SUNSHINE20113's SparkPeople Blog SUNSHINE20113's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community One belt notch skinnier! Spring is (sort-of) here! So, I decided to wear a dress I bought around this time last year this morning. <BR> <BR> Although my weight it almost at pre-baby weight (I'm still about 1.5kg over), the inches around my waist are still taking their time, so it was nice to slip into this dress and notice that the notch that felt easy around my waist was definitely not the same notch as last year. It was a nice feeling. <BR> <BR> I'm still settling around the 55-56kg mark, but am accepting of th... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:18:28 EST A healthy BMI - maybe that's enough I was chatting with my DH about my weight. My weight jumped up 2kgs after Christmas and I'm not really managing to get it down again. I was telling him this and he said - but you're still a healthy BMI, right? <BR> <BR> Yes, I said. I thought I would check today to see what it actually was: 21.6. Right in the middle of the healthy BMI range. <BR> <BR> So, perhaps that's enough. Perhaps I'm beating myself up too much over those extra 2kgs. I'm not gaining any more than that, so perhaps th... Fri, 24 Feb 2017 07:56:44 EST 5 years since reaching my goal weight. Wow. <BR> <BR> I remember reaching my goal weight and being terrified of gaining it all back again. And I remember reading the stats on how if you maintain for 5 years your chance of regain reduces by 27%. And I remember thinking that's a long time to wait for some sort of certainty that I am out of the "danger zone". <BR> <BR> And then, of course, I got busy doing other things. <BR> <BR> Like having a baby. <BR> <BR> I know that one would think that having a baby should mean I went out o... Wed, 21 Dec 2016 07:25:44 EST From goal weight to having a baby and back again (I did it!!!) Today, for the first time, the scale read 54.2kg - the weight I was just before I found out I was pregnant. It was a poignant moment for me. And one that is tinged with a little bit of disbelief. <BR> <BR> I joined Sparkpeople in September 2011 and reached my goal weight of 59kg in December that year. The original weight loss goal was 11kg (about twenty pounds). I went on to lose another 5kg with my body eventually settling at the weight of 54kg (about 120 pounds). I maintained that weight ... Wed, 7 Dec 2016 06:51:35 EST Checking in Never ever have I been so busy. <BR> <BR> The baby turns 1 tomorrow. <BR> <BR> I still have 2kg to lose, it has taken me a lot longer than I thought it would. <BR> <BR> I spend most days juggling work, baby and housework. It is intense. <BR> <BR> I also seem to get sick a lot more, now. <BR> <BR> The baby is healthy, happy and a real pleasure to look after. <BR> <BR> My PhD work is miraculously still progressing well. <BR> <BR> I still jog, just not as long distances. Illness, ra... Thu, 17 Nov 2016 11:13:36 EST Hello from Brazil! No, I'm not at the Olympics. Rather in Campinas, Saõ Paulo in order to do some work at the University here. <BR> <BR> We have been here one week and I think have some idea on how to manage the next three that we will be here for. I purposely did not bring my scale, so that I would focus more on what I was actually eating rather than a number on the scale. <BR> <BR> It is also really hot, even though it is winter here, so I have opted to do my running on a treadmill, rather than on the roa... Mon, 8 Aug 2016 11:24:08 EST Help! Battling to stay consistent and motivated I am struggling to lose the last 8 pounds of my pregnancy weight. My goal is to reach my pre-baby weight by November (which is when the baby will be one year old). <BR> <BR> What I'm finding is that I'll have a few days of consistent healthy eating and exercising and then I'll lost my motivation. It has been going on for a few months, now, and I realise I need to some help and advice. <BR> <BR> I had been maintaining for three years before this quite successfully and all the things I did t... Wed, 20 Jul 2016 06:06:49 EST The jogging stroller I love jogging. It was the one thing I was reluctant to give up when pregnant and the first thing I got back into when my body felt ready. This meant jogging late at night, or early in the morning when someone was around to babysit, and, made the enjoyment of jogging a bit harder. Especially when I would arrive home after a long run to a crying baby, hungry for milk and a bit confused about where I had been. <BR> <BR> Enter the Jogging Stroller! <BR> <BR> I waited until my baby was 6 month... Mon, 30 May 2016 11:10:20 EST Weekend regain feedback I did well on Saturday. I tracked and kept