STRONGINTHECITY's SparkPeople Blog STRONGINTHECITY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Making Progress I am starting to get back on track with my healthy habits. I've done really well this week, tracking my calories and exercising. I feel so much better already! I have a long way to go, but it feels good to take that first step. Why do I wait so long before admitting to myself that I need to get back on track?! Oh well. What's done is done, now I just need to move forward. I know what it takes, it's just a matter of doing it. <BR> I still really need a workout buddy in my new town. I... Sat, 17 Apr 2010 11:25:47 EST My Life Turned Upside Down I can't remember the last time I logged on to Spark, but I think it's time to return. Unfortunately, I have gained 20 pounds since my lowest weight a year ago. I never thought I would be someone who would lose weight only to gain it again. I really thought I was doing things the "right" way so that it would be a lifestyle change instead of a quick fix. Well, I've experienced a lifestyle change alright - just not the one I anticipated. <BR> <BR> Last summer, my husband and I found out we ... Sat, 16 Jan 2010 13:23:56 EST 5 Months Later...Weight Gain and Half Marathon! <BR> Wow. It has been a LONG time since I've logged on to SparkPeople! I can't promise I'm back for good, but I thought I'd check in and let everyone know what I've been up to the past several months. <BR> <BR> The bad news is, I've gained back most of the weight I lost last year. :( I haven't weighed myself in a while, but I'd guess I'm around 138. My portion sizes have slowly gotten bigger as I've let my guard down and stopped diligently tracking my calories. I'm also pretty sure t... Fri, 8 May 2009 16:24:52 EST Failure <BR> Things did not go as planned yesterday. We arrived at the party to find a spread of typical party foods: chips and dip, cheeses, deli meats, mini-quiches, and a table of desserts. There really wasn't anything substantial that could be considered a meal. My husband and I got a small plate of food and then talked about possibly just having a snack and then eating a real meal afterwards. We should have followed through on that plan. The longer we stayed at the party, the hungrier we g... Sat, 20 Dec 2008 10:54:35 EST Wish Me Luck! I'm going to need it. I have a few hurdles to jump over this weekend. First up: another holiday party tonight. I'm feeling a little vulnerable after a stressful day and a light lunch. My plan is to go home to eat a snack and decompress for a few minutes before heading out. <BR> <BR> I would really like to indulge in a glass (or two) of wine, but if I do that I'm afraid my inhibitiions will be lowered and I will make unhealthy food choices. Also, I am hoping to get in another 5-mile ru... Fri, 19 Dec 2008 18:01:04 EST I Beat the Buffet! <BR> I have very little self control when it comes to food (a big reason why I gained 15 pounds.) Parties, potlucks and buffets are disastrous in my world. I always go in with a positive attitude, hoping that maybe this time I won't over do it. I have tried all the tricks in the trade. I eat snacks before I go, I drink plenty of water, I fill my plate with veggies first, and so on. Those strategies don't work for me. Very rarely do I come out of these events unscathed. <BR> <BR> Tod... Wed, 17 Dec 2008 22:34:35 EST 5 Miles! <BR> On Thanksgiving day I ran a 5 mile race. This was my longest race to date. My goal was just to run the whole thing without stopping. I took it nice and easy, running just under 11-minutes per mile. It felt GREAT! It made me realize that I can run a lot farther than I thought, especially when I pace myself. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I decided to go for another long run. I ran another 5 miles without stopping! It wasn't easy, but it wasn't torturous, either. Although my legs got tir... Mon, 15 Dec 2008 12:24:08 EST Added Stress <BR> I am going to be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding in a couple of weeks. I went to get my dress hemmed today and when I put it was snug. UGH. I don't have time to exchange it for another size and it would be difficult to let it out (it's chiffon.) You want to know the kicker? The wedding is just three days after Christmas! So I have two choices: I can work my butt off and deprive myself of all holiday