Get Fit Part 11 !!!

bungalowbeesMay 28, 2006

When we last met in Part 10, athomein1914 & awm03 were extolling the virtues of nutrition trackers.......and Lori, Yvette, Sue et all were missing in action, presumably at the gym or indulging in well-earned holiday indescretions!

Hope everyone checks in to brag -- at least "woo hoo" us that you're hanging in there!

Yoo hoo! Lurkers and resident enthusiasts alike, welcome to Part 11!

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Well, I just busted out of the 170s, thanks to my nutrition tracker: 169.5 today! I was 200 lbs. when I started in January. Tracking the quantity & quality of what I eat has been a real eye opener.

20 miles on the bike today. Beautiful weather.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 3:23PM
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Congrats awm03, and athome, thanks for starting part 11. I'm still plugging along. I had lost 10, gain back a couple on a cross country car trip, then lost those two after we returned home. Still going to the gym at least 4 times a week and doing the treadmill. I'm trying to still to whole grains, lean meats, no junk. But this weekend we're attending back to back grad parties. One yesterday and the second one today. Then tomorrow it will be a get together with the neighbors to finish off the left overs from the two grad parties. The parties were for two different girls but at the same neighbor's house. I doubt that the gym will be open tomorrow so I might have to take a walk in the morning in lieu of the treadmill.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 4:22PM
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Woo Hoo!!!! :)

Can I just say...I've been workin' my butt off!!! Very happy with the results, pushing towards my goals, short term and long term.

Sue, a cross country road trip? I'm SO jealous. I did that in '90 and had a blast. Would love to do it again now that the kids are old enough.

Awm, 20 miles!! Good for you! You're on fire. I can't tell you how happy I am for you.

Athome, I'm also glad you started #11. Although I sometimes shy away from the thread because I feel like such a nag, it's good to know it's here. All of you inspire me.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 10:30PM
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Lori316, thanks for your kind words. But I've been able to ride 20 miles for several years, even when I was 200 lbs. I've been fit but fat for years. Getting my eating under control is the real improvement.

I was laughing at myself last night. Had about 245 calories remaining in my daily allotment & was in the mood for a snack. So I took out a jar of Orville Redenbacher's, carefully read the nutrion info first, then measured out the recommended amount: 3 tablespoons of popcorn kernels! I thought, "Is that all?!!!" But when I popped it with 1 T of canola oil, it made a serving bowl size. So it WAS enough. 120 cals. popcorn + 120 cals. from the oil. I was laughing at myself for being so anal about the measuring, but you know, it turned out to be the right thing to do. It was enough popcorn to satisfy the munch urge, and it stayed within my calorie limits.

So what are the results that you're very happy with? Please share! :)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 7:23AM
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Awm, I knew you were doing some decent distances on the bike. I remember you telling me about a 17 mile ride when you first started on this thread. But you're so consistent with the diet. You're losing at such a good pace.

I know what you mean about being anal about the measuring. Trust me, that's nothing. Talk to me when you count peas. LOL I've been measuring/weighing things for years, and I swear it makes a huge difference. I know it's hard and seems almost silly sometimes, but you always have a good record of what you're eating.

When I start training a new client, one of the first things I tell them is to write down every single morsel they eat. Use detail. Don't say "a handful of nuts." Instead, write "16 cashews." They think I'm psycho. And they're right. LOL But it gives you something to look back to at the end of the week.

My results? I'm down to below 15% bodyfat. I've really increased my metabolism so that I don't have to work so hard on the cardio (hate cardio). I'm in the best shape of my life.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 9:13PM
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Wow, Lori -- 15% bodyfat. You must be in fabulous condition. What kind of exericise do you do? Were you ever overweight or have you just always been conscientious?

Thanks for the reinforcement re weighing & measuring. Measuring & weighing foods are a comfort thing for me now; it eliminates a lot of anxiety ("Can I eat that? Am I eating too much?"). I know I'm staying within my daily calorie allotment when I weigh & measure. It's second nature now -- very easy to do. It seems silly that I once thought it would be too much trouble.

You reminded me to check my BMI: 25.7. When I get below 25, I will officially be Not Overweight (just high normal)!

Hope everybody had a relaxing Memorial Day weekend.

Here is a link that might be useful: BMI calculator & chart

    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 10:19PM
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I'm so excited to be among the anal & fit! Okay, I'm nowhere near "fit" yet but I think all my attention to numbers will get me in the ballpark with time.

I'm measuring everything in sight, it's so reassuring. Love seeing my weight changes on a graph. Even though I know it's normal to jog up & down while heading to that smaller number, the graph "proves" it. Where's Yvette? She knows what I'm talking about!

Awm03, I think it's important to get your calories -- so good for you making popcorn!

This week I fell below my calorie range a few times & went to bed smugly without them. Big mistake. I think it affectedly me adversely later in the week, does this make sense? (I've enjoyed more than my share of typos, and a certain lack of logic lately, and in person you'd noticed more clumsy foolishness than usual...) I lost weight, maybe a little more than I would have, but I don't feel as well a few days later & want more. I like having a calorie range rather than an exact number but I'm trying to keep myself above the bottom so I don't undermine other goals (like getting/keeping muscle!).

15% is truly amazing. And to be able to say you're in the best shape of your life, wow.

Off to drink more water.....

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 10:39PM
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Awm, thanks for the compliments! You say you've been fit but fat for years. Well, I've had my weight under control most of my life, but never really been fit. I wasn't even 100 lbs when I graduated HS, but I'd get out of breath walking up a flight of stairs.

During my first pregnancy I gained 62 lbs. Then 70 lbs for the second child. I kept it to "only" 30 lbs with my most recent.

I worked really hard to lose all the weight and did pretty well until that last 15 lbs or so. I got thin but still looked 4 months pregnant around my belly. I was complaining about it at work one day and one of the guys suggested I try lifting weights and explained all the benefits of them to me. I joined a gym two days later, and I've never looked back. I got so interested in it and decided I wanted to be a personal trainer. I work full time at a desk job but am currently doing the personal training part time. I wish I could make a career of it.

