SUZANNE65203's SparkPeople Blog SUZANNE65203's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community DAY 19: Tool Tuesday: Electronic Food Diary Keeping a food diary is said to be one of the key practices of people who lose weight and keep it off. In my own experience, this has certainly proven to be true. Using a food diary has helped me lose weight and I have gained it back when I stop tracking. There are many electronic food diaries available. There is one on SparkPeople, but I used something else before I found this and never switched. I use one that is an app on my phone. It has a large database of foods and can scan foods ... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 21:59:32 EST DAY 18: Learning to Like New Things Tonight I am here to tell you that you can learn to like new things, eating new things, that is. For example, over the last year I have started drinking primarily black coffee instead of coffee with lots of cream and sugar. I sometimes have a fattier coffee, but not most of the time. Also, I can enjoy eating salsa on a celery stick. Salsa and tortilla chips is one of my most loved snacks and I can really get out of control with it. I have found that salsa and celery, especially when inte... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 20:51:12 EST DAY 17: I know better Eating got very off track yesterday afternoon. I had taken one daughter shopping for a dress and in the spirit of getting the job done we put off lunch until we were both very hungry. We did find a dress and then we quickly went to the mall food court. I got a reasonable selection (problem came later) which I virtually inhaled and which did not leave me feeling satisfied. We headed home soon after and when I got back home I felt so tired and unsatisfied (though probably not that hungry) ... Sun, 18 Jan 2015 18:38:56 EST DAY 16: It's Fitness Friday and I am not hitting my goals! Today's report is that fitness goals went by the wayside as this week progressed. I am not going to let this get me down as this was a very unusual week due to jet lag, my husband being out of town, and starting back a new semester. The good news is that I see a lot of potential in my teaching schedule for exercise times during the work day or in the morning before I start teaching. I am going to make a schedule for next week so that I have the times to exercise planned out. When I have ... Sat, 17 Jan 2015 08:46:07 EST DAY 15: Through the years Thursday: Hilton Head Metabolism Diet I have been at this weight loss-weight gain-weight loss game for a long time now. I think that I will try to reflect on some of the things I have tried and what has stuck on Thursdays. One of the first diet books that I can remember using is the Hilton Head Metabolism Diet by Peter Miller which was published in 1986. I think my mother had purchased the book because it was popular in South Carolina where I grew up. This is a very low calorie diet plan with the goal of stoking your metabo... Thu, 15 Jan 2015 18:26:47 EST DAY 14: Small Routines: The Dishwasher Today I am thinking about the many small routines that help keep my life in order. I got the term routines and ideas for many of my routines from the FlyLady and I highly recommend her program. The most basic routine to keep the house functional is to load and run the dishwasher every evening. I load up the dishes after dinner and can usually fit everything for the day in. I wash oversize items by hand. Then I run it on a short cycle, which takes about 15 minutes. When it is finished ... Wed, 14 Jan 2015 17:28:39 EST DAY 13: Tool Tuesday: Measuring Cups and Spoons and a Scale Today I am highlighting a group of tools that helps to keep me on track: measuring cups and spoons and a kitchen scale. If you have not measured out your food before, it can be an eye-opening experiencing. Knowledge is power. While it can be tedious to measure and document the amount of food you are eating, I think it is very hard to learn to eat within bounds without a clear idea of how much you are actually eating. When I first started measuring my food, I used mostly the cups and spoon... Tue, 13 Jan 2015 16:39:32 EST DAY 12: Back to Work I made it through the first day of my new semester feeling good about the classes I taught. I am teaching one class 10-11am and one class 2-3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I need to figure out when I will get my exercise in on these days. Monday afternoon is full of driving kids around to activities so I will need to do something in the morning (before kids get up) or between dropping off kids to school and the first class or possibly between my two classes. I don't want to