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30 questions challenge: 11-20

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I’ve joined in on TANYAP71’s blog question challenge.

I don’t often manage to post blogs daily, so I’ll be answering questions here when I can and posting them in clumps of 10. In this case, since I won't have access to a computer until next week, I'm going to post some of these ahead of when they're "due."

It’s been fun reading the responses from others, and to help me keep track of them, I’ve made a spreadsheet, here:

(this way I’ll be able to find those posts in the future, even after they’ve been buried by more recent ones)

11. What do you like most about your body? Has what you like most about your body changed as you've progressed towards your goals?
I like the muscles. I like the fact that it can drive me through white water with strong, sure strokes (when I’m focusing on my form, anyway). I like how it can roll a kayak back up when I flip upside down in the water. I like how it looks in the mirror. I like how my favorite pants fit on it. I like how it can lift Very Heavy Weights. These things have been pretty consistently the things I like the most when I’m maintaining successfully.

12. Post a picture of your inspiration. Thinspiration if that's your thing. Fitspiration if that's what you're after. Heathspiration if that's your primary goal. Why is this person inspiring to you?


Dara Torres was 41 when she BROUGHT IT to the 2008 Olympics, winning three silver medals. If she could do that, why can’t I, in my mid-40s, lose 186 lbs and take up white water kayaking? Someday I hope to have the skills and strength to run some local class V rivers cleanly and with relish. Indeed, age IS just a number.

13. What has been the hardest life style change you've made for the sake of losing weight, getting fit, or becoming healthier? Any tips for making that change easier?
Staying vigilant, and facing down the occasional creep up in my weight. I have an amazing and unfortunate ability to ignore the writing on the wall until I’ve regained 10 or more pounds above goal range. I’m working on that. One of the things that is helping me is the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team challenges that focus on maintenance. They provide accountability and external pressure to keep on top of my fitness and do something about it soon when it drifts.

14. What life style changes have been easier than you expected? Why do you think that was?
I didn’t expect that my depression would be so reduced. For most of the past 20 years I took low levels of Prozac to help control my PMS symptoms. After reaching goal weight I gradually stopped requiring it altogether. Perhaps peri-menopause is helping too, although I’d expect that it would actually make the symptoms worse, given how hard on the system that transition can be.

15. What is your favorite weight loss, fitness, or wellness blog (or website or magazine) outside of sparkpeople?
I like LeighPeele.com - she has well-written, scientifically accurate, no-nonsense advice about nutrition and fitness. Her free podcasts on iTunes are fantastic. The Binge Series really spoke to me.

16. Do you follow an eating 'plan'? (Vegetarian, paleo, South Beach, Atkins, yada yada yada) How has this helped you live a healthier life?
I’m not sure how you’d characterize what I eat. I get about 30% fats, 30% carbs, and 30% protein. I settled on this via trial and error, based on how I feel and what foods minimize my binge triggers.

My general daily targets are:

150g minimum protein
50g minimum fats
40g minimum fiber
100g maximum sugar

I eat very little grains and added sugar. I like lean proteins, nuts, seeds, Greek yogurt (both with and without fat), leafy greens, and fruits. I eat a fair amount of protein bars when I’m on the road.

17. Do you have any meals/snacks that you repeat over and over? What are they?
For breakfast I almost always have Greek yogurt with some chia or flax seeds, and maybe some textured vegetable protein and/or fruit on top.

18. Do you have a go-to meal for days when you have to be on the go, no time to stop to eat and no refrigeration/cooler available?
Protein bars. Hard boiled eggs. Envelopes of tuna. Toasted almonds. Carbs are easy to get on the road. But the protein can be tough, so I focus on having that available in a pinch. I once wrote a whole blog post about road food:

19. What 'unhealthy' food(s)/drink(s) do you refuse to give up? Any that you have given up completely?
I can’t have cheese in the house. It’s just too tempting. I like ice cream, so once a month I go to the local place cayugalakecreamer
where they make their own from scratch and get a kiddie scoop in a homemade waffle cone. I eat it there, and then I’m done. No ice cream calling to me from the freezer when I get home. I pretty much can’t have any snacks or fruit or peanut butter or breads or starches or anything easy to eat at home. Night eating is a particular downfall for me. So I make sure I have exactly what I need around and no more.

20. What are your favorite healthy foods? What healthy foods have you 'discovered' along the way to better eating habits?
In case you haven’t noticed, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Greek yogurt. The real stuff, with just milk and lactobacilli in it. Not the stuff with pectins, gelatin, and other junk that some of the commercial brands add. Most of the time I go for the plain flavors because then I can control how much sugar I’m getting. If I want full fat I prefer Simply Greek brand. If I want nonfat I’ll get Wegmans, Fage, Siggi’s, Oikos, or Chobani. When I can find it I sometimes get the kind made from sheep’s milk. Lowfat (2%) Fage and Chobani are good, too.

Low-fat, and non-fat varieties both often have a great amount of protein in there. Which one I choose depends on whether I want my fats from dairy that day/meal or whether I’m going to go for fats from nuts and seeds. It depends on my mood. I don’t like to decide until the day or even the meal I’m eating, because I like to indulge my whims within my allotted calories. It helps keep me from feeling deprived or too regimented.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great blog!
    2584 days ago
    I am so impressed with your diet plan. You must fit a lot of plant protein in your diet with quinoa, beans, etc. in order to keep your fats so low. I struggle with that part of it and my protein intake is about 60 g a day. Did your current diet evolve gradually to where it is today?

    Off to track my food from today to see where I am. . .

    2590 days ago
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to share. Inspirational and informative! Please don't ever tire of sharing and repeating yourself...
    2593 days ago
    I really like reading how people who are maintaining figure out what works for their body and have their own plan. That so encourages me that I am on the right path by listening to my body and doing what works for it.
    2594 days ago
    Should kick up the protein and lose some carbs
    2594 days ago
    I love reading these too. It's just so fascinating to see all the variations amongst us Sparkers.
    2595 days ago
    Wow, I only get about 50-70 grams of protein a day. Maybe I need to pay more attention to it.
    2595 days ago
  • MKELLY72
    Such great information! It's great to be reminded from others some of the things that we already know, but kind of wander away from- like easy, go to, portable protein. I forget about tuna packs- I need to stock up again on those!
    2595 days ago
    Such helpful tips. Liked particularly what you said about the reduction of depression with the loss of weight. Of course carrying around all the extra pounds cannot make us feel upbeat and good about ourselves. It helps so much to like what we see in the mirror! The "embodiment" of the "eternal vigilance"!!

    Thanks for passing my name along to THESLOWESTLOSER: I did respond and was flattered to be asked!!
    2595 days ago
  • TANYAP71
    Thank you for the quick food ideas. I need to look at your road food blog too. I've never see anyone eat more protein a day than me. Do you have a hard time getting 150? I aim for 125. I tried for 150 for a bit but it was just too hard to hit. (I'm 30f/30c/40p and try to net 1500-1800 calories a day.)
    2596 days ago
    I just committed myself to training for a sprint triathlon next summer. If I can do that you can tackle those Class V rapids! Age really is just a number. I want to go into my 40s as healthy and happy as possible. You inspire me to reach out and grab the possibilities.
    2596 days ago
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