SAPHRAEL's SparkPeople Blog SAPHRAEL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community T-Minus 28, BLC Open Enrollment If you're new to or interested in returning to the Biggest Loser Challenge, the registration team is now open. <BR> <BR> Take a chance on YOU! You are worth it! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Here's a link to the registration team where you'll spend a few weeks learning the ropes before you are assigned to a team: <link><BR>ndividual.asp?gid=63524 </link> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:31:38 EST T-Minus 30 <img src="">I'm contemplating doing the full smoothie cleanse, which is 3 smoothie meal replacements plus veggie and protein snacks (boiled eggs, seeds/nuts). I'm nervous to try it. I'm not adding protein powders to my smoothies, so a batch for the whole day usually doesn't exceed 500 calories. Maybe I'll do a trial run today and check my macro-nutrients at the end of the day. I feel like the cleanse has the potential to be under 120... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:07:14 EST T-Minus 32, I need to workout! Yikes! I need to step it up in the workout department! I kinda checked out this week for no good reason. I can catch up a little now. I love the weekends! <BR> <BR> My husband and I are considering relocating to Charleston, South Carolina. Is anyone familiar with the area? I'd love to hear from you! Sat, 16 Aug 2014 10:25:59 EST T-Minus 33, Cheesecake Factory I went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner with the family. The last time we were there was 2 years ago when we saw my daughter off to boot camp. I think I might have ordered the same thing. I cannot pass up seared Ahi tuna! It was delightful! So were the few bites of the red velvet cheesecake we split four ways. Everyone got there fill and there was plenty left over. I was proud of everyone for not thinking they needed to polish it off. <BR> <BR> Now it's time to renew my sugar free ... Fri, 15 Aug 2014 23:01:44 EST T-Minus 34, What Will They Say in Your Eulogy? Oops, the day I declare to refrain from the white stuff, I had tortilla chips and graham crackers! I seem to have little meltdowns about every other day. I need to address that! I'm probably not eating enough earlier in the day. <BR> <BR> *deep breath* Find patience, Brenda. <em>306</em> It's not the day to day you need to worry about. It's the overall trend. <BR> <BR> I just read this quote and it reminded me (again) that I need to stop being so hyper-focused on my weight, nutriti... Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:18:25 EST T-Minus 35 - The Time is NOW! Adopting changes in your lifestyle is hard. But it gets easier the longer you do it. That's profound, isn't it? But it's worth saying because so many people get stuck. They get mired in the uncertainty and need all the stars aligned before they feel they can begin to make change. What are you waiting for? A calendar date? A team kick off? The right groceries or workout? <BR> <BR> I'm here to tell you, do not wait another minute! Any change, no matter how small, gets you closer to yo... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 15:52:47 EST BLC 26 Countdown, T-Minus 36 I don't think a spot of hummus, hard boiled egg, and a handful of peanuts was enough to sustained me yesterday afternoon. That's what I had in addition to my lunch smoothie and veggies. I made a sensible dinner of chicken parmesan and spinach, but it wasn't enough and I eventually broke down and had a peanut butter wrap with honey. Worse things could've happened. Nonetheless, I went over my calorie range and did not workout. Lazy crept in and I excused myself because it was too hot. Yea... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 08:35:07 EST T-Minus 37 to BLC 26 Okay, so my countdown math was off a bit. I'm only an accountant by trade, cut me a break! <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> So, we have 37 days remaining until the BLC doors open and we take our before pictures and measures and provide our Week 0 weigh in. Are you ready? Will you begin the round in a better place than you ended the previous? If you answered no to either of those questions, think again! <BR> <BR> We CAN make progress without the team structure guiding us every step of the way. ... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 18:21:53 EST T-Minus 39 BLC 26 begins in 39 days. What can we accomplish by then? How much weight can we lose by then? That's about 6 weeks, so I'm going to shoot for 12 more pounds during this break. My initial weigh in goal is 211. <BR> <BR> How am I going to do it? <BR> <BR> <em>550</em> <em>91</em> Drink 3 12-ounce smoothies a day, eat fresh vegetable and protein snacks and a sensible dinner. Very little refined carbs and no added sugar or sweeteners. <BR> <BR> <em>314</em> <em>405</em> <B... Sun, 10 Aug 2014 11:03:04 EST Looking Back...And Ahead <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Pressure’s on! Time to buckle down and get psyched up, not psyched out! I haven’t been in the 210’s since 2007 and I wasn’t there long. The reason for the loss was stress. I almost lost my husband due to a serious illness. Seven years later, I’m ready to lose without any near death experiences! That is all! