WRITINGBLUEHAWK's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=WRITINGBLUEHAWK WRITINGBLUEHAWK'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/ Finally! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5735964 Finally, I am seeing results! <BR> <BR> Today I weighed in and I've lost one pound. It reinforces to me how important it is to write down EVERYTHING I eat and track all of my activity. I've also realized that to lose weight, I need to be eating 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day AND exercising 4-5x a week. AND I need to do it consistently. <BR> <BR> Most importantly, for me, the line between losing weight and gaining weight is ever so slight. Only a difference of 300 to 500 calories a day. T... Thu, 10 Jul 2014 10:16:33 EST An "A" Grade Food Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5734047 Today, I'm patting myself on the back for putting together a really good day food wise. I had oatmeal, berries and a banana for breakfast, snacked on pistachio nuts, ate fish, green beans, carrots and a small portion of new potatoes for lunch, and for dinner I had chicken and a salad. <BR> <BR> My calories totaled around 1,300, I got all my fruits and vegetables in, I drank all my water, I did not consume a single soda, and best of all, I did not get hungry. <BR> <BR> I spend a lot of tim... Mon, 7 Jul 2014 19:44:09 EST Baby steps, baby steps http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5733233 There's a book I read one time called "The Four Agreements". I know that three of them are "always do your best" and "don't take anything personally" and "keep your word". I really like to focus on "always do your best." Some days are going to be tougher to deal with than others diet and exercise wise. This means that sometimes your plans will go awry because life gets in the way. Despite that, you adjust and keep moving forward. <BR> <BR> With my goal firmly in mind, I am continuing to ha... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 17:13:28 EST Feeling impatient http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5731876 Why is it that time slows down when you are trying to lose weight? <BR> <BR> Finally, after months and months of starts and stops, I've put a consistent program together. So far, I've lost four pounds in the last two weeks. So why is that not enough? <BR> <BR> Because yesterday, I tried on a skirt that was loose in the waist a year ago and now I didn't even get close to buttoning it. Depressing, but it underscores the work I need to do. <BR> <BR> Officially, I am trying to lose 23 pound... Fri, 4 Jul 2014 10:35:05 EST The Food Diary http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5730080 It's been a good week so far. I'm logging into Sparkpeople, recording my food and activity, eating more fruit and vegetables, cutting out simple carbs and cutting down my intake of diet coke. I haven't had one in two days, which is awfully good for me. <BR> <BR> Still, I have a love/hate relationship with my food diary. It's tedious to have to record everything I eat, estimate calories, measure food, etc. I prefer not to do it, but I learned an important and personal lesson about the dang th... Tue, 1 Jul 2014 20:24:58 EST Getting it Together http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5728382 Finally, I feel like I've gotten back into a groove and the frame of mind I need to adopt to drop the weight. I can never explain that "click" in my brain and what causes it to happen, but it did and now I'm the most focused I've been in a while. <BR> <BR> I've had a good week. Not a great one, because I only got 90 minutes of exercise this week, but a good one as far as food is concerned. I said "no" to treats 95% of the time and returned to the foods that helped me drop 50 pounds in 2012.... Sun, 29 Jun 2014 14:09:29 EST Took a Hike Today http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5723529 I was getting focused on dropping weight when I took a brief vacation that threw all of my best laid plans off track. When I returned and weighed in, I wanted to cry. I have no one else to blame but myself. I was mentally "offline" for nearly a week and the results of my lack of focus showed up on the scale. <BR> <BR> The good news, is, I sprung immediately into action on Saturday--cutting out dessert and bread, walking for an hour and drinking lots of water. When I weighed in this morning... Sun, 22 Jun 2014 17:45:23 EST Powering Forward http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5707432 Diet and exercise-wise; this was the best week I've had in a long time. I've been struggling to address three bad habits 1) not exercising enough; 2) my crazy addition to diet coke; 3) my sweet tooth. For some reason, I expected the scale to reward me. To my dismay, I've GAINED not lost weight, so what gives? <BR> <BR> I did some reading and learned that sometimes when you start a new exercise program or drink more water, that you temporarily gain weight. I certainly hope this is true becau... Sat, 31 May 2014 11:23:14 EST "Do What You Gotta Do" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5704749 In a previous blog, I had