SEMISWEETCHICK's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=SEMISWEETCHICK SEMISWEETCHICK's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ My little streak cheat http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6118297 I love the SparkPeople streak system. I enjoy receiving little trophies that trumpet "100 days of logging in!" <BR> <BR> However, a tiny problem for me has been that I take one deliberate rest day per week when it comes to fitness. That always breaks my current streak, and honestly I feel it's a bit unfair since the rest day is a planned, integral part of my fitness program. <BR> <BR> So today I began logging that rest day as "exercise." I created a custom fitness activity called "Planned R... Sun, 13 Mar 2016 16:58:42 EST At last, sustained weight loss http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6105289 It feels like it's been a long two years. <BR> <BR> About that long ago, I managed to gain 15 pounds due to anxiety-fueled eating and no tracking. I made several attempts over the ensuing months to lose the weight and get back on track, but they all fizzled. I have learned this process is not unlike quitting smoking: It can take a number of tries before you succeed. <BR> <BR> Through all of this, by the way, I have relied on the support of Spark friends to encourage and motivate me. Thank y... Fri, 26 Feb 2016 10:00:36 EST Back in the groove http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6097649 Many thanks to everyone who commented on my last post and gave me wonderful advice and support! <BR> <BR> I'm happy to say that I very much feel like I'm back in the groove again. My diet blowout on Saturday did not wind up throwing me off track for the rest of the week (as has happened in the past). Instead, I have gotten right back to my routine. I have exercised for the past two days, and I've eaten below my calorie limit. <BR> <BR> I now feel very confident heading into the rest of the ... Tue, 16 Feb 2016 20:46:36 EST Feeling a little wobbly http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6095975 For the past two weeks, I have felt very much in a groove. Every day I felt I was easily going to juggle my diet and exercise goals along with work, household chores, cooking, etc. If I began to feel flustered or anxious, I mentally looked ahead at the week and it made me feel grounded again. And it worked! I breezed through two great weeks of hitting all my food and fitness marks. <BR> <BR> The end of last week and this weekend has been emotionally tough on a number of levels. I've experien... Sun, 14 Feb 2016 20:22:31 EST 100th day of logging http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6092284 I've been quiet on the blog for awhile because I've been focused on actually executing my game plan. I enjoy blogging, but sometimes I think it scatters my energy. So instead of blogging recently, I concentrated on my intake and exercise. <BR> <BR> I'm happy to say today marks my 100th consecutive day of logging my intake. It feels like second nature again. (I say "again" because I quit logging for a while, which was a disaster.) <BR> <BR> For some reason (and I'm not about to analyze it to... Tue, 9 Feb 2016 23:12:24 EST Trying to Stay Positive http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6064723 I weighed myself today and discovered I'd gained a pound. It's a bit discouraging, considering my calorie differential chart shows I consistently ate below my needs for a full week. Then again, I did kind of go crazy and pig out on New Year's Day, so possibly that had a lingering effect. <BR> <BR> I keep telling myself I just need to hang in there and execute my "game plan" every week. Last week I incorporated more salads into my eating habits, and I plan to keep that up again this week. <BR... Sat, 9 Jan 2016 09:41:26 EST Net Calories Matter http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6058311 We always host a little party in the afternoon of New Year's Day. It's a nice opportunity for family and friends to get together and mark the end of the holiday season. We had a great time, though I did eat a bit too much. I knew I had to get back on track today. <BR> <BR> Which I did. I went for a long fitness walk and burned 500 calories (according to my Fitbit Charge HR). I really didn't want to go -- it was chilly and drizzling -- but I forced myself. Like always, I felt good after I was... Sat, 2 Jan 2016 19:59:41 EST Celebrating 60 Days of Logging http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6056396 Today marks my 60th consecutive day of logging my food. I have tried to be as honest as possible, logging even the binges (such as yesterday...ahem). Although I have lost only 2 pounds during these two months, I think it's important to note these are also the "holiday" months. Considering most people gain 10 pounds during the holidays, I figure a two-pound loss is a real WIN! <BR> <BR> Also today I marked my third consecutive day of exercising. I walked a brisk 5k and burned 500 calories. Pr... Thu, 31 Dec 2015 21:34:28 EST 3 Days in a Row of Healthful Eating http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6054891 I feel like I'm putting Christmas behind me at this