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="... Wed, 6 Aug 2014 15:33:06 EST Final Day of Smoothie Challenge I'm down 5.6 pounds at the end of my 10 Day Smoothie Challenge! <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> Here's a progress pic of sorts that shows my weightloss since 2011: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm so thrilled to be going in the right direction again. <BR> <BR> Now that my 30 days of awesome is over, I need a new challenge to focus on. Anyone doing anything fun to count down toward something? I'm going to Miami in November, but that's ... Tue, 5 Aug 2014 13:09:17 EST Glazed Salmon and Wrapping up the Smoothie Challenge I'm on Day 9 of my smoothie experiment. Yesterday went... <em>345</em> I had a smoothie for breakfast, an apple for a snack, cedar plank salmon at Applebee's for lunch, celery for a snack, and a smoothie, a small piece of broiled tilapia, and two crab cakes for dinner, followed by a few nuts for an evening snack. It doesn't sound like much, but it came to about 1450 in calories and was relatively clean except for the crab cakes. <BR> <BR> One of the things I love about my new eating pl... Mon, 4 Aug 2014 12:11:14 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 30 I did it! I checked in every day for 30 days. I found at least one thing to celebrate each day. I maintained my awareness on fitness and health. It truly was <BR> <em>345</em> <BR> <BR> I think I'll continue the blogging streak because it did help me stay tuned in. <BR> <BR> I had my breakfast smoothie today of spinach, banana, apple, blueberry, and flaxseed. I'm still trying to figure out what the calorie range is supposed to be. I added up the calories for a daily batch and it ... Sun, 3 Aug 2014 10:03:12 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 29 On Day 7 of my smoothie challenge and I'm down 5.4 pounds. This was an <em>345</em> discovery this morning because I had a bad evening of food yesterday. I ate too much chicken at dinner and I ate potato chips during TV time <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> But I'm aloud to be imperfect. My body is still responding positively to all the other ways I honor it. <em>380</em> <BR> <BR> I'm so stoked to restock the fridge for the next week of smoothies! Sat, 2 Aug 2014 13:12:19 EST August Goals <em>248</em> I had a net loss of 4 pounds in July and 2.6 in June. <em>244</em> Two consecutive months of losses. I'm on a roll! <BR> <BR> I'm keeping my August goals simple. Since I'm continuing with the smoothie challenge, I don't think I want to be too creative with the fitness routine. I'm considering my DDP Yoga workouts as strength, even though the goal is to get into target heart range like cardio. "It ain't your mama's yoga!" <BR> <BR> <em>417</em> <em>314</em> Fitness... Fri, 1 Aug 2014 14:12:58 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 28 <em>244</em> <em>9</em> <em>244</em> <BR> I'm on Day 6 of my modified green smoothie cleanse and even though I'm not adhering to it to the letter, I'm down 3.8 pounds today. I'm trying to eliminate most modifications today. After this round, I'd like to try the full 10 day cleanse. <BR> <BR> Not so heart rate monitor gave up the ghost, but not before emitting an annoying, continuous beep. I attempted to get the back off to pop out the battery, but no luck. I read th... Fri, 1 Aug 2014 13:56:59 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 27 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Isn't that the sweetest thing? Are you as kind as you can be? I'm not, but I try to be. Peace to you all on this fine Thursday. I worked hard today and am happy to be powering down and heading home! <BR> <em>213</em> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:41:36 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 26 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tell me, what's awesome with you today? <BR> <BR> This is Day 4 of my smoothie escapade. I'm still enjoying it and trying to ignore the heckling from the peanut gallery. <BR> <BR> Oh, if my post office figured things out, my DDP Yoga package should arrive today. *fingers crossed* <BR> <BR> Design happiness NOW :) <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:29:39 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 25 <em>244</em> We're coming down the final stretch of <em>345</em> ! <BR> <BR> In non-health related news, I met with my boss' boss about a leadership opportunity I'm interested in. It requires both their recommendations. I get to draft my own recommendation! It's gonna be stellar! <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I've been down 2 pounds for the last few days. Looking forward to taking official credit for the loss tomorrow!! <BR> <em>9</em> <BR> <BR> I'm on Day 3 of my smoothie e... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:13:44 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 24 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is Day 2 of my green smoothie challenge. I haven't decided if I'm doing the 1-a-day for 30 or 3-a-day for 10, probably somewhere in between. I decided to try it because 1. I like playing with my food and 2. I realized I always have the ingredients. How <em>345</em> is that?! <BR> <BR> Yesterday's breakfast smoothie was spinach, baby kale, peach, and apple. Sounds pretty bland, right? It wasn't big on f... Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:38:03 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 23 I didn't row yesterday. Instead, I did Day 5 of my PS3 workout. My little bit of awesome was not cheating on the reverse crunches! My abs are by far the weakest. Normal crunches are fine, but reverse crunches that dig into the lower abs, oh my word! But I did all ten of them with good form. I couldn't find any images for the exercise I did. You start on your elbows, as in 'b' in the pic below and pull your legs into your chest. It may go by a name other than a reverse crunch, but it ta... Sun, 27 Jul 2014 09:17:27 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 22 <em>244</em> I dusted off my first Walk at Home DVD last night. It's still relevant! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> AND I just completed 3 of 6 of my Advanced Project Mangaement classes at Stanford! I was behind, so I planned to work on it this weekend. I wrapped it up with a bow before noon on Saturday! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Now, for a bit of rowing! <BR> <img ... Sat, 26 Jul 2014 13:28:25 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 21 Day 5 complete! Next time, I'm going to use dumbbells instead of the resistance bands provided. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Own your health! <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:50:23 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 20 Wow, can you believe there are only 10 awesome entries left to complete this #30daysofawesome excursion? <BR> <BR> It definitely helped me to be mindful of all the awesome around and within me. Today, I recognize YOU! I've only spoken to one of you in person, so you may not realize that I say gosh alot, so this pic is definitely apropos. Plus, you really are!! <BR> <BR> <em>304</em> for reading and supporting me!! <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:20:58 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 19 I did yoga AND my Active 2 game on the PS3 last night. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I'm making spaghetti squash with Italian sausage and peppers for dinner tonight. Nom, nom! <BR> <em>4</em> <BR> <BR> Today is the last day of BLC25. BLC26 will begin in about 8 weeks. My plan is to stay active daily and do my best to eat sensible, whole foods. <BR> <em>521</em> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:06:56 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 18 Ugh, I ordered DDP Yoga on my phone and wouldn't you know, it wasn't until I received the confirmation email that it had been shipped that I realized that my phone "corrected" my street address. I googled the incorrect address and was grateful it doesn't exist. Then I sent an email to the post office to let them know. That was interesting. I had to get creative with their forms on the website to submit the issue. I hope it gets here okay. So, yeah, that's not so awesome. <BR> <BR> I ... Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:21:59 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 17 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Oh my! I did a fitness test yesterday: 1 minute each of crunches and pushups. My lats are making themselves known today! Mon, 21 Jul 2014 17:11:37 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 16 I completed my EA Sports workout on the PS3 before going grocery shopping this morning. Now that BLC is winding down, I created a new avatar to remind me that I'm not on vacation between rounds! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Plus, I found new reward stickers in the greeting card section at the store today! Now I need to revise my calendar system to use them! <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 18:52:47 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 15 <img src=""> <BR> Paddleboating at Lake Wilderness this afternoon with my daughter. ..awesome! <BR> <BR> I also bought DDP Yoga. I know a few of you use it. Please let me know what you think and if you have tips on combining workouts, etc. <BR> <BR> Update: Oh, I'm so not feeling awesome! I just took some Day 1 pictures and measurements while I wait for the DVDs to arrive. Oh my word! Instead of asking someone else to take the pi... Sat, 19 Jul 2014 21:45:45 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 14 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> What an awesome Friday this is! My daughter applied to a local retail store for a seasonal position and they offered her a full-time department supervisor position! That’s pretty darned awesome! She wsa candid with them about her pursuing a job in medicine, and they were supportive of her efforts to continue her education. <BR> <BR> This is the final week of the 25th round of the Biggest Loser Challenge. This... Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:22:56 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 13 Today's point of awesome is not health related. I just finished my essay answers for application to a 3 year leadership program at work. Fingers and legs crossed that I make the cut! Thu, 17 Jul 2014 09:58:12 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 12 Hmm, what's so awesome? Well, I guess I can start with my Last Chance Workout. We have two days to pick from (Monday or Tuesday). My Monday fitness minutes were 80 and Tuesday's was 75. That's pretty fabulous! <BR> <BR> Oh, but wait, I lost weight this week too! I am down 2.8 pounds from last week. That's a whole 2 pounds from 11 weeks ago when BLC 25 kicked off. I should be disappointed by that, but I'm not. Cumulatively, I've made a lot of lifestyle improvements. I'm cleaning up m... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 21:32:07 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 11 I did the sculpting section of the yoga dvd. It was a bit more challenging, but definitely something I can grow into. I'm at the dermatologist/skin cancer specialist today having a blemish checked out. My family physician tried freezing it off a year ago, but it just came back. It's small and barely noticeable, but I'd rather err on the side of caution. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 17:22:10 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 10 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I did a fun yoga workout last night. It was a Denise Austin DVD, "Hot Body Yoga" that included the pose pictured above. There was another sculpting segment after the first 30 minutes that I didn't do, but will probably try later. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:54:15 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 9 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I had a nice day with my daughter, Megan. We were surprised to find that the paddle boats were all checked out until 4 p.m. Neither of us were ready to try the paddle boards, so we made a reservation,ensuring us a boat next weekend. Instead, we got sandwiches from Subway and did a lot of catching up. She's at a transition point in her life, so I was happy to spend some time with her and help her with some deci... Sun, 13 Jul 2014 09:55:48 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 8 I decided what to spend my gift card money on after completing the Boeing on the Move challenge: a hula hoop! Yep. I sucked at it as a kid, but I think I'll give it another try. Do any of you hoop? Suggestions are welcome. To get me started, I'm going with a 40", 1.5 lb. Weighted hoop. I'll stick with waist hooping and see how it goes. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""... Sat, 12 Jul 2014 11:05:03 EST #30daysofawesome - Day 7 At 7:30 last night, I realized I only had around 3200 steps on the pedometer. I briefly thought, "There goes my streak." Then I came to my senses and started marching in place while watching a Netflix movie. I can't remember the title, but it was about a teen with Leukemia, starring Dakota Fanning. I'm somewhere in the middle of it. I turned it off once I reached my step goal. The movie so far is decent. It's a good showcase of feelings one goes through when they are faced with a termin... Fri, 11 Jul 2014 18:40:49 EST #30DaysofAwesome - Day 6 <em>248</em> Achieving 10K steps yesterday was easier than the previous day, since I did a fair bit of walking at work. I only had to stare at the fitbit for 30 minutes instead of 50 to reach goal. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I came in under budget on my calories yesterday..only about 100 calories. And I'm on track today. I stopped by the market on my way home and picked up some blackberries and Rainier... Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:55:06 EST #30DaysofAwesome - Day 5 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It's morning, barely! So, I have to make this quick. I have a stealth health walk waiting for me! <BR> <BR> I tore it up yesterday with almost 120 minutes of fitness between a walk at work, a kettlebell workout, and almost an hour on the elliptical. Guess what I learned? For you Fitbit users, you may already know this, but if you have the Fitbit app activated on your phone, it does a real time count for you. ... Wed, 9 Jul 2014 13:46:20 EST #30DaysofAwesome - Day 4 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My Fellow Done Girl, WOLFKITTY, inspired me to do a 30 day blog streak of something. I choose 30 days of AWESOME because I am! <BR> <BR> Today is Day 4 of clean, sensible eating (no binge, low sugar, healthy fats) and killer workouts in unseasonable heat. Whew! Are we awesome or what?! Tue, 8 Jul 2014 22:16:58 EST Streak of Awesome Wow, I’m sore! I was determined to get my 10k steps in yesterday, despite the humidity and the heat. For some reason, it felt like my Fitbit wasn’t registering all my steps. I walked and did the elliptical for a total of 85 minutes. The extra walk helped me squeak over the finish line. I usually get my steps in easily with that effort. Ooh, I just had a thought! I was reading on the elliptical. No more of that! I need to maximize my workouts. No more multi-tasking! <BR> <img src="... Mon, 7 Jul 2014 15:09:44 EST Two Weeks Left! I have two weeks left in the Boeing on the Move Challenge. Right now, I'm in the running for a $50 gift card. If I pick up the pace and get around 13k steps between now and the end of the challenge, I could earn a $75 gift card. And if I go a little crazy and somehow manage 21k steps per day, I could earn the max $100 gift card. <BR> <BR> I think I'm going to set my sights on that $75 card because I've been reaching 13k about 25% of the time without really trying. <BR> <em>311</em> Wal... Fri, 27 Jun 2014 16:34:16 EST Get Thee Some Produce! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I finally got to the local market today. I only planned on picking up a watermelon, since I've been thinking about it for a few weeks after buying a bad one at the Super Walmart. The one from the market isn't exactly local, but it wasn't grown too far away in California. I forgot how reasonable the local farmer's markets are! I wound up buying more Rainier cherries, corn on the cob, cucumber, and some English p... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:04:20 EST A New Motivational Milestone I've been approved to attend a Project Management symposium in Miami! <BR> <em>47</em> <BR> <BR> I have about 20 weeks to transform into a young hard body so I can fit in! <BR> <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> Do you have a tipping point? A weight where you know you don't want to stay there, but it's less than before and you start recalling what normal felt like when you're there? That's kind of where I am right now. It feels good. I want more! I'm going for it! <BR> <img s... Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:56:14 EST Slowly Returning to Normal My little mini vacation screwed up my routines. I was totally unprepared for the temptations I introduced back into the house. They're nearly cleared out because I ate so much of it this weekend, but I'm recommitted. My plan is set and I'm working my plan. <BR> <BR> Despite my poor choices, I managed to stay out of the 230s for the 2nd week in a row. <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> I was getting ready to enter my nutrition into My Fitness Pal around 9 am this morning and realized that I didn'... Wed, 18 Jun 2014 13:53:48 EST This is SO not Me :( Ai, ai, ai! What a week! I struggled to get back into my routine when I got back from Denver. Then my dad dropped in for Father's Day weekend, which was great, but I made a lot of poor choices while hosting. <BR> <BR> Why, why, why?! I'm sick to my stomach right now, which is no surprise, since I've been fueling up with sugar and junk. <BR> <BR> I really don't want to weigh in tomorrow. I'm so annoyed with myself. I finally get out of the 230s only to go on a total food bender. I fee... Tue, 17 Jun 2014 18:56:22 EST Be the Model I just got back from a short business trip in Denver. The trip and weather were nice. The return trip was a little rough, just little process breakdowns, but you know, you just have to set your expectations really low when you travel these days, that way, you may be pleasantly surprised if they go ok. The best part of my return home was sliding behind the wheel of my somewhat new Nissan 370 Z. I’ve had it about a year, but man, it never gets old! <em>226</em> <BR> <BR> I had a breakth... Thu, 12 Jun 2014 15:43:54 EST Losing Focus I'm really struggling to focus lately. I haven't made progress losing weight and each weigh in just throws me off. I'm seriously thinking about not participating in any challenges once BLC25 is over. Are there any teams that have organized challenges that don't require weigh ins? <BR> <BR> I have felt like I need to stop the weekly (and daily) weigh ins and try monthly weigh ins instead. Anyone else have better success when they stop obsessing over the scale? <BR> <BR> My long term g... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 09:39:51 EST I Earned a Rest Day This Week! Wow, it's tough to get up and workout when you wake feeling sore all over. Knowing tomorrow is a rest day made it easier. <BR> <BR> I'm adding 5 minutes to my elliptical workout today. I tried adding 15 last night after weights, but was just too tired. Last night, I worked legs. I had to make some adjustments to protect my knees and hamstrings. I'd rather do body weight than risk injury with weight. So I subbed the dumbbell clean with a single leg deadlift, which was still really tough... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 10:16:02 EST Bloggity Blog I’m trying to blog more frequently, even if it’s just a quick update, just to keep me motivated. I ended the day yesterday with a second spin on the elliptical to get my 10k steps. Today is <em>249</em> of the Boeing On The Move challenge I started the day with a 30 minute spin and I’ve had one healthy walk break so far. I plan to take another after posting this. Tonight is Week 3, Day 4 of Live Fit. Get ready, legs! 7 exercises. The dumbbell clean exercise is a little daunting, but... Mon, 2 Jun 2014 15:17:46 EST