TINAJANE76's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=TINAJANE76 TINAJANE76's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Why I've Been Inactive the Past Several Months... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6020531 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/439bc0ca-a066-44bf-9a1e-d3464b972705.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I will eventually jump back in again, but as you can see, I've had to shift my priorities. <em>178</em> <BR> <BR> Happy Sparking, everyone! Sat, 24 Oct 2015 19:42:45 EST Homemade Granola Bars http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5918439 I have an enormous sweet tooth that I do my best to placate without derailing myself from my health and fitness goals. I love the convenience of granola bars as a tasty snack, especially with a nice cup of espresso. I've been working off of the following recipe for the past several months to make my own and love the flexibility of the ingredients that I can use and how easily this comes together: <BR> <BR> <link>minimalistbaker.com/healthy-5-ingred<BR>ient-granola-bars/ </link> <BR> <BR>... Mon, 27 Apr 2015 09:58:07 EST A New Kind of Curveball http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5909784 The past few months, I've been suffering from intermittent stomach problems, especially after meals and especially after breakfast. I initially chalked it up to stress, as I've experienced a lot of change in my life recently. But, when things came to a head last week as I experienced some intense pain after three relaxing days, I knew it was time to seek some professional advice. <BR> <BR> Based on the fact that my symptoms flare up after I eat and that they were especially bad after a week... Sun, 12 Apr 2015 08:11:27 EST Easter Cuteness http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5906474 No profound blog entry today, just wanted to post a few proud auntie pictures of the cutest baby in the world, my niece! (No bias here, of course!) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1466427039.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/0/l702942275.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1438031008.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter/Passover weekend! Mon, 6 Apr 2015 14:04:36 EST Seafood Tagine Recipe Review http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5901129 There's something about those slightly warmer days of early spring that makes me crave seafood. I recently stumbled upon a wonderful website with tons of tasty-looking Moroccan recipes that I'm dying to work my way through and this Seafood Tagine made it onto my roster for today: <BR> <BR> <link>cookingwithalia.com/fish/tajines-2/m<BR>oroccan-seafood-tagine.html </link> <BR> <BR> I had to leave out the fresh cilantro because I couldn't find any today and instead added a hefty pinch of dr... Sat, 28 Mar 2015 10:59:29 EST Resilience and Dealing with Negativity http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5898303 One of my dear SparkFriends here (yes, that's YOU, WATERMELLEN!) prompted me to turn the comments I left on one of BOBCATGIRL76's recent blogs into a blog of my own, so here it is. Just to give you a bit of background, part of BOBCATGIRL76's blog dealt with her reaction to a couple of negative comments she's received lately. Many, many commenters jumped in with lots of love and support and here's the take I offered on it all, as someone who's also had a number of my blogs featured here, which... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:59:40 EST Shakshuka Recipe Review http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5898237 Although this recipe is my entry for this month's "What's Cookin', Good Lookin'?" recipe challenge on the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team, it was just what the doctor ordered as I fight off a nasty cold--warm, savory and comforting, but filled with lots of Vitamin C. Shakshuka is a spicy, tomatoey baked egg dish that has its roots in North Africa and the Middle East and my friends who come from that part of the world rave about it, even if they sometimes balk at the les... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 14:49:54 EST Three Years of Maintenance--The Learning Never Stops http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5888740 Today I'm celebrating my third maintenance anniversary, so I'd like to start off my blog with a great, big "Woo Hoo!" If you had asked me three years ago if I thought I would have made it this far, I probably would have said, "No way!" But time and continuing to put the effort into my healthy lifestyle have paid off and given me a great confidence boost. I really feel like I can keep this going in the long term in spite of life's many ups and downs. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.spa... Sat, 7 Mar 2015 15:01:57 EST Intuitive Eating or Calorie Counting? Why Not Both? