WILLOWBROOK5's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=WILLOWBROOK5 WILLOWBROOK5'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/ Finding Beauty http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5262599 Well, 2013 has been a bumpy ride so far. My mood has been low. I wish I was the kind of person who didn't eat when she was depressed. Unfortunately, I am the kind of person who turns to food when she is feeling down. So, I've spent the past several weeks eating way too much junk. I've been withdrawing, not feeling like going anywhere, much of that made easier by the snowy weather. I've even been avoiding SP and instead have been caught up in bad eating and bad emotions. I would get ba... Sun, 24 Feb 2013 21:13:45 EST In the Immortal Words of Joe Walsh… http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5205175 …”I can’t complain, but sometimes I still do.” Despite having so much going well in my life, so much to be thankful for and no legitimate reason to complain, my year got off to a rough start. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been rather depressed and once I went back to work after New Year’s, my mood worsened. My eating went downhill and I had several days of over-eating and binging. At least I kept to most of my normal exercise routine every day and I also had several days of staying ... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 14:52:40 EST Gifts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5177124 Other than food being a stressor for me this year, I enjoyed Christmas. I just wish food wasn't so central to celebrating the season. My eating wasn't the best after two of the three pot-lucks at work (I kept eating when I got home). I definitely overate at Christmas Eve dinner with my family. I think the food at these events was just so different from what I normally eat, that it triggered binge type eating. Nothing terrible, but nothing good. Quite frankly, I am relieved to have the h... Wed, 26 Dec 2012 22:00:01 EST A destination AND a journey http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5168336 I think many of us seek a balance when we are working to lose or maintain weight. On the one hand, we have a goal, or often several goals in mind. We want to get to a certain weight, figure out how to maintain that weight, get into a certain size, improve our health, increase our fitness, etc. While working towards these goals, we can become very single minded and driven. We might ask ourselves, when do we get a chance to smell the roses? Sometimes, we might think that we’ll just need to... Sun, 16 Dec 2012 18:38:41 EST Christmas Past and Present http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5161534 Yesterday, I bought and set up this year's Christmas Tree. It is a small one, like last year's, much snippier with its needles than last year's but very pretty, I thought. This is the tree right after we got it home and set up in its special stand. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1061682866.jpg"> <BR> <BR> After the tree was decorated, which included the annual last minute run to the store for more lights (why are there never enough lights?), I tried unsuc... Sun, 9 Dec 2012 21:57:32 EST Excellent First Meeting with Dietitian http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5154853 So a mere 21 months after embarking on a healthier lifestyle, I finally decided to see a dietitian about improving the overall quality of my diet. I did this with some trepidation because my very limited experience with dietitians has been all about restrictions, what you SHOULD eat and what you MUST avoid. I am not much (as in not at all) for following a restrictive food plan. The main thing I’ve done since March 2011 is to limit calories and sodium. In the past few months, I have also in... Mon, 3 Dec 2012 14:27:54 EST "Love Never Ends" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5146316 I was going to blog about Thanksgiving, how my long weekend went (great), the wonderful walks I had in the forest preserves where I often hiked when I lived in the Chicago suburbs, and maybe share some thoughts about how challenging this time of year is for those of us trying to lose or maintain weight. <BR> <BR> But instead I keep thinking of the end of my walk in the woods yesterday. We were almost back to the car and I remembered being on that stretch of path with my dad. He didn't do... Sun, 25 Nov 2012 19:13:20 EST Not Gonna Relax -- Gonna Beat the Odds http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5139774 I've had a few interesting comments made to me recently. <BR> 1. "Oh, come on, it's the holidays. You can relax a little now." <BR> 2. "So? What's the problem? " (At a buffet meal, when asked why I passed on eating the flank steak and I said because it was covered in creamy sauce) <BR> 3. "I'm going to drop off a piece of a dessert I made. You can eat it or throw it out. " <BR> <BR> The first two comments, I simply looked at the persons with my best "Seriously?" expression and the... Sun, 18 Nov 2012 21:52:46 EST Binge :-/ http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5135547 Monday, I binged for the first time since I began my weight loss journey in March 2011. I've had a few days where I went too high in my calories, over-eating a bit, some binge quality to my eating but not a true binge for over 18 months. It was a pretty good run. <BR> <BR> I'm still not entirely sure where it all went off the rails on Monday. It was a stressful day at work, but I have plenty of those. It was an especially long day at work, which I rarely have, and I had brought food fo... Wed, 14 Nov 2012 19:29:28 EST Obsessed with fit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5131785 Ok, this might sound shallow. And when you look at my photos, which are mostly at the beach where I am dressed so as not to care about sunblock stains, you could easily be thinking, "Say what?" But for a while now, I have really been fairly obsessed with wanting my clothes to fit, if not perfectly, then pretty darn close. I have low tolerance for baggy clothes. A little loose is fine. Baggy makes me look sad and worn. Not that I am a fan of tight, mind you! <BR> <BR> This obsession h... Sun, 11 Nov 2012 17:25:52 EST Hungry Like a Dog (apologies to Duran Duran) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5130463 Years ago, my dad once joked that I was spending too much time with dogs. This morning, watching my dogs eat (devour) their breakfasts, I thought he might have been right. I noticed some similarities between their eating habits and mine. <BR> <BR> 1. The dogs get very excited about mealtime. Really, seriously excited. I'm sure it's the highlight of their day. You'd think they didn't get regular meals, that I forgot to feed them on occasion or that 