SIMONEKP's SparkPeople Blog SIMONEKP's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Improvement and observations I've manage to wrangle my calorie intake under control, it is still a little hard to keep it under control, takes more work and willpower than I am used to exerting but nothing is impossible and a little hard work never killed anyone. <BR> <BR> I've been observing for the past few months that my weight loss pattern has changed to something that looks like this- one week per month, I have several drops on the scale then nothing for the next 3 weeks. In fact, sometimes I have a 1-2 pound fluc... Tue, 17 Feb 2015 05:55:02 EST The Struggle Is Real Been struggling this week with calories and keeping carbs low, it's not because of any cravings but I've just been very hungry this week. I'm not talking crazy calories, more like 1,800 or so per day but that's a lot more than my normal 1,400. I think I need to plan my snacks better because I've been having nuts but then I don't feel satisfied so I'm going to aim for something more bulky without the calorie hit. Sun, 8 Feb 2015 09:56:40 EST Decision Made So after pondering it a bit more, I've decided that I'm going to carb cycle so I'll eat very low carb for several days in a row- 5 or more- followed by a day incorporating some complex carbs but still keeping it in the 100-150 grams range. I'll continue to omit sugars. I've found that I don't really need to reincorporate breads, I don't like sandwiches and I can skip bread at dinner (although I love me some cornbread, I only started eating it a few years ago, where has this been all my life?)... Tue, 27 Jan 2015 10:00:01 EST Chugging Along, Reevaluating some things Hi All, <BR> <BR> Work is busy so I don't have time to blog lately but I am still chugging along with my nutrition and exercise goals. Over the last week I've been thinking about whether I want to continue doing low-carb. Initially, I was only committed to 30 days but it was relatively easy and gave me a jolt I was looking for so I extended it 5 months and went totally ketogenic. At that time I thought I would phase carbs back in starting this month. Now I'm think about whether I should carb... Thu, 22 Jan 2015 11:15:06 EST Should I be offended? I'm back, I went to Jamaica, I ate everything in sight and I didn't gain a single pound! It was awesome!!!!!! <BR> So I got back on Sunday and didn't have time/energy to go to the grocery store to pick up stuff from the grocery store for lunch for the week. I had frozen chicken breast that I cooked before I left so I brought that and decided buy some salad greens each day from the café in my building. I haven't been in that café for a while, maybe 4 months or so but I walk by each day to get... Sat, 10 Jan 2015 19:53:06 EST I'm back! <img src=""> <img src=""> I'll write an update blog in the next day or so Thu, 8 Jan 2015 21:30:49 EST 2014 In Review (a couple weeks early) I started January 7, 2013 on this journey, a last attempt after getting to the brink. I even considered surgical intervention but I pulled myself together and acknowledged that I hadn't really given it my best effort. I had a fantastic year in 2013 and a great year in 2014. I continued to aim for 2lbs per week, aggressive but I like to attack things head-on and I can deal if the results aren't optimal. Here are my results: <BR> <BR> <em>192</em> <BR> Start: 228 <BR> End: 193 <BR> ... Wed, 24 Dec 2014 19:19:41 EST November Assessment Not using my regular format this month because I am short on time. Not too much to report, I only lost 1.2lbs last month and I didn't measure for inches. My December goals are a little different because I will be on vacation for a week in Jamaica, it's Christmas, and there's lots of holiday parties etc. My goal is to lose at least 3 lbs but at the very minimum, come back from my vacation without a gain. <BR> <BR> This vacation is also a little different, generally, when I travel I stay at a... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 12:50:59 EST It adds up I've been plodding along for a while now but lately it seems that I'm slowing losing control. Not in a spinning wildly, crash and burn kind of way, but a in a slow leak sort of way. I've been looking over my calories for the last few weeks and notice that I am routinely 100-200 calories over my goal on many days. Added up for a month that equals almost 5,000 calories, almost 1.5lbs that I could have lost but didn't. I need to pull it together. Fri, 5 Dec 2014 13:27:55 EST What happens when you eat carbs after Keto for 4 months Nothing good. I haven't eaten more than 50g of carbs in a day and usually not more than 25g since August. For thanksgiving, I made mostly low carb dishes including a low carb cheesecake but I also made my famous Mac and cheese and a rice dish. I ate about 1/2 cup of rice and was instantly full, could have nothing else for dinner. I had bloating and stomach pains that ended in multiple trips to the bathroom. I guess the lesson learned here is that carbs need to be slowly reintroduced. Sun, 30 Nov 2014 13:58:44 EST October's Evaluation, November Goals Here's a recap of October's goals: <BR> <BR> October's goals: <BR> <BR> Weight- 6-8 lbs. Looking to hit 180 by end of year <BR> Measurements- no exact goals- just smaller and reduce body fat by at least another 1% <BR> Nutrition- average of 1400-1500 calories per day on a low carb diet, keeping gross carb intake at 60g or less per day <BR> Fitness- workout 6x weekly (1hr per day), continue strength training. Get to 1,000 metres in 3 minutes on the rower. <BR> Mental Health: Start pic... Fri, 14 Nov 2014 20:22:18 EST Turn Down for what? .....100 lbs baby!!! Hit it this month (by the skin of my teeth but who cares?). 