Athome, thank you, too, for the compliments. It feels good to work so hard for something and finally see some good results. You've been here awhile, but in the beginning of the get fit threads, one of the topics we spent a lot of time on was eating too few calories. Hard to believe it would have negative impacts, but it does! When you don't eat enough calories, your body thinks you're starving itself and as a defense mechanism, it holds on to fat because it doesn't know when it will get its next meal. So, maybe you've lost weight (muscle?) but you've slowed your metabolism, and we know that's never a good thing.

The best thing is just to keep eating smaller meals, but eat more often. I think everyobdy has decided how many calories they want to eat in a day. When you eat them (and what form they're in) are just important. I never go below 1200 calories, but right now I'm about 1650 and still losing weight (slowly).

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 2:22PM
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My calorie range is 1425-1680, depending on how quickly I'm losing weight or if I've under/overeaten the day before. I eat extra to make up for exercise calories too.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 7:52PM
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Lori, I do understand about the calorie thing but it feels goofy to eat when you're "not hungry" but you are overweight! I think those couple under-calorie days were a fluke because I haven't had that "not hungry" thing since -- trust me! If I find myself low at the end of the day I pick something off my easy checklist & go for it. And when I find myself over for a couple days due to real hunger I shrug off the number & listen to my body. Losing weight at 2#/week this way so all is well at the moment. (Plateau sneaking up just as I dare to say this, probably!)

My range is 1200-1500, with decent exercise. I'm pretty careful about making those calories count. Eating a lot of mache, anyone else? (I'll link below, no interest in the brand but it's readily available in my area & delicious, I use little of my homemade dressing.)

A friend is running her first marathon tomorrow & I'm so excited for her. I think it's especially great that her kids will see Mom running a marathon! Not exactly what my mom was doing at her age, though she's a regular at the gym today in her 70s.

I think about weight a lot due to my skinny 22 yr old cat. My vet reminds me if she loses weight, she loses muscle which is so hard to recover. (not my vet who looks fabulous, my cat ..... )

Here is a link that might be useful: mache etc (Epic Roots brand)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 2:18PM
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Mache sounds good. Wonder if you can buy seeds to grow it? Looks like it would be a nice container plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: NPR report on mache

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 5:26PM
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Oh yeah, let's definitely look into growing these little beauties... Went to the grocery today to stock up on the clamshells of mache & discovered the 2 for 1 sale is now over -- $5/package!!!

Probably a cold weather crop, by chance has anyone grown mache? Anyone lurking & gardening???

I do love to garden but I don't know if I can pull this off, certainly not most of the year.

I have to say, this is absolutely my favorite salad green.

Artichokes are a re-discovery for me. For years I thought they were a frivolous indulgence. Now that I'm tracking my nutrition I've discovered they're full of great stuff, who knew? And oddly, I've been eating them plain for years, I just love them by themselves.

Any other favorite foods that actually taste so good, you'd eat them even if you were not restricting calories/fat?

Here is a link that might be useful: Mache (Renee's Garden seeds)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 12:01AM
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Eggplant, peppers & onions in combination really hit the spot these days. Yellow squash & zuccini too. Or all 5 together! Sometimes mushrooms in the mix. I saute various combinations thereof in a little olive oil to put on top of Ronzini whole wheat blend linguini (180 cals, 6 grams of fiber) with 1/4 cup mozzarella for dinner. Very filling and very few cals, actually. Often I'll load up a soup or stew with these veggies too, unsauteed, or top a homemade pizza with them (did that last night -- delicious!). Turnips & greens in winter are tastier than you'd think. I also love Shredded Wheat & Bran cereal. Oh, and Bush's baked beans! Or black beans or red beans or white beans, especially with brown rice. Medjool dates are a great dessert. Ditto fat free cottage cheese w/ Dole's canned tropical fruit. Fresh spinach is another frequent meal item. Fuji apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries...

When you start thinking hard about food quality & food quantity, it's amazing to discover the variety of food that's good for you and not packed with cals. I'm surprised at the variety of my diet. Sometimes the hardest part is deciding what delicious foods to eat.

I confess to never having cooked artichokes! I liked canned artichoke hearts. I'll take your word for it, athome, that they're delicious & will get some at the store today. Any special cooking technique or recipe?

I have eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, parsley & basil growing out on my deck. Mache would be perfect for the low concrete planters. Yes, it's probably a cool weather plant.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 9:03AM
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Another rainy day, so another workout on the elliptical in the basement. How's everybody doing?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 5:52PM
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I leave for an Alaskan cruise tomorrow. DH and I both packed our work out stuff because they have gym on the ship. We will be doing some shore excursions that have a little physical activity, so we should be ok...unless I eat everything in sight. I am planning on seafood every night. Alaskan King crab, lobster, salmon...I can harldy wait.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 9:15PM
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Wow, sounds terrific, sue! The thought of all that sea food is making my mouth water. The scenery, the gym, the down time should be very relaxing. Hope you have a wonderful time!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 10:00PM
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I've been doing very well on my exercises. I alternate stationery bike with a treadmill and do weights as well anywhere from 3-4 times per week. I also walk around the park at least 3 times a week (3 miles).

I'm not overweight, but I'd like to firm up some more and also have more energy. We'll be leaving for Europe next month and that's going to be a killer food wise, but we'll be walking a lot so hopefully we'll burn off the calories. I don't worry too much when I travel...just eat whatever I want (that's good and healthy) and then get back to my exercise regimen once we're back home.

Going for my physical tomorrow. Good thread, it's helpful to read the success stories as well.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 11:24PM
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Energy is huge, thanks for bringing that up. Funny but as you're slipping out of shape it's easy to forget everything you're "losing." Walking will absolutely make up for all that great food. It will be great to up your energy and stamina.

Way busy here, but squeezing in some gardening which is relaxing -- and apparently helping the body project, even if it's not exactly cardio. I notice that my garden movements are easier due to diet/exercise. A great way to measure, beyond the scale.

