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Inspired by the Spring 5% Weight Loss Challenge, I'm updating this to be more current:

The good news is, I mostly have healthy habits. I cook for myself and my family, using fresh produce I buy from the local farmer's market; I enjoy going to the gym, walking or biking on the beach, and doing yoga; and in general, I'm doing the right stuff. But I also love to bake, and to entertain, and to eat. So there isn't too much low-hanging fruit, which is hard -- I can't be one of those "I quit soda and lost 50 lbs" people because I haven't had a non-diet soda in years. I'm also having trouble in the exercise department these days because I'm recovering from ACL reconstruction -- doing well, but still not cleared to jog, do yoga, or do anything plyometric.

Other personal details -- I'm 38, married with a 5 year-old and an almost 3 year-old. I live in beautiful Manhattan Beach, CA, where the climate is just about ideal, and everyone (except me) looks perfect in a bikini. I work as a user experience researcher, meaning that I work with companies building digital products to help them make sure that everyone can use their website or app. And of course, I have all the challenges that come with this lifestyle -- not enough time to work out (including a long commute a few days a week). But what else is new?

I'm excited to have joined the Spring 5% weight loss challenge, and I think this will be the kick in the pants I need!

Member Since: 9/17/2008

Fitness Minutes: 60,984

My Goals:
For now, we're starting small. For the Spring 2017 5% Weight Loss Challenge, I'd like to lose 10 lbs and get from 187 to 177.

Ultimate goal would be around 155-160 lbs.

My Program:
Here's what I commit to for Spring 2017:

Leg ACL rehab exercise set - 6 days/week (including days I go to physical therapy)
Exercise bike OR elliptical - 20+ minutes 4-5 days/week
Upper body and core weights - 2-3x/week
Other exercise (walking, biking, etc.) 2-3 days/week
Hit 10,000 steps 4 days/week

I am not following a particular diet, but I generally eat, and will continue to eat, according to the following tenets:

- Journal all food
- Stick to calorie range, max 1700 calories (don't increase for exercise)
- Focus on protein, and some healthy fats. Lots of fruits and veggies.
- Limit packaged foods; focus on homemade foods.
- Focus on whole grains rather than grains. Limit or eliminate refined grain products (bread, pasta, cereal, etc.).
- Limit added sugars. Stick to honey or maple syrup over sugar when possible. 0-calorie sweeteners OK in moderation.
- Protein and fat with every meal and snack.
- Limit dairy and use

Personal Information:
When I was 18 months old, the doctor told my mother to stop feeding me so much. At 8 years old, I had my first memory of being told to say no to cookies. I remember multiple battles with my mother over food and weight - she'd find candy or bags of dried fruit under my bed, I'd cry, she'd cry, etc. I've been on weight watchers at least two different times. I've been to three different private nutritionists. I've journaled, I've exercised, I've done this and that.

Thank god, a lot of the external pressure to lose weight is gone. Turns out my mother was mainly worried that I would never find love (untrue; this has never been a problem for me, and I've been happily married for the last 8 years); that I would have major health problems (so far my cholesterol and blood pressure are good); and even that I wouldn't find a job (I have a great career working for myself now, which is much better than the jobs I had had in the past). But I still see the scale slowly creeping up. I was 165 in

Other Information:
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Read More About GRATTECIELLA - Profile Information moved here. (Updated April 7)

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    Thank you for your kind words on my blog. I see you had a hard day also -- sending good thoughts and wishes your way...

    2 days ago
    Thanks for adding me as a friend! 😊
    2 days ago
    How are things going for you???? I'd love to hear!!!
    3 days ago
    You asked what I eat being vegan & right now I am limited because I'm doing an elimination diet to try to figure out what foods, if any, are triggering some of my health issues. Up until my doctor told me to stop eating dairy, eggs, gluten, and fat I was mostly an ovo-lacto vegetarian. I have been vegan off and on throughout the years because my body has a love/hate relationship with dairy & I don't like eggs anyway. My husband & kids are all also vegetarian. We do eat beans everyday. We also eat a lot of lentils. I find beans & lentils to be very filling on their own because of the protein & fiber combo but I have noticed my family eats less & feels fuller when beans are combined with complex carbs like: brown, black or wild rice; or grains like quinoa, millet, barley, farro, etc. Since I don't do well with carbs, even complex ones, I have to limit them. I do sometimes eat quinoa, millet, wild, black or brown rice and other gluten-free grains. I love vegetables just on their own and since you can eat such a large amount of them at once without worrying about calories I find them pretty filling. We eat a very large variety of veggies & fruits, basically if we can get it in our area we eat it. We try to eat in season as much as possible. I have a house full boys & a husband who are like bottomless pits so if my family eats dinner & is still not full, we always have salad with every dinner. That is actually because of my husband. He loves salad. I eat it a lot in the summer, but I get burnt out on it if I have it too much. My family eats whole wheat pasta, a couple times per week, but I eat spaghetti squash & zoodles instead. I have actually learned to like them better than pasta. I very rarely eat tofu or really any soy. Edamame is probably our most common soy food. I prefer fresh, whole foods. We very rarely eat any processed meat substitutes or really any processed, prepackaged foods. I do make homemade veggie burgers, veggie "meat"balls & black bean sausage. I used to love bread & pasta but I started noticing I felt horrible after I ate it. Then I realized it really served no purpose in my diet except as a means of holding the more nutritious food. I don't need a bun to eat my veggie burger, I just wrap it in lettuce. I don't need that tortilla I can just either again use a lettuce wrap or just eat the filling in a bowl. Most of the bread I ate was more of a side any way like rolls, biscuits, breadsticks, & garlic bread. None of them were needed. I don't eat most foods in a typical American diet, but I do eat a lot of foods most people don't and a large variety of nutritionally dense foods.
    4 days ago
    There is a place on your Fitbit for it to track your stairs climbed. I don't always take stairs. I think it tracks when you walk on any incline. emoticon
    4 days ago
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