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5884902 Back in September, I started to experiment with intuitive eating. I was in a good place and felt like the time was right. I did really well and was able to hold my weight reasonably steady without counting calories or measuring and tracking my food. It was a big relief at a time when I needed things to be easier. After a few months that were filled with a lot of eating out, my weight started to slowly creep up and then it leveled off--at about five pounds above where it was when I first start... Sun, 1 Mar 2015 14:53:17 EST How Leading a Team Has Helped Me Stick to My Plan http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5883250 Three years of maintenance, that’s what I’ll be celebrating in just over a week. I'm still trying to wrap my head around just the idea of it. <BR> <BR> In those three years, I’ve gone from a timid, newbie maintainer who was terrified of regain, to a (mostly) confident, increasingly more seasoned maintainer. Along the way, as I got my bearings in maintenance, I became a leader on the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team. Although I joined the team to try to help other peop... Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:20:55 EST Being 'Thin' Didn't Make Me Happy, But Being Healthy Does http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5878507 Yesterday, a man I'm Facebook friends with through my activity here on SparkPeople posted the following article from HuffPost: <BR> <BR> <link>www.huffingtonpost.com/ravishly/bein<BR>g-thin-didnt-make-me-happy-being-fat-d<BR>oes_b_6661862.html?fb_action_ids=14114<BR>89682484321&fb_action_types=og.comments </link> <BR> <BR> After describing her ups and downs with her weight, the writer goes on to conclude that she's much happier being 'fat' than she was when she was a size 4. Her diet and... Thu, 19 Feb 2015 04:04:13 EST Why Are You Still Here? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5876743 Almost five years after joining this site and nearly three years after reaching my weight-loss goal and I'm still here. Some might say, why? You've reached goal, you've been maintaining for several years--go out and enjoy yourself! My response is, "Well, yes, I do." I have a very full life--I live abroad, have traveled (and plan to continue traveling) extensively and have a wonderful family and circle of friends, both where I'm currently living, in my hometown and sprinkled around the world. ... Mon, 16 Feb 2015 12:13:27 EST The Changing Face and Shape of Goals and Motivation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5867925 Often when I post updated photos of myself on Facebook or talk to people I know about my health and fitness routine, I get asked how I lost the weight, have managed to keep it off and how I got and keep myself motivated. There are so many different layers to this journey and I'm sure that if you asked a group of ten different people these same questions you'd get ten different answers. For me, what's worked for me, what's motivated me and how I got there has changed over the past five years. ... Mon, 2 Feb 2015 13:22:53 EST Goals for the Year Ahead http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5862922 Now that I'm starting to wrap my head around the idea that having two separate seasonal goal ranges might be a good plan for me, I've been giving some additional thought to the year ahead. With nearly three years of maintenance under my belt, I'm feeling increasingly confident that I can really keep my lifestyle up for good, but I know that will involve some vigilance and occasional reassessment of my goals and how I carry them out. <BR> <BR> This year, I'd like to try to focus on making in... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:44:43 EST A Tale of Two Goal Ranges http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5861431 Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to read and comment on my last blog. There were some really insightful replies that have helped me piece together my thoughts on coming to terms with my goal range. <BR> <BR> Given my trend over the past years and the fact that I really do want to come to peace with my weight, I've decided that I am going to try out two different goal ranges--one for May to November and another for December to April, the latter being five pounds higher than the f... Sat, 24 Jan 2015 08:24:47 EST The Battle Rages On! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5860044 So much of this journey for me has been guided by numbers--the numbers on the scale, the numbers the measuring tape shows me, the numbers from my latest physical, the number of days, weeks and years I've been at this--and all of those numbers have been useful to me in varying degrees over the past five years since I first set out to lose weight and get healthier. <BR> <BR> Now that my number of days in a healthy weight range have surpassed my number of days as overweight or obese, I still fi... Thu, 22 Jan 2015 07:10:05 EST Can Binge Eating Be Overcome? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5854902 I've been participating in a lot of conversations lately about emotional eating and binge eating recently, both here on SparkPeople and privately. As someone who's struggled with both, I know how terrible it feels to be trapped in these patterns and the feeling of helplessness you can have--as if they have such a hold on you, that they're patterns you'll never be able to break free from. It's been a while since I've had what I consider to be true binge, but it hasn't always been that way. <BR... Thu, 15 Jan 2015 09:00:13 EST Combatting Extreme Thoughts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5854173 I generally tend to think of myself as a calm and rational person. Heck, I used to get paid to be a calm and rational person (I did PR and crisis management and was the one that clients could call in their moments of panic to analyze and give advice on how to deal with challenging situations that could potentially damage their image). But diet and exercise are my Achilles' heel and one of the biggest areas in my life where rationality has often eluded me. I've been overly restrictive and I've... Wed, 14 Jan 2015 09:57:16 EST Releasing my Emotional Reliance on Overeating http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5846495 I'm writing this blog based on a response I gave to one of the commenters from my previous blog. She asked me what I've done to release myself from the pull of emotional eating and below is my response, with some edits and additions. <BR> <BR> I'll start off with a little background on where I'm coming from. Since even before I went on my first diet at 8, I had a tendency to "eat" my negative emotions, whether they were loneliness, stress, anger, sadness, etc. I come from a family that's had... Mon, 5 Jan 2015 10:02:47 EST I Survived My Third Holiday Season on Maintenance! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5844597 And as I hoped, it has become easier. <BR> <BR> As I was losing weight and in my earlier days of maintenance, travelling and the Christmas holidays were the most difficult periods for me to manage. I could typically do quite well when I was in my comfort zone, cooking and either eating at home or packing up my food to take with me for the day. Without that safety net, I often found it difficult to stay on track and erroneously reasoned with myself that since I didn't know exactly how the fo... Sat, 3 Jan 2015 10:14:18 EST Choices http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5840349 There have been times in my life when I've felt like everything is out of my control, whether it's been due to relationship issues, work stress, family crises or problems in the world at large. It's true that there are many things in our lives that are beyond are our control. We can't control our genetics, where we were born or who are family members are and we certainly can't control the actions of others. But we always have a choice in how we respond to those situations. <BR> <BR> For year... Mon, 29 Dec 2014 07:06:11 EST All I Ever Wanted to Be... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5811529 ...was normal. I wanted to be a normal size--not "skinny" or "fat", just someone who didn't stand out one way or the other because of my weight. I wanted to have a normal relationship with food. I didn't want to have to restrict myself to the point of obsessiveness and wanted to be able to trust myself to be able to eat anything wihtout totally going off the rails. I wanted to have a normal, balanced lifestyle where looking after my health and fitness were an important priority, but not the e... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 19:47:00 EST A Quick Update http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5808340 Hello everyone! <BR> <BR> It's been a crazy month and I've really missed everyone here. I haven't had a steady internet connection since I came up to Germany and have had my hands full between the move itself and trying to furnish the apartment and get settled in. It's been a bit tough as we have very little furniture and have been sleeping on the floor apart from two nights we spent in a hotel. I also discovered that our bath tub had a leak the first time I used it and we had to go a week ... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:14:31 EST Twenty-five Days of Intuitive Eating http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5786604 It's been a while since I shared an update on my intuitive eating experiment, so I thought I'd share some thoughts on my progress--the good, the bad and the ugly, lol! <BR> <BR> My weight's been holding fairly steady (that is, with my usual ups and downs) and I've been able to navigate a fairly challenging month filled with traveling, lots of meals out and meet ups with friends as we prepare to move to Germany within the next month. I had my doubts that I'd be able to get through this month... Thu, 25 Sep 2014 07:51:44 EST How I Knew I Was Ready to Try Intuitive Eating http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5776739 Today was Day 9 of my intuitive eating experiment and I'd say things are going pretty well. My weight's been holding reasonably steady--or at least as steady as it has tended to hold on any other given week before I started this experiment. In addition to the weight factor, I also feel quite a big sense of relief, almost of being at peace. As I've said before, weighing, measuring and tracking have been such useful tools for me for a long time, but I felt like the time was right to see if I co... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 18:26:23 EST An Update on My Intuitive Eating Experiment http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5774413 As some of you may already know, my main health and fitness-related goal for the month of September is to experiment with intuitive eating. I've been weighing, measuring and tracking the vast majority of my food most of the time for nearly four and a half years and felt like this was a good time to test the waters to see if I could eat to maintain without having to be quite so structured about it. <BR> <BR> Although my initial goal was to aim for intuitive eating two days a week, preferably... Sat, 6 Sep 2014 08:09:26 EST Two Days of Eating Intuitively http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5772577 So, here's my first update after my first two days of experimenting with intuitive eating. <BR> <BR> Firstly, it was much tougher than I anticipated it would be. After several years of weighing, measuring and tracking, those habits have become practically automatic and I had to keep stopping myself from making running tallies in my head of how many calories I had eaten throughout the day (which is one of my backups when I don't have access to my nutrition tracker). I also had a persistent fe... Wed, 3 Sep 2014 11:02:52 EST My September Plan--A Foray into Intuitive Eating http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5770657 After doing some reading up and feeling ready to shake things up a bit, I've decided to experiment with intuitive eating this month. Although I've done very well with weighing, measuring and tracking my food as I lost weight and, subsequently, as I've managed my first two and a half years of maintenance, I feel like I have a firm enough grasp on how I need to eat and exercise to be able to give this a shot. <BR> <BR> Part of me is a bit nervous--I'm typically quite conservative when it come... Sun, 31 Aug 2014 19:42:24 EST I Love it When a Plan Comes Together http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5766477 It´s interesting and somewhat surprising to me that I seem to be managing maintenance with the greatest ease and pleasure to date now that I´m in the midst of an international move and all of the many stresses that presents. (For those of you who don´t know, my husband and I are moving from Venice, Italy to Augsburg, Germany at the end of September.) In the past few months, I´ve experienced far less stress when it comes to my food and exercise choices, I´ve been able to eat a wider range of a... Mon, 25 Aug 2014 06:36:34 EST Staying Connected through Tough Times http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5759151 Here's a scenario that I think just about anyone who's been active on SparkPeople for some time can relate to: <BR> <BR> You join up because you've got some weight you'd like to lose. You like the tools and convenience of being able to utilize them whenever and wherever you want. You start to join a few teams, read and comment on some blogs and really feel like you get to know some of the people you connect with. Then, suddenly, one of your good friends just disappears. No explanation, not a... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 19:37:35 EST Rock Stars of Maintenance 2014 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5758949 I'm going to keep this relatively short and sweet because I just want to give the original blog I'm sharing the link to below a bit of additional attention. There are tons of positive role models to be found all over this site who come from all types of backgrounds, are different ages and who have different struggles. If you're looking for examples of people who have lost the weight and are continuing to keep it off (real-life, long-term success stories!) please check out 4A-HEALTHY-BMI's blo... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:21:54 EST Motivation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5756245 Reading ON2VICTORY's featured blog about motivation earlier today got me thinking about my own personal motivators (if you haven't seen it, you can check it out here: <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5755714#c<BR>omments </link> ). <BR> <BR> Although there are lots of positive things that keep me motivated--my current good health, looking and feeling better, being able to physically do more--I do still have a few negative motivators, things I DON'T... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 10:03:54 EST The Non-Linear Journey to My Happy Place http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5752074 Rarely is this journey of losing weight and getting healthier a straight line from A to Z for any of us. On any given day, you can read blogs written by people who are in different phases of working towards their goals and sharing their triumphs and struggles, which vary depending on a number of factors. <BR> <BR> Over the past four and a half years, I've been no different and even in maintenance I've had my struggles and triumphs as well. Although I've been officially recording my weight h... Sun, 3 Aug 2014 06:57:02 EST Are You a Crab or a Frog? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5750637 A few days ago, a fellow member of one of the teams I'm involved with here on SparkPeople mentioned that she included me in a "SparkHeroes" blog she wrote a few weeks ago. I hadn't seen the blog when she initially wrote it, so I went on over to her page to check it out. <BR> <BR> (You can find the initial blog, which was written by _RAMONA, here in case you're interested: <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5736908 </link> ) <BR> <BR> In addition to ... Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:54:59 EST Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5745482 I haven't been as active here lately and for good reason--I've had a lot going on, almost all of which is really positive. Just wanted to write a quick blog to let everyone know what's been going on. <BR> <BR> The reason why I've had multiple trips to Germany is that my husband and I are planning to buy an apartment and move up there in a few months. We had to keep things relatively hush-hush because we didn't want to let our boss know about our plans until we were certain. Our work situati... Thu, 24 Jul 2014 07:48:37 EST A Quick Boot Camp Roundup http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5732298 Today's my last day of my monthlong fitness boot camp and also the day that I head off for my mini-vacation to Germany, so I'm just going to give a short summary of my results. <BR> <BR> Starting Stats: <BR> Chest: 39" <BR> Waist: 29-1/2" <BR> Hips: 39-1/2" <BR> <BR> Ending Stats: <BR> Chest: 38" <BR> Waist: 28" <BR> Hips: 38" <BR> <BR> Before Side View: <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1814643599.jpg"> <BR> <BR> After Side View: <BR> <img src="http://photo... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 04:26:03 EST You've Gotta Try These! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5729216 The eats have been good in the Davis household lately, so I thought I'd share one of my recent favorites--this Sweet 'n Spicy Asian Glazed Grilled Chicken Drumsticks: <BR> <BR> <link>www.skinnytaste.com/2014/06/sweet-n-<BR>spicy-asian-glazed-grilled.html </link> <BR> <BR> As soon as these popped up on the skinnytaste site, I knew I had to try them and, man, was I not disappointed. These are lick-your-plate, off-the-hook amazing--the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and savory in one delic... Mon, 30 Jun 2014 16:37:13 EST Mini-Vacation Booked! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5725898 And Germany it is! We'll be heading up to Bavaria in a week and a half to brush the cobwebs off our German, enjoy a few days of R&R and meet up with some friends of ours. We're planning to spend a few days in Augsburg, which is along Germany's Romantic Road, and to also take a trip to Allgäu with our friends and stay in an old monastery that's currently a hotel and brewery: <BR> <BR> <link>irsee.com/cms2/braugasthof.php?site_<BR>id=6&cat=1&#8834;= </link> <BR> <BR> This will be a nice re... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:50:30 EST Hasta La Vista, High Cholesterol! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5724442 The past few times I've had bloodwork done, I've had borderline (or very near borderline) high cholesterol. Coming from a family where heart disease and diabetes run rampant, that's a cause for concern. The last time I had bloodwork done in November 2012, my total cholesterol was 206, my triglycerides were 110 and my HDL cholesterol (that's the good one) was 73. Although I had been at a healthy weight for about nine months at the time, my body obviously still had some adjusting to do. I didn'... Mon, 23 Jun 2014 21:35:49 EST Mid-Boot Camp Progress Report http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5722773 Today marks Day 14 of my monthlong boot camp and just wanted to do a quick update on my progress. I'm already starting to feel a noticeable difference all over my body, especially in my waist, arms, shoulders and legs. I'm going to save the measurements and comparison photos until the end, but snapped this picture after I got out of the shower post-workout: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1026237748.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I definitely see a difference in my overall to... Sat, 21 Jun 2014 12:28:09 EST Cultural Differences at the Doctor's Office http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5721395 Since I'm doing a fitness boot camp this month, I decided to make it an all around health and fitness month and get a complete physical including blood work done. It's been nearly two years since my last one and since the progress pictures I have from that timeframe show evidence of external improvements, I wanted to be sure that everything's working as it should be on the inside as well. As some of you may know, my dad had a heart attack two years ago and quadruple bypass surgery this past w... Thu, 19 Jun 2014 12:24:38 EST Happy Father's Day! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5718368 Just wanted to wish a Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. Hope you're all doing something special with your kids today--or can at least talk on the phone if you're separated by distance. One of the most profound and impactful relationships in my life has been the one I share with my dad. My love of music, the outdoors, sense of adventure, competitive spirit and stubbornness--oops, I mean tenacity--all come from him. And the care, understanding and respect he shows for my mom have ta... Sun, 15 Jun 2014 10:38:08 EST And the Winner Is... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5717620 Time to end the suspense from my "Guess the Weight Differential" post. Again, here are the two pictures I posted: <BR> <BR> Photo #1: <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1997998598.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Photo #2: <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/7/l877064891.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> The winner of my little game is MISSBLIGHTY, but unfortunately she doesn't seem to have a SparkPage, so I'll be awarding the prize to ONEKIDSMOM, who was the next closest and fi... Sat, 14 Jun 2014 05:18:43 EST The Fruits of My Labor http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5716971 I was going to reveal the answer to my "Guess the Weight Differential" blog from yesterday, but I see that SparkPeople has sent it out in the daily email, so I'll keep the suspense going a bit longer. <BR> <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> Today was market day, so instead, I'll leave you with a picture of the fruits (and vegetables and meat!) of my labor: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1609049368.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Getting there is a bit of an odyssey, but I killed two ... Fri, 13 Jun 2014 06:47:37 EST Guess the Weight Differential http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5716226 Onto Day 5 of my annual boot camp! I've been doing these the past four summers and have been looking over my progress pictures from the past few years to see how far I've come. There are some big differences, which are really motivating! <BR> <BR> I thought I'd inject some levity into the process and get a little game going with two of my pictures. Can you guess the weight differential? The person closest to the actual number will receive a luxury goodie from me. In the event of a tie, the ... Thu, 12 Jun 2014 05:08:45 EST Boot Camp Day 1 Stats http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5713272 Today marks Day 1 of my monthlong annual boot camp extravaganza. As I wrote yesterday, I was initially unsure of whether or not I wanted to do it this year but, on balance, decided I was in a good place to go for the physical and emotional demands it requires. <BR> <BR> I am not including my weight in my stats because weight loss is not a goal of mine at the moment. I do, however, weigh myself daily, so I know where I'm starting from and will include any changes in my final report. So, with... Sun, 8 Jun 2014 08:03:12 EST Decision Time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5712292 The past four summers I've done a fitness boot camp in advance of my summer vacation plans with very good results. I've been debating whether I wanted to do it this year given how challenging it is and the stress I've been under this year. I was also unsure if the results I see are worth the effort or if I should just be content with the way things have been going, which are pretty good. <BR> <BR> After much consideration, I've decided to go for it. Since I'm not really gearing up for any m... Fri, 6 Jun 2014 18:21:07 EST "Spiralized" Raw Zucchini Salad http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5710277 I went to my local farmer's market yesterday and came home with a ton of zucchini. I love zucchini, but the quantity I have is a bit overwhelming so off I went to search for creative ways I can use it up. One of the more interesting recipes I found was this one from skinnytaste.com: <BR> <BR> <link>www.skinnytaste.com/2014/05/spiraliz<BR>ed-raw-zucchini-salad-with.html </link> <BR> <BR> I'm not a vegetarian, but the combination of flavors really appealed to me, especially since the weat... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 07:01:50 EST Shooing Away the Albatross http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5708051 For many years, I felt as though my struggles with my weight were like an albatross around my neck. In my mind, starting (or restarting) a diet to try to lose weight was my burden to carry through life and meant that I had to eliminate many of the things that made me happy in order to achieve a healthy weight. And it seemed so patently unfair--why did I have to work so hard when so many other people could just eat what they wanted, when they wanted and be just fine? <BR> <BR> I now realize ... Sun, 1 Jun 2014 11:44:05 EST The Role Model Next Door http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5705423 I've sometimes looked at images of what I view as the perfect female form in magazines, on TV or in movies and wondered why I just don't seem to measure up. How come I just can't seem to achieve that super-flat stomach or have that perpetually camera-ready hair and flawless skin? I think the answer is actually relatively simple--apart from the myriad tricks that can be achieved with airbrushing, PhotoShop, good lighting, professional hairstylists and makeup artists and top-notch personal trai... Wed, 28 May 2014 18:21:51 EST