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BLC 27 registration open

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I know I do this about once a quarter, but this team is the ONE team that has consistently helped my meet my goals and to maintain a healthier weight over the past several years. So it is that time where those who have not been involved in BLC 26 can register for the new round starting mid January. So this will not take time away from your Holidays. It will help you to overcome the inertia that often comes mid-January after the New Year Resolutions start seeming hard and overwhelming.

Here is the announcement I received along with the link. If you are looking for a motivating team that will challenge you... give it a look.

Hi all!

Missing the fun and camaraderie of an active challenge? Interested in soaking up some excitement and motivation from brand new members? Or do you have some friends that have expressed an interest in (or you just think would be fun to have around) the BLC?

Here is the link to the Registration Team for BLC27. Feel free to share this link with your friends. The team is public and will be until we fill teams for next round.

If you would like, each of you is welcome to join us as well and make new friends!

Thanks!

www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=64133


Let's have some fun next round. PS: I ended this round at the lowest point in several years. Between this team and the Tri-Term 567 Hogwarts team (ask me about it if interested, while another challenge team there is less emphasis on WI's, I won't put a link here because this about the BLC team) I am feeling better than I have in years!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSP90X 12/17/2014 11:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Plans

Monday, December 08, 2014

I need a plan for between BLC rounds. Yup, just in time for the Holidays we are officially on break between rounds. This is a very mixed blessing for me. First I donít have to try to keep up with a team during a very hectic time of year, including time away for vacation at some point which is a blessing. ButÖ itís also the Holidays when many (including myself most years) need the extra push to keep our healthy living goals active. So the focus challenge this week on my team is to look at the upcoming break and make a plan for while we are on ďbreakĒ.

First I have another challenge team (Hogwarts Tri-Term team) that is continuing its weekly challenges throughout this break time so Iíll still be working on my goals there, which often dovetail with my BLC goals. But here are my goals for the upcoming 5 week break.

First Iím going to relax and will be on Spark People less. Yeah, I know but hey, Iím suffering from some computer burnout. I need to spend less time online and more time doing. I will still maintain checking in when I can/think of it. But itís not going to be an everyday thing.

Next, I will continue eating the Healthy Cyndi Diet. This includes eating good food that is gluten free. I have found that by just eliminating the wheat, rye and barely from my diet I feel so much better. I have less pain. I have more energy. I also have less GERD/intestinal distress. I will continue to experiment with different foods to see how they affect me. I will continue to eat fruit and vegetables daily. I will eat normal portion sizes.

Following that is exercise/movement. I will continue tracking my steps and ďactiveĒ steps for work challenges. I will take the stairs most of the time (dress/heels = no stairs for safety). I will continue my 20(+) minutes of exercise a minimum of 5 days a week. This may be walking, strength training, swimming or anything else I can think of that is active and fun. Most of this will be done in the morning, but can be in the afternoon depending on scheduling. I find it too much to do more than 5 days of energetic exercise a week. I will walk (but less) on the other 2 days a week for recovery. If I donít take those 2 days a week off my joints start to swell, I have more pain and so I have learned to take two days off.

Other stuff Iím working on is to brush my teeth daily and take my pills daily. These two things have fallen by the wayside as Iíve been working on my healthy living habits. I need to take as a minimum my vitamin D supplements, folic acid and allergy meds daily. Celebrex as needed. Methotrexate once a week. I have other supplements that can help but if I take these consistently I have less pain, can move more, etc.

Thatís it. Thatís my plan in a nutshell. This Christmas is not going to be a flurry of parties and will mostly be just getting together with family. So I wonít be doing much decorating. That is one of the lifestyle simplifications Iíve had to make with the RA. It just doesnít happen. I donít have the energy or need. I have already decorated my office at work. I donít have the energy to do it at home too. I donít want to take down all the decorations after either. It is just too stressful, and often painful so we have chosen not to decorate for the past several years. I will decorate my door with a wreath or other hanging, but thatís about it.

I hope that everyone is having a great Holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Merry Kwanza, Blessed Be.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MLDRLD 12/11/2014 11:31PM

    Looks like you've worked out a great plan for yourself, Cyndi.

Enjoy the holiday decorations that are other places.

