SERENAMOM45's SparkPeople Blog SERENAMOM45's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Sparkstreak Day 11, rough weekend coming up Another day logged, so far so good. This weekend will be rough, though - my high school reunion goes for two evenings, Friday and Saturday; and my grandson's birthday party is Sunday afternoon. I am having salmon for the Saturday night dinner, and the Friday will be hors d'oeuvres. <BR> <BR> My poetic plan: <BR> <BR> If there are vegetable I will avoid the dips. <BR> No fried items will pass my lips. <BR> <BR> As for the birthday party, there will be cake, but my daughter is good a... Thu, 15 Aug 2013 23:17:55 EST Sparkstreak Day 10 So far, so good. I got everything logged, wahoo! Wed, 14 Aug 2013 22:35:34 EST Sparkstreak Days 5,6,7,8,9 Wow! I managed to log everything, but didn't tell you about it. it was a busy time- appointments, picking and freezing blackberries (I put them on cookie sheet to freeze separately then bag them up - eat like popsicles in the winter!), my daughter and grandson over, then my husband's birthday celebration on the weekend. I did have birthday cake. <BR> <BR> I do have to confess, I exceeded calories on the birthday meal by about 50 calories. I had it planned pretty well, but we had a small... Tue, 13 Aug 2013 22:03:59 EST Sparkstreak Day 4 So far, so good. I've logged everything for today! Thu, 8 Aug 2013 23:30:43 EST Sparkstreak days 2 and 3 Wahoo! In spite of the cookies of last week, I managed to lose a pound. <BR> <BR> The cookies and their fragrance offered me a good lesson, though. I do need to have a plan in place to deal with such things. I now have a small pill bottle of chocolate chips in my refrigerator for those "gotta have it" moments (as per the suggestion from KONRAD695), and am taking the advice of THIN133 to do some extra exercise or plan fewer calories for the next meal. <BR> <BR> The small container of ... Wed, 7 Aug 2013 20:44:36 EST Sparkstreak, day 1, Take 4 Yikes! I managed to log through Thursday, but didn't blog, and then I didn't log any foods except breakfast on Friday. Added to that, i did eat three chocolate chip cookies that I thought I had managed to avoid. <BR> <BR> I think what I find most difficult are those "unexpecteds", and that is something I have noticed on other blogs I have read. An unexpected event, and accompanying foods we didn't think we would be confronted with, are challenging those brand new avoidance neurons we are... Mon, 5 Aug 2013 22:36:30 EST Sparkstreak, Day 15 Finally starting week 3 of Sparkstreak! I am feeling more comfortable in movement - I can run upstairs now, for example. I stayed on track with everything, and logged everything. woo hoo! Wed, 31 Jul 2013 23:00:03 EST Sparkstreak, Day 14 So far so good, again. this makes two whole weeks!! For my exercise I hoed the tomato patch. There are plenty of weeds, but I am trying to avoid hoeing out some volunteer vegetables that came up. I never plant tomatillos any more as we always have enough volunteers to make wonderful salsa. I also discovered some Swiss chard and some Napa cabbage that are growing nicely, even though I didn't plant them there this season. <BR> <BR> My clothes are feeling nice and loose, between weight l... Tue, 30 Jul 2013 23:34:53 EST Sparkstreak Days 12, 13 Hooray, double hooray, I managed to stay on track through the barbecue AND lost another pound today! <BR> <BR> The barbecue invitation was for 4 PM, so I had a light lunch. However, there was nothing to eat until 7:30 unless you wanted oyster shooters, which I don't care for. I was really hungry by then, but kept thinking about logging Day 12 of my streak. Water was my "make do" until the barbecue was ready. It was great - ocean salmon fresh caught by my nephew, roast beef, and several s... Mon, 29 Jul 2013 23:34:31 EST Sparkstreak Days 9, 10, 11 Wahoo! Another pound gone from my life! I am happy about that. I have managed to keep everything tracked, too. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow we are going to a barbecue at my brother's place where there will be about 20-25 people, including some old friends we grew up with. I am already planning how I will go about the eating part of the gathering, and I hope to be able to report positive results next time I blog. <BR> <BR> My last streak lasted 11 days, so improving on that is additional motivatio... Sat, 27 Jul 2013 23:39:22 EST Sparkstreak Day 8 Whew! It is hot tonight, so plenty of sweat equity while gardening. What does this do for my Sparkstreak, you ask? Well, all the hoeing, bending over while weeding and amending the soil, watering, and dragging the hose around adds up to about 2 hours in the garden, but I logged about 45 minutes of exercise-worthy