TORAMPAUL's SparkPeople Blog TORAMPAUL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Cruisin' Update: My last blog on Sept 24 explained my injury and how it caused me to gain back most of the weight that I had lost before I hurt my knee. Well, here we are, almost 6 months later and my knee is still not completely recovered. AND, I gained back the rest of the weight I had lost (14 pounds). While I have gotten to a bend of 110 degrees and maintained it, the strength has not completely returned. My knee cap shifts regularly when I go from a bent to a straight position, and I can fee... Sun, 8 Mar 2015 13:36:43 EST Injuries suck! So I was doing really well on my renewed weight-loss resolution. I was doing it in 5-pound mini-goal increments. I had lost 14 pounds and was ready to post and celebrate my 3rd mini-goal accomplishment when one more pound was gone. <BR> Then, one afternoon, I decided I was going to take a shower. Getting ready to step in, I twisted the wrong way and dislocated my left knee cap. Yelling from the bathroom floor for my husband, as I force-straightened my knee to put my knee cap back in pla... Wed, 24 Sep 2014 07:55:03 EST It's what's for lunch today! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 1/2 cup egg whites scrambled with 50g cut up turkey, 1 cup spinach, 1/4 cup ricotta cheese. On the side, sliced red bell pepper with another 1/4 cup of ricotta as a dip (because I don't like veggies on their own). Coffee with skim milk, no sugar. <BR> 253 Calories <BR> 10g Fat <BR> 27g Protein <BR> <BR> All adds up to YUMMY!! Wed, 26 Mar 2014 13:14:22 EST Proverbs 13 and Weight Loss "Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time." ~Proverbs 13:11 NLT <BR> <BR> As I was reading my daily Proverb, I realized how this verse can be true for so many areas other than riches. Weight loss sprung to mind immediately. I realized that so many people want the fad diets, the pills, the things that don't require hard work to obtain their goals; they want to go the "lose weight quick" route instead. I've done it...and found that the we... Thu, 13 Mar 2014 06:29:08 EST Will motivation ever return? I have made more than one attempt to get back to my weight-loss journey. For some reason, it just seems so difficult to regain and maintain the motivation to do so. I was so close to hitting the 20-pounds-lost milestone over a year ago (my total goal was only 29 pounds!), but lost my spark and slowly gained it all back again. Now here I am, unhappy with how I look and feel again, and discouraged that I can be successful with something only to resort back to my old habits and weight. I hav... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 11:27:43 EST Renewing and Reviewing I have not been good with Sparking or eating right or excersing over the past several months. I'm back now (although I'm getting #backontrack in "baby steps"), and I decided to re-read all of my old blog entries. While reading them, I also reviewed all the comments that were left on those blogs, and am so thankful to all of you who have taken the time to encourage me. Not only has my resolve been renewed, my encouragement has been as well. I appreciate you all!! Tue, 6 Aug 2013 11:31:06 EST Renewing my Spark So I've been totally neglecting my Spark lately, and I've been paying for it. <BR> <BR> My family and I just returned from a two-week trip to Disney World in Florida (the first time in our lives that any of us have ever been). <BR> <BR> And I am renewing my Spark! I have reset all my stats (start weight, goal weight, etc.) and am starting again. <BR> <BR> SparkPeople was successful for me the first time--I just stepped away from it before I met my goal. So I'm restarting with a new r... Thu, 2 May 2013 10:39:06 EST Morning Devotion; My thoughts as I read Matthew 27:11-26 NLT: <BR> "11 Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor. “Are you the king of the Jews?” the governor asked him. Jesus replied, “You have said it.” <BR> 12 But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. 13 “Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. 