194.8 says the scale 3 days in a row now. I can't do my official monthly result blog that was due on Friday because I was late for the gym and had to skip measurements because I was busy doing this: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> followed by this: <link> </link> <BR> <BR> then I just had to do this: <link> </link> <BR> <BR> yeah, I was cel... Sun, 9 Nov 2014 15:51:02 EST Is this the month? For me to hit 100lbs down? I can't wait to do my official weigh-in tomorrow morning! Thu, 6 Nov 2014 13:45:22 EST Rededication As many of you know, I've been low-carbing since August. It has worked out well and I decided to continue eating a ketogenic diet until December when I travel to Jamaica. After that I plan to slowly reintroduce complex carbs, just not as much as I use to eat, maybe no more than 40% of my daily calories. <BR> <BR> That's still the plan but this weekend I took a break, on Friday night I went out to a Japanese place with my girlfriends to celebrate one of them passing her medical boards (yes, ... Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:51:27 EST Recipe Sunday: high protein low carb pancake Stumbled on this awesomeness this morning! <BR> <BR> 3 tablespoons protein powder <BR> 1 egg <BR> 1/2 teaspoon baking powder <BR> water/almond milk to bring to pancake batter consistency <BR> <BR> Makes 2 pancakes, delish! Sun, 26 Oct 2014 21:08:13 EST Recipe Sunday and so close! Those following along for a while know that I batch cook meals for the week on the weekend. Today was a lovely trio: <BR> <BR> Spicy crusted pork loin- made a quick dry rub from smoked paprika, seasoned salt, salt, ground pimento, garlic powder, onion powder and dried thyme. For the crust I bought pork rinds, pulsed them into dust in a food processor and coated the loin. Baked at 450 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes then hit it with the broiler in high for 3-4 minutes. Let it rest, then slice an... Sun, 12 Oct 2014 18:45:58 EST September Evaluation, October Goals Last month was pretty good. Here's a recap of September's goals: <BR> <BR> September goals: <BR> <BR> Weight- 6-8 lbs. I want my weight to start with a 1 next month! I know I said that last month but it's still the goal. <BR> measurements- no exact goals- just smaller and reduce body fat by at least another 1% <BR> Nutrition- average of 1400-1500 calories per day on a low carb diet, keeping gross carb intake at 60g or less per day <BR> Fitness- workout 6x weekly (1hr per day), continue... Tue, 7 Oct 2014 21:26:53 EST OMG, no way you ever weighed that much! Said the Head of Nutrition at Yale University to me a few days ago at a talk I attended. So gratifying that I didn't even mind the fact that she felt the need to reach out and touch my upper arms and sort of poke them. You are so muscular and have a defined waist! It's extremely hard to achieve these results! she said. Of course she doesn't see the things I think are my problem areas, like the extra skin on my arms and on my thighs, however, I do know those are all things I am and can work to... Mon, 6 Oct 2014 14:06:08 EST Changing times I was so nervous about flying because of the whole water retention issue. I just didn't want anything interfering with my precious grasp on onderland. I don't know if I should credit this awesome bit of news to eating low carb or to getting under 200lbs. I had no water retention issues this time. I stayed at the Fairmont Millenium Park Hotel in Chicago, Fairmont promotes a healthy lifestyle and provides a lot of healthy options on their room service menu and they provide a scale in each room.... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 14:46:21 EST Low Carb, flying and water retention Sooo, I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch but so far it looks like water retention is a minimum. I don't know if that's a result of eating low-carb or a great side benefit of having lost so much weight. Maybe it's a combination of the two. My feet aren't swollen and 20-30 lbs ago they were swollen when I flew to the same city I'm in now. Those of you who have been following along since last year know that I used to retain water like a champ even if my flight lasted 10 minutes.... Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:45:37 EST Traveling low-carb I'm on the road this week. Well technically just flying to places but you know what I mean. So far I've done well by approximating my usual home meals at restuarants so no bread with meals, salads with protein for lunch and protein and veggie sides for dinner. I almost had a boo-boo tonight. Ordered a gin and tonic and found it to be sickenly sweet, went back to the bar and asked the bartender to see the tonic bottle, 33 grams of sugar per serving so I quickly ditched the drink and ordered a ... Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:49:18 EST Psssst, who am I kidding, hey peep ONEDERLAND BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 year and 8 months since I started, I've arrived at a major milestone, the coveted onderland! <BR> <em>67</em> <em>437</em> <em>338</em> <BR> <em>67</em> <em>437</em> <em>338</em> <BR> <em>67</em> <em>437</em> <em>338</em> <BR> <BR> Each sweat drenched workout <em>320</em> <em>328</em> <em>324</em> <em>402</em> <em>326</em> and each meal eaten in moderation has been totally worth it! <em>244</em> . <BR> <BR> I am excited but I'm not done, so n... Fri, 12 Sep 2014 12:46:38 EST August (and Low-carb) Evaluation, September Goals Last month was pretty good in terms of measurable results although the weight loss doesn't reflect that, more later. Here's a recap of July's goals: <BR> <BR> August goals: <BR> <BR> Weight- 6-8 lbs. I want my weight to start with a 1 next month! <BR> measurements- no exact goals- just smaller and reduce body fat by at least 1% <BR> Nutrition- average of 1400 calories per day on a low carb diet, keeping gross carb intake at 60g or less per day <BR> Fitness- workout 6x weekly (1hr per d... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 13:01:52 EST In, out and all about keto This whole ketosis thing is so finicky and counter intuitive. For the last month I've been in ketosis or at least I think I've been. I've been using the ketostix daily and I've had a positive result each day but there's some confusion on my part. I measure at night and always have at least a trace but more often the measurement is small or moderate. Here's the confusing part, I tried measuring in the morning but always had a negative result but it would seem that the morning would be when I s... Fri, 5 Sep 2014 20:15:13 EST Low carbing- do I continue? I've been low carbing for just over a month now. As to be expected, I started off with a big bang and I'm waiting for this weekend to see the results of my first full month. As I started to say in my last blog, I'm still feeling somewhat frustrated at the limitations that this eating style imposes. I don't miss the grains and breads but I do miss fruit, like a lot. I'll probably give it a while longer but think I will ultimately add back in a few more carbs. Interestingly, there was a study p... Thu, 4 Sep 2014 11:37:55 EST Just Plain Weird Last night we had a birthday party for a friend, lots of stuff on the grill, fish, chicken, burgers, hot dogs along with watermelon, curry chicken salad and various other stuff. Easy enough for me to eat low carb and ignore the rice and bread. I had a tiny piece of watermelon and drank a bunch of water. The party ran until about 2am, the dancing started about 9pm. Somewhere around 11pm I had 2 vodka shots and at midnight I had a sip of sparkling wine for the birthday toast. I was dancing but... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 19:14:05 EST Two Weeks In- Lessons Learned I've spent the last 2 weeks eating a ketogenic low carb diet. I've learned a few things so far and continue to make tweaks. <BR> <BR> The main thing I've learned is that this is probably not a lifetime change for me. My natural and cultural diet is more carb heavy that this type of eating allows. Generally, I ate about 40-50% of my calories in carbs, mostly whole grains, fruits and vegetables. I've attended a couple of family gatherings in the past two weeks and have stuck to this eating pl... Fri, 15 Aug 2014 13:39:00 EST July Evaluation, August Goals Last month was pretty good in terms of measurable results. I'm hoping this is only the beginning of a good run that gets me into the end zone. Here's a recap of July's goals: <BR> <BR> July goals: <BR> <BR> Weight- 5-8 lbs. <BR> measurements- no exact goals- just smaller and reduced body fat % <BR> Nutrition- average of 1400 calories per day; really watch my added sugar intake. <BR> Fitness- workout 6x weekly (1hr per day), continue strength training. Get to 1,000 metres in 3 minutes o... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:57:59 EST Temptation Conquered! Had a work-related social event last night that I knew would be my first test under the low carb regime. I have to say I aced the test! I drank no wine, only water. I ate a few small pieces of cheese, some churizo sausage, a few nuts and a few blueberries. I skipped all the wonderful desserts that were trotted out, the breaded chicken, the empanadas, mini quiches, crustinis, etc. etc. I was starving by the time I got home at 9 so I ate my planned dinner of chicken and steamed veggies. Fri, 8 Aug 2014 13:44:06 EST Ketostix, calories, fats and stuff So upon advice from Pomatojuice, I've been researching how exactly to interpret the ketostix readings. I agree that any reading is good news and no reading doesn't necessarily mean that you're not in keto. I'm less sure I agree with the arguments that deep purple is not wanted because it just means waste. If the ketones are a result of your body converting fats to energy and the excess energy isn't