written about canceling my outdoor walk because of the rain. Well, Mobycarp, my SP friend graciously pointed out that if he waited until the weather was ideal to work out, that he would not be in shape by the time summer rolled around. He mentioned that he regularly jogged in the rain because sometime you just "do what you gotta do." <BR> <BR> Do what you gotta go. It's an expression similar to Nike's "Just do it". It means stop overthinking everything and just make... Tue, 27 May 2014 22:18:06 EST Weekend Warrior http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5703796 As I continue to struggle to build and maintain healthier habits, I can rejoice in the fact that I am working my way back into an exercise routine. This weekend, I worked out Saturday, Sunday and today and feel better for having done so. <BR> <BR> My workout routine is heavy on my mind because I let my gym membership expire. Now, I'm looking for alternative ways to get my exercise in. My goal is to exercise 150 minutes a week. This amount is scientifically proven to stave off diabetes, so i... Mon, 26 May 2014 19:58:32 EST Fair Weather Jogger http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5686559 Last week I vowed to push the exercise, with minimal success. I got up and walked Monday morning, but didn't do hardly anything else until today. Why? Because it was cold and rainy most of the week. Today is probably one of the most beautiful days I've seen all year, so it was easy to get outside and walk/jog for nearly an hour. <BR> <BR> That compares favorably to the minimal exercise I had been getting, but I need to continue to step up. I pray that this weather holds out for a while long... Sat, 3 May 2014 15:15:55 EST Ready to get focused again http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5681630 This morning, I woke up with a specific weight loss goal in mind. I want to lose 20 pounds by November. It's a modest goal, yet realistic given my tendency to meander, lose focus, skip workouts and make wrong turns. it's absolutely true that I could've lost the last 20-30 pounds of my weight a year ago, but why cry over spilled milk? I own my tendency to procrastinate. <BR> <BR> My blood sugar numbers are normal and my blood pressure is terrific. I'm blessed to be this healthy at age 48 when... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 13:23:18 EST Day 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5592883 Today was my first day on my friends and family "Biggest Loser" challenge (January 12 to July 12) and it was fairly routine. I returned to my regular eating program, which consists of the new eating habits I acquired when I lost weight the first time around. The only thing I added was a 25 minute walk during lunch. It doesn't sound like much, but considering I've been relatively inactive for the last couple of months, it was a big step in the right direction. <BR> <BR> I checked in with a c... Mon, 13 Jan 2014 21:10:03 EST Reboot http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5591502 I've been away from my blog for awhile and not paying attention to my eating habits. After a year of maintaining my 50 pound weight loss, my weight has been creeping up. So what happened? LIFE. Pure and simple. It's a waste of time to overanalyze why. The REAL question is what am I going to do about it? The answer is I'm going to pick up the tools that helped me drop my weight to begin with. <BR> <BR> Last January, I started out of the gate like a bullet; I went on the south beach diet an... Sun, 12 Jan 2014 18:27:58 EST Strengthening My Resolve http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5537455 This morning I was on the telephone with my best friend and fellow Sparker. We lamented the weight each of us had gained and shared our views of what factors had contributed to the weight gain. As I've previously mentioned, for me it's constant fatigue fueled by lack of sleep. For my friend, it's lack of time and eating on the run. <BR> <BR> By the end of the conversation, we agreed it was time to take action. Together, we set two simple goals: <BR> 1) MAINTAIN our body weight through the h... Sun, 10 Nov 2013 16:12:52 EST Staying positive http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5536443 I know how gaining weight plays on the mind and all the negative self-talk that gets in the way of progress. Sometimes we are harder on ourselves than our friends or family. When I jump on the scale, I can see the 7-pound weight gain, but since I'm 5'7" most people don't notice it. I do, because it's all in my belly and my pants fit differently. <BR> <BR> This time around, I'm stepping up the vigilance and being patient with myself. I'm beginning to believe that my persistent fatigue is at ... Sat, 9 Nov 2013 09:38:39 EST Getting Back on Track http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5534763 They say weight maintenance is forever and I couldn't agree more. For the first time in over a year, I've gained a significant amount of weight. What's worse is that when I noticed the weight gain, I took measures to reverse it and ended up gaining more. If I could point to one or two things I'm doing, it would be simpler, but I understand there are several contributing factors. For me the best step is to figure out what the heck is going on and taking steps to reverse it. <BR> <BR> The fac... Thu, 7 Nov 2013 10:22:17 EST Do I wanna lose 17 pounds or not? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5513368 Do I wanna lose 17 pounds or not? <BR> <BR> I ask myself this question all the time. The answer typically depends on what day it is and how fat I feel on said given day. <BR> <BR> One year ago, I lost 50 pounds and have successfully kept it off. I'm proud of that, but my original goal was to lose 67 pounds. <BR> <BR> There are so many advantages and disadvantages to staying at this weight or dropping more and I can't seem to commit to either decision. <BR> <BR> Advantages: <BR> 1. BMI ... Mon, 14 Oct 2013 15:26:16 EST My Class Reunion http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5480410 My class reunion was fun, fun, fun and my hard work paid off. I looked and felt the best that I had in years, but I learned something important. Once you've been out of high school for 30 years, some of the stuff that used to matter becomes unimportant. Our cliques have virtually disappeared because no one cares anymore. <BR> <BR> Yes, it's nice to look good, but it's even better to be alive and healthy. Some of my classmates have survived incredibly difficult life circumstances and were qu... Mon, 9 Sep 2013 10:07:34 EST When is a habit a habit again? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5433229 This morning I didn't even think about it. I woke up early, got dressed and headed outside for my morning walk. Considering that I'm not even a morning person, it's remarkable that I did this on autopilot. For the first time, I didn't ask myself "Should I go for my walk?" Instead, I just got up and did it. <BR> <BR> I'm still concerned about sustaining this habit. For example on Tuesday, I woke up expecting to see a reward on the scale for my hard work because I "felt" thinner (lol). Instea... Thu, 25 Jul 2013 14:33:19 EST 100/70--Yay! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5426544 100/70 was my blood pressure reading at the doctor's office yesterday morning! She was pleased and I was totally elated because I am taking absolutely NO medication. Although I've never been diagnosed with hypertension, I've had several borderline readings in the last few years. <BR> <BR> Generally in my family, most start taking blood pressure medicine in their mid-forties and must take it the rest of their lives. I am determined to avoid a similar fate. So far, I've managed to stave off ... Fri, 19 Jul 2013 14:16:16 EST Now I get it http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5425092 I love reading weight loss success stories. I find them infinitely motivating and love to hear how persistent these folks were to shed the weight. What I've always paid special attention to was how often they exercised. I wanna say about half of these people work out 300 minutes or more a week. I used to believe that was MUCH more than I could ever exercise. <BR> <BR> But, now I get it. The hard truth is that these "biggest losers" HAVE to workout that much to stay fit and trim. They will H... Thu, 18 Jul 2013 09:20:50 EST Songs about walking? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5423462 What are some of the best known songs about walking? I know this is a silly topic, but bear with me because I love music. <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> I thought it would make for an interesting play list for my morning walks. Here's what I have so far: <BR> <BR> Jesus Walks--Kanye West <BR> Walk Away Renee--Four Tops (?) <BR> The Walk--The Time <BR> A Long Walk--Jill Scott <BR> Walk this Way--The Jacksons <BR> Walking in Rhythm--The Blackbyrds <BR> Walking on the Moon--The Police <BR> Walking ... Tue, 16 Jul 2013 21:12:14 EST Diet Coke--My Frenemy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5422322 I've been addicted to Diet Coke for more than 20 years. It started when I was in college. I didn't drink coffee so I used Diet Coke as my source of caffeine when I was studying. I figured it was okay to do because it has no calories. Soon, I was drinking Diet Coke in the mornings as well as evenings. Since then, with the exception of my pregnancy, I have averaged anywhere from two to five servings a day. <BR> <BR> Yes, I've read all the articles about the evils of aspartame. I'm sure my fam... Mon, 15 Jul 2013 21:06:27 EST Wearing a tank top http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5420688 For the first time in years, I am wearing a tank top. In years past, my arms had bat wings and that annoying pinch of fat in my armpit. Today, they are toned and I can bare them with confidence. I'm nearly 48 years old; one day I will be too old to do this, so here I am. <BR> <BR> Although I am struggling to lose the next 5 pounds, I am taking some time once again to appreciate where I'm at right now. <BR> <BR> <em>357</em> Sun, 14 Jul 2013 12:06:31 EST Woo-hoo! Another pound bites the dust http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5418697 My plateau is