within my calorie range. I also had a good long run of 12km, so it meant I was able to eat quite a lot without worrying too much about calorie limits. <BR> <BR> Sunday was a different story. I had a hard day, emotionally, and ended up not tracking for the last half of the day. I did keep up with my steps, but had a lot of "After Eights" chocolates. <BR> <BR> So, I regained half a kilogram / 1 pound. Not the usual two pounds, but not what I was hop... Mon, 14 Mar 2016 08:45:13 EST Being pampered Yesterday I went out on my own!! No baby in tow. <BR> <BR> My husband had bought me a voucher at a local Beauty salon and so I went to get a back massage followed by breakfast. It was a real treat. <BR> <BR> I thought I would try on my leather jacket to see if it fitted me again - and it did!! So, I headed out the door feeling svelte and elegant. <BR> <BR> After the massage, the beautician pointed out that my shoulders were really tense rather than my lower back, so I decided to book an a... Sat, 12 Mar 2016 12:04:41 EST Losing those same 2 pounds every week.... I am noticing a pattern. On a Friday I weigh 58kg. By Monday morning, I am 59kg! It's the famous weekend weight-gain. <BR> <BR> As my current goal is to reach 54kg - I would rather keep going down the scale than find myself constantly focussing on that 1kg! <BR> <BR> So, I am thinking about some strategies - inspired by this article: <BR> <BR><BR>/52-simple-strategies-to-lose-a-pound-<BR>a-week?cmp=17N-PB2-S35-T6-D7-03062016-1170 <BR> <BR> There a... Tue, 8 Mar 2016 09:49:02 EST Normal? I find that the most motivational thing about Sparkpeople are the blogs written by other members. They remind me that I am not alone in my weight-loss experiences and frequently open my eyes to a new perspective on it. <BR> <BR> The 5% challenge is also great. Every week there is a new challenge to try out and this week is "no evening eating". It is encouraging us to only have a low calorie snack in the evening and to make sure we have eaten two-thirds of our calories before 5pm. Once again,... Wed, 24 Feb 2016 07:21:56 EST Achievements I have been so focussed on what I haven't done and don't do. This blog is about what I have done since the birth of our baby. <BR> <BR> I have lost 8 out of the 12kg I need to lose. <BR> I am running regularly at least twice a week. <BR> I ran 7km over the weekend with no hip pain afterwards. <BR> I have attended one mothers and babies group. <BR> I attend a choir rehearsal once a week with the baby <BR> I eat three regular meals a day. <BR> I cook dinner most evenings. <BR> I have hired a ... Thu, 11 Feb 2016 04:56:35 EST Things that have helped this week A featured article on sparkpeople challenging me to consider whether I am committed to weight loss or just interested. It reminded me that weight loss doesn't just happen. It is hard work. <BR> <BR> The article led me to set two daily goals: walk 10 000 steps and keep within my daily calorie range. I have managed that for the last three days and feel motivated to continue. <BR> <BR> At the end of each day, if the goal is achieved, I reward myself with anything under £5 that is not food. <B... Thu, 28 Jan 2016 18:37:42 EST Wobblies It's been a rough week. Somehow this is the week that depression has hit. <BR> <BR> Because we know to take it seriously, DH and I have put some measures in place to help me. Simple things, like making sure I get dressed in the morning, eat a proper lunch, get out the house at least once. But things that make a difference to my mood. <BR> <BR> Thursday is my weigh in day. In spite of a week of heavy chocolate eating (this was my warning bell sign for depression - an almost insatiable desi... Thu, 21 Jan 2016 06:44:04 EST A few good things The sparkpeople mileage tracker now logs my runs as 'runs' rather than 'walks' <BR> <BR> My Strava running tracker is saying I am trending upwards rather than downwards <BR> <BR> I increased my calories tom1800-2000, so now when I track I actually stay within range, which is inspiring me to track more. (note: I am breastfeeding, so cutting calories is not my primary goal, I am just trying not to overdo my eating each day and watch that I am not eating for other reasons, such as being over-t... Sat, 16 Jan 2016 13:13:57 EST Getting back into running post-pregnancy My baby is now 7 weeks old. I did not exercise at all during the first 2 weeks. <BR> During week 3 I started walking, aiming to walk for half an hour every day. Realistically, it was more like every other day. I would do this pushing the stroller, or on my own, depending on the weather. I continued this in week 4.In week 5 I tried a jog / walk routine for the first time. It was slow going and left me with some hip pain afterwards. I did this again in week 6, aiming to do it three times a wee... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 14:04:37 EST The bowl of potato chips My mom put a bowl of potato crisps right next to me this evening. We hadn't had dinner yet and I was ravenous having just breast fed the baby. So, I ate the entire bowl. <BR> <BR> Even while I was eating I knew it was a mistake. They would not satisfy me and I would feel ill afterwards, but I was so hungry. I felt angry with my mom for placing temptation in front of me - why the chips? Why not the grapes or mixed nuts? <BR> <BR> Of course, I could have got up and fetched the healthier foo... Fri, 25 Dec 2015 01:53:34 EST 4 Year Maintenance Anniversary with a twist This year I was very unsure if I could still class myself as a maintainer, especially once I had given birth to the baby and would be starting the long project of losing baby weight. Also, being pregnant for most of the year, my goal was gaining a healthy amount of pounds, rather than keeping within a steady range. <BR> <BR> I gained 12kg while pregnant (around 26 pounds) which was 3kg less than I had anticipated. In fact, I weighed less at 9 months pregnant than I did when I was at my heavi... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 12:51:15 EST Tired and hungry It is 5.30. The baby has woken up and is hungry. He will feed for at least an hour, often with a tearful nappy change in between. <BR> <BR> It is now 6.47. I put the baby down, but after some time rubbing his tummy, I realised he was hungry again. So, I am giving him more food. <BR> <BR> The last time I feed the baby was around 12.30. By 2am he was asleep. He had been crying for most of the evening - since about 5pm unless he was being fed, or asleep. None of his sleeps were longer than ha... Sun, 13 Dec 2015 02:09:45 EST Post Pregnancy recovery, body and new baby It's a boy! <BR> <BR> Those are the three words announced by the doctor as she hurled our little one up into the air and over to the nurse that I will never ever forget. That magical moment when we finally saw our little baby - and he was perfect. <BR> <BR> The baby was born via c section after a prolonged 48 hour labour (if not longer) that was not progressing. so, I am now recovering from an operation as well as a very long labour. But, our baby is healthy and feeding, sleeping and growi... Tue, 8 Dec 2015 11:16:27 EST Struggling along - where has all my energy gone? Tomorrow will be the two week mark until my due date. Two weeks! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> But somewhere over the last two weeks I have lost my resolve. I am lucky if I can go out for a ten minute walk without needing to stop because my hips hurt. When I get home from any activity my first stop is the couch, where I end up falling asleep for at least two hours. I am just exhausted and I have noticed that I... Thu, 29 Oct 2015 05:32:15 EST Getting ready Pre-pregnancy weight: 54kg (120 pounds) <BR> Current weight (36 weeks pregnant): 64kg (approx 140 pounds) <BR> <BR> The baby is due in 1 month! 1 month! <BR> <BR> My belly is now huge and aching! I'm not sure what happened over the last three weeks, but it has progressed from nice and neat to big - beach ball big! And with that has come a lot of back pain and ligament pain as my body tries to adjust to it's lopsided appearance. <BR> <BR> I aim to walk every second day for thirty minutes a... Sun, 11 Oct 2015 13:56:07 EST There is more to maintenance than just keeping within a healthy weight range! Maintenance weight: 54kg (120 pounds) <BR> Current baby weight: 62.5kg (138 pounds) <BR> <BR> 4 years Sparking, 3 years maintaining, 7 months growing a baby! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The year I started with Spark <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This time last year <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 7 Sep 2015 05:47:09 EST The best laid plans of mice and men (and pregnant women.....) On Wednesady afternoon during a walk / run an old injury flared up - foot pain. <BR> "Oh, hello, I thought, this is not what I want to happen". I got home, and knew that the only thing for it was to rest with my feet up, and, stop my walk/running plan until the inflammation had gone. <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> Nothing makes me sadder than a sore foot. I thought it would last a day, or so, but four days later and my left foot has joined in with the aching! So, with my husband fussing around m... Sun, 23 Aug 2015 04:16:56 EST Changing perspectives and preparing for jogging in the