point. I was afraid my irresolute dietary choices of Xmas week would make it hard to return to a healthful way of eating, but it hasn't been hard at all. I'm now three days into my old, healthy eating pattern and it feels as natural as ever. <BR> <BR> In order to jumpstart my weight loss heading into 2016, I've been eating a lot of salad over the past few days. I've also reduced my sodium and sugar intake. I definitely will find the courage... Tue, 29 Dec 2015 19:37:49 EST My 2016 Plan Starts Today http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6052824 I gave myself a diet vacation on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, allowing myself to eat whatever I wanted in any quantity. I can't tell you how good it felt to enjoy a bacon cheeseburger and french fries -- a meal I very, very rarely allow myself any other time. In fact, I enjoyed my two free days so much that I plan to make them an annual tradition. I think it will help my resolve at other times of the year to stick with my plan if I can tell myself I have a treat coming at the end of the y... Sat, 26 Dec 2015 09:34:58 EST 49 Days and Counting http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6050265 Today marks my 49th consecutive day of logging my food. I honestly can't believe it. <BR> <BR> It hasn't been smooth lately, to be quite honest. I've done a fair amount of "fudging" by logging 100-calorie increments to cover some eating that I have no idea how many calories it contains. For example, we went to a holiday brunch yesterday where I ate some crab dip, breakfast casserole, brownies, etc. I have no idea how many calories any of those items contain, so I simply logged 700 calories t... Sun, 20 Dec 2015 14:22:23 EST Down, doobie doo, down down http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6046315 Today marks 41 consecutive days of logging my food. Logging is magical. It's as if all you have to do is punch away on your phone keyboard and the pounds magically vanish. At least, I wish it were that easy! <BR> <BR> Nonetheless, logging obviously is the key to weight loss (at least for me) because I'm down another pound this week. It's a big relief to see the scale moving the right direction. I only have 10 pounds left to go, and I expect a setback over the Christmas-to-New Year's holiday ... Sat, 12 Dec 2015 10:16:32 EST Day 1: One day at a time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6043239 Today marks my 35th consecutive day of logging my food. Not all of those days have been pretty, let me tell you. But, as I said before, it's data I can use to identify trends. Maybe when I take a closer look at the graphs I can get an idea of when I'm more likely to go over my calorie limit. <BR> <BR> At any rate, the scale was kinder to me on Saturday. It said I'd lost 2.5 pounds, which confirms my suspicions about Thanksgiving sodium leading to water weight gain last week. Believe me, I di... Sun, 6 Dec 2015 12:46:00 EST Day 1: Stay the course http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6038946 Today is my weigh-in day, and I was quite excited about it. I haven't been weighing regularly for months, so today represented the start of a consistent weighing schedule again (after my last weigh-in last week). I didn't expect any miracles, but I figured maybe I'd be down half a pound over last week. <BR> <BR> Nope. <BR> <BR> Actually, I gained 1.5 pounds. <BR> <BR> I'm trying to be philosophical about this. When ever a person is doing "everything right," such as counting calories and s... Sat, 28 Nov 2015 09:25:33 EST Day 1: Thankful for good food and good health http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6038272 Like many people, I try to practice gratitude regularly - not just one day a year. But this Thanksgiving I must say I do feel particularly grateful for my wonderful life. <BR> <BR> I'm thankful to live in a place where I always can access high-quality, nutritious food and clean drinking water. I'm thankful to live in a house with central air conditioning and heating. I'm thankful for good health that allows me to walk -- simply to walk. After the way my dad struggled with mobility in his lat... Thu, 26 Nov 2015 17:40:55 EST Day 1.1: My new "nothing off limits, everything counts" approach http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6036880 Some time ago I joined Weight Watchers for about 38 seconds. I have nothing at all against WW; it works great for many people. It just wasn't for me. <BR> <BR> But one concept I did take away from my time with WW was the notion that no food should be "off limits." This idea astounded me because for years I'd followed a dietary plan of my own devise, in which white foods were to be avoided at all cost (along with refined sugar and several other items). The concept of eating anything I wanted ... Mon, 23 Nov 2015 20:43:03 EST Day 1: Proud of myself http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6036739 I have to admit I have never paid much attention to the trophies SparkPeople gives out. I never fully considered the motivational value of these little rewards for various jobs well done, from nutrition to exercise streaks to spinning the Spark wheel. <BR> <BR> That changed for me