used and is therefore excreted, it would seem that one would want to see the extra excretion be... Wed, 6 Aug 2014 14:56:11 EST Learning experience with LCHF So after some experimenting during my taper week, beginning on Thursday, I dropped my carbs to 50 gross carbs with generally about 20 fiber carbs for a net carb count of 30. I don't really know how to track sugar alcohols which I know can also subtracted so I don't deduct those. I figured it would take a number of days to enter keto so I didn't plan to measure until the fifth day or so but a curious thing happened; on Saturday, I noticed that I wasn't hungry after breakfast for hours and hour... Sun, 3 Aug 2014 22:11:30 EST Calorie Count Differences Ever wondered how the same ingredient can have different calorie counts and especially across different manufacturers? For example chicken breast is a simple ingredient, an ounce has roughly 32 calories but I tried to pick up some frozen grilled chicken breast strips at the grocery store for the odd times when I'm too busy to make it at home and need a quick lunch to pack. I noticed that every company had different calories counts for 3oz. The range ran the gamut of 100 calories to 160 calori... Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:19:33 EST Ketosis when? Trying the whole low carb thing in August so I thought I would give it a test drive this week. I've been doing pretty well but still have a ton to learn. Mostly, I struggle with what to eat for snacks because my snacks are usually fruits. Any suggestions here are welcomed! Next I am wondering how long it should take to enter ketosis. I've been eating 60g or less of carbs since Saturday. I know that is higher than the recommended amounts during most of the induction periods on many low-carb pl... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:04:26 EST August Experiment I've been reading "Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It?" It's pretty interesting and it advocates a low-carb eating style. I'm not sure I can handle low carb forever but I thought I would give it a whirl next month. I'm aiming for no more than 60g of carbs daily, he really advocates 20g max but I'm not sure I can swing that for a whole month. I know a number of you have done low-carb, what should I expect? I might need some sides ideas. <BR> <BR> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:50:59 EST How is the World Cup like weightloss? I'm not Brazilian but they have been my favorite team since at least 1986, the first World Cup I watched with my brothers. I am from a football crazed nation but unfortunately, we've only managed to qualify for the World Cup once in the 20 times it's been held so for all intents and purposes, I am Brazilian when it comes to football. Where am I going with this? <BR> <BR> Well this post is about fervent hope, sheer will and glum reality. This was supposed to be the year we erased that 1950 lo... Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:38:56 EST June Evaluation, July Goals Last month was a repeat of June 2013 almost, I lost 1 pound. Here's a recap of my goals for June: <BR> <BR> June goals: <BR> <BR> Weight- 5-8 lbs. <BR> measurements- no exact goals- just smaller and reduced body fat % <BR> Nutrition- average of 1400 calories per day <BR> Fitness- workout 6x weekly (1hr per day), continue strength training. Get to 1,000 metres in 3 minutes on the rower. <BR> <BR> <BR> Results: <BR> <BR> Weight: down 1 lbs no explanation can be given, I didn't do an... Tue, 8 Jul 2014 15:21:53 EST Striking Distance I've been blogging less because I find that the longer I'm on this journey, the less I have to say because it's doesn't feel novel, it feels like part of my normal routine and normal life just isn't that exciting although judging by most social media posts, I'm clearly in the minority of people holding opinion. Drat! I'm already off topic! <BR> <BR> Striking distance, right. I was so pleased today when I completed my entries for the day on the MFP app and the 5 week prediction was 198lbs. Of... Sat, 28 Jun 2014 23:25:39 EST Polar Loop, Beat and H7 HRM Review Last week I got my new fitness toy in the mail, the polar loop and the H7 bluetooth HRM. I immediately set up the Polar Flow account and downloaded the matching app that goes with the Loop. I then immediately started competing with the Loop to reach the preset goal, I'm like that, I have to win! Next I downloaded the Polar Beat app that works in tanden with the H7 because I wanted to test the H7 before pairing it with the Loop. I also bought the upgrade extras for $8 which includes the benefi... Tue, 17 Jun 2014 14:44:30 EST May Evaluation and June Goals Last month was much better than the prior two-month period in terms of weight loss. I'm still frustrated that I can't seem to get back close to 2lbs in a week no matter how hard I work but I won't let it get to me. Here's a recap of my goals for May: <BR> <BR> May goals: <BR> <BR> Weight- 5-8 lbs. <BR> measurements- no exact goals- just smaller and reduced body fat % <BR> Nutrition- average of 1500-1700 calories per day <BR> Fitness- workout 6x weekly (1hr per day), continue strength ... Tue, 10 Jun 2014 17:49:25 