leav... Mon, 12 Jan 2015 22:22:22 EST DAY 11: Patience I am not over my jet lag yet! I am struggling to stay awake past 8pm tonight and am rushing through my to do list: 10,000 steps (still need about 1000), 10 minute core exercise routine, write the blog. There are times in our lives when we have to be patient with ourselves. We cannot meet all our goals all the time. Life gets in the way. I hate being limited by this jet lag. I keep thinking I have found the trick to get over it faster, but it just takes several days and it is always ha... Sun, 11 Jan 2015 22:10:04 EST Day 10: Trying to hang on After returning from Greece on Thursday night, I am still trying to get my feet back under me. We were just gone for about 2 weeks, but I need to get groceries, get kids caught up with schoolwork, get the house cleaned, get unpacked, get laundry done, etc. all while I am still jet lagged. I went to bed at 7pm Friday night and woke up at 5am this morning. I was just about to go to bed when I realized that I had not written this blog today! I did manage to get a lot done today and I did my ... Sat, 10 Jan 2015 21:26:41 EST DAY 9: Fitness Friday--Strength Training Update So far the strength training plan is working well. Since I was traveling yesterday, I took that as my rest day and today I am doing a core workout. I have good routines for my arms (triceps/biceps),shoulders, and chest/back. For lower body and core I just did some Coach Nicole videos instead of trying to come up with my own plan. I do enjoy making my own but sometimes I can get caught up in the planning phase and never more on to the execution. I feel happy going back to this plan. If I... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 19:10:53 EST DAY 8: Travel Update Day 8 is coming a day late. I spent all day yesterday flying back from Greece. I expected to be home in time to write something late last night but a four hour delay in Chicago foiled those plans. <BR> <BR> Good points about the trip: <BR> 1. We made it home safely. <BR> 2. Everything was in order at home when we arrived. (no broken water pipes, etc.) <BR> 3. The kids were very well behaved (for the most part) and cooperative. <BR> 4. I did not overeat on the airplane or in t... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 09:48:57 EST DAY 7: Beyond the World of Weight Today I am thinking about issues in the rest of my world beyond exercise and weight control. These seem pretty well under control at the moment. On the other hand, there are many other parts of my life that I have let get a bit out of control. I can be a bit of a procrastinator with things. Even when something would just take 10 minutes to take care of, I can leave it on my to do list for weeks. I have several projects at work that need my attention and I am going to end up cutting it c... Wed, 7 Jan 2015 09:54:30 EST DAY 6: Tool Tuesday--Pedometer If I am going to keep this blog up for 100 days, I need some framework so I decided that Tuesdays will be the day for discussing the tools I have used to get where I am and that will help me maintain. One of my most important tools is the pedometer. I use a very low tech one that clips onto my waistband and does not connect up with any of my devices. I typically have a goal of 10,000 steps per day and I find that this daily goal keeps me looking for additional opportunities for walking awa... Tue, 6 Jan 2015 09:58:29 EST DAY 5: Getting Ready to Travel I have a long trip on Thursday with my three daughters. We are flying from Athens, Greece to St. Louis, Missouri. My husband is staying a little longer. We make this trip twice a year: in the summer (June-August) and for the winter holidays (usually about 10 days). It is my husband that has the connection to Greece and I will admit to not being the most excited about making the trip, especially in the winter. In winter it is so much harder to get over the jet lag as the days are short ... Mon, 5 Jan 2015 08:32:26 EST DAY 4: Just wait and maybe it will pass Today I will just share a small victory of not overeating. We ate lunch with my husband's parents today and my mother-in-law made one of his favorite dishes: cheese pie. Cheese pie is not a low calorie delight. It is a thick layer of cheese, egg, and milk mixture cooked between layers of filo pastry. It is delicious and i knew she was going to make it. I limited myself to two small pieces eaten with a large quantity of broccoli. I also drank a good deal of water. After I finished my t... Sun, 4 Jan 2015 10:21:02 EST DAY 3: Default Diet A useful concept that has stuck with me for me years is the idea of a "default diet." What do you eat most of the time? I have a fairly