TWILAQ1's SparkPeople Blog TWILAQ1's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Queen of Excuses Moves On I was doing great with my Spark journey through last summer. I had gotten down to 156 lbs from approximately 214. I bought and fit into a pair of size 14 jeans, which was thrilling. My friends were complimentary and thrilled for me and my success. <BR> <BR> I went to the US for not quite a month, and allowed myself pretty much whatever I wanted - as treats and rewards, I said. I got back to Mexico and two weeks later my husband, a musician, left to go on tour in Europe. That's when my resol... Sat, 15 Mar 2014 13:52:02 EST Meeting a Spark Friend Last week I met up with Scott, the leader of the Sparkdown Street team at the Gilford, NH Furthur concert. He was with his friend John, also an interesting fellow. <BR> <BR> Scott was one of my first Spark Friends, and his constant support has been very helpful to me for the 3+ years I have been relearning how to eat and exercise. <BR> <BR> Scott, it was a pleasure to meet you! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 24 Jul 2013 08:14:01 EST Changing it up I started week 1 of the 12-week LiveFit Revolution program, but then suffered some injuries unrelated to kettlebells and stopped the program per se, but kept swinging to a lesser degree. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow I am going to begin week 2 of the program and dive in. I'm going to the US on vacation for the first 3 weeks of July, but I already have one kettlebell there and I'm going to order another of a more challenging weight so I can do my best to get the four workouts plus the cardio challenge i... Wed, 19 Jun 2013 22:52:14 EST Father's Day Today is Father's Day, and I miss my dad, whom we lost on August 7, 2011, more than ever. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I thought I was pretty slender that summer. I was down to about 204 lb or so. Looking at this photo, I realize I wasn't close to slender... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I came home to Mexico, then got the call that Dad had died, so I got on the next plane... Sun, 16 Jun 2013 15:11:55 EST I didn't want to exercise today I was tired today. Haven't been sleeping very well. Earlier in the day I did some kettlebell work, but I really didn't feel like getting on the treadmill. <BR> <BR> The 1800 steps on the Fitbit was what pushed me onto the machine. After 10 minutes I told myself I could stop, but then I decided to walk until the end of the inning. Then another inning and another and another. I made it to over 4 miles on the treadmill and over 10,000 steps for the day. <BR> <BR> I didn't want to exercise, but... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 22:23:40 EST Another milestone coming In another couple of days I will fall below 160 lbs. I'm suitably thrilled, of course, having begun at 215. <BR> <BR> Wrist injuries are inhibiting my kettlebell program on . I had finished the first of six weeks working with a sprained wrist, but now I sprained the other in a moment of adrenalin when my dog was trapped and I had to break down the gate. I see the sports med doctor tomorrow, and I hope that the laser and ultrasound will help me enough to get back ont... Sun, 2 Jun 2013 22:31:41 EST The Big Question So today I ask myself the big 'why?' Why do I want to lose all this weight? Why not just chill out and bake chocolate chip cookies and eat most of them for the rest of my life? Sounds like a plan, eh? <BR> <BR> I lead a sedentary life, really. I suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. People's perfume, cologne, laundry detergent, body soap, face cream, deodorant, or the cleaning products in a particular place can, and often do, lead to bronchitis, pneumonia, or, at the very least, an asth... Wed, 22 May 2013 22:51:01 EST Excuses? I have some pretty standard excuses that try to keep me from exercise: <BR> <BR> - I'm tired. <BR> - I need to catch up on Facebook. <BR> - I need to clean the stable. <BR> - I need to call my mom (or sisters, friends) <BR> - I want to read my new book. <BR> - My knee (hip, wrist, lower back) hurts. <BR> <BR> I think that the activity that sucks up most of my time is the computer with Facebook,, email, reading the New York Times. It's hard for me to control the time, as it's my... Mon, 13 May 2013 20:42:44 EST Ch ch ch changes