Just checking in to see how everyone is doing. awm03, have you figured out what to do with those artichokes? I'll check back in & help you out but I really should pour myself into bed now.

Debating about these nights when I actually find myself short on calories. Any thoughts? I like having an occasional "high" day (not too high), but I'm not sure about the "lows." Seems to me an occasional "low" day might be fine but too many may backfire. Any wisdom out there? Sometimes I get to the end of the day, realize this, and decide I'm too tired to do anything about it! (even if I'm a tad hungry...)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 1:12AM
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Athome, I think added calories late in the day depends on what theory of dieting you're following. I know you said you're about 1200 to 1500 calories a day, but are they broken down into any ratio as far as proteins/fats/carbs? Or do you just stop when you get to 1500 calories, no matter what form they were in?

I try to keep my late night snacking in the form of protein. Carbs early in the morning means you have all day to burn them (although i've generally been of the mindset that calories are calories, no matter what time of the day you have them).

Well, now, I guess I wasn't very helpful, was I? LOL

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 2:38PM
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Lori, I'm using a nutritional tracker & no I don't just gobble up any old calories, that made me laugh! I've always been anal about calorie counting, meaning I watch my fat & protein like a hawk. I don't have room for empty calories, and in fact I don't think I'm getting everything I need from food sources so I try to remember to take a supplement (something from New Chapter), figuring it can't hurt. I'm having a rough time getting enough iron & calcium from food sources so I'm reconsidering supplements. Zinc is low, and other things I never thought about before. I track sodium (under 1500mg/day) & cholesterol (under 250g/day).

Here's the breakdown, courtesy of my nutritional tracker:

CALORIES: 1200 - 1550
CARBS: 135 - 252
FAT: 27 - 60
PROTEIN: 30 - 136

I'm generally in the lower third for fats & overall calories, but right in the middle of protein. One thing I wonder about is whether I should aim higher for protein.

Lots of vegies & water, fruits are hard for me for some reason, I just prefer vegies I guess. This is a whole grain, organic household so the temptations at home are few. Teenagers bring odd things over but I don't share their tastes so no sweat. (DD's favorite snack is popcorn w/ canola oil & nutritional yeast & salt. Never butter.)

I feel great, lots of energy, but I do notice a difference when I'm not using a supplement -- is it in my head? Don't know. The worst is if I forget water, it's hard to catch up again & I don't feel well.

Perhaps more than you wanted to know!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 3:31PM
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LOL...I didn't mean to imply you had six cookies and called it a day. ;) Too funny. You're doing too awesome for me to even think that way.

YES, absolutely, positively up the protein. General rule: one gram of protein per pound of goal weight for muscle building . So, if you want to be 136 lbs, have 136 grams of protein. If your protein is in the form of meats (as long as it's lean meats/fish), it's pretty forgiving.

If you're just flat out dieting, not trying to build muscle, you should have .5 to 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.

I think you know my theory on muscle building, though.

I strive for 125-150 grams a day.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 4:53PM
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I just had a protein break (salmon) & thought I'd check in to see if you stopped by, Lori, & voila! A big vote for more protein! I thought so. I feel better with more protein so I try to break it up into 5 or 6 meals/snacks (I got in trouble for this word a couple threads ago!). Usually chicken or fish, sometimes tofu or pork or beans w/ grain, I vary it. Haven't had beef in a while, rarely have cheese. One thing that's interesting about tracking is that I get bits of protein in a variety of different foods I don't think of as protein sources, so it adds up, ie the .25 cup of milk in my morning coffee. (please don't tell me to give it up! the milk or the coffee, it's just one cup!!!!)

I figure if I'm using weights, hauling strange stuff around the garden, & entertaining menopause, I should probably include a fair amount of protein -- distributed throughout the day. I remember reading in Christiane Northrup's book "The Wisdom of Menopause" that it's a good idea for women to have protein in small amounts throughout the day. It stuck with me because I "want" more protein.

I'm definitely dieting but my overall goal is to be strong.

I love the idea of tossing back cookies & calling it a day! I can't imagine how my head would spin..... Can't remember my last cookie, but I certainly did have a slab of a fabulous chocolate rasberry torte on my birthday not so long ago, the rasberries circling the chocolate ganache, oh my..... But it was a fine soiree commemorating my 50th so I enjoyed every chocolate moment!

Here's what I notice: protein keeps my cravings at bay. Am I alone with this experience? I wonder if this is because sugar is addicting and once you break the cycle, you've broken the hold. Any dieticians or pundits care to comment?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 8:01PM
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I think I'll aim for 100 g protein for now & be happy if I'm close. I'll try this for a while & see what I learn. As you say, Lori, if I'm in "dieting" mode I may want to take in less than the 1 g per #. By "flat out dieting" did you mean "no exercise?" I'm definitely getting exercise, can't imagine "not." I understand taking in more protein than you "need" is detrimental to organs. Hmmmmm.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 11:53AM
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Okay, only took me 10 days to reply....

Athome, you're right about too much protein not being good for your organs (liver mostly). I honestly don't know how much is too much, but I know many recommendations are for a 1g/1lb ratio, so I know that's safe. As I said, I get more, but I'm comfortable with it...well, at least I feel okay.

Proteins also help keep your metabolism/blood sugar steady. Carbs mess with it way too much, which is why you're always much hungrier after eating carbs.

Got a real challenge coming up here. We're going on vacation for 10 days. Luckily there's a weight room (whatever that means) where we're staying and a full kitchen, plus lots of other activities. But I do enjoy my food and my "cheat days" and plan to have a few. That's why they call it a vacation, right?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 9:18AM
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Lori, I'm working hard to get 80g fat / day but I must say it's not easy! I'm still aiming for 100g since I'm trying to increase strength training. Guess I don't have to worry about too much protein. I'm weighing/counting every bite & tweaking every day for better protein choices etc but to my horror I'm picking up .5 pound/day!!! In less than a week I gained all the weight I lost in the previous 2+ weeks! What's up with that? This is not a normal pattern for me -- I go up & down 1.5# but I've never climbed the weight chart steadily for a week while being so diligent. I have a couple hunches:
--I was losing 2#/week & my body has figured out how to "fix" that!
--I haven't had time to garden lately & I probably burned more calories gardening than I realized. (I haven't taken gardening seriously as "exercise" but maybe it is, even if it's not kickboxing...) I had been gardening 6-8am daily (digging out sod, moving plants, setting stones, etc)
--I'm increasing water intake after reading the body needs 1 oz / lb body weight. Would this temporarily cause water gain before my body adjusts? I'm not drinking that much but I have increased my water 50%.