EST Never quit <img src=""> Sat, 31 May 2014 13:42:57 EST So was it a success? I'm asking about your weekend of course. I know, I know, success can have many definitions. I think mine was touch and go as it relates to my weightloss goals and thus, action plan. I set a goal of 1400 calories per day for Sat- Monday. Saturday started off well, I burned just over 1,000 calories in 75 minutes then turned my attention to breakfast. I made some sautéed beef livers, I know, not everyone's cup of tea but I love it, and a baked potato, so it was more like brunch. I gardened a lit... Tue, 27 May 2014 13:08:57 EST The Kitchen is where it's at Many people wrongly assume that people who are overweight spend all their time in the kitchen or that they spend no time in the kitchen and only eat fast food. We all know these assumptions are wrong and born out of ignorance. However, the kitchen is essential to weight loss and maintenance. A coworker asked me what was the secret to success. I told her my kitchen. She asked how so? <BR> <BR> I probably spend more time in my kitchen now than I did before I started paying proper attention to... Wed, 21 May 2014 15:06:03 EST 2,000 Miles to .... Graceland? No, sorry, not an Elvis fan, a more apt destination is onederland. Since purchasing my stationary bike a little over a year ago, I've ridden a total of 2,000 as of today. That's not bad at all considering that I don't use it everyday or even every week. To put it in perspective, I drive an average of 7,250 miles per year so I've ridden 27.6% of my average annual driving miles. Too bad I'm not good at riding an actual bike or I could use it to tool around town. Even better, since m... Wed, 14 May 2014 12:05:38 EST Is it always wrong to take pleasure in someone else's downfall? Before you say yes, "pleasure" and "downfall" are too strong and should probably be replaced "hint of satisfaction" and "setback", respectively. Now, allow me to elaborate. <BR> <BR> In 2011, a colleague, S, jumped ship and went over to a rival entity, no worries, we are a friendly bunch, belong to a small group and now simply work across the table from each other instead of on the same side. Like myself, she had a weight issue. In 2012, she and her husband started losing weight and she look... Fri, 9 May 2014 14:25:06 EST March-April Evaluation, May goals All in all, last month was a big fat bust in terms of weightloss! However, I mostly met my nutrition and workout goals. Here's a recap of my goals for March-April: <BR> <BR> goals: <BR> Weight- 8-10 lbs <BR> measurements- no exact goals- just smaller and reduced body fat % <BR> Nutrition- average of 1500-1700 calories per day <BR> Fitness- workout 6x weekly (1hr per day), continue strength training, run 1/2 mile non-stop. <BR> <BR> Results: <BR> <BR> Weight: down 0 lbs, no, there's ... Mon, 5 May 2014 13:21:51 EST Is biking/spinning exercise for the lazy? I saw an article a few days ago where Katie Couric described herself as lazy and not as not liking to exercise but says she's religiously attends a spin class because it doesn't feel like exercise. I haven't been feeling my best this week, I've been suffering from a respiratory bug and allergies which are out of control in the NorthEast this time of year. I decided to take the week off from my trainer but from exercise so I've been using my bike all week because too much movement leaves me di... Thu, 1 May 2014 14:13:21 EST NSV, musings and rants Hope everyone had a great holiday <BR> <BR> I've been totally bummed about the scale not moving for a month now but I had a really nice NSV this weekend. I took my DD and a gaggle of her friends on a mall trip on Friday (God, someone should have warned me about the dangers of chaperoning 6 teenagers at the mall!). While they were browsing, I decided to look for a few pieces for work for the summer months. I found that even though the scale hasn't budged, I've gone down 1-2 clothes sizes. Wha... Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:01:37 EST I wish, I hope I can do this at any age much less 80yrs old: <link> </link> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:43:53 EST Trust the process "Trust the process" often seen and heard advice around spark and it's good advice but it can be hard to digest. I'm having one of those days where trusting the process is hard to digest advice. Although I've kept my workout schedule and intensity and abided by my nutritional goals, save for vacation week, I haven't seen any movement on the scale in close to a month. Now, that's not exactly true- I tend to retain a lot of water when I fly and upon my return from vacation, my scale registered 2... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 12:35:10 EST But I have nothing to wear .... Literally! Started getting spring clothes from the spare room closet and nothing fits. A good problem to have but a problem nonetheless. When my winter clothes started looking clownish because they were so big, I bought a few separates for work and a few causal pieces from the clearance rack for non-work stuff. Looks like I'm headed back there for some spring/summer work wear. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:49:36 EST