treats until then, or I can say "screw it" and likely be miserable in ... Fri, 12 Dec 2008 14:04:00 EST Facing the Scale <BR> I bit the bullet this morning and weighed myself. As I stepped on the scale I had a brief moment of optimism. Maybe, just maybe, I hadn't gained since my last weigh-in. Well, the scale was brutally honest with me and spit back a whopping 132.5. <BR> <BR> It's not that this number is so massive. It could be a lot worse. It is just so defeating to see the number creeping back up. Not only have I gained back 5 pounds since my lowest weight of 127.5, but I am still 7.5 pounds from ... Wed, 10 Dec 2008 11:17:05 EST Struggling <BR> This time of year is always a struggle. Temptations are hiding around every corner. My office is filled with holiday treats and the holiday parties are slowly but surely taking a toll on my diet. On top of that, the cold and blustery winter weather makes me want to skip the gym and plant myself on the couch (with a giant bowl of pasta) until Spring. <BR> <BR> I'm fighting all of these challenges, but I feel that I'm losing the battle. I haven't stepped on the scale in weeks beca... Mon, 8 Dec 2008 11:39:23 EST Day 2 <BR> Today is the second day of tracking my calories again. I almost forgot to log on to do it. I used to log on after each meal to enter the information but I guess I'm not in the habit of doing it anymore. I'm sure it will come back with a little effort. <BR> <BR> This time around I'm not quite as concerned with staying strictly within my limits. I really don't mind if I go over by a couple hundred calories - as long as I don't totally blow it on a regular basis. <BR> <BR> Since ... Wed, 29 Oct 2008 17:44:48 EST I'm Back... <BR> I took a break from Spark to see how I could do on my own. Well, I have gained back a few pounds. I am now back up to 130. That's not too bad, actually, but I don't want to see a couple of pounds turn into 5, then turn into 10. <BR> <BR> So here I am. <BR> <BR> I am going to try monitoring my calories again for a little while to see if I can get back on track. I've slipped back into my former habit of oversized portions and too many treats. Hopefully this will allow me to make... Tue, 28 Oct 2008 14:34:01 EST Another Experiment <BR> I'm taking a break from using the nutrition tracker. I'm a little nervous to do this because tracking my calories has been integral to my weight loss progress. But I don't want to have to count calories for the rest of my life, so I'd like to see how I do without it for a while. I think not using the nutrition tracker will actually make me listen to my body more because I won't be able to rely on the tracker. I will have to trust myself to eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full.... Tue, 9 Sep 2008 22:08:38 EST I Now Weigh... ...what I weighed 5 years ago! So despite my plateau, I'm still quite happy to be at that weight again. :) <BR> Still waiting to hit the 15 - pound mark. I'm almost there! Mon, 8 Sep 2008 14:45:19 EST Weekend Experiment <BR> As I mentioned in a previous post, I relaxed some of my weight loss efforts over the holiday weekend. I pretty much ate what I wanted, including fried foods, wine, ice cream, etc. It was an interesting experiment that resulted in some valuable lessons. <BR> <BR> #1: Eating poorly isn't THAT enjoyable. <BR> <BR> Sure, it was nice to dig into a big plate of fried catfish and hushpuppies, but later that evening I felt bloated and lethargic. It is nice to know that these 'forbidden' ... Thu, 4 Sep 2008 11:40:36 EST Moment of Weakness <BR> I took my regular strengthening class today. This class is pretty intense, but I am getting strong enough to handle it - or so I thought. Today I was struggling to keep up from the beginning but I tried to push through. My body didn't take that very well. About halfway through the class I started to get light headed. I knew that I needed to take it easy, so I eased up a bit, hoping the faint feeling would go away. A few minutes later I was back to normal...until the next wave hit ... Tue, 2 Sep 2008 21:13:43 EST Healthy Habits <BR> I came across this article this morning and it got me thinking about some of my habits. I was happy to realize that I have a lot of healthy habits in place already. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> -I get 8-9 hours of sleep most nights. (I am one of those people who needs a LOT of sleep or I will feel it the next day.) <BR> -I eat breakfast every day. This is new for me and has made a huge difference in my eating habits! <BR> -I plan my meals ... Mon, 1 Sep 2008 10:48:34 EST Update Re: Temptations <BR> Well, I made it...kind of. I went to the pizza lunch and indulged in thin crust veggie pizza. I figured that was the best option available and I ate just enough to provide a satisfying meal. The best part about it is I did not allow myself to feel guilty about eating the pizza. I think that is a success in itself. Too often I "indulge" without allowing myself to relax about it. It defeats the point of indulging if a part of me still feels guilty about it. <BR> <BR> After work I we... Sat, 30 Aug 2008 10:41:35 EST Major Temptations <BR> I have two major temptations to face today. The first is a pizza luncheon at work. (They seem to have those a lot around here.) The second is dinner at a sports bar (fried foods and beer galore) with my husband and his friends. <BR> <BR> So, I'm trying to decide if I will go to one or both of these events. I have to at least show my face at the work party, but I don't have to stay very long. I may be able to make it out of there without having any pizza - or maybe just one small... Thu, 28 Aug 2008 13:27:33 EST The Magic Number <BR> I think I have discovered my magic number - that is the amount of calories that I need to consume per day. SparkPeople tells me to shoot for 1200-1550. When I eat in the lower range of my limit, I find that later in the week I end up going WAY over. The past several days I've hit right around 1500 without really trying. I feel satisfied and I'm meeting my protein and fat goals, which I wasn't able to do at lower numbers. I think that this number will allow me to feel less deprived ... Wed, 27 Aug 2008 17:39:58 EST Signs of Progress... <BR> -I wore a pair of jeans last weekend that I hadn't worn in a year :) <BR> -My rings are slightly loose on my finger! <BR> -My work pants fit much better and some are even a little too big <BR> -I have a visible jawline and collarbone again! <BR> -I now use 12.5 pound weights in my strength training classes <BR> -I can hold a plank for 60 seconds <BR> -I can run for 30 minutes without stopping <BR> -My body recognizes when I don't feed it well <BR> -I am meeting my protein goals more of... Tue, 26 Aug 2008 17:54:19 EST Contemplating a Half Marathon... <BR> A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to train for a half marathon together. While that sounds like an amazing goal, I am very hesitant to commit. <BR> <BR> I've entertained this idea before and even entered the beginning stages of training. I tried to do much, too fast, and ended up with severe shin splints. Ever since then, I've had to be really careful with my running. If I try to increase my mileage even slightly, I can feel the shin splints starting to return. It's almost l... Tue, 26 Aug 2008 12:02:57 EST Being There <BR> After a weekend of bad eating and very little exercise, I'm feeling kind of BLAH. I'm going to my fitness class tonight, so hopefully that will help lift my mood and get me back on track. <BR> <BR> Sometimes I feel like my progress has slowed to a snail's pace. That is extremely frustrating to me, since I am so close to my goal weight. But I am human and I have days and even weekends where I mess up. Each time this happens I am disappointed in myself because I think that puts me ev... Mon, 25 Aug 2008 16:04:03 EST My Better Half Won :) Just to update you on Friday's post - my better half won. I made it to the gym and did a light elliptical workout. Hey, something is better than nothing, right? <BR> I am currently battling PMS and the severe cravings that go along with it. Hopefully next week will be better! <BR> Thanks for your comments and support through my highs and lows. Sat, 23 Aug 2008 20:06:31 EST Fighting Myself on a Friday It's Friday afternoon. I have hit that afternoon slump and then some. I have been fighting with myself for at least half an hour now. <BR> <BR> Part of me is arguing, "I'm tired, I've had a rough day, and I just don't feel like working out. I deserve a break after a long week. It's FRIDAY!" <BR> <BR> The other half of me is saying, "Feeling tired is even more reason to work out. You don't have to be anywhere until after