today. <BR> <BR> I received an email this morning congratulating me on my new Spark trophy: 21 days of logging in. At first I was confused. What does "logging in" mean? Could it be simply that my FitBit sends my c... Mon, 23 Nov 2015 13:49:55 EST Day 1: I haven't been honest http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6034675 I read a great story at the NYT website the other day about the journey of a guy who lost 150 pounds by using a calorie tracker (not SparkPeople, unfortunately). The story chronicled the man's ups and downs over the course of the 18 months or so it took him to reach his goal weight. <BR> <BR> I shared the story with friends, one of whom is a man who also has lost a large amount of weight (through calorie tracking and karate). In conversation, he said tracking his binges was the hardest thing... Thu, 19 Nov 2015 10:15:43 EST Day 1: Starting a new streak http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6031544 Yesterday my previous diet streak of, what, 11 or 12 days (?) came to an end. I'm not sad. I think it's healthy to loosen the reins and make merry every now and then. I did exactly that yesterday, and I indulged with mindfulness. I'm not saying I went nuts and ate whatever I wanted. Instead, I kept a loose rein and logged all those little indulgences -- which put me over my calorie budget by about 400 calories. <BR> <BR> So today I am starting afresh on a new streak. I'm doing well so far to... Fri, 13 Nov 2015 14:01:01 EST Day 1: A fresh start in all aspects of life http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6030855 Yesterday evening I blew up at my mother. <BR> <BR> It was completely unacceptable on my part. My mom has dementia (along with a couple of other problems that affect her cognition). She cannot be held fully responsible for her behavior. <BR> <BR> But I can. <BR> <BR> I felt terrible about the situation all evening. I apologized to my mom, but since she didn't understand why I got angry in the first place, the apology didn't make much sense to her. So then I felt bad about that. <BR> <BR>... Thu, 12 Nov 2015 08:57:40 EST Day 1: It takes willpower...for awhile http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6030057 It was another good calorie day for me. I had to summon some willpower to not overindulge on pasta at dinner, but I was able to stay strong. <BR> <BR> It seems to me that the more often I adhere to an eating schedule, the less I experience the urge to binge-eat. I've been eating five times a day for nearly 10 days now, and my brain just doesn't think about food much anymore except at the appropriate times. It certainly makes this journey easier. <BR> <BR> I had to be very self-disciplined ... Tue, 10 Nov 2015 20:36:41 EST Day 1: Whew! Squeaked in another good diet day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6029449 Let me tell you, I felt incredibly irresolute around 2:00 this afternoon. I was tired (a key trigger for me to overeat), my mom was kind of driving me crazy (she's 81 and has dementia), and I just felt like I needed a treat. <BR> <BR> So I drove to the liquor store and secured the necessary boozy items to make a great Cosmopolitan. And, oh, let me tell you: it was delicious! <BR> <BR> Problem is...alcohol can be incredibly caloric. That's especially true of the orange liqueur I like to use.... Mon, 9 Nov 2015 19:40:38 EST Day 1: Longest streak in recent memory http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6028715 For me, every new day is "Day 1" -- a fresh opportunity to start over and make it a great day. That's why I label every blog post that way. However, I've been on my Spark journey for several years. During the course of Sparking, I got my weight down, learned to exercise more consistently and made some friends. <BR> <BR> Then life intervened, my weight shot up 20 pounds over two years, and Spark seemed less effective that it had been in the past. It wasn't, of course. The problem was ME. <BR>... Sun, 8 Nov 2015 12:29:20 EST Day 1: One day at a time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6027975 Today I put together a fifth good diet day in a row. It has gotten easier as the week has progressed. It's funny to me how much better I feel -- physically and mentally -- as I've gotten my diet back on track this week. I have focused on eating raw vegetables and fruits, and I definitely have felt more energetic, and I have slept better. The scientist in me acknowledges there may be no correlation here at all, but I like to believe there is a correlation because it helps keep me motivated. <B... Fri, 6 Nov 2015 22:24:23 EST Day 1: Four successful diet days in a row http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6027384 I realized just now I have put together four successful diet days in a row. I have kept my intake within range, and I have eaten primarily unprocessed foods. I've been making a concerted effort to eat foods in their natural state (or close to it - I mean, I do cook meat) in order to slash my sugar and sodium intake. I think I'm succeeding! <BR> <BR> Perhaps the best thing about this so far is that my mom has not badgered me about eating something different from her and my husband at dinner t... Thu, 