14 But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise. <BR> 15 Now it was the governor’s... Sat, 24 Nov 2012 06:32:39 EST Long time no Spark Well, it's been a long time since I've done anything on SparkPeople, from blogging to huddling, to nutrition tracking, to reading articles. I'm not sure why exactly, but I have been finding myself in a bit of a rut, finding it difficult to keep on track. <BR> <BR> We're now into our 8th week of homeschooling, and, as with anything in life, we've had our ups and downs. My middle child has failed a few tests, my oldest is finding her work sometimes more challenging than she think she can han... Tue, 20 Nov 2012 07:01:03 EST Homeschooling, Week 1 Well, we made it through our first week of homeschooling. Since we don't have our score keys yet, there's not a lot of actual school work the kids can do, so we filled up our week in other ways. <BR> <BR> Monday--PA Day (if they were in still in school, they would have had a PA Day, so we observed it, too). The kids had a free day, while I planned out the week and created a weekly schedule to keep on the fridge. This not only helped me get organized, but also let them know what to expect... Fri, 5 Oct 2012 18:17:25 EST How Accurate is Nutritional Information? I often wonder exactly how accurate the Nutritional Information labels are on packaged foods. I know they give the weight as well as the "number of..." a lot of times in their serving sizes, but what if you don't have a kitchen scale handy? For example, on a bag of potato chips, where it says a certain number of chips is equal to a certain number of calories, grams of fat, etc. But potato chips are often all different sizes, so how can you say that "so many" equal a certain amount? Is tha... Thu, 4 Oct 2012 11:09:23 EST Homeschooling, Day 1 Today was our first official day of homeschooling. I still don't have the score keys that I need to effectively homeschool, so we did what we could with what we had. <BR> <BR> We began the day with a walk around the neighbourhood. My two youngest children loved collecting different coloured leaves. When we got home, we sat around the kitchen table for our morning devotional. Then they did a small amount of work before we headed to our friends' house after lunch (our friends are also ho... Tue, 2 Oct 2012 18:46:38 EST A new Chapter Today is our kids' last day in their school before we begin homeschooling. Their feelings are mixed, but thankfully they seem to be more excited than disappointed. <BR> <BR> This will be a new experience for all of us, as I have never homeschooled before. I hope I can do right by them while they're here! I don't know how long this will last, but we will see how things progress, both at home and at the school, and decide as we go, along with God's guidance. <BR> Fri, 28 Sep 2012 10:45:43 EST Seasons Change Today is the first day of Fall. A new season has begun. Seasons change whether we like it or not. <BR> <BR> Our lives go through seasons, too. Ecclesiastes 3 says, "To everything there is a season." My family is in the middle of a season change. We're preparing to make some big changes to adapt, and in some respects we're not happy about it. But we do know that, just as He created the seasons for change, God also created our lives for change. And we know that He is with us and will l... Sat, 22 Sep 2012 21:48:46 EST Jeremiah 29:11 ' "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." ' ~Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) <BR> <BR> This verse has been popping up everywhere I look lately. Even in places you wouldn't normally see or hear scripture. Today the words "future" and "hope" stood out to me as if they were in 3D. <BR> <BR> Thank you, Lord, for continuing to remind me that I am never alone, and that no matter how unjust and unfair something s... Fri, 21 Sep 2012 18:07:51 EST So tired... Sleep, why do you insist on eluding me? <BR> <BR> From sick kids to a daughter who can't sleep (thanks to TOM) and needs to cry and talk about why, to stressful thoughts that sneak in when my sleep is disturbed, it feels like a lifetime since I've had a good night's sleep. <BR> <BR> I told my husband today that if this lasts much longer, I may have to check into a hotel --by myself!!-- for two nights just so I can get some uninterrupted sleep! Won't he be surprised if I do it. <BR> <BR> O... Tue, 18 Sep 2012 23:30:59 EST Celebrating the small successes So I've been with SparkPeople for just over two months, and I'm celebrating some small successes: <BR> <BR> *my weight has decreased by 11 pounds <BR> *I've lost an inch on my waist <BR> *I've lost two inches on my hips <BR> *I've been able to increase my treadmill speed from 2mph to 2.3mph <BR> *two people have told me that they can see a difference <BR> *my husband has noticed a difference, too <BR> <BR> These successes may be small, but they are worth celebrating, because soon the little... Mon, 17 Sep 2012 20:15:27 EST Everything seems to be a battle Do you ever feel like every aspect of your life is involved in a battle? That's how I feel lately. And I'm starting to feel so tired of fighting. <BR> <BR> However, I know that to everything there is a season, and this too shall pass. I just hope I'm making the right decisions along the way. Tue, 11 Sep 2012 22:24:33 EST