Lori, I am shamelessly & selfishly hoping you haven't taken off on your much-needed vacation! BTW, following your life progress it's pretty clear your vacations really are vacations and you jump back on your path beautifully. I do think it helps to take different kinds of vacations and come back to your projects refreshed. When you have the kind of charts & measures I know you have, it's easy to "see" where you are in terms of fitness. It's not an invisible idea that can get lost. It's in the weights & on the scale & captured on paper. This is why I haven't been discouraged yet in my far-more-humble program. I can see where I am, and where I have been.

Which brings me back to my question, looking over all my charts:
Why would my slimming body suddenly start a rapid gain when I'm dutifully charting healthy calories, cardio, & strength training? Okay, not enough strength training lately, I have to admit that, but still?????? It's possible I've lost 1/2" each from waist & hips but I'm skeptical of tape measures with such small amounts (as opposed to an "obvious" 1-2inches).

No one would believe, passing me on the street, how many hours a day I invest dieting & exercising to look like this!!!!! I do feel pretty good, though not "fit."

Lori, any thoughts? Gut reaction? Anyone else?


    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 11:38AM
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LOL...I'm still here, Athome. Not leaving until the weekend (and will probably still be able to check in even when I do leave. Feel free to e-mail anytime if you have questions).

First of all, you don't give yourself enough credit. You've made amazing strides and you will continue to see progress. I don't think your program is "far more humble." In fact, quite often, I think your eating pattern is probably much better than mine (though I may spend more time hard-core exercising). Don't forget, I have my Saturday binges that really suck up alot of my hard work.

Some guesses, from reading your post:

A) It's possible you're getting too much water. Believe it or not, too much is not good either. Think about it...the more you drink, the more you'll pee. You don't want to pee out all your electrolites. They keep you "balanced." I always giggle when I talk about this like I'm a little kid, but it is important. Your urine should be a faint yellow color. Too clear, and you've gotten rid of everything. Bright yellow and you're either dehydrated or probably just started taking vitamins that will spike the color. Okay, enough about pee management, but your gain may just be water weight while you adjust.

B) What have you eaten to increase your protein? If you've added a few extra ounces of chicken or fish, you shouldn't see a huge gain, but if you've added the protein in the form of peanut butter and nuts, it might be catching up with you. Remember to space your meals out.

You could be right, the morning gardening might be physical enough to count as an aerobic workout. I'm not a gardener, so I have no idea. I have a half-dead plant on my desk as I type. If you don't have time to replace it with another physical activity, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, that type of exercise. Spurts of exercise are still good, better than nothing. You don't necessarily have to spend 40 minutes on a treadmill.

I'd look first to quality of the food, then your daily activity. The water thing may/may not be an issue. I doubt you gained all that weight in muscle so quickly, but hopefully that's what has happened. And of course, weigh yourself at the same time of day. You'll weigh more at night than in the morning.

Then there's always the issue that you may have just coincidentally hit a plateau. And you'll be back to your usual losses in a week or so. Actually 2 lbs a week is alot to lose and still maintain your muscle mass, so maybe you're getting down closer to goal weight? The thinner we get, the harder it is to lose.

Isn't it amazing what a science it is? Below is an article I think is by far the best I've read to explain the whole science of it. You remind me of myself with the tracking and adjusting, and with that personality, I think you might find it interesting. Or not. Disregard if it's boring. LOL

I actually screwed around too much with things this week and gained back 3 of the the 4 lbs I had lost in the past month. I cut back on my calories - BANG, weight was up. I need my calories. Are you still getting enough calories?

As far as my vacation, yes, I will enjoy it and I'm sure I'll be kicking myself on the way home about all the junk I ate, but hopefully I'll stay active enough to not do too much damage! (can't wait to water ski!!!)

A big help is that my DH is in great shape and makes sure I get my gym time. Probably afraid I'll rip his head off if I don't.

Let me know what you think about these theories. I'm curious!

Here is a link that might be useful: Protein info

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 2:55PM
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You guys have really encouraged me to go ahead and lose this weight. My husband and I once lost a load of weight just eating low fat meals. What helped my husband stick to it was that I allowed him to eat as much as he wanted and as often as he wanted as long as it was low fat and healthy. He lost 3 or 4 sizes (we don't do weigh ins LOL) in 6 months and I lost 2 sizes. It came to a time where if we had anything at a restaurant or at a friend's house, we'd feel the slickness of the grease on our tongues. We had decided it was going to be a new way of life rather than a diet but unfortunately, my father came to visit for 3 weeks. We slowly started cooking for his tastes, and we went back to our old way of eating (eventually).

We have decided to take on the healthy, low fat way of life again. We will eat low fat and allow ourselves a "splurge" restaurant meal every few months (if we even like the stuff after adjusting to our new way of eating).

There are 3 of us that need to take off the pounds so we will be cooking in a new way for the whole family, rather than just for us. Althought the boys don't have one ounce of extra fat on them, healthy eating will help them later on in life.

My daughter and I will be joining a place just around the corner that is similar to "Curves" which is nice since we can both do it and encourage each other. I was very surprised that they are allowing my 13 yr old to join. My husband prefers swimming so he's going to look into WMCA membership for the family.