over! When I weighed in this morning, I saw that I've dropped another pound. I was practically dancing around the scale. Since I'm a fan of the rock band Queen, I wanted to air guitar that riff that starts with the song "Another One Bites the Dust." THAT's how elated I am. <BR> <BR> Here are some lessons that were reinforced to me this morning: <BR> <BR> 1) Persistence counts whether you are sprinting, walking, crawling--whatever you're doing. As long as you're pushing forward... Fri, 12 Jul 2013 09:25:33 EST One food choice at a time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5417940 I have a goal to drop six pounds by August 8th, the day I leave for my high school class reunion. To accomplish this goal, I am working hard to reduce my calorie intake from 1,600 to 1,700 calories a day to 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day. Much easier said than done. <BR> <BR> What I am hoping will work is continuing to eat the same foods but make small shifts that reduce the calorie count for that meal. <BR> <BR> For example last night, I really wanted pancakes for dinner. So I had them. In... Thu, 11 Jul 2013 14:01:37 EST Overjoyed at losing 1/2 a pound http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5415628 Never during this journey have I ever been so elated over losing 1/2 a pound. You would think I've won the lotto. That dang half pound is a powerful symbol. It symbolizes PROGRESS. The adjustments I've made to my exercise program, the reigning in of my eating. The food diary. The substitution of coffee or water for Diet Coke. My tweaks are starting to add up enough to move the scale. <BR> <BR> I'll summarize my numbers; in January 2012, at 5'7", I weighed in at 222 pounds and wore size 16W... Tue, 9 Jul 2013 14:09:57 EST "You look like you've regained some of your weight" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5414534 "You look like you've regained some of your weight." <BR> <BR> That's what one of my aunts said to me about three days ago and her words seared my brain. Naturally, I got defensive and told her I have maintained my weight. She responded by saying I still have belly fat. <BR> <BR> Why on EARTH did I have to be raised around relatives who believe they're entitled to say whatever they want to me about my weight? Geez! <BR> <BR> My aunt is in her 70s, 5'4" and about 100 pounds overweight. ... Mon, 8 Jul 2013 15:48:39 EST Class reunion is in 34 days http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5412241 Honestly, I had hoped to be at my goal weight by now. I still have 15-16 pounds to go. I've whined about my exercise habits and my difficulties cutting my calorie intake down. I have been at or near my current weight for nine months now, which is great but I'm not finished. How come I can't get it together and lose the last 15? Buckle down and get it over with? I know what I NEED to do, but putting education into practice is a huge hurdle. I guess the question comes down to this: <BR> <BR> ... Sat, 6 Jul 2013 10:04:08 EST Morning workout http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5408929 Finally, I'm getting it together with the exercise. For the last three out of four days I've gotten up and walked for about 35 minutes. It's not as intense as I need it to be, but it's a start! <BR> <BR> My new job is fun, but taxing and I was missing too many evening workouts. Now, I'm struggling to switch my workouts to the morning and it's finally happening. <BR> <BR> If it's raining, my backup plan is to ride my stationary bicycle. On the weekends, I'm planning to drive to area trails ... Tue, 2 Jul 2013 20:03:56 EST Regaining focus through self-talk http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5394924 This morning, I weighed in and four of the five pounds I gained two weeks ago are gone. What is the lesson I've learned about my weight, self-discipline and staying focused? <BR> <BR> Self-talk matters. <BR> <BR> When I gained the five pounds, instead of punishing myself, I asked questions, like; <BR> What are you doing differently? <BR> What are the most urgent changes you need to make? <BR> Are you satisfied with your current weight or do you want to do the work to lose it? <BR> <BR> I ... Wed, 19 Jun 2013 08:51:24 EST Battling fatigue http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5392605 Once again, today when I got off work I just wanted to go home and sit down somewhere. This morning I was too tired to get up when the alarm went off. If this continues, I may need to call the doctor. I'm eating well and taking my vitamins, but can't seem to get it together long enough to exercise. <BR> <BR> I have sought out other ways to move more--stairs instead of elevators, parking farther away from buildings, keeping up with housework and walking the dog. Still, this activity can't re... Mon, 17 Jun 2013 22:22:10 EST Weird phantom fat moments http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5391003 Yesterday, I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror and couldn't believe how fat I had gotten. Isn't that weird? I'm still up three pounds, yet when I saw myself in the mirror, I looked like I had gained all 50 lbs of my weight back. <BR> <BR> When I complained to my hair stylist about how fat I was feeling, she almost back handed me! <em>30</em> I guess I'm still adjusting to the "new me" but dang it, the mirror is still playing tricks on me. <BR> <BR> When I looked in the mirror tod... Sun, 16 Jun 2013 16:50:55 EST Why does five pounds seem like a mountain? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5389405 A week or so ago, I realized I had gained five pounds. I gained it because I have a new job that's fun but demanding and I've been too exhausted to exercise in the evening. I'm still working through those issues. Because the hours of my job are so fluid, I have the flexibility to exercise in the morning without having to get up at an ungodly hour. I haven't done it yet, but I've started getting up earlier, which is a start. <BR> <BR> Today, two of the five pounds I gained are gone. The scal... Fri, 14 Jun 2013 20:21:49 EST Motivation returning http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5378894 It's hard to lose weight when you are pleased with your appearance, no matter what you weigh. The pain of being overweight has to be greater than the sacrifices. It's that simple. No wonder I haven't been motivated. For the longest, whenever I looked in the mirror, I was celebrating my 50 pound loss. <BR> <BR> Fast forward to June 2013. A new job, business travel and a weekend mini-family reunion. Suddenly 5 pounds returned. Yikes! Now, when I look in the mirror, instead of the 5 lbs I gain... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 09:34:40 EST My motivation sucks http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5365159 I have to face it; I'm struggling. I haven't lost complete control of my habits, but I'm not making any progress either. I keep telling myself that I want to lose five more pounds, but in reality I know I'm not doing enough to make it happen. <BR> <BR> My new job is going wonderfully well, but I am exhausted at the end of the day and have started skipping more workouts than usual. I haven't done a good job of switching my exercise time to the mornings so now, I'm working out about twice or ... Wed, 22 May 2013 23:50:18 EST Spinning the Sparkpeople wheel http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5345220 Even if I do nothing else to advance my goals today, the LEAST I can do is log in and spin the Sparkpeople wheel. Spinning the wheel mentally connects me with what I'm trying to do. I'm on this website to continue learning how to eat better and move more. When I'm unmotivated, I avoid logging in. That's the wrong approach. Those are the days I need to log in and spin the wheel. Even if I do nothing else all day, spinning the wheel keeps the program on my mind. Eventually, my thoughts will pro... Sat, 4 May 2013 10:34:24 EST Finally, no more fat clothes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5337518 Last week, I pulled my Spring/Summer clothes out of storage and tried them on. Most were size 1x or 2x. Nothing fit. I put everything in a bag and will soon donate them to charity. Then, taking some of the funds I earned through my side job, I did some serious shopping. I shopped at consignment stores, second hand stores, thrift stores, outlets and upscale department stores. I must have tried on dozens and dozens of outfits. After nearly a week of wardrobe planning and shopping, I now have a ... Sat, 27 Apr 2013 17:28:30 EST "How did you do it?" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5335762 One of the most satisfying things about shedding 50 pounds is running into people that I haven't seen in awhile. The number one question I get is "How did you lose the weight?" I tell them about exercise and eating mindfully, but it seems as though their eyes glaze over after the first few sentences. I talk about adopting a new lifestyle and how I still eat junkier stuff, but eat quality foods 80% of the time. The "on-a-diet/off-a-diet" mentality is prevalent. It's that all or nothing thinkin... Thu, 25 Apr 2013 22:13:20 EST My weight is the same--everything else is changing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5312363 I seem to be stuck at the same weight which is both good and bad. The good news is that the 50 pounds has been gone for six months. The bad news is that I will need to buckle down if I want to see further change. After a significant absence, I am back to food journaling, which is good. But I'm having trouble fitting in the exercise, which is bad. I have been relying on attending 2-3 kickboxing classes a week, plus lifting 2x a week. I've missed the last 3 classes because every single time, I'... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 09:09:00 EST My frenemy--the food diary http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5307320 One of the things I realized during my journey to drop 50 pounds was the inconvenient necessity of maintaining a food diary. The research is clear; people who maintain food diaries lose more weight. As much as I hated the idea of tracking everything I eat, I started to do so two or three times a week and eventually built up to daily tracking. <BR> <BR> Then, after I lost the weight, I told myself; “Well, you’ve got new habits so you don’t need to use the food diary anymore.” Okay, fine. So ... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 10:25:32 EST I got the job! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5293528 I got the job! What job you ask? The job that sounded so good, I was excited about applying. The job that represented career growth, abundant opportunities and, yes, a bigger paycheck. I feel like God is truly blessing me. He knows everything I’ve endured over the last three years and now the clouds are parting and the sun is shining. I’ve blogged about the bad times: <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4109669 </link> <BR> <BR> Now, that time... Wed, 20 Mar 2013 10:22:44 EST Maybe I'll lose 5 more pounds http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5283598 I am thinking about losing five more pounds. I'm 15 pounds from my goal weight and haven't pressured myself to lose it, but I'm starting to get restless. I still have more work to do to reach a healthy BMI. It's been on my mind to lose it in five pound increments instead of trying to tackle the entire 15. Fifteen pounds doesn't sound like much, but when it's the LAST 15, it's a challenge. <BR> <BR> I struggle with the idea of dieting hard for 3-4 months. I still like to indulge myself from ... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 08:23:36 EST The Ripple Effect http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5268254 Have you heard people say that when they make major changes to one area of their life, it has a ripple effect on other areas? The key is confidence and losing weight is the number one example of setting a ripple in effect. <BR> <BR> I haven't been blogging as much because some of my energy has shifted to other areas of my life. Not all of it, mind you. I still weigh in regularly and am working out. I continue to be mindful of my eating and even dropped a pound in the process of staying vigi... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 09:22:03 EST Choosing Maintenance http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5256045 I made the decision to focus on maintaining the weight I've lost for a few months until I am ready to begin the work of shedding these last 15 pounds. At the beginning of the year, I put myself under a lot of pressure to whisk the weight away, but I now know that it's going to take tremendous time, energy and effort to lose the weight. There are many things that are picking up in other areas of my life that have prevented me from focusing on weight loss. Still, I'm committed to maintaining my... Tue, 19 Feb 2013 10:38:49 EST Weight is relative http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5242919 The other day, I had an interesting conversation with a colleague at work. She was complimenting my weight loss and mentioned that she's been trying to lose 10-15 pounds for quite some time. I was surprised to learn this because I think she's already at a healthy weight. Through further conversation, I learned that she is the same height I am and is at the weight I've set as my goal. In other words, I only weigh 15 more pounds than she does. <BR> <BR> This was a revelation for a few reasons... Fri, 8 Feb 2013 13:40:23 EST Feeling sluggish but staying focused http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5239518 This month is off to a very busy beginning. I've been swamped with volunteer and side-job projects and my social calendar is starting to fill up. All of this activity is a refreshing change from my quiet, laid back schedule. What it means, is that I don't have as much time to consistently blog. <BR> <BR> I am struggling to maintain my new eating habits. This time of year, I turn into a slug. All I wanna do is eat carbohydrates and sleep. So it's a good thing that I have activities to distra... Tue, 5 Feb 2013 23:28:04 EST Ravenous http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5224522 This week, I attended three Body Combat classes. They are rigorous! According to the instructor, Sparkpeople and most calorie counters, I'm burning off about 700 calories a session. I sweat buckets and drink tons of water during the class. <BR> <BR> I've noticed this week that I've been extremely hungry. It could be hormonal, but the difference this week has been the classes. I think I undid all the work of these classes with my eating. The good news is that I'm eating at maintenance; the b... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 15:05:45 EST Body Combat http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5222881 I had grown bored with my fitness routine to the point where I was dreading another day spent on the treadmill/bicycle/elliptical. My new gym offers Body Combat classes and I just took my second one yesterday. It's a combination of kickboxing, tai chi, karate and self-defense moves. Lots of kicking, punching and "controlled aggression." My instructor is fit, friendly and knowledgeable and she really pushes the class. My classmates are diverse and many of them are helpful and friendly. Plus, I... Fri, 25 Jan 2013 10:46:34 EST