5 Nov 2015 20:24:23 EST Day 1: Running gets under my skin http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6010624 I dunno. I think I may have a problem. <BR> <BR> This afternoon I started thinking about my evening run. I was actually looking forward to it, which isn't like me. Usually I have to kind of fight with myself to get off the couch and get down to business. But today I was feeling pretty eager to get out there and run. <BR> <BR> Next thing I know, I'm browsing Runner's World online. I'm contemplating whether I am due for a new pair of running shoes. I'm wondering if my form is good, my stride ... Tue, 6 Oct 2015 21:16:57 EST Day 1: This is what I want to remember http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6009990 THIS feeling, right now. This feeling of accomplishment, of victory. This feeling of endorphins lighting up my brain. THIS perfect storm of fatigue and triumph, all rolled into one. <BR> <BR> Eight days ago I ran a miraculous (to me) two miles -- much farther than I've ever run in my entire life. It felt so good. I can't find the words to describe how...mighty...I felt after that. <BR> <BR> Then I had to attend an out-of-town conference. Boy, did I fall off the diet and exercise wagon. Beca... Mon, 5 Oct 2015 20:27:16 EST Day 1: Personal best distance http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6005194 Yesterday was filled with all kinds of crazy drama. I won't go into details, other than to say The Mister lacerated his thumb pretty seriously, and I had to take him to urgent care for stitches. And that was just one nutty thing that happened. <BR> <BR> So I don't blame myself for failing to log calories yesterday or for falling off the diet wagon. I had to eat on the fly all day, and I did the best I could. <BR> <BR> The scale did, indeed, reward me for a resolute week. Two and a half poun... Sun, 27 Sep 2015 22:43:28 EST Day 1: Almost made it http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6004107 Earlier today I posted how weak I was feeling about food choices. I am thankful to report I did make it through the afternoon all right (thanks in large part to the supportive comments on the last post!), but I did fall down a little tonight. <BR> <BR> I wound up indulging in a small handful of peanut M&Ms right at my 7pm cutoff time. (I never eat after 7pm.) I'm not beating myself up. Aside from that little bobble, I had an extraordinary diet day, and I'm proud of it! <BR> <BR> Tomorrow mo... Fri, 25 Sep 2015 21:42:01 EST Day 1: Pausing a moment to regain control http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6003923 It's Friday afternoon, and I'm feeling a little weary. I still have some work to plow through, and then I have a zillion household tasks to complete before my sister arrives tomorrow from out-of-state. <BR> <BR> Even though I could be doing something more productive, I'm taking a moment to hop onto the blog and acknowledge I'm feeling a little weak, diet-wise. When I came upstairs to my office after lunch, I gazed longingly at my husband's package of cookies on the end table. I don't want my... Fri, 25 Sep 2015 13:26:12 EST Day 1: Another day, another victory http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6003507 I felt very nervous when I got up this morning because in the past I have been able to put together three days of healthy habits, and then it all fell apart. I was afraid that might happen today, too. But I am pleased to report it did not. <BR> <BR> My allergies were really bad today, and that usually doesn't bode well for my diet or exercise. But I gritted my teeth and stuck to my plan. I enjoyed a healthy breakfast and lunch. I ate an apple instead of a cookie when I had a craving this aft... Thu, 24 Sep 2015 20:22:53 EST Day 1: Three days in a row http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6003208 Yesterday was another good food day. I came in right on target and did not succumb to any temptations. <BR> <BR> As I said Tuesday, I am being much more mindful of my emotional state when the urge to binge hits me. I don't even have to be aware of the exact emotion I'm feeling; just the awareness of emotional upheaval or feelings of stress are enough to help me pause and not make poor choices. <BR> <BR> I didn't work out yesterday because I had appointments all afternoon, but I plan to get ... Thu, 24 Sep 2015 09:27:59 EST Day 1: Better than yesterday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6002295 My experience today goes to show how effective keeping a journal or blog can be. After writing down my diet "rules" yesterday, I was able to keep them top-of-mind today -- and that really helped! <BR> <BR> A couple of times when I wanted to feed my emotions I instead paused and got in touch with the frustration/anxiety/whatever, took a deep breath, and reminded myself a cookie would not make me feel better over the long term. Then I turned my mind to something else, an activity to get my min... Tue, 22 Sep 2015 20:40:39 EST Day 1: Celebrating small victories http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6001679 Yesterday was about regrouping from learning on Saturday my weight was continuing to climb. I've been irresolute with diet, so