I'll be joining in july after I come back from a 2 week trip so we'll see how well I get back to being the real me. Right now, I'm 5'7 and I'm wearing a size 18 and sometimes size 20. These are canadian sizes which are larger numbers than the US sizing. I don't own a scale but a few months ago I snuck on a scale at my friend's house and it showed me as being 230 lbs!! I almost died! I never thought I'd pass the 200 mark. Well I did and I don't like it one bit! I also have the pregnant belly. I have an hourshape figure but with less boob than I want so the belly really gets in the way of the way clothes fit on me. I wish I was more proportionate because I still have a waist and then this belly pops. Skirts look horrid on my because of this... I just poof all over the place LOL! If I don't lose anywhere else, I MUST lose this belly.

You people are so encouraging to read. I'll will probably adapt some of your methods in our new way of life as well :D

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 3:26PM
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Welcome, lobotome, love your screen name! It's tough work, bodyshaping, but when you have a lot to lose I think you really appreciate the journey. I notice small changes and sometimes I think I am more grateful than those who are fine-tuning without the benefit of a more "ample" lifestyle!!! For example -- plateaus are no fun for anyone but if you've "plateau-ed" at a higher weight for a long period of time, it's gratifying to at least be holding your own in a smaller, tighter space. Does this make sense?

Lori et al, great news! I've miraculously lost 3.5# overnight!!! Okay, there's more to this story..... Yesterday I weighed myself 3 times: 1st thing, late-morning, afternoon at the gym. I was trying to figure out if water or scales could play into this. Oddly my weight changed 3# on the home scale in one day! I thought about my gardening, exercise, & water intake & wondered if maybe my new resolve re water is giving me more play with that taunting number on the scale than previously.

I'm drinking 8-12 cups of water a day, and if I'm gardening/exercising 12 feels right. I live in Utah & it's quite dry. I actually feel thirsty with less water. Guess I should mention I don't drink anything else, one cup of coffee in the morning, water the rest of the day & night.

Great protein article, Lori. Easy to read, makes sense.

Bravely climbed the scale again today and my recent "excess" weight is gone. Maybe I need to allow more zig zagging on my weight loss chart. I'm one of those who really need to face the scale daily to stay honest. I actually find it reassuring. And my weight chart assures me I'm "on course" when I have normal fluctuations. My recently ruffled feathers were the result of charting an abnormally steep zig zag.

Lori, to answer your question, my increased protein is mainly fish. I track cholesterol which I keep low with ease. And though I appreciate your wishful thinking that I'm nearing my goal, I'm so "not!" I re-gained the initial 18 hard-lost pounds during my absence and have now lost 14 of these again. I wasn't going to announce this until I reclaimed my 18# lost but thought I'd better set the record straight now, if I'm giving anyone the impression I'm now zeroing in on vanity pounds!!!!! Au contraire...

I think the 2#/week loss was temporary & fun, but not a serious long-term expectation. I'm more interested in long-term permanent weight loss & fitness. I figure the slower I lose, the more permanent the loss. I'd be thrilled with 1#/week if it would just stay away!

Am I getting enough calories? I think so. I don't let it drop below a certain number. If I see I'm low at the end of a day, I add something appropriate. On the other hand if I'm truly hungry, maybe it's been a big physical day, I don't let myself stay hungry. I don't want to sabotage myself with discomfort since my plan is to do this forever (maintaince, of course, at some point).

lobotome, I think we do develop tastes for increased fat/salt/sugar etc. During our recent kitchen remodel we ate out a lot & relied on take-out/prepared foods. I am so thankful to have a kitchen that works and to finally return to more healthful tastes. For example, I just splashed pomegranate juice on our salad last night and everyone was happy. We're eating fun stuff like pea shoots and garlic shoots and great bowls of cherries from local organic farmers and at long last we've all broken our increased taste for fats/salts.

I'm visiting relatives shortly so I'm worried about breaking my routine. Can't take my gym & gym buddy with me, probably won't have access to a computer so no online nutritional tracker and no Lori!!!!! Aaaaaaagh!!!!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 12:20PM
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Hey, everybody!! How're we doing?

Back from vacation. Although I only actually went to the gym three times in the 14 days I was away, I swam so much and did so many other activities (addicted to kayaking), I came back the exact same weight. And let me tell ya...I enjoyed my food.

Is everybody still focused? Pretty quiet here....

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 10:04PM
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Hi Lori! Your trip sounds wonderful. Just reading about your swimming & kayaking makes my blood pressure go down - ahhhh, relaxing & fun!

Yes, still very focused. I've slowed my weight loss down for the summer so I can enjoy a few summer goodies in moderation (measured amounts within the calorie budget). So I'm down to 162.5 (only 7 pounds since June 1). Diet's going well, though cookouts & get-togethers with friends & neighbors sure make summer dieting tougher than winter dieting! Still using the nutrition tracker. Enjoying some good biking, some hill walking, have cut back on the elliptical because of knee pain (some bolts in the e.t. needed tightening, & it was throwing my allignment off), added some step aerobics for variety, portablity, & help with my hopeless coordination.

athome, how are you doing? Mariposa? Hope everyone's having a good, relaxing summer. Lori, so nice to hear from you again.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 8:41AM
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Welcome home, Lori! Hi, awm03! Anyone else around?!

Extremely busy time for me, big project, but I'm putting my fitness-project at the top of my to-do list. Nutritional tracker, gym, gardening when I can (horrible heat, even early).

For those following my little soap opera, earlier this year I lost 18#, gained them back (gasp!), and have now lost those !@#$% 18# again. Permanently? Permanently is the plan, though it's a daily battle. Here's the kicker: About a week ago I discovered I actually enjoyed the elliptical machine at the gym. No joke! In fact, today one thing led to another (busy, busy) bypassing my gym time and at some point I looked at the clock & thought "Oh no! I don't want to miss the elliptical!" Okay, is that sick or what?! I love the resistance & the different ways I can vary the cardio, in fact I actually enjoy being in the middle of a sweat!

Now, Lori, don't worry, that machine is not my whole fitness life but I have to tell you I never thought I'd look forward to that part of my daily trip to the gym! I actually feel antsy if I haven't had my daily hit.