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CIPHER1971 12/10/2014 3:34AM

    Great plan, and have a fantastic holiday

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ZANNACHAN 12/9/2014 11:02AM

    Cyndi, I love your plan. I think it is a good one for you. I didn't know yet (just got back and have a lot of catching up to do) that we were supposed to come up with a plan for the 5 week break but it makes sense. I imagine my plan will look a lot like yours, other than the Healthy Cyndi diet (my dietary goals are usually more healthy and moderation emoticon )

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_LINDA 12/9/2014 1:05AM

    Sounds like some great plans! Glad you have another team with challenges to take you through the holidays. That is actually the time you do need the most support and must pay attention to what you are doing.
Heels aren't exactly the best thing to be wearing with arthritis. You are doing well being mindful of your body, but that should also include your feet.
All I have is a wreath on my door as well. There are plenty of other people's displays to enjoy.
Have a great holiday, good luck with your plans!
emoticon emoticon
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1MIN17SECB412PM 12/8/2014 7:38PM

    Lovely plans, Cyndi. Too bad you don't have any room in your luggage emoticon for that upcoming cruise. emoticon I feel the need to go on a cruise myself. I've been gone most of the summer but it feels like it just wasn't enough. I don't eat the wheat, rye or barley either. You know the castle has FREE wknds, so if you need that it's not an issue there. You're always good at the step tracking so that's not gonna be a problem and ya know, there's sooo many beautiful decorations where ever we drive/shop and go this time of year that ... dressing up our houses is really (unless passionately loved) not necessary. Holiday Blessings, m'friend.

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Motivation...

Monday, November 10, 2014

This week on the CAMO Crew team of the BLC 26 we are talking about motivation. I was going to post this in the team thread but it got a ďbitĒ long. So Iím going to turn it into a blog

Motivation - Do I have it? Yes, but probably not in the traditional sense. I have motivation... I want to be healthy and active, to avoid living with pain and stay out of a wheel chair. These are all motivating factors in the reason I am here on Spark People, the CAMO Crew BLC team and trying to lose the excess weight. But...I'm not feeling it. I often don't want to, I often just want to curl up in a ball and whimper that it hurts, that I just can't do this anymore. But...I want/need to be healthy and active and that only comes with dedication and consistency. During the long dark days ahead I usually quit for awhile. I move less and eat more. I go into hibernation. It may be SAD has something to do with it although it hasn't been formally diagnosed. It may be that it is colder and damper which affects my joints making it tougher to get moving.

Either way I have opposing wants sometimes. I think that we all do actually. There is an article on another website (Nerd Fitness) that I think helps get this across. It talks about what motivation is and isnít. What to use in place of motivation to keep moving.
www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2014/10/30/
is-motivation-useless/#more-24413


You see, while I do have the motivation I donít have the enthusiasm right now. Iím not all gung ho, letís get this done! What I do have though is dedication and determination. This leads me to be consistent, which leads to progress.


Doing: Read these Articles

Mastering the Mysteries of Motivation - Part 1

Mastering the Mysteries of Motivation - Part 2

Identify the regular actions that you can do which will help you lose weight, ones you can make conscious decisions each day to do or not do. You can write these down, blog, them, or post them in the chat thread.

Action 1: Eat right, including eating Gluten Free.
This means good quality food including vegetables and fruit. I donít always remember to eat them, especially when Iím scrounging or just making food for me. I often choose fast over quality, but I am getting better at choosing to have the quality foods at home so itís easier to eat them.

When I eat consistently good (healthy) food I feel better. I have more energy. I can focus on what needs to be done and do it better.

Action 2: Exercise consistently 5 days (min 20 minutes) a week in the morning.
We are in week 8 and Iím still streaking. When I get up and exercise before work I feel better about myself, have less pain overall and feel accomplished. It IS still a struggle every morning. As it gets colder and darker in the mornings I know it will get even harder to get out of the bed and move it. But I also know that by getting up and moving I feel better for the rest of the day.

Action 3: 91 + (13 a day) minutes of ďactive walking a week. This fits in with exercising consistently as the only way I can get these minutes in is to walk with a beat (like w/LS in my living room). Focusing on the work incentive program where I get a discount on my insurance premiums and extra $$ for meeting goals helps keep me moving even when I donít ďwantĒ to.

Action 4: Drink more water than tea. Yes, I know tea is healthy/bad depending on where you stand. I am not going to commit to drinking only water. It wonít happen. At least not right now. I choose for the most part to not drink my calories. I do occasionally like a hard cider or a glass of wine, so I wonít say I donít drink my calories unequivocally. And I do hate to make absolute statements. That way lays madness for me. If I truly forbid anything I will break my word to myself and eat/do whatever Iíve banned. So it is easy for me to drink the flavored water and caffeine over just water (even carbonated). Therefore I focus on balancing that out by drinking more water than tea. I always get enough water that way and stay hydrated.

