VHALKYRIE's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=VHALKYRIE VHALKYRIE'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/ 45 Day Progress (with Pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6223024 Today marks 45 Days since my diet/fitness reboot. Since everyone loves before/after photos, here is mine. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/1e291c51-650a-43ab-9a9f-c4c8971abd18.png"> <BR> <BR> At the beginning of July, I had a noticeable bulge in my gut. My belly extended past my boobs - embarrassing! Despite having normal blood pressure and cholesterol (no sign of internal inflammation), I had excessive abdominal fat. This is a classic sign of insulin resistan... Tue, 23 Aug 2016 09:37:36 EST Lifestyle Wellness: Hobbies http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6222640 One of the areas that I feel I need to be more well rounded on is my hobbies. Browsing PInterest and playing games is making me rather bored. When I get bored, I go on Facebook and get into political arguments with my friends. <BR> <BR> So, instead of getting mad at all the world's problems, I decided I need to get back to making DIY projects. I used to enjoy sewing and beading. <BR> <BR> I found these cute bag patterns on Etsy. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid... Mon, 22 Aug 2016 16:39:03 EST Tough Love Edition http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6222414 I'm not your best friend. <BR> <BR> Sorry, but I'm not. I'm not going to tell you that you can eat whatever and still lose weight. <BR> <BR> I am your mean mom. You need to eat your veggies and healthy proteins. <BR> <BR> This is an intervention. Are you struggling? Are you at your wits end? Are you in tears because you just can't understand why it isn't working? <BR> <BR> Let's talk: <BR> <BR> ALL THINGS IN MODERATION <BR> This is your cake and eating it too. Eat whatever you want... Mon, 22 Aug 2016 09:36:56 EST Super Sunday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6221944 Last week went very well. I had to take a break from my routines due to feeling fatigue, but this was exactly the right thing I needed. My body responded. I'm 1 pound down and 1 inch less on my waist! <BR> <BR> So what did I do? <BR> <BR> My cycling and HIIT activities were too stressful. I wasn't sleeping well, and I wasn't thriving. I cut my activities to walking only. Walking is a perfectly fine exercise for losing weight! People don't walk enough. <BR> <BR> I noticed that my cal... Sun, 21 Aug 2016 12:27:04 EST Just Right Diet and Exercise http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6220845 Things are going great this morning. I got an excellent night's sleep, my numbers are moving down this morning, and I am full of energy. I took a 3 mile, 1 hour walk and watered my garden. I have another pair of shorts that I have to pull up when I put my keys in my pocket, which is a tell-tale sign of getting close to the next size down. <BR> <BR> It's a shame I have to spend the rest of the day in a chair staring at a LCD screen because I feel like I could do so much more. <BR> <BR> Ea... Fri, 19 Aug 2016 10:23:49 EST Good Food and Rest Were the Answer http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6220216 Taking a couple of rest days and eating more calories worked great. My weight and bodyfat are falling, and my lean mass is staying within the range of about 92-94lbs, which is great. That means I'm preserving my muscles while losing bodyfat. <BR> <BR> This past weekend, my husband and I hit it pretty hard on the bikes, which was totally cool. I exercise for pleasure, not pain. Riding bikes is our quality time together. We used to have bike dates when we were dating, and we still do. <BR... Thu, 18 Aug 2016 09:23:25 EST Mid Week Status - Taking it Easy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6219697 It's hard to say how things are going this week. I'm still experiencing backlash from last week's stress, so I'm not seeing a lot of movement in my numbers. It feels very much like a stall. I have ruled out diet, so stress is a likely factor. Therefore, I have backed off on my exercise goals for the short term, so my HIIT experiment will have to wait until later. With my environmental factors, moderate to intense exercise is an extra stressor that I don't need at the moment. That doesn'... Wed, 17 Aug 2016 12:29:15 EST The Week Ahead http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6217738 This morning my husband and I took a 10 mile bike ride around the neighborhood. Leisurely, nothing too strenuous. We made notes of plants and landscaping in neighbor's yards that we like. My cycling performance has improved, though I haven't actively been working on it. My husband used to tease how slow I was, but this morning he was complaining that I was too fast! <BR> <BR> <em>332</em> <BR> <BR> Some people say they have poor exercise performance on LC, but this hasn't been true ... Sun, 14 Aug 2016 10:49:58 EST Body Fat Measurements #2: Trends http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6217242 This is a continuation of my post on Body Fat measurements. Assuming you have at least a week's worth of bodyweight, body fat and lean mass measurements, it can be difficult to interpret. Bodyweight fluctuates, we've all seen that, and body fat can fluctuate even more due to hydration levels. It doesn't mean that it is useless. It can be an important tool for measuring progress if used properly. <BR> <BR> First rule is you must be consistent with your use. If you use calipers or bio-imp... Sat, 13 Aug 2016 11:41:03 EST Hello, Weekend! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6216637 I've had a rough week for a number of reasons. A couple of well-loved and essential team members are leaving us right before a major product release. One of my managers leaving, and I always dread changes in management the most. The risk is "new guy" who has something to prove and ends up driving away the rest of the most productive team members. So that's causing a bit of instability at the moment. <BR> <BR> And then my husband decided he wanted to pick a fight with me. I was totally n... Fri, 12 Aug 2016 09:23:17 EST Mid Week Stress, But Still On Track http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6216072 Almost end of the week, and things are going well. Food and exercise are on track. I am officially able to retire a pair of shorts that are too loose. Putting keys and a phone in my pocket would lead to disaster! <BR> <BR> <em>9</em> <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> I have performed HIIT twice this week for my 30 day experiment: Does HIIT burn more bodyfat than steady state cardio? My numbers are a bit confusing, but I have made a lot of changes to my variables, so I don't have an interpreta... Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:56:01 EST Pilgrimage to Rivendell http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6215463 I'm almost at the halfway point on my "Walk/Cycle to Rivendell" challenge. Using information from Nerd Fitness, I made a spreadsheet where I track my exercise miles against the path Frodo and Sam took to Rivendell. <BR> <BR> <link>www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2012/07/23/<BR>walking/ </link> <BR> <BR> It is 458 miles from Hobbiton to Rivendell, and I have walked/cycled 196 so far. I am just 33 miles from the halfway point! <BR> <BR> I copied the destination milestones from the Eowyn Chall... Wed, 10 Aug 2016 10:00:34 EST August Goals http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6214810 August is my do-or-die month. In September I have a work trip, then my husband and I are are taking a short vacation to Canada. This is the last month where I can actively work on losing weight/bodyfat and body recomposition. September will be about maintaining anything I lose. <BR> <BR> I have my meal and exercise worked out. <BR> <BR> Meals: Mostly Whole 30 plan, except with yogurt and cottage cheese to meet my protein requirements. <BR> Exercise: HIIT 2x per week, walking + strength... Tue, 9 Aug 2016 09:30:19 EST Body Fat Measurements http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6214404 I got asked a question on how I calculate my body fat percentage on one of my blogs. I will explain my methodology. <BR> <BR> This will require some maths, but nothing too scary! <BR> <BR> First, let's talk about body fat measurements. There's basically 3 different types. Calipers, bio-impedance, and hi tech body composition devices like the bod pod or hydrostatic (underwater) testing. <BR> <BR> Calipers and bio-impedance are the accessible options for the home user. <BR> <BR> Personal... Mon, 8 Aug 2016 15:16:58 EST Sprint Once in a While http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6214203 This morning I got up and completed a 30 minute HIIT workout on the elliptical. I have had good success using the Beatburns Elliptical Trainer app in the past, so I fired that up. As I tend towards laziness, the app is almost as good as a personal trainer. It makes me work harder than I would left to my own devices. <BR> <BR> The next 30 days is when I'm going to start my next n=1 experiment: Does HIIT workout burn more bodyfat than static cardio? The past 30 days I have only cycled, wal... Mon, 8 Aug 2016 09:22:20 EST Whole 30 Style http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6213912 My clean eating style is closest to Whole 30: meats, veggies and fruits as close to their natural form as possible. The main deviation I take from Whole 30 is I eat cottage cheese and yogurt. Since I need 90-100g of protein with my activity level, cottage cheese and yogurt are the cheapest and most convenience clean food I can eat to boost protein. Otherwise, I might have to use protein powders. There's only so much chicken I can eat a day. If I start running into trouble, this is the fi... Sun, 7 Aug 2016 19:54:19 EST Fitness Reboot 30 Day Review http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6212678 Today is Day 30 of my fitness reboot program. <BR> <BR> To recap, due to life changes, I became sedentary and gained weight. In July, I restarted my fitness