standard default diet for breakfast: cold cereal or oatmeal, milk/soy milk, and a fruit. I eat this most days and have the components on hand. I also have a good routine with dinner at night (thought this too could be improved) but lunch is something I need to work on regularizing. I find that less variation in my diet keeps me on track better. I don... Sat, 3 Jan 2015 08:55:38 EST DAY 2: Creating a Strength Training Routine One thing that I really need to do and have been putting off is to create a weekly strength training routine. Writing this down is making me focus on this task which I have been avoiding for about a month now. This fall I had been working with a personal trainer as a way to keep myself going to the gym. He wasn't the best but I did get to the gym twice a week to meet him. Just before Thanksgiving a series of events related to him buying a new house caused him to cancel on me 4 times in... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 07:57:49 EST DAY 1: Stand up, take a step, repeat At the start of a new year, I am thinking about all the different things that have brought me to where I am today. Being the perfectionist that I am, I could spend all day thinking of the perfect topic for this blog entry but instead I am just going to start. This is the first lesson to share: just do something. Don't worry that it is the best thing to do and don't worry if you aren't completely prepared, just get started and keep going. That's all for today! <BR> <BR> <em>411</e... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 08:26:15 EST DAY 0: Starting 2015 with a new goal I've decided to try using my blog for 100 days and see if reflecting on the weight gain/loss journey that I have been on for over 30 years will help me with maintenance. I am now within about 5 pounds of my goal weight and I would really, really like to stay at or within a few pounds of this weight and not head back up another 10-20 pounds again. Maybe something I have to say will help you along your road. Hope you have a healthy and happy 2015. <BR> <BR> <em>409</em> Wed, 31 Dec 2014 16:26:57 EST Why am I doing this? I cannot seem to get back onto a good eating and exercising program this fall. I am still about 10 pounds over my good weight and I find myself trying to understand why I even care. One of my most motivating reasons is to fit into my clothes. Right now I am not fitting into most of my pants. Skirts are still fine. But really, is this a reason to spend so much time and energy thinking about my weight? I am starting to feel like it is sinful, for lack of a better word, to spend so much t... Thu, 6 Nov 2014 22:47:55 EST The first casualty of war is the plan I have decided to try some blogging--more for myself but maybe you will find something that helps you too. I have just returned from a week long vacation with a friend, leaving my husband and kids at home. I am still trying to decide how the trip went from the standpoint of keeping on my program. I did great on the exercise front. I did not keep on track with eating as much as I wish I had--but certainly it could have been worse. We were on a cruise and so there was just so much food a... Mon, 9 Jun 2014 04:51:23 EST Ready to have a new routine We are going on out of town Tuesday for about 10 days and I am not really looking forward to it. I am ready to get into a new routine for the summer and this is the last obstacle. I guess that is a good thing. It is hard for me to function well when I have too much freedom. I obsess about eating too much and let all my worries overwhelm me. Sun, 30 Jun 2013 07:40:44 EST On the road again I have been coming to Greece with my husband for 20 years and finally last night I drove somewhere for the first time. I don't know how to drive a stick shift car which was what my father-in-law has. I have tried to learn (even took driving lessons in the summer) but with the crazy traffic here and all the hills I never had the confidence to go out. I drove with my husband a few times but that was more even more stress! So last week we bought a car with automatic transmission. We got a g... Fri, 28 Jun 2013 04:37:12 EST Where to begin? My family and I have moved to Athens, Greece for a year. I don't know how to explain this whole story to you, so I will just jump in. The neighborhood where I live is built up the side of a mountain. Athens is actually situated between several small mountains. I arrived on Monday and finally this morning I got out for a walk. I have to say that I love my walks here. First of all, there is hardly any humidity which is just amazing. I already notice that my skin feels drier but I can us... Wed, 26 Jun 2013 05:30:50 EST