Action 5: Make the time needed to eat healthy and exercise consistently appointments. Make them hold the same weight as going to work. I need to work to earn money to eat, have a safe place to sleep and have a little fun with friends, buy things etc. I need to eat healthy and exercise to live the life I want. Just like going to work. So this is something I have to doÖ forever. I am the most important part of this therefore it MUST be a priority to take the time needed to make it happen.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONETRUBY 12/7/2014 8:49PM

    emoticon goals! I think we can all relate, at some point or another, with your struggle to keep going when you just want to stop. It says something about you that you have kept going, when we know you are dealing with chronic pain. Knowing that you are still going forward gives me the motivation to keep on "keeping on".

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ZANNACHAN 11/13/2014 10:34PM

    Cyndi, a lot of what you wrote resonates with me--particularly about being determined but not enthusiastic, and the part about the struggle between being active in order to feel better when moving hurts. Not to mention the winter part--I was doing really well until the time change and then it was like hitting a wall, and I know that's because it's dark suddenly at 4 pm.

I love your goals--they are good ones I think for you and totally doable!!!

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BARBIEE52 11/11/2014 11:48PM

    Cyndi,
You have some terrific goals....you have alot of strength, and I know you can do this!! emoticon emoticon

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1MIN17SECB412PM 11/11/2014 6:58AM

    This may sound strange, Cyndi, but maybe/possibly switching your physical activity focus to change up for the seasons, would help.
SparkPeople Article
4 Signs It's Time to Change Your Workout Routine
What to Do When Your Workout Isn't Working for You
By Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer
http://www.sparkpeople.c
om/resource/fitness_articles.as
p?id=874

or... if you need a little "Motivation..." here ya go . . .
Want to Get Up Earlier to Work Out? Here's All the Motivation You'll Need.
http://www.sparkpeople.com
/resource/dailyspark-videos-det
ail.asp?video=40

or... could you use a sauna/hot tub for muscle relief ... maybe the "Y" has something like that, or even a hotel/motel you could use ... somewhere the WARM can soothe and you can relax...
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=lbGChNKdxL8

Best of Luck on your *map*out* emoticon emoticon


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_LINDA 11/10/2014 10:54PM

    I am so there with you on the darker colder days making it hard to want to get out. This morning it was only 5 F (-15 C) with a wind. It was the coldest 15 minute fast walk ever in my thin workout pants to get to my 9 am fitness class. But I know once I made it over the inertia and pain, I would feel much better exercising and did. But my Mom's couch is so warm and cozy and comfy. I have not always won the battle to just get up and do it. The frustration with my slow healing painful right arm is a factor, but so is the bad back and hip (another surgery to look forward to).
The cold dark winters are my biggest challenge, we had two record breaking ones last year, hoping for a better time this year.
Wishing you all the best with your challenges!
emoticon emoticon

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Goals, Goals, Goals

Friday, September 19, 2014

Itís that time again. Once more I am looking to find my goals (and motivations) for the Biggest Loser Challenge (BLC) that Iím involved in. We took our first weigh in (WI) on Wednesday. I am not where I wanted or hoped to be, but Iím not far off from where I expected to be.

I took the summer off. I rarely exercised. I just lazed the summer away. It was my choice. I needed the rest I think as even with getting on average about 3,000 Ė 4,000 steps a day (and many days less than that) Iím still within 1 lb of where I ended the last round. Thatís a tribute to my eating habits I think. And they are just that, habits. I eat the same things most weeks and so I know how many calories are in the foods and eat pretty much in a consistent range now that Iíve gone gluten free. Losing those desperate cravings, those (to me) undeniable urges to eatÖ everything in sight has made a huge difference.

But now is the time to start moving forward again with my plans. Iím tired of maintaining. Iím TIRED of being 10 Ė 15 Ė 20 lbs above my goal weight. I want to live between 140 Ė 145 lbs. That is 10 Ė 15 pounds from where I am right now. Iíve revised it upward by 5 lbs. I donít think, realistically that I will make my previous goalÖ ever. It is unrealistic to expect my 50 + year old body to go back 20 + years and be what it was. It will never happen. Even if I get back to that weight my body wonít look the same. 145 is the top of the BMI healthy weight scale for me, so that is where Iím aiming. I am not giving up or giving in, not really. I am looking at my lifestyle, what I am willing and able to do. I can always reevaluate later. But it sounds so much better to only need 10 Ė 15 lbs to goal than 20 Ė 25. Iíve been trying with limited success to lose that same 20 Ė 25 lbs for years! The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.