minutes. <BR> <BR> Again, meals and exercise logged, and I think I will lose weight this week, but I measured myself, and I have lost 6 inches total, so that's something - some... Wed, 24 Jul 2013 23:32:25 EST Sparkstreak Day 7 Another day chalked up to tracking and being more mindful. I'm going to work in the garden again this evening before it gets dark (7:26 PM on the west coast). Tue, 23 Jul 2013 22:26:44 EST Sparkstreak Day 6 Wow! I thought I had posted this one, but somehow it got lots. anyway, I did manage to stay on track and get nutrition and exercise tracked for the day. It was another busy one - making applesauce and whole wheat protein bread. <BR> <BR> I have been reading a new book - The End of Overeating" by David A. Kessler, MD. I find it fascinating, and recommend it highly. Tue, 23 Jul 2013 00:01:02 EST Sparkstreak, days 2,3,4,5, Wow it's been a busy weekend! However, I did manage to get nutrition and exercise logged for each day. I managed to stay below my upper calorie limit, but not by much yesterday. <BR> <BR> We went to the Highland Games, and there was lots of Scottish and British foods, but we decided to have just bangers with a hot dog roll, and a beverage - iced tea and water. We did a lot of walking around to see all of the displays and events. <BR> <BR> Today was busy as well, but it involved picking... Sun, 21 Jul 2013 22:25:36 EST Sparkstreak Day 1, Take 3 Yesterday started out pretty well. However, in the morning my daughter and grandson came over and we took care of Adam (4 years old) for a few hours. We had made dandelion cookies a month or so ago, and this time he wanted to make a cake with some wild berries. We have salal berries ripe right now, so we went out and picked enough to make a small spice cake with berries in it. He had fun putting in the ingredients, and it was fun to do with him. <BR> <BR> I had to go to work so Adam stay... Wed, 17 Jul 2013 23:00:43 EST Sparkstreak, Day 11 Another day with everything tracked. I did some of my gardening this morning, mostly pulling weeds and watering. This evening after dinner and dinner clean-up was over I got more watering done of plants we have on our decks. One deck requires me to go up and down 8 stairs, and I did that repeatedly while watering all of the plants, as the faucet on that deck needs to be fixed. I figure it's a good way to get in exercise - up and down the stairs, back and forth to the indoor faucet, lifti... Mon, 15 Jul 2013 22:53:57 EST Sparkstreak, Day 10 It's still Sunday here in the Northwest, but since it is after 9 PM, for Sparkpeople it is past midnight, hence it is their Monday. Oh well, I am going to post Day 10 anyhow, and with any luck, I will do Day 11 before 9 PM on the actual Pacific Northwest Monday. <BR> <BR> Another great day! I was working with my tomatoes (I am crazy, I know, about 80 plants) and have them all staked and tied, and awaiting the next layer of ties. I love to try new varieties, and I make a lot of my own toma... Mon, 15 Jul 2013 00:24:34 EST Sparkstreak Days 8,9 Whew! It's been a busy social time again, but I am happy to say that I managed well both days. Yesterday we went to an art opening and went out for dinner to a fish and seafood restaurant that had great options, some of which I brought home to have today for lunch. I didn't eat or drink anything at the opening. <BR> <BR> Then today our neighbors had a huge party and I did well there too - no cake for me, and I was happy about that. <BR> <BR> Everything posted! Sat, 13 Jul 2013 23:53:10 EST Sparkstreak Day 7 Another pound bites the dust! I am sure that all of the weeding, planting, watering, raking, and other garden chores have been helping, along with paying attention to nutrition. I feel great, too. Thu, 11 Jul 2013 23:39:58 EST Sparkstreak Day 6 Today I worked at raking out debris from part of our logging project. There are lots of sticks and small branches, in addition to cones from the fir trees; to say nothing of the ubiquitous blackberry brambles. I used a regular lawn rake, which worked well at gathering all the little stuff. We put it in the lawn trailer to haul away for compost. I also picked out weeds from hoeing, so lots of bending over and back up again to rake. Good exercise. It looks better and better every day. <BR... Wed, 10 Jul 2013 23:17:01 EST Sparkstreak Day 5 Today I traded in the regular hoe in favor of a heavier one. The heavy one has an ax blade on one side of the head, and a narrow hoe with a sharp blade on it on the other side. I remembered a Sparkpeople article that gave some ideas to burn extra calories while doing housework, and it seemed to me that this heavier hoe might be some of the same idea. <BR> <BR> I also discovered that it did a great job of