Okay, enough true confessions from the bungalow. Anyone else learn something surprising this summer?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 2:37AM
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Ellipticals are fun. I like the up & down motion -- more like being on a playground ride! I have an inexpensive one that keeps me in pretty good shape for times I can't bike. But this summer I was having some knee problems from it. Turns out the foot pedals just needed some tightening, & I didn't realize it was throwing my leg out of allignment. So to vary my exercise & give the knee a break, I started doing step aerobics -- and have been having a lot of fun. That's been the summer surprise! The dance-like aspects are tough for me, so that's a good brain challenge (for those of us who have to think hard about coordinating our limbs). And I'm surprised how it gets the heart rate up. It starts out as nothing, and you think "this won't be effective." But in 15 minutes, I'm breathing hard & sweating, and in 30 minutes I'm drenched & huffing & puffing. 50 minutes & I'm spent. It's amazing how much harder it is when you add a 2 inch riser to the step bench or if you add extra arm movements.
But the real bonus is it helps my hill climbing on the bike: the muscles I use to step up on the bench are the ones I use to pedal up hill.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 9:23AM
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I never saw this thread before. Last September, I started noticing a roll around my middle. I also had to do the little jean dance to get them up over my new curves. I decided if this was just a part of life and age, I would toss the old clothes and accept the changes. I then decided I would make some simple changes and get into a more physical routine. I ran a mile out and walked the mile back each day. I took my dogs for individual walks instead of having the tangle of many leashes. The mile up and walk back turned into two miles of trotting. I continued to add a block at a time until I was running 4 miles everyday. That caused an overuse injury and I now run 3 miles every other day and still walk. The run takes about 30 minutes including the stretch and cool down. My blood pressure is down 20 points. I don't know how much or if I have lost any weight, but I have gone from a snug 10 to a size 4. I would not care if I had become a size 12. I feel terrific and my outlook is so much more positive. I had 3 partners quit over the winter months. My husband now runs with me and we hope to do a 5K next month. It is a wonderful time to share in the morning. If I can do this, anyone can.The healthy outcome and the sense of accomplishment have really had an impact on my mental outlook and sense of well being.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 11:31AM
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Hi, corgilvr! I know what you mean about the "real" rewards. I've lost 20 pounds now and my daughter asked if I'm trying to lose a certain number of pounds or get into a certain size. I told her I just want to feel great, have energy, play racketball again, find life easier and "more funner" as she used to say. So she asked, how will you know when you're there if you don't have a number? I said, I'll know, it's not about numbers, I'll feel better every step of the way -- it's not something that just happens one day.

awm03, I'm planning to mix up some classes at the gym -- a different one every day mid-week. I can begin doing this around Sept 1 but for now I have a monthlong project that will have me barely sneaking in & out of the gym if I'm lucky. On the up side, I'm too busy to eat and my tracker shows my weight loss continuing to zig zag down. Just tracked & should now head toward bed. If I am crazy enough to try a step class, I'll report in -- it looks way too confusing when I walk past but then again it's clearly a good workout.

G'night all!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 12:59AM
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athome - 20 pounds?!! That's so exciting! I'm really impressed & happy for you! Congratulations & keep up the excellent work!

Corgilvr, 3 to 4 mile runs are also impressive. You must be in great shape! Not sure I could run 3 to 4 miles despite all the exercise I do -- still too heavy. Lots of pats on the back to you for your persistence & determination. It's inspiring to read about your efforts & that you're feeling good about yourself.

Down to 162 lbs. now (from 200 last January). Weight loss has slowed down this summer, but that's okay. I didn't realize summer was so food oriented: cookouts, birthdays, social events...and ice cream. Thank goodness for sugar-free ice cream. One cup is 160 cals, & that fits into the calorie budget with a little forethought & exercise.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 2:10PM
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awm03, we're all quite impressive!

I'm too busy to go to the gym, which makes me crazy but I hope to change that in the next few days, too busy to check but I am... Lots of running around carrying boxes so maybe that counts? Lori will say no, & that I know better!

But I'm down 21.5 pounds (yes!) & moving constantly.

Hopefully my next check in will be a report I'm just back from the gym!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 6:02PM
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Athome, you're doing better than I! Just remember, running around and carrying boxes is better than sitting there looking at them.

Saturday I was very pressed for time and was sulking about only having 20 minutes in the gym. I mean...what can you get out of that ? Well, since I only had a little time, I did a few exercises that i hadn't done in awhile. I left exhausted, my arms shaking from fatigue, and I had muscle soreness on Sunday. It was different from my regular routine. So, yes, something is better than nothing.

That vacation in early July just set me back like you wouldn't believe. I haven't gained a ton of weight (yet), but I can't lay off the junk food.

Yesterday was the first day I ate well, then right before bed, I was attacked by an evil cookie jar on my counter.

Corgi, it's so great to have you here!!! I'm quite impressed with the running. Please let us know how the 5k goes. I come from a running family, so I know it's not easy. When you do that 5k, concentrate on your run. The crowds are a great boost when you're struggling, but make sure you don't go out too fast too early because of all the excitement. If you've run a 5k before then you know this. Is this your first?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 11:21AM
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Lori, I was nearly undone by my own time away in early July. Now I seem to be making up for lost time. Down 24 pounds. Funny how you do everything right and one day the scale just says OK and drops.

Not exercising like I want this past week but plenty of stress & rushing about. Tomorrow I plan to actually get out in my garden a bit, can't wait. Right now I struggle to choose between a bit of sleep and the gym, I'm getting way too little sleep, even for a busy person!

My daughter has been running and playing volleyball (!), a break from years of dance, basketball, soccer. I'm getting a kick out of this, and of course I'm thrilled to see her try new things. I'm quite inspired by the runners here, and by my own daughter's energy.

Sometimes people notice I'm losing weight & ask what I'm doing. I tell them I use a nutritional tracker & hang out in a gym. This is apparently a surprising idea! Has anyone else encountered this? Seems to me we're all doing some version of "watch what we eat/exercise." Is it really that common to have a gimmick? Or are folks just making conversation?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 9:05PM
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Down 40 lbs. now. Good going, athome. I'm glad you're reaping the results of your persistance. Hope life settles down a bit for you. Have patience with yourself, Lori, I'm sure your old good habits will come roaring back soon.