dinner, so you have plenty of time to make it to the gym. You ... Fri, 22 Aug 2008 16:53:27 EST Back to Reality <BR> Yesterday I took a "break" from my regular diet to celebrate my third wedding anniversary with my hubby. I still tracked my calories, but I didn't stress that the total almost doubled my daily limit. It was totally worth it! We prepared ourselves a decadent five-course feast and I enjoyed every bite! <BR> <BR> Today it's back to reality for me. I'm going on a run this evening, which might be a little tough after yesterday's indulgences. Wish me luck! Thu, 21 Aug 2008 15:00:11 EST Typical Menu... I don't share my nutrition tracker, so I thought I'd share some of the healthy meals I eat on a regular basis. I'm still working on adding more protein and fat to my diet, so if you have any suggestions on how to accomplish that, let me know! <BR> <BR> Breakfast: <BR> <BR> Coffee and fat free half and half <BR> Light Yogurt <BR> Cereal & Nonfat Milk (usually bran flakes or shredded wheat) <BR> Instant Oatmeal (lower Sugar) <BR> Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins (from SparkRecipes) <BR> Breakfa... Tue, 19 Aug 2008 17:47:17 EST Stalled Progress I have been tracking my calorie deficits and last week I burned what should have added up to 1.22 pounds. Unfortunately, that total was not reflected in the scale this morning. In fact, my weight is exactly where it was a week ago. <BR> <BR> I know I shouldn't fret about a one pound variance, but I can't help it. I only have 3.5 pounds left to get to my goal weight, so each pound is a big deal to me right now. <BR> <BR> I would like to chalk this up to fluid retention or hormones, bu... Mon, 18 Aug 2008 12:11:39 EST Moving on from a bad day... Well, yesterday was a bust. Do you ever feel like you can see a bad day coming, but you are powerless to avoid it? I tried to prepare myself for yesterday, but I was not sucessful. <BR> <BR> I had a cocktail party to go to after work. I knew about this ahead of time, so I have been trying to plan my week accordingly. I knew I wouldn't be able to go to the gym that day and that I'd likely go over my calorie limit. I had built that into the rest of my week by adding extra cardio on the ... Fri, 15 Aug 2008 09:55:31 EST Thoughts on Maintenance <BR> I'm still a few pounds away from my goal weight, but I'm trying to get mentally prepared for the transition into maintenance. I've been reading articles and thinking about the best strategy to enter this phase. <BR> <BR> What I've come to realize is that my habits can't change significantly. I will be able to eat a little more (about 200-300 calories more per day) and exercise a little less. <BR> <BR> Two hundred calories is not a lot. It's a snack. It's a slightly larger portion... Thu, 14 Aug 2008 13:13:17 EST Everyday Rewards I am so excited to get my massage once I reach my goal weight. It will be a reward well-deserved. <BR> <BR> Until then, I have been rewarding myself with little things each day. <BR> <BR> -enjoying a cup of hot chocolate <BR> -soaking in the bathtub <BR> -painting my toenails <BR> -reading a magazine from cover to cover <BR> -eating tons of watermelon...seriously, i've probably eaten two whole watermelons in the past month <BR> -renting a movie and enjoying a big bowl of popcorn <BR> -pl... Wed, 13 Aug 2008 15:51:57 EST Proud Moment <BR> Yesterday I experienced a very proud moment. It was such a small thing, but it made me so happy! <BR> <BR> I was in my weekly strength training class, which is pretty rigorous. There are people of all ages and abilities in the class, but it is tough for all of us. <BR> <BR> Our instructor really likes to do exercises that work multiple parts of the body at once. Towards the end of class (when most of us were reaching the point of exhaustion) she asked us to do a really tough move. ... Wed, 13 Aug 2008 15:08:56 EST The Scale <BR> A few weeks ago, I was in the habit of weighing myself every morning. I realized that was going a bit overboard, especially since I lose so little each week. It felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster. One day I'd be down a pound - JOY! - the next day I'd be up a pound - SORROW. Even though I knew in my head that my weight can easily fluctuate based on fluids and hormones, there was still a part of me that was upset when the scale went up even slightly. The