I am trying to keep a few key points in mind: <BR> <BR> 1. I need to take my diet moment-by-moment, day-by-day <BR> 2. I need to tune in to my emotions when I feel like eating something I should not consume <BR> 3. I need to remember eating a cookie may make me feel better for a few seconds, but in the long run it will make me feel worse <BR> 4. I need to always seek... Mon, 21 Sep 2015 20:46:57 EST Day 1: The scale was not kind to me today http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6000192 I really try to use this blog for positivity, but it's short supply for me this morning. The scale was UP 2 pounds today. Sigh. <BR> <BR> I'm having trouble understanding why I cannot get hold of my diet. I've done it before. Why is it so hard for me *right now*? <BR> <BR> Maybe I need a better plan. My weight has crept up ever since my mom came to live with my husband and me. She is a Red Meat Eater. And potatoes. And all the other stuff (hot dogs, bratwurst, ice cream, candy, white bread)... Sat, 19 Sep 2015 10:29:57 EST Day 1: Continuing to focus on fitness http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5998774 My diet still isn't on track, but I have been successfully focusing on fitness and plan to keep that up. Eventually the diet will catch up. <BR> <BR> Since my 1.7-mile jog the other day I have continued with my C25K program with good results. Sometimes I feel the sessions where I alternate 5-minute and 8-minute runs are actually harder than the 20-minute runs. <BR> <BR> Today was an "off" day from C25K, but I walked anyway. In fact, I walked twice today. My total active time was 70 minutes,... Wed, 16 Sep 2015 21:01:48 EST Day 1.1: Massive accomplishment! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5996321 After I wrote my first blog entry this morning, I felt motivated to get my daily workout done. The weather was beautiful, so I decided to do my Couch-to-5K program outside. <BR> <BR> I rarely look ahead at what my specific workout is going to be on C25K. Instead, I just plug in my headphones, turn on the app and allow some woman's dulcet voice inform me as to what I need to do next: "Begin warmup. Run for 8 minutes." <BR> <BR> Imagine my surprise when the voice said, "Begin running for...20... Sat, 12 Sep 2015 23:20:44 EST Day 1: Finding the positive angle http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5995957 I finally worked up the courage to climb on the scale this morning for the first time in weeks. The damage was bad, but not as bad as I'd feared considering I allowed myself to stress-eat for three solid weeks. <BR> <BR> I never thought I could find anything positive about weight gain, but today I did. When I logged on to SP and my icon said "10 pounds lost" instead of the "14 pounds lost" it had previously displayed, I felt momentarily deflated. But then I realized this means I still only h... Sat, 12 Sep 2015 10:09:28 EST Day 1: Diet victory and doubling down on exercise http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5992595 I think I did all right with my intake yesterday. I stopped logging after dinner and must confess to having enjoyed a few grapes in the evening. I know grapes are pretty sugary, but I figure it's a better choice than potato chips or candy. <BR> <BR> As I said in my previous entry, I've been doing Couch-to-5K and have managed to complete four weeks of the eight-week training on schedule. C25K is a three-day-per-week program. Since I have achieved a bit of discipline in the exercise realm, I'... Mon, 7 Sep 2015 09:58:11 EST Day 1: Getting the diet back on track http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5992084 It's been a stressful four weeks. <BR> <BR> I invoke the "S" word ("stress," "stressful") to excuse a lot of bad health behavior. It's true my life has been stressful for the past few weeks/months/years, but whose life ISN'T stressful? I need to stop leaning on this little word as an excuse and a crutch. <BR> <BR> On Friday I completed Week 4 of the Couch-to-5K program. I have completed every workout on schedule, and I'm very proud of that! But during that same time period I have allowed m... Sun, 6 Sep 2015 13:27:13 EST Day 1: Thanks for the honor, SparkPeople! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5978072 I've been away for awhile. In one of those little ironies of life, I've been inactive on my blog because I've been active in my life. This is good. <BR> <BR> But I did want to pop in and thank all the people who voted me a SparkPeople Motivator! I'm truly humbled by the honor. <BR> <BR> Interestingly I had been thinking lately of taking up my blogging here again. Looking back over my blog posts, I see I've done a much better job of fitness so far this year than I had been giving myself cred... Fri, 14 Aug 2015 21:21:32 EST Day 1: Serious about the workout http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5901076 I've been away for awhile because I was starting to feel pretty desperate about my fitness situation and felt only a major shakeup would get things moving in the right direction. I was right about that. And wrong. <BR> <BR> My cholesterol results came back elevated in February, and I knew I needed to really buckle down and get