Set the Standard Someone once said to me that they asked my dad, "What would you do if your daughter's husband treated her the way that you treat your wife?" <BR> <BR> This statement came back to my mind recently--I don't know why--and as I thought about it, I realized that I could have married a completely different type of man than I did....if I had've followed my father's example of what a husband and father is. (I should clarify--that example was not a good one.) <BR> <BR> Than it hit me; if my daugh... Thu, 6 Sep 2012 16:49:13 EST Inconsistent I've noticed a trend. I'm very inconsistent in the number of calories and fat grams that I eat every day. Usually, I stay within my goal range (unless I eat out or indulge in a rare treat, but usually those are planned "cheats"), which is great. But sometimes I'm at the very bottom or even under my goal, sometimes I'm within a few calories and a gram or two of the high end of my goal. <BR> <BR> Does anyone else find their values are inconsistent? Do you think it's anything I should be con... Wed, 5 Sep 2012 20:12:01 EST Back to School My girls went back to school today. They both had a great day, seeing all their friends again. The school is nicely set up in it's temporary location. Hopefully the new building will be ready for occupancy by the end of next month, although they can stay where they are now until mid-December if need be. Hopefully it won't take that long.... <BR> <BR> My son, while he won't admit it, missed his sisters greatly after having them home with him for almost three months over the summer. Thank... Tue, 4 Sep 2012 20:17:18 EST Labour Day Weekend Yes, I am Canadian and therefore spell Labour with a u :) <BR> <BR> It's been a good weekend. Saturday was quiet; we all just stayed home, and did some housework. Sunday was church in the morning, then we went to an all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant for lunch. Of course I ate too much there, but I had decided on Saturday that Sunday was to be a "cheat" day so I wasn't worried. <BR> <BR> So far today, it's been another quiet day of doing ... well, nothing. Except for my husband who is... Mon, 3 Sep 2012 11:11:43 EST Goodbye, Summer :( Wow, it's September already. It seems like it was just a couple of weeks ago when my kids were finishing up their school year and beginning summer vacation, and yet they were done in mid-June. <BR> <BR> I have mixed feelings about them going back to school next week. On one hand, I'm very sad that summer is over, and fall is on it's way. I'm not looking forward to having to set my alarm clock to get myself and my kids up at 7am. I'm not looking forward to the first week or so where we ... Sat, 1 Sep 2012 21:08:14 EST So hungry! Have you ever had a day where you feel hungry no matter what or how much you eat? That's me today. <BR> <BR> I'm trying to eat healthy. I had a high-fiber, protein-packed lunch to try and stave off the hungers. I've had 6 cups of water in less than the last 2 hours. And I still feel like I want to eat. Maybe that's it--maybe I'm not actually hungry, maybe I just want to eat. <BR> <BR> I've been doing really well on SparkPeople. I've had a few "days off" here and there but in general,... Thu, 30 Aug 2012 14:27:30 EST Gotta stop saying, "I could never...." I love to sing. Always have. Well, for as long as I can remember. Thankfully, God has blessed me with a passion for singing, and the talent to go along with it (or so I've been told). <BR> <BR> 10 years ago, we started attending a new church, which we are still members of today. About 9 years ago, the pastor asked me to sing on the Worship Team. I agreed, saying, "I'd love to. But I'll sing backup. Please don't ever ask me to lead; I could never do that." About a year later, that pas... Sat, 25 Aug 2012 21:34:20 EST Postitive Self Talk I was reading an article in SparkPeople's "Motivational" section, and a paragraph really stood out to me: <BR> <BR> "Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else. <BR> It’s pretty amazing how we think it’s appropriate to treat ourselves in ways that we wouldn’t dream of treating a friend, or even a stranger. Whenever you find that you are verbally beating yourself up or telling yourself things are hopeless, stop and ask yourself if you’d say this to someone who came... Thu, 23 Aug 2012 07:51:43 EST My Place in this World Have you ever felt like you're struggling to find where you belong? <BR> <BR> I thought I'd leave those insecurities behind me when I left high school. And yet, here I am at 37 years old and I still go through phases where I feel that way. <BR> <BR> I am a wife and mom and love who I am in both of those roles. I know I can always improve, but