The use of nutrition trackers seems to be growing in popularity. I know more & more women who are using Sparkpeople, & lots of guys like Fitday. Must be a word of mouth thing.

But mostly when people ask how I've lost weight, the minute I say nutrition tracking software, they wrinkle their noses & say, "That sounds too hard." They want a diet plan to follow. They're stuck on the Atkins & South Beach concept that you have to give up certain foods for awhile or eat certain combinations of food. Or they're interested in "supplements", or the blood type diet, or simply avoiding flour & sugar. Using a nutrition tracker is so much easier & natural than any of these things, I think. You can eat normally (just more sensibly).

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 10:47AM
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Congrats, awm03, nice even number there! Must feel great.

The nutritional tracker is sooooooo easy, esp after years of toiling over numbers when tracking. Can't believe how easy it is -- esp after the initial trial period. I've been doing this 3 mos now & on busy days my mind calculates without thinking and I'm safe when I get back on track a day or 2 later. Even 10 days during my July trip. I think it esp appeals to those of us who feel comfortable on computers.

Computers aside, I can't believe how easy it is to ignore things I thought for years were temptations. I've worked in a few rituals I enjoy, bypass the others, all is well.

I guess different things appeal to different people but I'm with you, using a tracker feels more natural & just makes mores sense to me on a daily basis.

Some people just eyeball their plates & "know" but that's never been me! Even if I get to the point where I think I "know" I plan to check myself regularly with a tracker to be very, very sure. I never want to have an "out of body" experience again!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 11:33PM
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Re easy, normal eating, for example:

Yesterday was a busy day: planned busy-ness in the morning, but all afternoon, things came up. I didn't get my routine exercise in, and dinnertime came around before I knew it, with 3 college-age boys coming home from work to feed. So I microwaved a bag of stuffed shells as the main course. Now that's normally a diet killer: pasta with cheese. But I read the nutrition info on the bag: 1 serving = 3 shells, 300 cals. I enjoyed 2 servings, actually, with a HUGE salad on the side (no dressing), knowing that my upcoming 30 minutes of step aerobics would burn off about 460 of the dinner calories. I ate well, deliciously, felt full, & didn't have to jump through hoops to cook a special low-cal meal that nobody else would enjoy. Entered everything into my diet tracker, went to bed happy that I'd met the day's calorie goal again.

All due to the habit now of reading labels, measuring portions, being aware of calories consumed & expended.

Did I want more stuffed shells? Yes, to be honest! But the nutrition tracking software would hold me accountable for overeating or unexplained weight gain if I fudged the numbers. It helps loads with discipline. And for the times when I do overeat (social occasions), it gets me right back on track the next day.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 9:20AM
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Over the next week I plan for my "busy-ness" level to drop down to reasonable levels. Yesterday hit the 27# loss marker. Amazing. Soon I will be convinced I'm unstoppable (I think 30/33) will convince me. What a difference it makes not only to "be" lighter, but to feel the difference of every activity at an ever-lowering weight. Can't wait for the day when I actually feel "fit." Right now I feel like I'm in transition.

Hope all is well everywhere else.

Don't be a stranger, check in already!!!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 9:52AM
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I'm still out here plodding along. I did just try something today that I think is going to make a major difference in my work out. You know Lori has been harping about, I mean encouraging us to try intervals :) Well, I tried them a while back, once, and I hated them. Too hard, thought I was gonna know all the excuses. So I've been cruising itunes looking for fitness stuff to put on my ipod. I found several podcasts that deal with fitness/diet/motivation and I found that Prevention Magazine had two podcasts for interals. They are designed for walkers, but they work on the treadmill and I'm sure they'd work on other machines as well. So today I tried them. I did the beginner one and then the advanced one. What a difference. I was sweating, got my heart rate up. It was a kick! One of the other podcasts that I am just starting to listen to talks about the mindset you need for fitness and how to get a good one. The first thing they suggest is to write a mission statement, and they tell how to do it. So I bought a journal today and I am going to go out back, when it cools down, sit with my glass of iced tea and work on my mission statement. If anyone is interested, the podcast that I am finding the most motivating are: Weight Loss and the Mind, Motivation to Move (the guy sounds like a top 40 DJ, but I like what he's saying.). has lots of music that is at x number of beats per minute so they help keep the workout moving. I'm glad to hear that others are still hanging in there. athome, wow, 27 pounds! And awm, 40!!!! Yea!!!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 7:29PM
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Sue -- podcasts! What a great idea! Thanks so much for those suggestions. I can listen to them while I'm at work.

Yes, Lori has inspired us more than she knows. After reading her posts, I tried intervals on the elliptical last spring when getting in shape for our ride in Tuscany. Intervals helped a lot.

Athome, 27 pounds lost is wonderful news. I find your persistence very inspiring. Keep up the excellent work!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 7:49PM
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awm, also check out the podcasts, they are short, under 5 minutes, and have some good tips. I have become a podcast junkie! There are podcasts for every interest...quilting, travel...the more I search, the more I find.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 8:32PM
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Lori really has inspired me. Even when she's MIA! (I like to think of her at the gym, any time of day I happen to check in!)

Maybe I should look into the music thing. I have to admit that when I tried the elliptical with certain music, it was hard to resist a quicker pace.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 12:06AM
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Awww...thanks, everybody. :D I'm so glad I could be helpful.

I know that sometimes it's hard to get out there. I went for about 3 years with never wanting to miss a day at the gym. Lately it's been harder. And just so you all know....I HATE intervals! LOL

On vacation this week. (My baby started Kindergarten!!!)Yesterday I was driving to the doctor's for my yearly exam, thinking I'll be having a big birthday in March. I plan to be in the best shape of my life. I've really started working hard lately.