2 Squares plus treats a day is a new ... Sat, 10 Nov 2012 11:12:57 EST My Slacker Approach to Successful Goal Setting http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5123618 Like so much on our journeys to better health, there are many routes we can take. What works great for one person may not work at all for another. I am often impressed with the goals I see others set for themselves. I see very ambitious goals. Very detailed goals. Goals with percentages and end dates. Highly organized goals. <BR> <BR> I, on the other hand, design my goals to be highly achievable. I never set a goal I think is going to be hard for me. Total slacker, c'est moi! But ... Sun, 4 Nov 2012 13:20:57 EST Say Yes to the New You http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5114960 I need to start this blog by admitting a fairly new addiction. I love the various incarnations of the show, Say Yes to the Dress. After being without cable for a few years, I got it back during the summer. And that is when I discovered this seemingly simple show about girls picking out their wedding dresses. At first I was puzzled about how there could be an entire show around this activity. I mean, I love pretty dresses as much as the next woman, but seriously? But then I realized, as ... Sat, 27 Oct 2012 19:24:21 EST The View from a Plateau http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5107699 So, I have been on this plateau for over a month now. I thought I was moving off it when I went down a pound after a two week stall back in September, but then I went on another stall, this one about 3 weeks. Actually went up .6 lb, then a while later, up another .6, then down in the space of one day by .8 lb where I have held amazingly steady for several days. Let's just say my body really likes being 138.4. <BR> <BR> Meanwhile, my goal is 137 but in my heart of hearts I want 135, main... Sun, 21 Oct 2012 22:15:57 EST Exercise -- A fine line http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5098835 MISSUSRIVERRAT's blog on October 11th <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5094907 </link> touched on many thought provoking topics, but the one that really caught my attention was her reference to "positive addictions," most notably exercise. <BR> <BR> I think we have all heard the research of how exercise releases endorphins in our brains, making us feel happy and less sensitive to pain. And most of us have experienced a sense of well-being dur... Sun, 14 Oct 2012 16:31:11 EST I somtimes don't know who this person is http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5085392 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/7/l776128554.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This was in May 2011, a couple months into my weight loss. <BR> <BR> <BR> I sometimes don't know this person either... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/5/l551702306.jpg"> <BR> <BR> ...but I know which person is healthier, which person can enjoy life more and which person I intend to be. <BR> <BR> And, just for the record, I do have more people in my life than the Border Collie! ... Wed, 3 Oct 2012 15:07:53 EST Reviewing the Situation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5082969 So, thinking about September, despite this latest plateau I am on, I am feeling better about what I accomplished. This month, I lost over 7 lbs after coming off of my August plateau. On September 1st, I met my original goal of 147. Today I am 139.6 and my new goal of 137 is not too far off, though it may be a few weeks at this pace. <BR> <BR> While the plateaus are coming a little too fast for my taste lately, I am at the end of a long weight loss journey (19 months, 160+ lbs). This i... Mon, 1 Oct 2012 21:51:19 EST Kinda down and dragged out but determined http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5080722 Don't know if it is being on another plateau so soon after the last one or having a weekend that is chore-oriented, but I woke up feeling a little depressed this morning. Worse, I had little motivation to exercise which almost never happens. <BR> <BR> On my walk through the neighborhood, I debated skipping the beach walk today though that is one of my favorite things to do. It just seemed like a lot of time to spend on a day I have a list of things I still need to get accomplished. In... Sun, 30 Sep 2012 14:56:49 EST Gah! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5079446 I was really looking forward to today's weekly weigh in. I had been so "good" all week with calories and exercise, I expected to see I had lost at least a pound. But not so much as one ounce difference from last Saturday. I can't believe I hit another plateau after just coming off one that lasted most of August. My plateaus do not mess around, LOL. They tend to hang on like grim death. <BR> <BR> But I have decided, so do I when I make up my mind to do so. My first thought (after some ... Sat, 29 Sep 2012 11:16:55 EST It's Official... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5072116 At yesterday's weigh-in, I lost 1.8 lbs and finally achieved a BMI that is considered in the healthy range. Granted, I am about a biscuit away from being considered overweight, but a few more lbs will get me more firmly in healthy territory. I am lighter than I have been in over 20 years. Maybe 30 years. I celebrated by buying a few pairs of pants and two pairs of jeans in a size I never thought I would be in when I began losing weight 19 months ago. <BR> <BR> That, combined with ... Sun, 23 Sep 2012 22:16:24 EST Not letting stoopid keep me from seeing my strength http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5068406 <BR> <BR> One of the things I love about SP is how supportive and positive people are.  So far, I haven't run into the sniping or negativity that you often see on Internet sites and that is really impressive.  In addition to all I am learning here, I also really appreciate the positive atmosphere and people.   <BR> <BR> Today, I went to one of my company's offices that I don't get to very often.  It has been two or three months since I was last there, and I am down at least a couple of siz... Thu, 20 Sep 2012 21:55:41 EST The Moving Target of Maintenance http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5060431 So, today is the start of Week 3 of Maintenance for me. When I first began losing weight over 18 months ago, I didn't even have a clear goal in mind other than at over 300 lbs I needed to lose weight. I finally found my commitment due to a few different health concerns and the weight came off steadily with only a few plateaus. <BR> <BR> Then I began to formulate goals -- pretty vague ones at first. 200 lbs might be ok for me, I thought. I'd like to be below 200 by New Year's. And I w... Sat, 15 Sep 2012 13:21:45 EST