I always try to do right by my husband and kids, and make decisions with their best interests in mind. <BR> <BR> I am part of a great church, whe... Tue, 21 Aug 2012 10:05:41 EST Greek yogurt--one ingredient, so many possibilities! I recently (about three weeks ago) "discovered" Greek yogurt, and what a time I've had since then! I use it as a substitute for sour cream on tacos (and instead of dressing on taco salad), perogies and baked potatoes. I've mixed it with herbs and dip mixes to make veggie dip. And I've combined 3/4 cup with a tbsp or two of low-calorie jam to cure a sweet craving. <BR> <BR> I have never come across such a versatile ingredient that was also diet-friendly. The best part about it, is one s... Tue, 14 Aug 2012 19:04:52 EST I hate it when sickness ruins our plans For the second week in a row, our plans have been ruined by sickness. Last Monday, we had plans to have friends over and visit our private beach. Unfortunately, about a 1/2 hour prior to their arrival, I realized my five-year-old son felt unusually warm. My fear was realized when I took his temperature: 101F. <BR> <BR> Thankful that his fever never seemed to turn into any sickness, I was disappointed that we had to cancel our plans to visit the beach, not only on Monday but on Wednesday a... Wed, 8 Aug 2012 18:17:01 EST St. Jacobs Today our family (myself, my husband, our three kids and my mom) took a trip to St. Jacobs, a Mennonite-dense community near Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. <BR> <BR> Despite the heat, it was a wonderful day of walking around the Farmers' Market, where we treated ourselves by purchasing some right-off-the-farm fruits, honey, apple butter and turkey kolbassa, and freshly baked breads, pecan tarts, and a huge raspberry danish that will suit our entire family of five for dessert. <BR> <BR> Sure, ... Sat, 4 Aug 2012 19:29:26 EST Long week... This has been a LONG week. Husband's issues at work have caused him to hardly be home all week. I just hope and pray and tonight will be the last night. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow (Friday) we're planning a date night, on his company to make up for some time we've lost together this week. It's also the start of a long weekend, so we're planning to get in some quality family time as the kids are missing him terribly also. <BR> Thu, 2 Aug 2012 21:27:05 EST So tired today.... Last night my husband had a slight emergency at work, and he was not home before I went to bed at 11:00pm. At 2:25am I woke up suddenly, realizing he was still not in bed. I got up and looked around the house, hoping he was "unwinding" in the family room in front of the TV. The family room was dark. I looked out the front window in hopes that he was elsewhere in the house and I'd gone right past him. No such luck--his car was not in the driveway. <BR> <BR> So I sent him a text message a... Wed, 1 Aug 2012 09:55:34 EST McDonald's new Happy Meals; healthier or harmful? Have you seen McDonald's new "healthier" kids meals? They have removed their order of small fries and replaced them with "mini fries", and added a child yogurt (at least they've done this in Canada)...and then increased the price by about fifty cents. <BR> <BR> We don't eat at McDonald's often, but when we do it's as a special treat for our kids. For my daughter's 8th birthday in July, she chose where we went for her special lunch. She chose McDonald's "so we can play in the play place aft... Mon, 30 Jul 2012 13:43:14 EST Chuck E Cheese A Saturday with no plans? What to do, what to do.....? <BR> <BR> So we took the kids to Chuck E Cheese. For lunch I had a diet Pepsi (I much prefer Coke Zero but it was the only sugarless drink on their fountain) and two pieces of pizza with cheese and bacon on it. Before we left, I checked out their website and found their nutritional information page. Of course, they only listed their plain cheese and then their specialty pizzas, but it was enough to give me an educated guess for trackin... Sat, 28 Jul 2012 14:56:39 EST Feelings of Inadequacy I've struggled with low self-esteem for as long as I can remember. I'm a very shy person, and I fear rejection to the point where it causes me to refrain from doing things I love. <BR> <BR> How do I get out of this? I try to improve myself in many ways. I'm working on my weight loss, in hopes that looking better will make me feel better about myself. I try to improve on activities that I think I possess mediocre skills at. And I try to take small chances in hopes of that "yes". <BR> <B... Fri, 27 Jul 2012 10:47:17 EST A great day for the beach! Today a friend of mine and pastor at our church came up with her four boys and we spent the better