at 50 lbs down The scale stayed the same from last week to this ~ 165 lbs. / 75 kilos. I had hoped it would drop, but it didn't go up, so I'm happy. <BR> <BR> Todays task in SparkCoach is to contemplate what I have noticed about my weight loss. I travel to the US at least once a year, and always return to Mexico with two fifty-pound suitcases for me and two for my husband. We're always right at limit bringing Tom's toothpaste, etc etc etc that we cannot get here. I know what 50 pounds feels like, and it's ... Sun, 12 May 2013 01:17:17 EST Spark Coach I've been using Spark Coach for about 5 weeks now. It was one of the perks of pre-ordering the new Spark book that'll be out in a few days. <BR> <BR> I had been stuck in my weight loss journey since about January, right around 168-170-ish, down from 215. I thought I was doing everything right to break the plateau and continue to meet my lower weight goals, but it turns out I wasn't doing enough. <BR> <BR> Even though Spark Coach isn't one coach actually having a conversation with you, you ... Mon, 6 May 2013 07:16:13 EST Meals I suppose I'm sacrificing variety in the meals I prepare, but, honestly, it takes time to get them into the recipe calculator along with the instructions and all, so I tend to stick to the recipes that I already have in there, or with Spark Cookbook recipes. <BR> <BR> Often on the weekends I'll prepare 3 or 4 different dishes and freeze them in portions for my husband and me to eat over the next couple of weeks. I often use the crockpot slow cooker for at least one of these recipes. I will o... Sun, 5 May 2013 21:35:34 EST Time Flies I just did my Plateau Busters Spark Coach for the day and had the shocker that this was the last day of it. Tomorrow I'll weigh in and do measurements. I don't think my weight has changed, but I'm feeling bones and hollows I haven't felt for too many years. <BR> <BR> What have I learned from the Spark Coach experience? <BR> <BR> 1) I've gotten back to tracking my food. This forces me to eat more simply, which is a lot less time consuming to track than when I make new foods with lots of ing... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 21:19:20 EST No more excuses! I've had several excuses for not exercising this afternoon. <BR> <BR> 1) The endless talking heads in Boston. Suspect now captured and en route to the hospital. No longer a valid excuse. <BR> <BR> 2) Too hot. It's cooling off outside, and I have a fan set up next to the treadmill. <BR> <BR> 3) No Red Sox game to walk to. True. But I have the live stream of the Port Chester Furthur concert. They're on break now, but the 2nd set'll start in a bit at Fri, 19 Apr 2013 21:16:04 EST Exercise I kind of overdid it with the 5k last weekend. I hadn't been working up to it and so my knees and especially my ankles hurt most of the week. <BR> <BR> But by yesterday I was starting to feel better, so I made a pact with myself. Whenever the Red Sox (or the Giants) are playing in a time zone and at a time I can work with, I'll walk on the treadmill for as much of the game as my sleep schedule allows. I did it last night and tonight. <BR> <BR> I also added a new Fitbit friend today. She's ... Thu, 11 Apr 2013 21:20:31 EST Priorities I saw this at the bottom of a Spark E-mail today: <BR> <BR> 'SparkPeople's Coach Nicole says: <BR> If you have time to watch TV then you have time to exercise and cook healthy meals. It's just a matter of priorities.' <BR> <BR> It's absolutely true. I used to waste a couple of hours every afternoon/early evening watching the CSI or Criminal Minds crews deal with horrible murders. Who knows how many commercials I lived through. <BR> <BR> A couple of months ago, we discontinued our cable. I... Mon, 8 Apr 2013 08:28:05 EST 5k I haven't gotten on the treadmill for about 3 weeks. I started to pile stuff under it, and then got lazy. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I decided to sign up for a 5k. My last one (walking) was about 47 minutes. I hope to equal or better that time tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Then I plan to continue to get on the treadmill and USE it to help me meet my goals. It does me no good collecting dust. <BR> <BR> <em>386</em> Sat, 6 Apr 2013 00:00:38 EST Tough Week This has been a hard week for me. I live in Mexico (Central Time), but I work in Spain via the Internet (normally 7 hours ahead). Spain switched to DST last weekend, so all this week I've had to start work at 4am instead of 5am. That means going to bed well before my neighborhood quiets down. <BR> <BR> My Fitbit tells me that I've been sleeping at rather poor efficiency, and I feel it. I'm going to finish this and go to bed and hope the Red Sox turn around the end of the game. <BR> <BR> I s... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 21:28:47 EST Calorie Range I find that I have been consistently eating above my calorie range recently. I'm not quite sure why. I've been using a bit more avocado and butter, which are good for me, but certainly not excessively. I eat some dark chocolate regularly, but almost never more than a serving. I do need to cut my fish down to 3oz instead of the whole piece, which is usually 6-7oz. Salad dressing is a calorie range killer... <BR> <BR> Perhaps it the mango in my morning bowl of fruit. Today I cut out Kirkland D... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 20:10:45 EST Finding the Energy It's a new day, a new week, a new month ~ call it what you will. For me, it's a day I got out of bed without adjusting the alarm, which is a minor miracle. <BR> <BR> I've been in a slump lately. I just checked my treadmill journal and March 9th is the last entry. There's been some dancing in there, and some days with over 10,000 steps on the Fitbit, but overall I've been a slug for no good reason for the past 3 weeks. <BR> <BR> Today is the day to turn that around. <BR> <BR> I've already d... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 10:02:28 EST The Scale - a poll My eyes don't work very well. Despite glasses, I just can't see the scale very well. A few years ago I bought one of those scales with the really big dial, but I can't read it. My husband has to come in, get down on his knees with his reading glasses on, and then I have the weight question answered for the day, more or less. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I've been kicking around getting a digital scale, maybe even the Aria, wh... Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:14:44 EST Trying Spark Coach I haven't blogged in a while. I've been having trouble with motivation. I don't know why, exactly. I've lost more than 20% of my body weight, so I have my ups when I feel very successful and proud of myself, then my lows where I lose motivation to get up and move. <BR> <BR> The scale has been stalled at about 169 lbs since late January. I need it to start moving again. I know I can lose these last 30 or so pounds. My Fitbit friends are trying to motivate me, but I am full of self-destructive... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 22:22:23 EST Home Again, Home Again I took a month-long vacation and went to the US to visit with my family and friends there. My husband joined me 10 days after I had arrived, and we returned home to Mexico yesterday. It was a wonderful vacation, and I tried to maintain the weight loss I had achieved, but I don't think I'll step onto the scale for a couple of weeks! <BR> <BR> The first 2 weeks I was very good about exercising. My mom lives in a beautiful place for the elderly. There are trails and exercise stations along the ... Mon, 7 Jan 2013 11:53:15 EST BMI I've been thinking about my Body Mass Index, or BMI lately. Though I'm not close to the goal weight I had hoped to achieve by the end of the year, I have seen some encouraging results on the BMI front. <BR> <BR> Starting weight Jan. 2012 215 BMI 32.7 <BR> late Nov. 2012 175 BMI 26.6 <BR> <BR> I'm still overweight, but no longer obese, which makes me very content. <BR> <BR> I know I can do better. I'm very lazy when it comes to exercise. When I get on the treadmill... Fri, 30 Nov 2012 09:18:34 EST Good-bye Plateau I did it! I have been just a hair to the right of the 80 kilo mark on my scale for months. I just couldn't get to the 80. 