chopping down some of the bigger weeds. I found that it still handled well around the... Tue, 9 Jul 2013 22:56:17 EST Sparkstreak Day 4 AAAAgh! Still no weight lost, but I am keeping on keeping on. My garden is keeping me busy, and I find myself hoe, hoe, hoeing! sorry about the pun, I couldn't help myself. The tomatoes are full of weeds, so here I go again. Mon, 8 Jul 2013 22:01:23 EST Sparkstreak Days 2, 3 I have managed to keep moving all weekend long! Mostly I spent time gardening, but it was a lot of exercise in between pondering what needed to be done. Sun, 7 Jul 2013 21:47:13 EST Sparkstreak Day 1 Yikes! Time has flown by, and I managed to miss posting some meals. I did get the exercise posted every day at least. I worked hard in the garden each morning - yesterday for about 4 1/2 hours, but I don't count the whole time, just the parts where I am active enough to call it exercise. <BR> <BR> So, I am back to Day 1. I'm okay with it, though. My clothes feel better even though my weight stays the same on the scale, so that's at least something. Fri, 5 Jul 2013 22:49:43 EST 9 This morning it was cool enough to work comfortably in the garden, and I managed to do some weeding and planting. Lots of up and down and kneeling, so I figure that counts for exercise. I did some watering too - dragging the hose around, and also getting lime around the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Everything is looking good! <BR> <BR> I'm tracking my nutrition, and my clothes feel looser, so I'm hoping for weight loss this week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Tue, 2 Jul 2013 23:51:11 EST 7, 8 Last night the internet went down so I wasn't able to enter yesterday's dinner nutrition information, nor was I able to write a blog. However, this morning I entered the dinner information, at least; and this blog will have to do to keep my streak going. I hope you agree that it is still on! <BR> <BR> It is hot and humid again today, and I decided this is my non-exercise day of the week. I will go back to more hours of gardening tomorrow, no matter what the weather. I figure I can water ... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 23:02:24 EST 6 Sometimes when I think of counting Sparkstreak days, it seems almost childish, but it is a marker, and I find I value seeing the number go up. I also love to see the weight marker go down, which it didn't this week. I feel like it will next week though - I'm doing my best. <BR> <BR> This weekend is very different than the last two - no parties and company. Fourth of July is coming up though, and I know a cherry pie is part of the festivities. Sigh. I am going to try to work a sliver int... Sat, 29 Jun 2013 23:03:39 EST 5! Okay, I wish it were 5 pounds I was talking about today, but at least it is an additional Sparkstreak day. It was a busy day as I was helping my daughter pit cherries to make pies. It took us all afternoon. After a healthy dinner, I went out to put lime on the garden spot and had a nice chat with the neighbors halfway through. Tomorrow,\ it will be hot again, and I am going to make sure I am thoroughly hydrated, wearing a hat and sunscreen, and get more garden planting done. It's not too... Fri, 28 Jun 2013 22:56:11 EST Day 4 Hooray! 4 Sparkstreak days and counting. Our new garden spot is carved out of an area we recently logged, so there are lots of sticks to be removed. Lots and lots of raking and hoeing. Whew! Nutrition and exercised logged, and I am pooped! Hope all is going well where you are. <em>41</em> Thu, 27 Jun 2013 23:05:22 EST Sparkstreak, Day 3 During the time I was ill, hosting overnight guests and giving parties, there was plenty of warm rain coming down. So, I have been getting a lot of exercise doing weeding and planting vegetable starts. I grew tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings, and all are in the ground and doing well. <BR> <BR> Weeds are really bad right now. Permanent plantings - gooseberries, boysenberries and grapes - are infested with thistles, blackberries, and assorted other weeds so I diminished those at least... Wed, 26 Jun 2013 23:12:51 EST Sparkstreak, day 2 Wow! I am happy to report that I logged nutrition and exercise today, wahoo! So that makes TWO DAYS IN A ROW on this Sparkstreak! Since March I had managed to get consistency awards a couple of times, and also managed to double the amount of exercise from one month to the next (at least that is what I recall . . .), but from the tail end of May until the present I have been sporadic at best, as I noted yesterday. <BR> <BR> Since this is the last week of June I can't help to make that up,... Tue, 25 Jun 2013 22:47:00 EST celebrations We love to host celebrations, but it does take its toll on my everyday life and plans. I think I noticed it particularly this time because I was recovering from being ill with the flu, and a big celebration - my son's graduation from college - was at the tail end of it. In fact, it wasn't only my son's graduation, it was the same day as Father's Day and my brother-in-law's birthday, all on the same day. <BR> <BR> Because I was ill I wasn't doing exercises or tracking meals, and then with... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 13:26:49 EST I'm back Flu at this time of year? Yes, I had a respiratory flu that took quite a while to shake. In fact, it was about 1 1/2 weeks and then still some coughing and nose blowing even now. In all, about 3 weeks. <BR> <BR> During the worst time I wasn't eating very much - I wasn't nauseated or anything, it was just that I was doing a lot of sleeping, and bed was the best place for me, so I wasn't in the kitchen. What I did eat was very simple and healthy - lots of liquids and things my husband coul... Tue, 18 Jun 2013 12:29:14 EST breathing better I have had asthma for a while now. I have always been able to control it, but as anyone who has it knows, it comes up on you suddenly, and there you are, struggling to breathe. I am fortunate in that I have never had to be hospitalized. <BR> <BR> I just realized this today while doing a cardiovascular workout- I haven't had any breathing problems for at least two months! No wheezing or coughing, no tightness - really, no nothing since I have been exercising and paying better attention t... Tue, 28 May 2013 22:50:35 EST hosting weekend Whew! The hosting weekend was less a problem than I thought it would be. Our guests brought some goodies to share, but for the most part they weren't out of line. There were some great whole grain rolls, and since I had planned whole grains as part of our breakfast, it was easy to include them. Their gift basket of treats had tea and coffee along with two jams, honey, spiced nuts, and biscotti. I did have one biscotti (no frosting, about 1/4 cup in size) and some nuts. <BR> <BR> Exerc... Mon, 27 May 2013 21:57:24 EST good riddance! Another pound out of my life! The additional exercise seems to be doing the trick, along with keeping track of my nutrition. I always knew that of course, and practiced it from time to time. <BR> <BR> Before, my goal was mainly to lose weight, and eventually the will to keep up the same level of activity disappeared. That, I think, was as much the problem as anything. Movement-being actively moving every day besides the day-to-day movement involved in doing household and work tasks is ... Wed, 22 May 2013 22:27:26 EST again Today I actually got the idea to do weights before my walk. Yesterday the consistency really seemed like it was happening, and today I made my plan and just started in. <BR> <BR> The "old me" would have found reasons why I should drag my feet. The "new me" has recognized that I feel better and sleep better when I exercise. The sleep has been improving (I often woke up during the night for a while before going back to sleep, now I sleep right through). <BR> <BR> My nutrition is going p... Tue, 21 May 2013 22:17:02 EST weights 4th day Strange as it may seem, I feel like I am finally getting my workout habits in gear. To be sure, I thought I had already done that. The only thing was, the habits were a bit slippery. The intention was there, but habits weren't fully anchored, I guess I would have to say. <BR> <BR> The cardio was easy to include and I was pretty consistent with it. I did weights a few times before this past week, always intending to use them regularly to improve strength and muscles. Well, that's absolu... Mon, 20 May 2013 21:49:17 EST weights 2 Today is the second day I used 5 pound weights on my two mile walk. It definitely got my heart rate up and I was panting, so I at least feel as if I'm doing more. I decided not to do the strength training today as I know I am supposed to give myself a day of rest before going back to it. That's fine by me, as I am a tiny bit sore. <BR> <BR> Meals were fine, I stayed at the lower end of my calorie limit. Wed, 15 May 2013 23:22:28 EST walk with weights Whew! I just finished a 2 mile walk with 5 pound weights, and did some strength training besides. I am sweaty and definitely got my heart rate up. Meal plan was fine too. <BR> <BR> This was the first time I used weights while walking. My plan is to work my way up to a longer walk as soon as carrying them for 2 miles. I am pretty sure I am going to be a bit sore tomorrow, but no pain no gain, as they say. Tue, 14 May 2013 22:32:27 EST It made me stop and think After one of those wild up and down days to which we are all subjected to now and then, today