhere near my goals and intentions during the week of having house guests, a funeral, and various family gatherings. On the upside, I still somehow managed to lose a pound over the course of the week and now can pick up where I left off and get back on track, at least until the ne... Sun, 21 Oct 2012 10:40:57 EST Only slightly out of control... Trying to not let down my guard during this stressful few days of dealing with my mother-in-law's death. Spent a good part of yesterday with the other family members talking to the funeral director, discussing the funeral/mass/luncheon/burial arrangements, and cleaning her stuff out of the nursing home room. Felt like I ate too much -- fast food at Wendy's for lunch, several mixed drinks in the evening, etc. Weighed myself this morning and I was up 0.2 pounds from last Wednesday, my "offic... Sun, 14 Oct 2012 12:12:39 EST Remembering Mabel Last night my wonderful, 100-year-old mother-in-law passed away. Just two months ago we had a huge party to celebrate her 100th birthday, actually 3 parties - one at her nursing home, one for family (which consisted of something like 85 people who came from near and far to honor her), and one at the VFW, where she had been a member for many years, where many old friends stopped by to wish her well. At that time she was doing well and knew everyone there and had a wonderful time; then in the... Sat, 13 Oct 2012 16:16:07 EST Wednesday Weigh-day #4 One month in and down another pound, to 242.0. Even with the vacation indiscretions I'm still below the projected line for achieving my goal of losing 90 pounds by the end of next August. Wow -- I keep visualizing what a change that would be, still almost unimaginable to me at this point, and yet I'm still feeling completely confident in being able to follow my plan and get there. I feel sure I can stick with this, because I'm not really changing anything all that radically, just giving mo... Wed, 10 Oct 2012 10:05:38 EST Motivation ! Put on my snug-but-wearable jeans tonight and found they were actually kind of baggy in the rear -- sweet! Have only lost about 6 out of 250 pounds, but I think the walking is starting to have some effect. A small but tangible bit of progress -- doin' the happy dance!! <BR> <BR> <em>30</em> Mon, 8 Oct 2012 23:01:34 EST