177 pounds. This morning I got up, peed, and got on the scale, and it's RIGHT ON THE LINE!!! 176 pounds / 80 kilos. Psych! <BR> <BR> There's only one place to go from here, and it's DOWN! Time to start looking for the box with size 14 jeans that have been patiently waiting for me for too many years. I'll be in them soon. <BR> <BR> I can do this! Time to hope on the trea... Sat, 17 Nov 2012 11:08:55 EST Foiled! I asked my husband to pick up a bag of mini Snickers bars or something similar 'in case kids come trick or treating'. Mind you, I live in Mexico, and most people celebrate Noche de Muertos, which is quite different from Halloween and Trick or Treating. I think my subconscious just wanted to have crappy sweets around for a splurge... <BR> <BR> I do keep Lindt 90% cocoa in the house at all times, as I consider that a healthy splurge to have regularly, but... I was craving something caramel-ly.... Sat, 27 Oct 2012 16:01:30 EST Fun Silly Little Quiz Where is your cell phone? <BR> Desk <BR> <BR> Spouse? <BR> Nocupétaro <BR> <BR> Your hair? <BR> damp <BR> <BR> Your mother? <BR> reading <BR> <BR> Your father? <BR> passes <BR> <BR> Your favorite thing? <BR> Friends <BR> <BR> Your dream last night? <BR> ancient Welsh farmhouse <BR> <BR> Favorite drink? <BR> lemon water <BR> <BR> <BR> What room are you in? <BR> living room <BR> <BR> Your hobby? <BR> gardening <BR> <BR> <BR> Your fear? <BR> venomous snakes <BR> <BR>... Sat, 27 Oct 2012 15:46:55 EST Late October Already! Fall is coming to Central Mexico. Evenings and early mornings are crisp and the rainy season is winding down. Soon the house will be cold, and I'll be glad to get to Pennsylvania and heat for a month this winter. <BR> <BR> My weight has not been moving - down, anyway. In fact, it's been nudging up. Just enough to be annoying. My goal of the moment is to fall below 80kilos, or about 177lbs. 80k is the number at the very top of my scale. I think it'll be good for my psychologically to be looki... Sat, 27 Oct 2012 15:22:56 EST Feeling Pretty Good! As you may know, I was feeling pretty sick on Friday, but I started with oral Zicam spray, onion-infused honey, heated lime juice with honey, Emergen-C, and propolis combined with balsam extract. <BR> <BR> Yesterday (Saturday) morning I felt somewhat better, so I pushed myself into walking the virtual Spark 5K in 48:17. I stayed up kind of late listening to and participating in the fundraiser. I listen and dance to Dead Air with Downtown Deb nearly every Saturday night, so I lik... Sun, 7 Oct 2012 21:55:39 EST Getting Sick I started to get a scratchy throat yesterday morning and it worsened some during the course of the day. My online students noticed a difference in my voice. <BR> <BR> As soon as I finished work at 3pm, I went outside and took a nap in the bed of the pick-up (the black bed liner means it's always toasty warmmmm). I dozed there for about an hour and a half, then went to bed until 6:40. I got up and puttered a while, then went to bed again about 9. <BR> <BR> I'm going to throw together a qui... Fri, 5 Oct 2012 09:10:39 EST Size 16 The other day I pulled out a pair of size 16 jeans. I'm very pleased to report that I was able to zip and button them without effort, and there's a bit of room at the hips. <BR> <BR> This is a thrilling development for me! Size 20 down to 16 feels like a real accomplishment. I feel somewhat lighter, and I can really see the weight loss in my face above all. <BR> <BR> This weekend I'll do the virtual 5K, and I'm looking forward to achieving that goal. I'll sign up for another right away to k... Wed, 3 Oct 2012 23:16:20 EST Success is creeping up on me! I've been breaking weight barriers recently. 200 lbs. 190 lbs. 180 lbs. I've put away my size 20 jeans. I'll give them away at Christmastime. Now the 18s are loose. I'll try on the 16s tomorrow. <BR> <BR> I'm thrilled at my new-found dedication and success. Sun, 23 Sep 2012 00:03:23 EST Physical Therapy I have a knee injury. The docs want me walking in a pool every day, but it's rainy season here in Mexico, so I'd be likely to be struck by lightning if I went to the pool after work. The alternative is a treadmill. I plan to buy one tomorrow and start getting myself in gear again. <BR> <BR> I'm very motivated by reading blogs written by people who have walked and lost gobs of weight. I plan to be one of those stories, if I can ever figure out how to do side-by-side photo comparisons. <BR> <... Fri, 24 Aug 2012 11:29:25 EST Sidelined It's been a rough few weeks. First, I want to thank all of you, my Sparklers, for your ongoing support and encouragement. It helps. Truly. <BR> <BR> About a month ago I hurt my knee. I was preparing for the Virtual 5k and I don't know what happened. It was fine, I went to walk up the stairs and there was fire up and down the leg centered in the knee. <BR> <BR> I spent a couple