was smoother. <BR> <BR> My daughter in law and her sisters spent the day at their mom's apartment and with the funeral home getting some of the more pressing details underway. Her mother had already purchased a site beside her husband, so that part was taken care of. They took care of the perishable foods, and made decisions about the furnishings. All the girls have plenty of furniture of their... Mon, 13 May 2013 22:03:18 EST devastating news Today was of course Mother's Day, and I was looking forward to having brunch with my children and their spouses and my grandson. The brunch was going to be here, so I got up early to get the table ready. That was to be my main part, as the rest of the family had all assigned themselves parts of the meal and cleanup. <BR> <BR> My son came first to tell us sad news. He and his wife went as planned last night to the restaurant where they were going to celebrate Mother's Day with his wife's ... Sun, 12 May 2013 20:07:13 EST unexpected pleasure This afternoon when I got home from work I discovered we had an unexpected invitation to go out for dinner. I decided to check my "calorie account balance" to help me made a rational decision when we looked through the menu, and I managed just fine. I've come to think of my calorie allotment the same way I do my checking account - and I don't want to be overdrawn! <BR> <BR> I chose grilled chicken salad, which came with Texas Toast. After the waitress left it occurred to me that I could ... Wed, 8 May 2013 22:46:11 EST nuts For some reason over the last few days I have been craving nuts. I know they are good nutritionally, but I also know they are high in fat. I adjusted the lunch I had planned and ate 10 hazelnuts. Well, that was pretty good, but I still kept thinking about them, and ended up having another 25 for dinner! Now I'll stay away from nuts for a while. So glad I managed to get them in my calorie limit. <BR> <BR> I did manage to keep it under control, when before I would just dip my hand into th... Tue, 7 May 2013 22:02:59 EST it worked! I had decided to start thinking of my weekends as the beginning of the week, since usually I start the beginning with a great burst of energy and do well during the weekdays, but the less structured weekends are my downfall. <BR> <BR> It worked! I managed to have breakfast out one day, had a (single) cookie the next, exercised, and still had good nutrition, AND had time to do the things I wanted to do. Oh, and I helped my husband get in a load of firewood for next winter. <BR> <BR> N... Sun, 5 May 2013 21:36:39 EST beginning A few days ago I decided to treat my weekends as if they were the beginning of the week, as the weekends have always been hard for me. I tend to lose track as the days are less structured. So far so good! I got in exercise, nutrition, AND managed to find a healthy breakfast option when we went out with friends this morning. Hooray! I intend to keep those pounds lost for good, and keep on going! <em>311</em> Sat, 4 May 2013 00:19:18 EST a pound Hooray! So far it's been a GREAT day! A whole entire pound gone, and I managed to get in exercise and logged all my nutrition, which stacked up pretty well. I'm still at 30 minutes of aerobics, soon to boost it to 45. I have to get more strength training in too. Gardening season is upon us! Thu, 2 May 2013 22:55:50 EST flipped start of my week Since I'm having trouble with motivation on weekends, I have decided to switch up my week so I think of my nutrition and exercise week starting on Friday. My weekly "new beginning" will start on the weekend. Sort of a mind game, I know, but I hope it will help me. Wed, 1 May 2013 22:14:02 EST Mind Game #2 After reading a Sparkpeople article this morning about motivation mind games, one of them really resonated with me. It wasn't the whole thing, it was the part about indulging on the weekends, and trying to make up for it later. The "motivation makeover" recommended thinking about what I am doing a different way - it's not a sprint where I get to stop and relax before the next one, it's the kind of thing, sort of like a marathon, where I have to keep at it, one step at a time. <BR> <BR> I... Tue, 30 Apr 2013 23:18:13 EST Dandelion cookies My grandson, Adam, spent Friday and Saturday here. We had a great time, but when I look back at my tracking, I managed to get breakfast tracked on Friday, but that was it until this morning. It was a busy time, as days with a four year old often are. <BR> <BR> The idea of making dandelion cookies was something I mentioned to him some time ago; and there they were, and full bloom, all over the orchard. He was an enthusiastic dandelion picker, and we had more than enough when he was done.... Mon, 29 Apr 2013 22:28:03 EST