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/ 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 It's What's for Dinner... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5702111 ...Belgian Beef Stew. I've made and reviewed this recipe here before, but have a big pot of it on the boil now and actually remembered to take a picture this time before we gobble it up: <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5573084 </link> <BR> <BR> This is one of my favorites and a dish that my husband can't believe has been lightened up. It has a lovely smoky flavor and is great for the carnivores in your life. I'm going to enjoy it as a ... Sat, 24 May 2014 11:51:13 EST Adapting to Changing Circumstances http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5701239 I have a rare weekday off from work today and have spent much of the morning reading blogs and catching up with some of my SparkFriends, one of whom drew my attention to a blog posted by MOBYCARP on the subject of making adjustments when life throws us unexpected curveballs: <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5701001 </link> <BR> <BR> Although his blog focuses on making adjustments in maintenance, I think what MOBYCARP has written applies... Fri, 23 May 2014 06:25:39 EST Homemade Hummus and Pita http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5697641 I had a whole bunch of fresh cilantro leftover from yesterday's dinner and was trying figure out how I could use the rest of it up as I was doing my usual Sunday food prep today. Then I remembered one of my old favorite breakfasts that I haven't had for a while and decided to whip up a batch of cilantro jalapeño hummus and fresh pita bread. I have these together for breakfast with a few egg whites and some fruit, but the hummus is also great with raw veggies and the pita can be used for sandw... Sun, 18 May 2014 11:54:38 EST Doing Unto Ourselves http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5695920 Apart from the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team, one of my favorite spots here on SparkPeople is the Balance and Moderation team. I enjoy this team tremendously not only because balance and moderation are things that I strive for in all aspects of my life, but also because the team leader poses interesting questions for us to think about and discuss each day. <BR> <BR> Today's question revolved around self image and, in part, how the image we have of ourselves jives (o... Thu, 15 May 2014 19:46:08 EST Playing Dress Up with My Old Clothes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5695162 Part of the fun of losing weight and getting fitter is shopping for new clothes. It's a great boost and motivator to be able to wear smaller sizes and a wonderful feeling to actually look forward to stepping into the changing room--especially after so many years of being filled with dread at the prospect. <BR> <BR> The last time I lost a significant amount of weight (115 pounds more than 10 years ago), I bought a ton of cute clothes. But, sadly, since I only managed to maintain my losses fo... Wed, 14 May 2014 19:49:58 EST Happy Mother's Day! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5692567 Just wanted to send a shout out to all of the moms out there for a lovely Mother's Day. These pictures are part of the gift my sisters and I gave to our mom. I feel like a little kid again, lol! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/7/l576811721.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1883861643.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1864495756.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Have a great day, everyone! <BR> <em>184</em> <BR> <BR> Sun, 11 May 2014 11:01:43 EST Establishing Our Bare Minimums http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5690881 In my previous blog, I wrote about the importance of developing mental toughness to help us stay focused in the long term, bust through plateaus and avoid regain. In that blog post, I also touched upon the idea of establishing bare minimums to help with those efforts and thought it would be a nice idea to elaborate on that idea (thanks for the suggestion, RAVELYGIRL!). <BR> <BR> Imagine the following scenario. You're cruising along nicely in your weight-loss efforts or maybe you've even rea... Thu, 8 May 2014 21:51:55 EST Building Up Your Mental Toughness Muscle http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5688280 Many of us have seen the bleak statistics concerning weight regain. With our chances of gaining back lost weight somewhere between 80% and 95% once we reach goal, it's easy to feel disheartened and discouraged about our chances of long-term success. However, the longer we're able to maintain, the greater our chances of keeping the weight off permanently, with the odds of regain dropping to 50% once we pass two years on maintenance and 27% once we reach the five-year mark*. <BR> <BR> Being a... Mon, 5 May 2014 18:57:02 EST Excitement About Return of Team Blogs, but Other Features are Still Missed http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5685463 I was so excited to see that SparkPeople was able to get the team blogs back up again so quickly. It's been very appreciated by just about everyone I've interacted with and it's wonderful that the site's management responded to our concerns so quickly. I co-lead a very large team and have been fielding a lot of comments about the new changes. Although everyone is very happy to have the blog feature back, there is still a good deal of grumbling about the loss of some of the other features and ... Fri, 2 May 2014 05:34:00 EST Recent Member Blogs Feature Is Back! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5685085 Thanks, SparkPeople, for hearing our concerns and bringing this feature back. I know that lots of other issues have been raised by the newly-launched changes, but having the ability to see other team member blogs is really critical to the support systems we've established here and I'm really happy to see that this was restored so quickly. <BR> <BR> <em>304</em> Thu, 1 May 2014 15:38:44 EST How to Access Listing of Most Recent Team Member Blogs http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5684954 One of my co-leaders on the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team (4A-HEALTHY-BMI) made a brilliant catch in the comments on another member's blog about how we can recapture the listings of other team members' blog posts. <BR> <BR> If you have recently visited the "Diet Blog Entries for (insert name of your team here)" page, you can use your browser history to search for the link to that page. The page will look like this: <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_recen... Thu, 1 May 2014 13:13:56 EST SP, Please Restore the Old Interactive Features on Our Team Pages http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5684339 One of the most amazing things about SparkPeople is that it provides a forum for people to connect with each other in a variety of different ways. Sadly, when the new format of the Team Pages was unveiled today, we unexpectedly lost several important features that were much used and loved by many members. <BR> <BR> Among the features that have been removed are the scrolling Team Stream and the links to the Team Blogs, Team Links and Team Huddle that used to appear on the right-side panel of... Wed, 30 Apr 2014 20:45:05 EST Much, Much More than Just Eating Well and Exercising http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5682691 Perhaps for some people that statement is not true. Maybe there are some who can kick off some extra weight by simply revamping what and how much they eat and moving more. But for me, finally feeling like I have a handle on managing my weight has involved delving into much more than that. <BR> <BR> I don't mean to undermine the importance of a healthy diet and physical activity--they're both essential for our good health and wellbeing. But if our issues with overeating come, even if only in ... Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:20:20 EST Adult Onset Food Allergies http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5679280 Just a short blog today that's actually a call for advice. The past two days I've been dealing with what seems to be an allergic reaction. I've got a mild, hive-like rash around my stomach and sides that's splotchy and tender to the touch, feels almost like a punch to the gut. I've eaten quite a few things the past few days that are out of the ordinary, including several common allergy triggers. What I've also noticed is that it seems to flare up each time after I eat dairy products (I eat a ... Thu, 24 Apr 2014 08:56:52 EST Why My Spark Still Shines Brightly http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5673300 I'm sure there are some people out there who wonder why I'm still active on SparkPeople since I'm "just" maintaining my weight and not losing anymore, especially those who haven't looked at my SparkPage or photo gallery to see where I've come from. Once we reach goal we should have it all figured out, right? Wrong, so wrong! <BR> <BR> As a serial yo-yo dieter, I've literally lost and regained hundreds of pounds over the years. My high adult weight was at least 260 pounds (I was too ashamed ... Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:16:49 EST What I Learned Scrubbing Mold Off My Walls http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5669125 Since it was essentially constructed on a swamp, Venice is perpetually humid. No matter the time of year, it's humid. Cold days feel even colder and hot days are just miserable. And every day is a bad hair day. It also means that mold grows everywhere, especially around the windows in my apartment. <BR> <BR> This year, I got a bit slack with my usual mold-removal duties. Normally, I do it two or three times each winter, when it's at its worst, but I only buckled down and started tackling it... Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:34:13 EST Keeping it Real: Is What We're Doing a Help or a Hindrance? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5667887 In my "dirty little secrets" blog from a few days ago, I wrote about the fact that I'm a daily weigher. To weigh or not to weigh every day has been a hot topic the past several years and I completely understand why some people choose not to hop on the scale every morning. But for me, my decision to weigh every day comes down to being honest with myself and understanding which behaviors keep me on track the best without emotionally sabotaging my efforts. <BR> <BR> In addition to keeping me m... Wed, 9 Apr 2014 04:17:23 EST The Changing Shape of Motivation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5666755 Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to read and comment on my last blog about my "dirty little secrets". I had no idea it would touch so many people here and have enjoyed reading all the comments. One of the commenters asked me if I'd consider writing a blog about what motivates me, so here it is... <BR> <BR> When I first set out to lose some weight for the umpteenth time just over four years ago, most of my motivators were to move away from all the negatives I saw in my life: <BR> ... Mon, 7 Apr 2014 18:07:24 EST My Dirty Little Secrets http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5664779 1) I dislike exercise--sometimes intensely. <BR> I know we're supposed to love physical activity and seek out things that we truly enjoy. The truth for me is, apart from dancing, I don't like exercising and I still find it to be a daily effort to muster up the motivation to get it in. I always love how I feel afterwards, but that doesn't change how I feel before and during a sweat session. <BR> <BR> 2) I sometimes reward myself with food. <BR> Again, this is another thing we've been condi... Sat, 5 Apr 2014 05:21:49 EST I Am Enough http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5657258 When I reached goal a little over two years ago, I was in a bit of a panic--partially because I previously had always regained any weight I lost and partially because I wasn't sure what my new goals were going to be. When you're used to the number always going down on the scale and seeing visible, tangible progress, it can be hard to adjust to a life of more of the same. So, what was next? Reducing body fat? Building muscle? Continuing to lose inches? I felt like I needed something to strive ... Wed, 26 Mar 2014 19:04:31 EST Vanity vs. Health--Does it Make a Difference? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5652621 When I was younger and began to struggle with my weight, I always aimed to shed pounds for vanity reasons--understandably so, because what eight year old really understands or appreciates the long-term effects of being overweight? All I knew was that I was chubbier than most of the other kids my age and I didn't like it. As I got a bit older and my struggles continued, so did my pursuit of weight loss in the name of vanity--because what teenage girl and young adult woman doesn't want to look ... Thu, 20 Mar 2014 18:28:11 EST