SSUESM's SparkPeople Blog SSUESM's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Ice Cream Addict No More! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Vanilla flavored frozen Greek yogurt served up in an attractive 4 ounce ramekin has replaced my usual overly generous 1-1/2 cup bowl of high-cal ice cream (I'm talking flavors with chunks of luscious chocolate and crunchy praline). There was a time when eating ice cream (several bowls) was a nightly occurrence for me. Putting a stop to that habit has been a huge plus <BR> in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. An... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 17:32:11 EST 2013...Getting OFF the Yo-Yo-Diet-Go-Round! Many of us are all too familiar with the yo-yo diet pitfall. It's too easy a pattern to slip into. Those wonderful, healthy habits that enable us to reach our much desired weight loss goals get tossed aside during a weak, seemingly hungry moment...that innocent moment becomes an evening of nibbling, which is repeated the following night, then continues throughout the weekend, slipping into a week...or two....then two weeks turn into a month. Before long we're falling head-first off the cliff ... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 21:28:16 EST Just thinking out loud..... I don’t know why I’m always so baffled when another month comes and goes. But March is over, it’s the first day of April and I’m giving myself the “beginning-of-the-month-you-can-keep-doing<BR>-this” pep talk! <BR> <BR> I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “Maintenance is REALLY TOUGH!” It’s not a gripe, just a personal observation based on cold, hard facts! Even though I’ve been diligently staying within the 5-pound wiggle room range for a long time now, I do miss seeing numbe... Wed, 1 Apr 2009 11:17:09 EST !!! :-) Thank you! So far Spark 2009 has been a pretty good year! I’m sticking to my maintenance plan, following through with my workouts, even adding new exercises and videos to the program to keep things fresh and fun. But after finally losing the weight, feeling real muscle on this body of mine, getting accustomed to the “less is more” philosophy on food, and learning to believe in myself…nothing could have made my Spark experience more meaningful and special than getting the email last night informing me ... Wed, 11 Mar 2009 09:40:44 EST Just for the fun of it... So far all of my workouts have been fairly “easy” to do. The difficulty comes from the speed, duration and intensity that I use on various machines. Recently I’ve been thinking about adding variety to my exercise, perhaps taking a kickboxing class or some sort of dance class, etc, that requires a little more coordination and balance. <BR> <BR> So a couple weeks ago I tuned into a YouTube cardio kickboxing video for “beginners” to see whether it was something I’d enjoy doing. I wanted to g... Sun, 8 Mar 2009 14:07:22 EST Hello, March! During January and February, having hit a slight stalemate in some areas of my life, I’m hoping things will pick up in March. As I’m noticing throughout the Spark community, people are taking time to reassess, begin anew, revamp and re-energize, all positive ways to start off any month! Now that I’ve reached one goal (weight loss), I must zero in on more specific ways to improve my exercise and eating. <BR> <BR> First of all, I want to be better “organized” in my workouts and have a more... Mon, 2 Mar 2009 07:18:43 EST No More "Cheat Meals"? Last Saturday we went out for a really spectacular Chinese dinner, my “cheat meal” of the weekend. I was able to eat all the yummy things I normally don’t eat during the week, especially the deep-fried foods, rich sauces, etc.… I had at least two or three small servings of everything on the table. I have no idea what this totaled in calories, but then when you’re having a “cheat meal”, should you really bother counting anything? I ate a lot, enjoyed everything I ate, and was thoroughly sat... Wed, 25 Feb 2009 19:43:55 EST My Last Weigh-In.... My most recent weight check was last Friday, the 13th. I was 123.3, 1.7 pounds under my original goal weight of 125 and safely within the 5-pound wiggle range I’m allowing myself with maintenance. I was relieved, elated and doing little happy dances throughout the day. After a week of making pretty decent food choices and trying to stick with my workouts, I will follow up with tomorrow morning’s weigh in. And I hope to be doing more happy-dancing to celebrate another week of maintenance ... Thu, 19 Feb 2009 10:36:00 EST Making A Small Difference Typically, Valentine’s Day in our family is a time for major sweet tooth indulgence, beautiful flowers and cards and maybe dinner out at a nice restaurant. Aside from the beautiful flowers and cards, which I’m looking forward to receiving and giving, the other two things, sweet tooth indulgence and eating out might jinx my maintenance plan. Skipping those traditions is fine with me. So this year we decided to spread our Valentine’s sentiment beyond the normal little circle of family and ... Fri, 13 Feb 2009 15:23:45 EST A former Dunkin Donuts junkie takes a stroll down memory lane.... High on my list of old bad habits was the weekly, then bi-weekly, and eventual 4 - 5 day ritual of visiting Dunkin Donuts for any variation of coffee/muffin, coffee/ 2 old fashioned, coffee/muffin/2 old fashioned, plus other assorted flavor of donuts, etc. It all started with oldest daughter’s Saturday morning dance class. She was around 7 at the time. On the way home from class, we would