days that I saw th... Tue, 12 Aug 2008 17:57:48 EST Why do people "accuse" others of weight loss? Last week I posted about someone finally noticing that I had lost weight. Although it was slightly awkward, it was nice to know that my hard work produced noticeable results. <BR> <BR> Today, a coworker stopped me in the hall and barked, "Have you been losing weight?!" This was in no way a compliment - it was more like an accusation. I didn't know what to say. I felt like if I admitted that yes, I had been losing weight, she would yell at me or something. I simply repsponded that I had b... Mon, 11 Aug 2008 12:52:46 EST Update, Goals, and Intervals As of this morning, I have lost a total of 13.5 pounds. :) Only 1.5 more before I hit the 15-lb mark! Only 3.5 more until I reach my goal weight! I can do this! <BR> <BR> I have a few goals that I am working on right now. The first and most obvious is to reach my weight loss goal. I think I can do this within a month if I really push myself. I'm on the right track, I just need to continue chipping away at it. <BR> <BR> Secondly, I would like to continue toning and building muscle. ... Mon, 11 Aug 2008 11:58:35 EST Calorie Deficits It has taken me a while to truly grasp the concept of creating a calorie deficit. I understood that in order to lose weight you must expend more calories than you consume, but I don't think I saw the big picture. I focused on each individual day without really understanding how things added up weekly or monthly. <BR> <BR> I recently started tracking my calorie deficits. This has helped me tremendously. I am less likely to go way over my daily intake because I know I will not just affec... Sun, 10 Aug 2008 11:06:54 EST The "What Ifs" <BR> What if I reach my goal weight and then gain it all back over Thanksgiving and Christmas? <BR> <BR> What if I reach my goal weight and can't maintain it without constant vigilance? <BR> <BR> I know I'm getting ahead of myself since I'm not even there yet, but these are some of the thoughts going through my head right now... <BR> <BR> I just don't know what to expect in the maintenance phase. I guess part of me is hoping that it will all of a sudden become easy - that once I've lost... Thu, 7 Aug 2008 15:39:29 EST I want to get there NOW. I have spent the last 8 months losing weight at a slow pace. Let's see...12 pounds in 8 months averages out to less than half a pound a week. Not bad actually. <BR> <BR> Now that I'm getting really close to my goal weight, I have lost my patience. I want to get there NOW! <BR> <BR> I need to calm down and stop trying to rush my way to the finish line. Unrealistic expectations are what lead to disappointments. It is OKAY if I don't stay within my calorie goals every single day. It is O... Thu, 7 Aug 2008 15:23:26 EST Someone Noticed!! <BR> <BR> I was just thinking yesterday how no one has noticed my weight loss so far. I have lost weight very gradually, so I didn't expect my close friends or coworkers to notice. But today one of my coworkers looked at me and said, "You look really skinny!" Now, I would have preferred that she call me "thin" or "toned" but I'll take what I can get. :) <BR> <BR> Tue, 5 Aug 2008 16:41:00 EST I Need a Weight Loss Buddy <BR> I do not talk about my weight loss efforts with anyone but my husband. I know I shouldn't be ashamed of it, but I am just really uncomfortable talking about it with anyone. I guess I don't want people to assume that I am "that girl" who is obsessed with being thin. I have been around people like that, and it is unpleasant to say the least. <BR> <BR> I also know that if I told people that I'm "dieting", people would tell me that I don't need to lose any weight. While I know that I w... Tue, 5 Aug 2008 10:42:15 EST It's Almost Time... It's almost time to change from a 'Lost 10 Pounds' Icon to a 'Lost 15 Pounds' one. I can hardly believe it. 15 pounds sounds like a lot! Tue, 5 Aug 2008 10:23:20 EST Now I Know...I CAN I never had to lose weight before. I gained some weight my freshman year of college, but it came off naturally when I moved away from the dorms (and the cafeterias.) <BR> <BR> Although it is disappointing that I now have to watch what I eat, I also feel empowered that I have learned how to manage my weight. Over the past eight months, I have developed the tools needed to control my diet. I know what