50,000-59,999 SparkPoints 54,191

vacation 2008-me and DD3

My family (minus 1)-June 2008

Determined, Dedicated, Disciplined To Be Fit. She is 71 years old. Ernestine Shepherd is my hero!


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"Take one step, then another, then another. Just put one foot in front of the other without regard to the length of the path. The longer I am on the path, the less likely I am to leave it."

The path is my healthier lifestyle. I eat less and exercise more. I make healthy food choices. I try new recipes and new foods.

I've been on the path since September 2006. Sometimes I am just tramping away, looking down at the muddy ground. Other times I am enjoying the sunshine and good feelings. Either way, I'm not leaving the path.

And the result? I am slimmer and more confident. I don't worry about how I look or how I will look doing something new; I am more adventurous.

People ask me how I have lost so much weight. I tell them "Eat Less and Exercise More" (that's the ELEM program...lol). Basically that's it in a nutshell. But of course, there is more involved than just ELEM. For example, how do I manage to Eat Less?

1. I measure everything that I eat. I take the measuring cup to the table to measure pasta. I weigh my meat on a food scale. I count crackers, yes, even Goldfish (55/serving).

2. I track everything I eat in the SP food journal, preferably before I eat it.

3. I try new foods. Spicy ones, new fruits and veggies, vegetarian options, etc. Sometimes I find a really good flavor that I like, sometimes I don't.

4. Decide if I am looking for quality or quantity. For example, if I want something salty/snacky, I might be looking for quantity. In that case, I'm not going to be choosing large tortilla chips, where I get 6 of them for a serving. Instead I might choose pretzels, where I can have 25 of them for the same calories. On the other hand, if I'm looking for sweets, I want to eat the very best sweet I can find. For example, I'd have to eat an entire Hershey milk chocolate bar to get the same satisfaction as eating an ounce of really good dark chocolate. It is like a rating system.

Then there is the EM (exercise more) part of the plan. The most important thing here is to find something that you like. And you have to make time to do it. This is a priority. I like to walk. I have a one hour lunch break, so I started going outside to walk for all or part of it. I try to make it fun. Try a new route, listen to a book on tape, use a walking tape or music that keeps my pace up. I walked as my only exercise for about a year. Then I added some simple strength training using the exercises I found on SparkPeople. I started small and short and have been adding weights and more exercises.

But most people probably know all of these things. Really the issue for most people is motivation. I am not much of a "goal" person. I lose sight of the goal as soon as I decide on the goal. And adding a date to the goal seems to stress me out. So I started with just simply deciding to Eat Less. Nothing else. No goal weight, no timeline. Just Eat Less.

After some success in this area, I started setting small goals. Things like drink 8 cups of water and eat 3 fruit/veggie servings each day. When I got tired of those goals, I made new goals. I just keep mixing it up,
trying different things.

As I was trying different things to motivate me, I tried the visual motivators suggested on SparkPeople. Specifically, I put together a small poster that has pictures of myself at lower weights and higher weights, along with motivational sayings and mottos. I try to spend 30 seconds each morning to look at each picture and read each saying out loud to reinforce and remind me of my goals. I have been pleasantly surprised to find that this helps me.

The lesson? I need to continue to try things, keeping the things that work for me, throwing out the things that don't work for me.

And that path that I am on? It is making me into what I want to be:

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. " Aristotle

Member Since: 12/1/2006

Fitness Minutes: 80,798

My Goals:
My goal is to eat in a healthy way and exercise regularly. I also want to learn how to eat like thin people eat... you know, eat when I'm hungry, stop when I'm not.

My current goals: These will help me to reach my goal weight.
1. 300 minutes of cardio each week
2. Strength training 15-30 minutes, 3x each week
3. 11 cups of water daily
4. 6 freggies daily
5. Fewer than 300 calories after my last meal
6. No eating out of the package

My Program:
Here are my essential elements (FEPI):

F - Food journaling, i.e. the nutrition tracker. This includes portion control, fat, and sugar monitoring.

E - Exercise. I walk 2-3 miles on most days and am doing strength exercises with free weights to tone up.

P - Meal preparation and planning. Each weekend, I prepare my breakfasts and lunches for the coming week, making it easy to decide what to eat at work.

I - Inspiration. I read books, articles, and blogs about people that are dealing with weight and attitudes.

Personal Information:
I have a wonderful and understanding husband, and four children, all who love me regardless of my size. As a family, we love to camp, hike, play board games, and cards.

Other Information:
I am a musician who dabbles in several instruments. My latest interest is handbells. I love to ring them, and I have started to arrange tunes for my handbell ringers.

I also love playing cards, board games, puzzle books, and cooking.

Read More About OWLWHO - Profile Information moved here. (Updated June 14)

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    Just stopping by to say HI!! and let you know I am thinking of you today!!

    May the Lord bless you and keep you!
    May the Lord give you the strength you need on your journey!

    Have a blessed day!!

    2740 days ago
  • v KELPA123
    What is a Madhatter Muffin? I like the calorie count on it! Much better than the deli muffin I had this week that was likely about 400 calories! Do share!
    2749 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/16/2010 10:10:19 AM
  • v KELPA123
    Just stopped by to say hello! Haven't been at church the past couple weeks so feel out of touch a bit.

    Hope you have an amazing day!
    2809 days ago
    Hi Carleen! I haven't checked in with you for awhile. Seems like things are going pretty well for you and your knee. It would be fun to see you and take a bike ride sometime before the summer is out. Karin and I are training for the "Tour de Tonka" (38 mile ride around Lake Minnetonka on August 7). My goal is to do it in under 4 hours, and I need all of the training I can put in!

    Give me a call or shoot me an email if you'd like to get together.

    2842 days ago
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    Just peekin' in on you!

    Jan started this...or at least she did on my page. Hope you're doing well. We need you walking with us to Glacier Nat'l Park. Please come by soon.

    2850 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/7/2010 8:07:52 PM
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