third trimester Weight at beginning of pregnancy: 54.5kg (120 pounds) <BR> Weight at 6 months: 61.5kg (136 pounds) <BR> <BR> I was just wondering as I was writing down my 6 month pregnancy weight, if this feels the same as when I was over-weight and at this mark on the scale, and I realised that it doesn't at all! I was reading a blog earlier about how some women see themselves as getting fatter, and describe themselves in that way, and, fortunately, at this point in the pregnancy, where such an evident "bu... Sun, 9 Aug 2015 02:46:59 EST Half way! Pregnancy update. Weight at beginning of pregancy: 54.5kg (120 pounds) <BR> Weight at half way point (21 weeks): 58.3 (128.5) <BR> <BR> This photo is from the early weeks of pregnancy: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And this is me at 21 weeks: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've been doing a lot of travelling over the last two weeks, which alway... Wed, 8 Jul 2015 04:01:07 EST Running and my first trimester While I was running a few days ago, a little old lady stopped me asked if I do this regularly, I replied, saying yes, and she responded with "good, it's important to keep fit". <BR> <BR> Those words were like magic to me in that moment because keeping up with running during my first trimester has been hard. Mainly because my energy levels are so unpredictable. On Saturday I went out for a run, and ended up walking 3km instead, because I just could not get into the running rhythm. Fast forwar... Fri, 22 May 2015 03:22:18 EST I'm pregnant! Three years of maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle can cause many changes. One of those seems to have been my fertility! <BR> <BR> For years I suffered PCOS and was of the understanding that if I ever wanted to have a baby it would take us a long time. Well, this Christmas we thought to ourselves that it was time to start trying. I thought it would take me about a year to fall pregnant, but, no, I'm now three months pregnant, and, so far, so good! <BR> <BR> What this means for my ma... Sat, 9 May 2015 18:49:18 EST Another lightbulb moment: it's not I can do this, it's I'm doing this! Firstly, I need to thank people for reading my previous blog and responding so warmly and with so much advice. The comments are full of so much amazing advice and I was truly humbled. <BR> <BR> So, what's happened since then? <BR> <BR> I wish I could say I have mastered my sugar cravings. I haven't. I tried lots of different things as advised by people in the blog, and I think I have settled with the fact that for me, I need to keep sweets and chocolate out of the house. I am able to be dis... Fri, 20 Mar 2015 05:07:10 EST Challenging the elephant in the room: sugar cravings I am a successful maintainer. I was able to lose weight quite steadily and have been fortunate to stay within a 3% range for three years now. <BR> <BR> BUT <BR> <BR> I still eat a lot of sugar. Whereas I feel I have busted my salty cravings and have developed a good self-discipline for saying "no" to those foods, chocolate, cookies, cakes, anything sweet really, are still a big weakness. <BR> <BR> As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I do eat less of them. A binge used to be an entire box... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:40:27 EST 3 Year Maintenance Anniversary 3 years! <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> Three years maintaining is quite a long time, and I've spent the last few days thinking about what is different now, compared to before I started with Sparkpeople, especially as now I don't track my food very much, so I am pretty much living a "normal" life. <BR> <BR> And I came to one conclusion: I don't eat as much. <BR> <BR> I still eat chocolate, chips and cookies - but not as much. If I do eat too many of any of those, I try to eat a smaller dinner ... Wed, 17 Dec 2014 05:08:24 EST New situation, new techniques On Saturday I ran a multi-terrain race, which included running for 2 miles on the sand. I signed up for this race for two reasons: to give me some motivation to keep training as the seasons changed and to have something to look forward to after a big deadline in my Phd. I hadn't really thought about what running in the sand would entail. <BR> I told everyone that the race was just for fun - I wasn't looking for a PB, I said - I just want to have the opportunity to run. But, as soon as the ra... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:02:07 EST 3rd Half Marathon of the year, 3rd PB! The goal of my last half marathon was to do it in under 2 hours. As they had pacers there, I stuck to them like glue and made it past the finish line in 1hr58. When I went to thank the pacers, one of them said to me, "I think you've got a got ten more minutes in you. I think you could do it in 1hr50". He also suggested I run the Groomsport Half Marathon, which I did last night. <BR> <BR> Groomsport is the village up the road from us. In fact, part of the route I ran last night is one of the ... Sat, 16 Aug 2014 05:03:13 EST One year in Northern Ireland This last week celebrated the anniversary of our arrival in a small seaside town in Northern Ireland, and the beginning of a startlingly different way of living after five years in London. <BR> <BR> My weight started creeping up in about December. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> That is the graph of this last year. Since I started spark people, it doesn't look like too much, it is really just about a kilogram more: <BR> <BR> <img s... Fri, 15 Aug 2014 04:42:44 EST Developing habits I read a good blog yesterday all about developing habits. It's run keeper blog, so focuses on running, but, really can be applied to any habit that one is working on: <BR> <BR><BR>ke-running-a-habit/ <BR> <BR> In a nutshell, they talk about "habit loops". These are patterns that help develop habits which are: cue (a trigger, which will remind you of the habit); routine (the habit) and reward (benefit from gaining the behaviour). Sparkpeople help crea... Thu, 7 Aug 2014 03:27:29 EST Paris! My husband planned a surprise holiday for us - a long weekend in Paris! Oo-la-la!! <BR> <BR> I love Paris and have not been there since I was 19, so to be back as an adult was just fabulous. It's a city that to me is simply a place of dreams. I love the way people walk, talk, dress, and, just be. I love all the little cafes and ornamental architecture everywhere, and, now I've learned that there are also little parks all over the place where you can sit and relax. <BR> <BR> The aim of this... Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:09:41 EST Stress and cookies Things didn't go well, yesterday. I sat in front of a computer screen for hours trying to get the words and the thoughts to flow, and they just didn't. Every so often I'd pop down to the kitchen for a cookie. By the end of the day I'd lost count over just how many of those cookies I had. <BR> <BR> At about 5pm I decided it was time to stop. I was not achieving what I was hoping to and with every minute I was getting more and more frustrated and angry with myself. I was not going to get the ... Thu, 17 Jul 2014 04:35:54 EST Knowing what to do, having the will power to do it The title is borrowed from a comment made by PMRUNNER on one of my previous blogs, where I was talking about needing to start tracking calories properly again. I've been thinking about this a lot over the last week as I've been getting back into the habit of tracking my calories. <BR> I've adjusted my spark people weight goal to be back at my goal-weight within a month, which then automatically adjusted my calorie range down by about 300 calories. For some reason when that happened, I knew t... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 15:57:01 EST Ards Half Marathon - first sub 2hour time! After all the drama with my foot a few days before the race, I ended up doing really well. <BR> <BR> 1hr58.46 was my finishing time and 1hr58.25 my chip time. <BR> <BR> I decided to stick right next to the pacers for this race, which was probably the best thing that I could have done. Their coaching and conversation helped me through the hills, prevented me from slowing down more than I needed to and also taught me the value of how going faster in the flatter parts of the race can help to ... Sat, 28 Jun 2014 06:51:21 EST Playing with the numbers I'm a kilogram heavier. There's no denying it now, especially as the Maintenance Challenge has my average quite firmly set there. I'm still within my weight range, but, I think it is now time for the reality check. <BR> <BR> I say this because last night as I was tracking my food I was not happy with the numbers and instead of accepting them, I found myself denying them. I knew that my morning portion of milk was more than one glass, but I didn't put down two glasses, I left it at one so th... Tue, 24 Jun 2014 03:22:39 EST Tougher than I think! Yesterday I had my first running wipe out. I was fifteen minutes away from the end of my run and then suddenly "Splat!" I found myself falling instead of running. <BR> Who knows what it was, just a miscalculation of my footing. What I found remarkable was that within seconds I was up and running again. I caught myself in my fall (meaning my upper body strength must be better than I think it is), found my water bottle (which may have helped cushion my hand from being grazed) and carried on. I... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 03:40:39 EST I did it! The Castleward Half Marathon <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My time was 2.05.09, which I'm incredibly happy with as it was an off-road course which meant that if you weren't going up a hill you were going down one! So, not a course to set a personal best, but definitely one for outstanding scenery and endurace testing. <BR> <BR> The grounds of Castleward are amazing. We ran past farmland, through forests and along the Strangford Lough, with the race starting and ending a... Sat, 12 Apr 2014 11:41:41 EST Last training run before my half marathon I look forward to the week before my races. It's a little like rehearsal week before a performance. The hard training is done, and now it's all about being strong for the race. I know everyone does it a little differently; I do two slow runs of half an hour. I go as gently as possible, concentrating more on my posture rather than pace. This week, my husband (who does not run at all) agreed to go with my on my first taper run. That was quite wonderful. We ran just under 3 miles in half an hour... Wed, 9 Apr 2014 15:17:43 EST Of course it's hard!! I've been going through my blogs over the last few months and there seems to be a running theme: I'm finding it hard to stay on track. <BR> <BR> I've taken a moment to think about it and realised that I need to be a bit more honest with myself and a whole lot kinder- of course I'm finding things hard! I've just changed my entire lifestyle. Nothing is familiar!! Of course it's hard!! <BR> <BR> Even though I'm living a dream, so to speak, it doesn't take away that this dream is different to ... Tue, 18 Mar 2014 20:46:23 EST Sometimes saying "no" can be a good thing Thanks to a link in the "At goal and maintaining" team, I came across the Refuse to Regain blog ( ) last night, and something that struck me quite strongly was how the author was encouraging me to say "no". "Refuse" is not a gentle word. It's tough and it's quite stubborn, and, in my mind at least, not the most positive of words. But, here the author was pointing out that after all the hard work of losing weight (think about it: the hours exercising, deciding to... Thu, 2 Jan 2014 04:14:20 EST Two Years since reaching my goal weight! <em>244</em> <BR> Because, really, I am absolutely thrilled that I've managed another year in maintenance and that by reaching the two year mark there is my chances of gaining the weight back are now 50%. That's an odd I can beat!! <BR> <BR> The last month has been a tough one, but that is where spark people comes in. I started tracking again and being mindful of my food in-take and my daily exercise, and began to feel in control of my weight again. <BR> <BR> The change in lifestyle to ... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 19:40:58 EST The joy of food! Today, as an evening treat, I ordered a hot chocolate with marshmallows. I knew it was decadent, but I also knew I had that I would still be within my calorie range, even with this little indulgence. I hadn't had real hot chocolate for ages, and I really wanted one. <BR> <BR> The hot chocolate arrived and I popped the two marshmallows on top, leaving them to melt a little bit before taking my first sip. As I was putting the cup down after savouring my first sip, I noticed that there were two... Mon, 2 Dec 2013 15:47:11 EST 3 months since moving and still in goal range - Phew! In fact, I came third in the last maintenance challenge, so go me!! <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> This week has not been a good week. I came down with a cold that also managed to affect my ear. This meant that when I got out of bed in the morning, or made any sudden movements I got a sudden case of vertigo! Fortunately, I'm feeling much better today, so I think the worst of it has passed. <BR> <BR> The thing about colds is that it is harder for me to get out the door and exercise and much eas... Fri, 8 Nov 2013 07:01:10 EST Adapting to change This last week has been a tough one for me. This was the week when the University set down their expectations for Phd students and I spent a lot of time getting to know my (much younger) fellow students and getting to grips with what achieving a Phd will actually mean! <BR> <BR> More than the workload, I began to realise that my usual training schedule was going to need to change, too. I have always gone jogging in the evening, and, although I didn't realise it, seen it as something to look ... Sat, 12 Oct 2013 06:12:22 EST