normal meals look like and I know what a decent workout looks like. <BR> <BR> Now I kno... Mon, 4 Aug 2008 21:33:26 EST Who knew a doctor's visit could be so exciting?! <BR> I went to the doctor today for my annual checkup. When they weighed me, I was pleased that I was at 130.4 - with clothes on! I hadn't weighed myself in a while, so that was a nice surprise. I am interested to see what my own scale says (without clothes.) Hopefully it's closer to 128. If that's the case, I am only 3 pounds away from my goal! I am so close I can taste it! <BR> Mon, 4 Aug 2008 14:43:42 EST New Bikini! <BR> I just bought a new bikini online. I'm going to the beach in a month, and I thought I would get something new to show off my newly toned body. :) I still have 5 pounds to go, and this bikini should be good motivation to get to my goal. Obviously, looking good in a bikini shouldn't be my main source of motivation - but hey, who isn't motivated by a trip to the beach? <BR> <BR> Hopefully the suit will fit! <BR> Sat, 2 Aug 2008 11:17:54 EST The Problem with Alcohol <BR> <BR> I need to stay away from alcohol. Whenever I drink, it lowers my inhibitiions. Lowered inhibition results in eating too much. Eating and drinking too much makes me sleepy, but when I do go to bed I don't sleep well. I toss and turn all night and wake up groggy and tired. The next day I don't have breakfast because I'm still full from the previous night's indulgences. That causes me to be over-hungry for lunch, which causes me to over-eat again. By the time I'm done with wor... Fri, 1 Aug 2008 17:12:02 EST 80% Diet - 20% Exercise? A lot of people say losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I used to work out consisently, but never lost weight. Ever since tracking my calories, I've realized how important the diet part is to the overall picture. <BR> <BR> That said, I still think exercise is VERY important. Working out lifts my mood and motivates me to be healthier in other aspects of my life. If I didn't exercise, I don't think I'd have much hope keeping my diet under control. <BR> <BR> Just to give you an exa... Wed, 30 Jul 2008 12:59:52 EST Ideas for Rewards? I stayed within my calorie limits for the day and I even had dessert (baked peaches and low-fat ice cream...YUMMY)! <BR> However, when I looked back at my daily nutrition, I realized that I fell below my goals in protein and fat intake...not good. I really need to work on that. The problem is, I'm just not a big meat eater. I'd much rather have a plate of pasta than a piece of meat. Also, I find it hard to reach my fat goals without simultaneously going over my calorie limits. How do you... Tue, 29 Jul 2008 22:04:53 EST Looking on the bright side. So my weight has been 'stuck' at 131 for the past month or so. It has gone up and down a little bit, but generally has floated around the same number. On the bright side - it hasn't gone UP! Also, despite my weight loss rut, I am still gaining muscle definition which makes me feel great! I love my sculpted arms. Even my stocky legs are starting to get some definition. Hooray! <BR> I'm looking forward to the day that this plateau will end. I think the best way to make that happen is to ... Tue, 29 Jul 2008 09:56:38 EST It's Amazing What a Good Workout Can Do for You... After a week of over-eating and barely maintaining my weight, I think I finally broke through the slump. Yesterday I went to the gym and ran a full 5K, plus did 20 minutes on the elliptical. It felt so good to work out that hard! It had been a while since I'd done that intensity of cardio exercise. I have been doing a lot of strength training, but not enough cardio. When I was done I felt awesome! I was proud of myself for going to the gym and also for pushing myself. It definitely gav... Mon, 28 Jul 2008 10:05:33 EST PMS and Caloric Intake...Help! After a few months of tracking calories, I finally realized something very interesting...My caloric intake skyrockets the week before my period starts. I'm not talking 100-200 extra calories, it's more like 500 - PER DAY. I'm just starving and craving comfort foods all the time. Plus, salads and veggies just don't sit well with me before my period. <BR> <BR> What can I do to curb my appetite before my period so I don't reverse the results of my hard work during the rest of the month? <B... Thu, 24 Jul 2008 10:17:41 EST