If I lose 0.25 lbs a week Iíll be within striking distance of 150. If I lose 0.5 lbs a week I will be below 150 (a sticking point in my mind. If I lose 0.75 lbs a week I will be below my top end goal. If I can lose 1 lb a week I will be at my low end goal by the end of this challenge.

I havenít been below 150 since before 2003 and I was only at 150 for about a month in 2003. So I have my mental work cut out for me. And Iím going into that time of year that is traditionally hard for me to do anything other than maintain. Yup thatís right. Fall and winter seasons are usually colder, damper and less sunny. Thatís when I go into extreme hibernation mode normally. I have to find a way to counter that.

So I am going to have to make some changes. Something has to give and itís all mental at this point or at least mostly I think. I know what works. If I eat better foods like fruits and vegetables more home cooked and less prepackaged foods I feel better and do more. When I exercise consistently I do & feel better as well. But, when Iím tired and achy it becomes really challenging to do so.

What can I do to motivate myself during the upcoming challenges? How can I overcome this mental block that keeps me from accomplishing my goal? What am I willing to do and to change to make this happen?

I have already made some great progress. Iíve eliminated gluten and soda pop from my diet (I know I mention this a lot, but as they are one of my few long term successes I need the affirmation that I CAN make changes that stick). Right now Iím ready to make sweeping changes and commit to them, but that doesnít work for me. I eased into the gluten free eating and have been eating this way for almost 1.5 years now. I have no intention of going back. In fact we just bought a large amount of gluten free emergency foods for me, so even in times of emergency I wonít fall back into that habit that hurts more than just my waistline.

The only extreme change I made that I was able to keep long term was giving up sodas. I *had* to do that all at once as that is an addiction. The combination of sugars/caffeine make it impossible to have just one. I have been soda free for 6 years now (I think). I have tasted regular and diet Coke/Pepsi products. They now just taste nasty. The diet sodas have a horrible aftertaste and the regular sodas are now waaay too sweet. Yea for change tastes. My biggest downfall there was the fizzy sensation on my throat. This time I found soda/carbonated water. It quenches my thirst and has that soothing fizzy sensation I crave. So now all I drink is tea (both iced & hot depending on the weather) and water. I will have the occasional glass of wine or hard cider (maybe 1 or 2 on average per month).

I toy with the idea of going paleo or cave man. After all both are really gluten free, but Iím not willing to give up dairy or grains. I feel better when I eat them. Therefore I will not eliminate them from my diet. My diet is one I plan to keep for life, not just for a short time to lose the weight, but to feel my best.

But I digress. This is blog is to be about the goals Iíve set for the next 12 weeks and how to achieve them. I think Iím avoiding having to commit to anything. Once itís in writing I can fail. Silly me.

I will lose weight this round. I will lose somewhere between 5 & 10 lbs.
To do this:
I will exercise regularly. This means 5 times a week.
I will include strength training 2 times a week.
I will enjoy my rest days and not feel guilty for taking them. Rest is as important as exercise.
I will rock climb 1 time a week. We just rejoined the climbing gym, now utilize it.
I will walk an average of 8,000 steps a day.
I will eat to live. That means more foods prepared at home. I need to work out the specifics on that as our eating habits have changed. We now eat our main meal at lunch rather than dinner. So I need to find ways to work with that new dynamic that doesnít involve a lot of fast food or frozen prepackaged foods.
I WILL listen to my body and eat accordingly. If I am truly hungry I will eat. If I am not hungry I will not eat just because itís my normal time for food.
I will read motivational/inspirational books and not just pleasure reading books.

This is MY time. I WILL find a way. I will live my motto. Never give up, never surrender. I WILL succeed! (Scary as that is.)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 9/22/2014 4:19PM

    Sounds really good! You can TOTALLY ROCK THIS ROUND!!! I know you can!

Some food for thought that I thought of when reading your post:

1) I can really sympathize with the shifting expectations. My average weight until I hurt my hip was 125 pounds, and there is a part of me that wishes I could get back there... but I don't think that's a realistic goal. I'm not even sure the 135 that I have set up as my spark goal is realistic, which is why I am re-evaluating my goals once I hit 155 (which is the upper end of a healthy BMI for me). Part of this is because I'm older and creakier and part of it is because muscle is denser than fat. I want to fit, not just light weight on the scale. So anyway, my point is that your re-evaluations make a lot of sense to me and that even if you don't hit your dream weight you were when you were younger, that doesn't mean that you are giving up--you are being realistic about the body you have NOW and more importantly about being healthy, active, and fit in the body you have now--which is more important than what the scale says.