program to resume my active lifestyle and lose weight. My objective is to take lessons learned so I can be more successful in maintenance when those unexpected deviations occur. <BR> <BR> My program: Clean eating, no processed foods, grains, starches, or sugar. Coffee, tea, or water only. Regular exercise every day, mainly cycling. ... Fri, 5 Aug 2016 10:09:58 EST A Night Out and A Practice Run http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6212056 Last night my husband went out to eat. We don't like big crowds on the weekend, so we have 'date night' earlier in the week when it's quieter. I got a flyer from one of our local restaurants for a 3 course meal special, so we decided to go. We haven't been out to eat in quite some time. <BR> <BR> I ordered a salad with vinaigrette, a 6oz steak with sauteed mushrooms, and a glass of wine. I passed on the bread. My husband and I split a chocolate cheesecake dessert that was about the siz... Thu, 4 Aug 2016 09:54:38 EST Rest Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6211357 I thought I skimped on my strength training workout a couple of days ago, but my muscles are still sore, so I did better than I thought. As expected, I got a slight rise in my body weight - BUT - my bodyfat reading is down. This is what I wanted to see. I've lost about 2% bodyfat since I started my fitness reboot. <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> I've gone a full pant size down. I have a pair of shorts that are two sizes down that 4 weeks ago I couldn't pull up over my thighs. I can ... Wed, 3 Aug 2016 06:27:56 EST Lifting Heavy Things Day 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6210804 Yesterday I woke up a little tired, but later in the day I felt more energetic, so I decided to start my "Lift Heavy Things" program after all. <BR> <BR> I imagine it went something like this: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/cc42dcbe-4c3f-4c47-9d88-962a45989dda.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I put together a program following the "New Rules of Lifting for Women" book, but as my very astute SparkFriends pointed out, if I don't really love it, I'm not going to stick with it. I t... Tue, 2 Aug 2016 06:55:57 EST Back to Primal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6210195 Yesterday my husband and I spent all day planting shrubs and flowers in our yard, so I got in some squats, bends, and lifting heavy pots. I'm taking today as a rest day. I feel fatigued, so it's time to take a rest. <BR> <BR> I went back to the basics and reread "The Primal Blueprint" by Mark Sisson. Despite not being a scientist, nutritionist, or any other kind of "expert", his plan is still the best that has ever worked for me. <BR> <BR> I don't quite follow a Paleo diet because I stil... Mon, 1 Aug 2016 08:06:01 EST Lifting Heavy Things http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6209636 Everyone has a health/fitness vice. Something that we know we should do, but don't do. <BR> <BR> For some people, the Friday donuts are too tempting to resist. Others just can't say stop at one slice of pizza. Many don't get enough regular exercise. <BR> <BR> For me, it's weight training. <BR> <BR> I love exercise, I really do. During my sedentary period, it was because I wasn't able to find a way to maintain my favorite exercise: riding my bike. The routine I used to do when I lived ... Sun, 31 Jul 2016 09:08:58 EST End of Week Recap #3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6209229 Week 3 down! <BR> <BR> It's weird. About 4 weeks ago before I buckled up and got to work on myself, I was plagued with self-doubt. "Maybe I screwed myself up for good this time." "Maybe I can't lose weight again." <BR> <BR> Pfft. Now I'm like, "I should have started sooner!" <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> Here is the graph of my weight loss. I am taking weight measurements every day so I collect a lot of data points. This is OCD, and not really necessary, especially if you're s... Sat, 30 Jul 2016 11:23:01 EST Can A Low-Carb Diet Be Restarted? Yes! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6208687 As I'm heading into the weekend, I'm feeling great! I'm on week 3 of my low-carb reboot, and things are looking fine. <BR> <BR> I have read that some people find restarting a low-carb diet to be harder and/or slower than the first time. The original question I posed was, "Can a Low-Carb Diet Be Restarted?" <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=6202026 </link> <BR> <BR> So can a low-carb diet be restarted? Yes, it can! <BR> <BR> Is it th... Fri, 29 Jul 2016 10:29:09 EST My Diet and Health http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6208270 I'm posting this blog for the purpose of referencing it. One of my pet peeves is when people tell or imply that I am following an unhealthy diet. So next time that happens, I'm just going to link to this blog because I don't want to repeat myself over and over. <BR> <BR> Let's establish some baseline facts from my last physical. <BR> <BR> Age: 41 <BR> Blood Pressure: Approximately 120/66 <BR> HDL: Greater than 60 mg/dL (optimal) <BR> LDL: Less than 100mg/dL (optimal) <BR> Never smoked cig... Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:40:04 EST The Mystery of Set Point http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6208076 Today I am officially 10 pounds down from my starting weight! <BR> <BR> <em>9</em> <BR> <BR> My shorts are just about to the point where they are sliding off. I have to wear a belt. I'm holding off on buying new clothes for now. Once I'm firmly in the size down weight, I'm taking my old clothes over to Goodwill. 15 pounds left for desired maintenance weight. <BR> <BR> I've stuck to my diet plan with no real deviations. Last Saturday I completed my 2 week induction phase. This wee... Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:28:25 EST Grilled Lime Cilantro Chicken and Cauliflower "Rice" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6206532 Last night I made grilled lime cilantro chicken and cauliflower "rice". The cauliflower "rice" was surprisingly good! My skeptical husband ate all the leftovers I was planning on saving for tomorrow's meal! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/a9c59480-a8bb-4730-9f28-70bcf8e3db65.JPG"> <BR> <BR> Fortunately, I have plenty of shredded cauliflower left to make more! I admit I was skeptical too. It was kind of expecting something like those tofu substitute meals that ... Mon, 25 Jul 2016 16:14:53 EST Finding What Fits http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6205782 This morning my husband and I got up early and took a 10 mile bike loop around our neighborhood. Going for a 7am ride is the only way we can get any exercise in the southeast during the height of summer. It gets way too hot, even past 9am at this time of year. <BR> <BR> I took my measurements this morning, and I've lost 1 inch off my waist and 1/2 inch off my calves! <BR> <BR> <em>9</em> <BR> <BR> I am tracking my weight and bodyfat reading every day, but I'm only taking measurements ... Sun, 24 Jul 2016 10:46:02 EST End of Week Recap #2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6205493 It's been a good week! <BR> <BR> I am 7 pounds down, and approximately 23 pounds left until goal weight. <BR> <BR> Here is the graph of my weight over the past 2 weeks. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/c8274c89-4eb8-45f4-9a71-e7655147d899.PNG"> <BR> <BR> I had an initial fast drop, and then a steady decline down. The initial fast drop was most likely water weight. I lost approximately 1.5 pounds last week, and two pounds this week. <BR> <BR> This is the usual ... Sat, 23 Jul 2016 18:35:28 EST Cauliflower 'Potato' Salad http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6204779 One of my krytonites in maintenance is potatoes. I really like potatoes. Unfortunately, my waist and hips really don't like them. <BR> <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> <BR> I found this 'cauliflower salad' alternative to potato salad last night. <BR> <BR> <link>buzzfeed.com/kwesijames/heres-why-ca<BR>uliflower-is-the-best-addition-to-pota<BR>to-salad?utm_term=.xrAJY5oDW#.afNayqOep </link> <BR> <BR> It works and tastes great! It's not going to taste exactly like a potato salad, of course... Fri, 22 Jul 2016 09:00:45 EST The Past is Back There Behind Me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6204217 It's too early to report on my results, so I'll reserve analysis until my weekly report in a few days. But I'm liking what I'm seeing. <BR> <BR> I've lost about 6 points, so I have about 20 pounds left til my goal weight. I fell from maintenance, but it could have been worse. <BR> <BR> 20 pounds doesn't sound like a lot, but it was enough to lower my energy levels, motivation, and self-esteem. I still felt like a failure. <BR> <BR> I feel silly that I waited so long to get started again... Thu, 21 Jul 2016 08:55:02 EST If This Cat Can Get in A Workout, So Can You! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6203669 Happy Hump Day! <em>213</em> <BR> <BR> <link>www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqV6VvMWRMs </link> Wed, 20 Jul 2016 09:37:40 EST Diet Control Freak http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6203632 About 7 years ago, I decided I wanted to be a vegetarian. During this time, I also decided I would eliminate processed foods from my diet. I went to the store, and loaded up my cart with veggies and fruit. I knew I needed some protein, so I went to look at vegetarian protein. <BR> <BR> I found soy hot dogs, soy cheese, and other concoctions. I read the ingredient lists. I put the packages down, and then went to buy some chicken. I made the realization that this stuff wasn't healthy eit... Wed, 20 Jul 2016 08:36:09 EST Past is Past, Now is Now http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6203085 In 2011, I finally reached my maintenance weight, and I successfully maintained it for 3 years. Then in 2014, things started going wrong. <BR> <BR> What happened? <BR> <BR> It's hard to say definitively. I know that I became sedentary due to life changes. I wasn't as active as I was before, often sitting for 16 hours at a time. <BR> <BR> And that just plain isn't good. <BR> <BR> So failed at maintenance. I became overconfident, and didn't make necessary corrections. I didn't notice t... Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:37:30 EST Bundles of Energy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6203039 Yesterday's Meals: <BR> <BR> Breakfast: <BR> 1 egg, 1/4 avocado <BR> <BR> Lunch: <BR> Romaine Lettuce salad with assorted veggies, olive oil and balsamic vinegar <BR> Smoked salmon <BR> <BR> Dinner: <BR> Eggplant "lasagna" <BR> Rainier cherries for "dessert" <BR> <BR> My appetite was so suppressed that I didn't feel I needed to eat a snack. <BR> <BR> Here is an example of how I do my meal planning. <BR> <BR> I prepped all my salad veggies last Sunday. I have chopped romaine lettuce, be... Tue, 19 Jul 2016 08:25:59 EST Too Much Fuel in the Tank http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6202410 One week down, and I'm already starting to get metabolic control back. <BR> <BR> I've been thinking about my weight gain. My working hypothesis is I was undereating calories while also being inactive. <BR> <BR> Calorie restriction does not work. <BR> <BR> Repeat. Calorie restriction does not work. <BR> <BR> What happens when we restrict calories? We lose weight for a short time, then we stall. No matter what we do, weight won't budge. Body has adapted to a lower level of calories. ... Mon, 18 Jul 2016 08:29:51 EST Can A Low-Carb Diet Be Restarted? Let's Find out. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6202026 Edit: This blog got double posted somehow. Sorry about that. Duplicate deleted. <BR> <BR> Some people say losing weight on low-carb is harder after a rebound. Is it true? Is it harder to restart a low-carb weight loss? <BR> <BR> I aim to find out. After a period of inactivity, I have regained about 10% bodyfat. <BR> <BR> Starting Conditions: <BR> - In good health, with no pre-existing conditions. Normal blood pressure 120/68, no thyroid issues, not diabetic, no cardiovascular conditi... Sun, 17 Jul 2016 14:13:47 EST Low Carb Reboot, Weekly Recap #1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6201428 It's been a little over a week since I rebooted my fitness goals. Is it working? <BR> <BR> Yes, it is. I've lost 4 pounds and 1% bodyfat so far. <BR> <BR> Yay! <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> But wait a minute. It doesn't quite add up. It's highly unlikely that all 4 pounds was all fat, given that my bodyfat change was 1%. The math doesn't work. No, most of it was probably released water weight retention. <BR> <BR> But that's still a good thing. For things like this, it's good to have ... Sat, 16 Jul 2016 11:02:24 EST Always Hungry? Book Review http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6200881 I finished reading "Always Hungry?" by Dr. David Ludwig. <BR> <BR> I'm not going to recap my journey all the way from the beginning because my old blogs have the whole story on how I came to Spark, how I struggled for years to lose weight and get fit, and eventually how I came around from low-fat to low-carb. Long story short, I was a skeptic turned fanatic believer. <BR> <BR> But following a low-carb lifestyle does require quite a paradigm shift in thinking. I was raised during the 80s a... Fri, 15 Jul 2016 10:27:07 EST Can-Do Girl Returns http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6200313 This morning I woke up, and I knew it had happened. <BR> <BR> After a week of light to moderate exercise, pushing healthy fats, and skipping my glass of wine at dinner, my body has switched over to fat burning mode. Over the week I had the typical hunger pains, and I quelled cravings with avocados and spoonfuls of almond butter. I fed my hunger with fat, which is the opposite way around to how I had done it for decades. <BR> <BR> Last night I went to bed with moodiness, and this morning I... Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:04:29 EST The Road Back http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6200019 In my quest to lose fat (again), I've been digging up old research to see what's new in low carb dieting. The main question that has puzzled me is why I gained weight during my inactivity. I've been searching articles and books to gain insight, given that my diet has remained low-carb during this time. My diet is very low-carb compared to the past, so why didn't I maintain it despite eating the same? <BR> <BR> I discovered my answer in the book "Always Hungry?" by Dr. David Ludwig, which ... Wed, 13 Jul 2016 20:18:50 EST So Far, So Good http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6199278 When something goes wrong, the first thing that needs to be done is analysis. <BR> <BR> Despite my setbacks, I have a few advantages. I already cleaned up my diet long ago. I don't have to break any bad habits with eating junk food, ice cream, or unhealthy snacking. I have made permanent changes to my diet that I maintain to this day. I still eat low carb, primarily limiting bread, pastas, and