serious about my diet and exercise. I'd been a member of SP for so long that it had become easy to cheat. The system felt too comfortable. I wasn't holding myself acco... Sat, 28 Mar 2015 09:34:53 EST Day 1: A chance to get some traction http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5869619 I'd made a great beginning to 2015 in January. I had a 21-day fitness streak going, and I was logging calories faithfully every day. <BR> <BR> Then my sister came to visit for a week. Kerplooey! There went my good eating habits and daily exercise. <BR> <BR> I loved seeing my sister. We only get about one week per year to catch up, so the diet interruption was well worth it. <BR> <BR> But now life is back to normal, and I feel like I can finally get some real traction. I have three months ... Wed, 4 Feb 2015 20:23:05 EST Day 1: Walking in the rain http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5861204 I love it when I can get exercise and a facial treatment all in one go. That's how it was today. Sort of. <BR> <BR> When I went for my daily brisk walk just after lunch, the temperature was about 38F, with 100% humidity and a cold mist in the air. The north wind was fairly bitter. I'm glad I wore two shirts under my workout jacket. As I walked the mist soaked my face, giving it a nice, refreshing cleansing. <BR> <BR> Despite the fact I'm not seeing any weight loss yet, I'm not giving up. I... Fri, 23 Jan 2015 20:40:57 EST Day 1: Three weeks, little progress http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5860190 Today marks my 21st day in a row of exercising for at least 10 minutes a day. Most of those 21 days saw me exercise for much longer than 10 minutes, and at a reasonable intensity. Most of those 21 days I've also eaten within my calorie range. <BR> <BR> So why virtually no pounds lost? <BR> <BR> It's something I'm contemplating this morning. I'm still getting used to the additional daily calories added to my range by my Jawbone. My range sometimes balloons to 1800 calories or more, based on ... Thu, 22 Jan 2015 10:39:07 EST Day 1: Think beyond the scale when it comes to rewards http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5857182 I've always rewarded myself for reaching certain weight loss goals. But I've been suffering from motivation issues lately and realized I could perfectly well reward myself simply for my perseverance, regardless of what the scale says. (I know, novel concept, right??) <BR> <BR> So last night I downloaded some new tunes to my phone -- a little treat for reaching 16 consecutive days of fitness. The lure of that new music got me out of the house early this morning for a brisk, 30-minute walk. It... Sun, 18 Jan 2015 14:14:10 EST Day 1: I've got a lot of work to do http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5856351 ...to make up for yesterday. <BR> <BR> I try to stay positive on this blog. Positivity is a theme for me for 2015. I don't believe you can just "wish away" negative thoughts, but I do believe it's possible to perhaps retrain the brain to shift focus away from negativity towards positivity. This is what I've been trying to do, anyway, when a negative thought creeps in. <BR> <BR> Today is Saturday, and I must say the previous week had little to recommend it. My insomnia's been intractable, wh... Sat, 17 Jan 2015 10:49:15 EST Day 1: Holding pattern http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5854892 It's been kind of a bumpy week so far. I've had trouble with sleep and low energy. I blew my calorie count one day, but I kind of shrug that off. It was only one day. For the past two days, I haven't taken my afternoon walk. The relentless cloudiness (six consecutive days without a glimpse of the sun) and cold have deterred me and sunk my mood. <BR> <BR> If all that sounds complainy...well, it is. But I'm trying to stay optimistic. <BR> <BR> Today is my weigh day, and I am the same weight a... Thu, 15 Jan 2015 08:48:08 EST Day 1: Didn't let insomnia slow me down http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5853079 On the heels of yesterday's awesome, 10+ mood rating...I couldn't sleep. Why? Who knows?! Insomnia can be so aggravating. Even when you do everything 'right,' it can still plague you. <BR> <BR> Luckily, I don't suffer from all-out, my-eyes-were-wide-open-all-night insomnia. The word can be used to describe a wide range of sleeping disorders. In my case, insomnia usually manifests as an inability to fall asleep and/or low-quality sleep all night. <BR> <BR> Last night...couldn't fall asleep. ... Mon, 12 Jan 2015 22:25:52 EST Day 1: For the first time ever, I rated my mood 10+ http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5851859 I've been a member of SP for...I don't know how long. I think since at least 2010. Like many members, I've waxed and waned with Spark. One thing I like about SP is how they continually add new tools (or 'toys,' the way I see it) to play with. It gives me something fun to focus on. <BR> <BR> I've tracked my mood for as long as this feature has been available. I've always had trouble with mood. I don't expect to be in a state of euphoria all the time, but at the same time I've always thought i... Sun, 11 Jan 2015 14:19:38 EST