I walked into the doctor's office and he told me I have some cancer cells that he's concerned about and I need a hysterectomy. Well, well, doesn't that just screw up my plans! LOL

Anyway...time to jump in the shower and start my (lazy) day, but I wanted to let you know that you all inspire me. Each one of you works so hard. And I know there are a few others who read this but don't post. You inspire them too. Keep that in mind as your own inspiration.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 9:51AM
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Lori, big hug coming your way! Since you are in such great shape you will sail through that surgery! And really Lori, who does love intervals...they are hard work, but I like that I get a good cardio workout in the 45 minutes that I'm spending on the treadmill. It *is* harder to read those "Star" magazines at the gym, though. But I'm glad you've kept encouraging us

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 11:01AM
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Oh Lori, so sorry to hear about the wayward cells. Whether you're religious or not, I'm praying for a clean bill of health for you just the same :)

Hope your baby enjoys the big step of Kindergarten. Hope YOU adjust well too! Our middle baby just drove off for his senior year of college, so we're a little "weepy" today, LOL!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 11:43AM
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Think of you, Lori, thinking good strong thoughts.

Beginning a less hectic time now & looking forward to the routine of the gym. Finally!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 1:11PM
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Athome, I'm in the 150s now (159). Starting to feel (dare I say it?) thin!

In 10 days is the 62 mile bike ride for MS Society. I've been training hard. Will be interesting to compare it with last year's ride, which I did at 206 lbs. & month's worth of bronchitis.

Now how are we going to get through the holidays? Just thinking ahead...

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 9:17PM
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Wow, to feel "thin!" And to be training for a bike race!

I'm in an odd place -- "thin" in comparison with X pounds ago yet "not thin" in terms of fitness & energy. I've lost enough weight to feel the difference but still have plenty more to go. The numbers aren't the issue of course, it's the fitness. It's interesting that my attitude keeps shifting with the weight.

As for holidays, I'm not worried. When faced with too much food I just feel overwhelmed. I've been know to return from big parties hungry because I talked too much to eat and/or just couldn't decide what to sample! It's harder when the party's at our place but I've learned to send food home with people so it's simply not hanging around. Appropriate portion control is my big issue so I try to avoid platters of food in general. Should I be more worried? What are the holiday challenges for others?

It's everyday eating/exercise issues that got me in trouble, not "special days!" Still, I don't want trip & plateau just when I seem to be getting somewhere. Is that the big issue, tripping, falling, and maybe not getting back into the race? I've had a few bumps this summer (travel, special project) & it is most upsetting to be off my routine. Can't believe I've survived the last 2 "tests."

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 2:24PM
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Awm03, keep thinking about how great it must be to hit a new "decade." Can't wait. Stuck a little in this one myself. Keep reminding myself of other markers -- like pants a bit looser here & there.

So hard to get to the gym when I'm tired. Too little sleep.

Anyone else suffering from sleep issues? Lately I'm wishing for a "room of my own..." just for sleep, DH might have a different body-clock but I'm suspicious he sneak-naps!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 10:49AM
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I did it! 64.37 miles today! What a difference losing 45 pounds make. I felt like I was flying, even though it took me 4 hours & 50 minutes LOL! It was the annual MS Society of Connecticut's Down to the Sound bike ride, surely the most beautiful MS ride in the country -- historic colonial homes, beautiful gardens, Long Island Sound, Connecticut hills, streams, waterfalls, reservoirs, rock formations, and wonderful sunny 80 degree weather.

I felt great, though now I could fall asleep on the keybo\8p]ctwnzzzzzzzz...

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 6:19PM
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Wow! Clap! Clap! (whistling noises galore!!)

Congratulations! Isn't it amazing to feel your strong body going faster & further & freer than it has in years?!

What a difference indeed it must be! Can't wait to be in your shoes, though my sport will be different.

Woo hoo, awm03!

If you can do it, I can do it, eh!!!! I'll think of you at the gym tomorrow!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 2:11AM
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Looks like everyone's at the gym again.

Struggling over here. Saw the scale crawl up inappropriately, now I'm yanking it back down, painstakingly.

Lifetime battle, this bulge.

Awm03, still enjoying life in the 50s?!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 9:47AM
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LOL! Life in the 50s -- do you mean my age or my weight?

Been stuck between 158 & 160 these last 4 weeks. I think it's the transition back to sedentary work, getting back into a more regimented eating routine after summer's controlled grazing, fighting a cool-weather craving for carbs, & a narrow window for exercise. Oh well. I dealt with it last winter & spring, & will adjust again.

Anybody else having carb cravings with the onset of Autumn? I swear something about the cooler temps & shorter daylight hours brings them on. Plus all those media articles on apple pies & pumpkin breads...

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 4:42PM
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Hmmmmm, guess I managed to delve into your weight AND your age, in a public forum no less, oh my!!!

Sounds like you're doing fine -- holding off the 60s (there I go again...) & recognizing your challenges.

I'm up against many of the same things. In fact, I don't normally care about carbs but I have to admit I'm eating more carbs lately, and thinking about cooking carbs for everyone!

Trying to get back in the swing of things before I break into an old decade again. (too bad it's not a younger age, rather than a heavier weight, that threatens)

Gorgeous fall weather here, must try to sneak some gardening in, wouldn't hurt on any front.

Anyone else gardening, or at least thinking about gardening? Who was it who credited gardening for her great abs & biceps? Wasn't me, but imagine that!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 11:06AM
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Reporting in on my personal saga.

Okay, shift in schedule, gained back the last hard-lost 6, aaaaaagh! As of today, lost all that again & dusting myself off to tackle the next 5. Onward!

Nothing easy about this but I'm doing better with the setbacks, I don't think they'll ever undermine me again. I used to "give up" when this happened and let my goal slip further away. Now I'm starting to see the jogs on my chart as a normal part of my work. The jogs are smaller than before because I tackle them ASAP rather than flail about (an old practice that frankly wasn't working!). 6 pounds can easily become 20, or 50, 100, whatever. I just don't let go anymore.

How's the fitness trail treating everyone else?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 12:44PM
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