starches. I eat high quality lean proteins and fats. <BR> <BR> Here's a sample of my diet fro... Tue, 12 Jul 2016 13:52:38 EST Proving Myself Wrong http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6198059 I failed. <BR> <BR> Like so many others, I met my goal weight. And then I gained back most of the weight that I lost. <BR> <BR> How did this happen? <BR> <BR> It's not that I slipped into complacency and started gorging on junk, cakes and fast food. On the contrary, my diet is considered "good". I eat few processed foods, lots of veggies and lean meats. <BR> <BR> When I met my goal weight, oddly enough, it was because I was unemployed. I had nothing else to do with my time except to d... Sun, 10 Jul 2016 12:13:12 EST I Don't Exercise for the Calories http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5855347 Two weeks down in the new year. Last week I had a setback because I got sick. I was most disappointed that I couldn't get to the gym and continue my workouts. <BR> <BR> It's not because I was stressing about the calories. Since I've resumed regular exercise, I just feel better. I feel more alert during the day, and sleep better at night. <BR> <BR> I don't exercise for the calorie burn. I've long moved past counting every last calorie. Calorie accounting has never worked for me, and on... Thu, 15 Jan 2015 21:32:55 EST The New Year - An Update http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5849455 Hi, Sparkfriends! Long time no see! <BR> <BR> Hope you are all have been well, and having a great start to your New Year. It's always funny to me that the turn of a New Year can have such a profound psychological effect on starting over fresh. You can do that at any time, but turning the page on a calendar year seems to be some kind of special 'reset the clock' moment. <BR> <BR> And that is the way it is for me. Since the last time I wrote (which was apparently in summer of 2013), I've h... Thu, 8 Jan 2015 11:46:51 EST Lessons in Natural (Organic) Gardening http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5438405 Home gardening is very challenging for me. I love the idea of supplementing my diet with fresh garden veggies, but it has presented obstacles that I didn't anticipate. When I lived in an apartment, I experimented with container vegetables. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1286471335.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This was great in the spring, but the summer Georgia temperatures dried out the soil faster than I could maintain. <BR> <BR> We moved into a house, and one of my... Tue, 30 Jul 2013 10:08:11 EST Finding What Fits http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5408390 So far so good with my plan to eat and exercise without too much stress or guidance with numbers. It is certainly harder to know if it's "working," but I'm not bogged down with anxiety about it, either. As I mentioned in my last blog, I know what makes me gain weight, so I just don't eat in a way that makes me do that. <BR> <BR> The biggest struggle is resuming my strength training program. I've mentioned in the past that I am not very good with self direction in this aspect. I know that... Tue, 2 Jul 2013 09:52:46 EST No Numbers Required http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5401639 Eating a lot of the wrong foods, and not exercising enough was a recipe for weight gain. No news flash there! Now that I eat how my body likes and get enough exercise, I seem to eat constantly without gaining weight. I can't eat just anything, though. If I ate pizza, hot dogs and beer, I would be in trouble. Fortunately, I like --and my body likes-- protein, veggies, and a nightly glass of wine. <BR> <BR> I always thought maintenance would be hard, but I actually think it is the easiest... Tue, 25 Jun 2013 18:14:35 EST Calorie Composition Matters http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5400087 Calorie in minus calorie out is intuitive and simple: just move more, eat less. Except body composition it is not simple mathematics, but complex biochemistry. Note: this is ALL a lot more complicated, but some simplification is necessary. The problem is calorie is a calorie oversimplifies to the point where it's no longer valid. Yes, biochem majors, I am aware I am not telling the whole story. <BR> <BR> So what is a calorie? "The amount of energy required to increase the temperature of... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 11:03:38 EST Man of Steel - The Good and Bad http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5399379 Hubs and I went to see "Man of Steel" yesterday. I'll start off with the non-spoiler bottom line first: it was good, but not great. I give it a B- overall because it introduced thought provoking elements to a very old American tale. However, it falls short because it introduced too many ideas, and failed to develop the thoughtful elements in favor of excessive CGI city destruction. <BR> <BR> If you don't like 'spoilers,' then stop here. The Superman story is one very familiar to most of ... Sun, 23 Jun 2013 18:11:02 EST