2) I have nothing against the paleo diet per se, but there's nothing paleo about it (says not just this anthropologist, fyi). So if you do it, don't think you are being healthier because you are eating the way ancient man ate. And if dairy and gluten free grains makes you feel better, then eat them! The important thing is doing what works for YOU.

3) Your conquering of the pop gives me hope... so I certainly don't mind being reminded that you had struggled and struggled to over come it... and you did!!! Because I still struggle with the soft drinks. I had almost given up pop entirely before Pennsic.... and then back slid. And am struggling to give them up again... and it is a struggle. For me, cold turkey doesn't work so well because then I feel angry, deprived, and punished for being fat (not a healthy or productive mind set, which tends to result in rebelliously binging on what I was trying to avoid having) but effectively drinking other things. The carbonated water has been a HUGE help for me, too. I don't know that I could do it without the carbonated water because the fizz is what I really want, especially when my allergies are acting up... which is something like 9 months out of the year.

So whoo hoo for everything you have accomplished, and I'll be cheering you along on your goals!!! emoticon

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MONETRUBY 9/21/2014 10:21PM

    This all sounds emoticon to me. You have very clearly defined goals, and you're being realistic about where you stand, and what will work for you. That is most of the battle, I think, realizing what works for you and what is doable for your lifestyle. I believe in you!

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JENSHAINES 9/20/2014 7:58PM

    It sounds like you're focused and ready to rock 'n roll!!! And emoticon that you've created several healthy HABITS! That's emoticon . Have an amazing round!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 9/20/2014 11:55AM

    emoticon
Good for you! You are very clear and precise about what you want to do and how you can do it.

And good for you--giving up soda is essential. I had to give it up cold turkey too. Sometimes I drink carbonated water when I feel at risk for a relapse and it really helps.

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ZELLAZM 9/20/2014 6:43AM

    The motivation is just jumping off my laptop screen (and hopefully it's contagious)! Have a great round!

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_LINDA 9/20/2014 12:47AM

    All sounds very good and doable! Mom and I always preferred our big meal of the day at lunch and a light one at night. It just makes sense -will let you sleep easier.
Best tip for exercising -do it first thing in the morning before fatigue and excuses build up. It will also loosen you up and rev up your energy for the day.
Good luck with your goals -you got this!
emoticon emoticon

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CIPHER1971 9/19/2014 6:41PM

    Awesome plan I wish you success this round, and I think you will do it.

Have a great weekend

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HILLRUNNER 9/19/2014 6:14PM

    This is such a well thought out plan. You really nail the areas you want to see a change in and are very honest! emoticon and emoticon

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BLC 26Ö starts soon!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Biggest Loser Challenge (also known as the BLC) is a 12 week challenge that was INSPIRED by, but not based on the TV show of the same name. We have been around for 8+ years encouraging HEALTHY weight loss and fitness by helping you on your journey towards your goals.

I have been involved with the BLC for several years now. It is one of the most motivating and positive teams Iíve been involved with. It has kept me moving and focused during those times I was tempted to give up and give in. I have made wonderful friends, learned a lot about nutrition, exercise and how important it is to really live each day.

Do you want a team to hold you accountable? Do you want a team to help you learn more about nutrition? Are you a butterfly who likes to try different things? Do you have a plan that works for you but need some encouragement to keep at it? Well, thereís a team for that here.

Register now to become part of the Biggest Loser Challenge and compete in the 26th round of our Weight Loss Challenge. Meet new friends when you join a Team which you choose based on your needs. There is no better program to give you the accountability you need and the support you deserve, while having FUN together getting to goal....sign up today!

Come on and check it out!

The registration team, for those that were not in in the last round, is at:
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=63524

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEAWILLOW 9/8/2014 9:56AM

    Never give up!

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ZELLAZM 9/5/2014 4:07AM

    Have a great round!

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MONETRUBY 9/4/2014 8:13PM

    emoticon

I don't think I can take on another challenge right now, but I do have fond memories of the several round of the BLC that I went through. Some of the folks I met through those challenges are now some of my closest online friends-including you! Good luck with the upcoming round!

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