part of the afternoon at our private beach. It was WONDERFUL, to have a visit with a good friend, and have the kids swimming and playing in the sand. And, I got in a bit of extra exercise because we walked there, which took almost 10 minutes each way. <BR> Yep, can't beat a day at the beach! Wed, 25 Jul 2012 16:29:48 EST Not much motivation... Well, today is Tuesday, and I feel like it's Monday. I have no motivation today to do anything. I've folded some laundry; it remains on my bed, yet to put it away. The rest of the day, I've just felt like doing.....well, nothing. <BR> On the plus side, I did try a couple of new recipes, one for broccoli salad and one for guacamole. So I look forward to trying those later tonight as a healthy side for supper and a healthy snack for the evening. Tue, 24 Jul 2012 15:20:31 EST How I make myself drink 8 glasses of water I have never been someone to drink a lot of water. Before starting SparkPeople, I hardly ever got my 8 glasses a day (maybe once a year...) Since joining SparkPeople almost two weeks ago, I've gotten my 8 glasses three or four times....still not as often as I should, but better than I used to be. <BR> You see, I love my coffee and my Coke Zero (and yes, I've heard it all about how artificial sweeteners are terrible for you, how diet drinks actually make you gain weight not lose, etc so plea... Mon, 23 Jul 2012 13:08:48 EST Me? Discouraged? Nope! Well, I didn't track my food intake today. It was my daughter's birthday party, and although I know I indulged a little too much this evening, I also know I didn't go over my targets much. That's because I hardly ate anything during the day. Not because I didn't want to or I wasn't hungry, but simply because I was too busy. <BR> For the second time this week, my nutrition was less than ideal, but I'm not going to let it get me discouraged. You see, all three of my children's birthdays, pl... Sat, 21 Jul 2012 22:13:10 EST "Normal" is changing I noticed yesterday that, not only am I paying more attention to what I put in my mouth, I'm also noticing a lot more what my kids, particularly my oldest (she's 12), are eating. She reached for a bag of snack crackers for an afternoon snack. Stating that there are too many for one serving, but not enough to put back, could she just finish them off? I told her that was not a healthy choice, and no, she could put the rest back. Then, after supper, my son didn't finish his piece of birthday ... Fri, 20 Jul 2012 07:41:27 EST Today is a New Day Yesterday was my daughter's 8th birthday. This year, for our kids' birthdays, we decided to let them pick where we had lunch, and what we made at home for supper. Of course, my new weight loss resolution came after the first two birthdays but before the third. <BR> So having McDonald's for lunch and Costco Jumbo Hot dogs, potato chips and, of course, birthday cake for supper.....well, lets just say that the line that marked the top-end of my nutrition goals for yesterday just started gettin... Thu, 19 Jul 2012 08:34:58 EST Healthier snacks for the summer With the kids home from school for the summer, I knew they'd be wanting to snack more, so I decided to give them fewer junk choices. I have not purchased any chips, cookies or ice cream, but have replaced those items on my grocery list with easy-to-grab healthier snack. To satisfy the sweet cravings, I've stocked up on fruits such as strawberries, bananas, apples, and oranges, as well as yogurt (sometimes in tubes to make it more fun). For salty and/or crunchy snacks, I've replaced potato ... Wed, 18 Jul 2012 16:28:33 EST A little frustrated today Ok, so today's entry has nothing to do with weight loss or exercising. Instead it is about my frustrating morning. <BR> It's not even 8:30 yet, I haven't even finished my coffee, and my two youngest children (daughter about to turn 8, and son who just turned 5) have already been fighting over toys, arguing over just about everything, and driving me crazy. <BR> My daughter--I love her bits!--can be such a handful sometimes. She's a middle child and she's the one I "butt heads" with the mos... Tue, 17 Jul 2012 09:11:34 EST My First Blog--Why and How I chose SparkPeople I have struggled with weight issues for most of my adult life. I am now closer to 40 than 30 and have decided to take control. <BR> <BR> I've tried several types of diets and have found success in a few, but there's always been a trade-off. I've tried cutting out fats and sugars only to find the diet failed because it took all joy out of eating for me. At best, I'd last about a week. <BR> <BR> I've tried a low-carb diet and managed to lose 28 pounds. Unfortunately, I did it with no help ... Mon, 16 Jul 2012 15:36:02 EST