of weeks eating Advil and icing, to no avail, so I went and saw a doctor. He prescribed an anti-inflammatory and li... Sun, 5 Aug 2012 00:00:33 EST Virtual 5K I have been thinking for some time now that I need to have a concrete goal in front of me. I'm working on figuring out when/where there are 5 or 10k races in my community, but I haven't yet. So when this new Virtual 5k came around, I decided to join up. <BR> <BR> Last year I participated in another Virtual 5k. I did well, but somehow missed clicking that I actually finished it, so I just got my trophy for it a couple of days ago. <BR> <BR> I plan to be more present for this race. I've done... Sat, 23 Jun 2012 16:43:26 EST Vacation I'm on vacation for a few days! I work online for a virtual school based in Spain, and Spain has a generous number of vacation days. So here I am with today through next Monday off. <BR> <BR> Next Monday will be spent at the dentist. I'm not thrilled, but it must be done. <BR> <BR> But for the rest of these days, I have projects. The biggest one is to get my garden in. I have some seedlings ready to go in the ground - zucchini, 3 kinds of tomatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and lettuce. I need to ... Wed, 28 Mar 2012 14:05:44 EST The Elusive 10,000 Steps I read here on that anything under 5,000 steps a day is considered sedentary. In order for someone to be considered active, they must register a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. <BR> <BR> So today I got up with the goal of reaching those elusive 10,000 steps. I put on workout clothes, including the sweater with the little zippered pocket in the sleeve. The pedometer fits perfectly in there. Then I did 80 minutes of different Leslie Sansone workouts, including Power Mile, Walk &... Sat, 28 Jan 2012 17:04:43 EST Starting Again Yesterday I didn't exercise. I blew off my streak. It was only a 2-day streak, but hey, that's a start! <BR> <BR> As I was making the decision to go to bed at 5:30pm, I was beating myself up. I was telling myself to get up and put on the sneaks and get to it. But then I decided not to. I decided. I'd been sick since early in the month, and the past few nights there's been a lot of noise outside - drunk neighbors with loud car stereos, guys in the street shooting guns, that sort of thing. Tue... Thu, 26 Jan 2012 10:35:58 EST Can't Help It I stayed up late to watch Obama's speech. Considering I get up at 3am, the speech was way past my bedtime. I worked all day, making a crockpot of soup during my break instead of exercising as planned. Now I can't keep my eyes open. <BR> <BR> The streak will begin again tomorrow. I don't feel defeated. I think I'm being realistic. Wed, 25 Jan 2012 17:35:05 EST Going for a Week-Long Streak So both yesterday and today I got up at 3am, caught up quickly with email stuff, then exercised, showered, ate a light breakfast, then to the computer to teach my classes for the day. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I did one mile of Leslie Sansone's Walk 5 Miles. I didn't do the boost, as I don't want to push the bronchitis too hard. Then I did some band exercises with my new Gaiam Balanceball Chair. Those were hard for me, as I'm not yet used to sitting on the chair and feeling like I'm not just going... Tue, 24 Jan 2012 10:57:56 EST At It Again Yesterday's first blog post was a huge step for me. I hesitate to talk about my feelings, my failings, with people I don't know. But I did it, and it felt good to have three thoughtful comments pop up almost immediately. Support. Solidarity. Thank you, ladies. <BR> <BR> So, I posted the blog and I survived. Then I felt good about it. I felt so good about it I did a very light aerobic workout to my favorite radio program, Dead Air on from 7-9pm Pacific on Saturday nights. 27 minu... Sun, 22 Jan 2012 14:59:15 EST Beginning Again I was doing pretty well in the late spring, losing weight, getting regular exercise, tracking meals. I went to the US in late June for a wedding, a long visit with my family, and to go to a couple of Furthur concerts. <BR> <BR> My 3rd day there I sprained my ankle badly. There went exercise. I joined the Chair Exercise team, but didn't spend much time with it. Thai food! Beer! Fish and chips! Young's Double Chocolate Stout! Oooo it's exciting to go to the US. I was there for a month and had ... Sat, 21 Jan 2012 20:22:35 EST