swing into DD’s for a 1/2 dozen assorted donuts and coffees. It was a tradition the entire family hap... Mon, 9 Feb 2009 15:44:17 EST Reality Check <BR> The food plan in my maintenance program has been going quite well for the past 5 months or so. Slowly I have been incorporating certain foods back into my diet, foods that I had either totally eliminated or cut back on slightly during the strict phase of my program. But recently I’m wondering if I might be overlooking some of the original and very important reasons why I made certain modifications in the first place. <BR> <BR> For instance, substituting low-fat or 0-fat salad dress... Sat, 7 Feb 2009 11:09:52 EST A Great Example I believe it was the fall of 2006, shortly after his father became ill and entered a nursing home that my husband, at age 52, embarked on his personal lifestyle-changing journey, six months before I began my Spark journey. It started with adjustments to diet, like cutting back on red meat, eating more fish and poultry, less snacking on salty foods (he is a potato chip-aholic), enjoying more fresh fruits and veggies, switching his beverage of choice from soda to water (or fruit juice) and end... Fri, 6 Feb 2009 09:14:34 EST Almost waylaid by some junk food... Now that my husband and I are trying to stick to a reasonably healthy way of eating, we no longer bring junk foods into the house. But yesterday when my daughter and I were at the food store picking up a few essentials, we also picked up, at her insistence, one non-essential box of Drake’s Apple Fruit Pies, a snack that has not been eaten or purchased by us in a long time. When the girls were small, I would often buy these “wholesome” little fruit pastries to pack with their lunches. They ... Thu, 5 Feb 2009 09:32:26 EST 7 Flights of Stairs My daughter’s dorm room is located on the seventh floor of her building. Up until two Sundays ago when we returned her to college, we had always taken the elevator to get to her room, no matter how much luggage we were toting. But that day it was extra crowded and so many kids, parents, baggage and boxes were being squeezed into that little elevator. So for safety’s sake we decided to use the stairs. I confess I happen to be one of those individuals who, even if a place is only one floor... Wed, 4 Feb 2009 09:04:27 EST Empty Nester...Who Me? Empty Nester...Who Me? <BR> <BR> I am not yet an empty nester. There are about 6 or 7 years left before I reach that stage of life. But even so, with a daughter now in college and another daughter following close behind by about three years, I’m definitely feeling the pull of the inevitable time when it will be just my husband and me left here to entertain each other. <BR> <BR> There is a commercial on T.V. where a 9 or 10 yr-old girl asks her father if she can borrow the car keys, ... Tue, 3 Feb 2009 08:49:05 EST No More Ball and Chain <BR> No More Ball and Chain <BR> <BR> Throughout my adult years, whenever I have been on a “diet”, my dependence on daily weighing increased to the point of obsession. Stepping on the scale every morning could either be the curse of my day or the most powerful dose of happiness drug on the planet! That a scale could play such a huge role in whether or not I am being “successful” or failing miserably in life or just oozing al... Mon, 2 Feb 2009 07:47:24 EST Blogging about Blogging Blogging about Blogging <BR> <BR> The only blogs I have written were part of three separate Spark team challenges, complete with well thought out prompts, so there was no question about topic. After I wrote and posted them, I sincerely hoped that there would be no more writing challenges for at least, oh, another six months! LOL So when another blogging challenge appeared, I really surprised myself by signing on because it involves blogging for 7 days in a row! Now that I've committed m... Sun, 1 Feb 2009 16:51:43 EST Living the Good Life! Being successful, to me, means living my life purposefully and thoughtfully. It should always be a forward movement, which means no looking back with regret at things that cannot be changed, unless I do so in order to learn from past mistakes and improve something in the present. <BR> <BR> My Spark journey continues to be a success on many levels. After experimenting with yo-yo diets for many years to lose anywhere from 20 to 35 pounds, I finally realized I had been going down a wrong and... Tue, 27 Jan 2009 19:56:13 EST The Daily Sparker "I am beautiful" challenge THE DAILY SPARKER "I AM BEAUTIFUL" CHALLENGE <BR> Write a BLOG talking about all the different ways you are beautiful. <BR> <BR> Being beautiful to me has to come from FEELING beautiful on the inside. What makes me feel beautiful inside is the knowledge that: <BR> <BR> * I am the mother of two really beautiful and terrific children. <BR> <BR> * I am the wife of my beautiful and devoted best friend, over 28 years now. <BR> <BR> * I am the daughter of two warm and loving parents who, eve... Fri, 9 Jan 2009 15:29:01 EST The Daily SParker Blog Challenge: Wednesday Morning In response to The Daily Sparker’s Bonus Challenge for Wednesday: <BR> <BR> I was flabbergasted today to learn that I would be driving on the roads during Wednesday morning’s horror of a snow-sleet-freezing rain-storm! My DD1 is not experienced driving in these conditions and her employer wanted her at work, so I offered to take her in. But of course, the driveway needed to be shoveled, the car needed warming up and the windshield needed de-icing and scraping. So after consuming my bowl... Wed, 7 Jan 2009 13:08:24 EST