30 Days on the Raw Side

Thursday, 15 December 2011 12:59 by Blair

Over at Brick by Brick I am beginning a 30 day experiment.  I am not planning to dual post, so if you want to follow the process, you'll need to visit that site.  This series will be called: 30 Days on the Raw Side.  In essence, the plan is to eat a raw, plant-based diet for 30 days and to blog about the experience.  The trial starts tomorrow, but if you're brave and want to join me, just let me know.

Yes, this means I'll be celebrating Christmas and New Years in a whole new way.  I figure I've eaten more than my share of celebratory meals over the years.  My family converted to Vegan a couple of months ago so this isn't as dramatic a step for me as it might seem.

Well, I'm off to do my pre-challenge fitness test!  Lord willing, I'll survive the next 30 days.

Categories:   No Dieting
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Thursday, 11 August 2011 13:34 by Blair

I really dislike this blog skin.  And yet, I don't have time to do anything about it.  I don't like the one at Brick by Brick either but I certainly don't have time to mess with that one.  I miss the days when my Scribblings blog skin reflected my personality a bit better.  Of course, those were the days when I didn't have a million things going on at once.

If you're viewing this on Facebook, just ignore.  This is a feed picked up from my blog and this particular post would mean very little in the Facebook view.

Categories:   Misc
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Brick by Brick

Thursday, 11 August 2011 13:24 by Blair

I have gone round and round on this blog about my struggles with food, weight...etc.  Anytime I begin a new series in this location on the topic, all of my past failures tend to haunt me via the "archives".  Negative, defeating thoughts abound so I am opting to start a new blog dedicated to just this thing.  I was using my blog at WW for this purpose but since I don't hang out there anymore, it doesn't make sense to continue that.

Brick by Brick is an idea born from the book, Made to Crave.  You are more than welcome to join me in this journey.  Brick by Brick will not post to my facebook wall as I already have Scribblings going there.  The plan for now, is to chronicle that process in a different location than this one.  I may refer to it from time to time but I am not planning to dual post.

Categories:   Health & Fitness
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how much do you want it?

Thursday, 5 May 2011 11:41 by Blair

If you've ever set a challenging goal, no doubt you've been faced with answering the question, "How much do you want it?"  Sometimes we determine that the goal just isn't worth the sacrifice and other times we buckle down and "get 'er done".  It's one thing to grapple with this within yourself and it's a whole other experience to see your kids deal with it.  Our oldest daughter faces the question almost daily as she rises early for warm-ups, workouts, practice and skating lessons.  I've watched her cry over elements that seemed to "take forever" (her words) to land.  Every time I would say, "Well, how much do you want it?" or "Will the end result be worth the work?"  Well, today a line was drawn in the sand that forced this question in a big way.

Somewhere along the line her occassional habit of having her eyes and chin down morphed into something she does quite a bit.  I (and her coaches) began to feel like a broken record... "Eyes up!  Head up!"  It's probably become more noticeable since some dancers started skating during her normal freestyle ice.  She's clearly intimidated by their size and speed.  Of course, it doesn't help that they've almost run her over a few times.  Whatever the reason, today I decided something needed to be done.  I try not to interrupt her lessons but the head down thing was on my last nerve so I shouted, "Head up!"  She didn't raise it.  In fact, this child who is normally quite sweet and respectful ignored the next two times I shouted it as well.  Oh yes, every mother reading this can probably relate to the feelings this stirred within me.  I tried to excuse her in my mind, "oh, she's just having an off day, she doesn't normally behave this way" and "maybe she didn't hear me."  For some reason, I just could not let it go though.  Her lesson ended and as she skated away I told her to get her head up and was met with pursed lips.  There it was, the expression that set off the chain of events that would follow.  I followed her coach to the lobby where I borrowed a neck brace from her.  Yes, she keeps a neck brace there for this very thing.  I marched back out to the ice with that thing in hand.  Panic registered on her face when she saw it.  She shook her head at me, at first it was a defiant "I am NOT wearing that" but as she skated closer and saw the look on my face, that changed to "please don't make me".  It was too late for a mercy plea in my mind.  She was wearing it... period.

I strapped it around her neck, she pursed her lips and just stood there on the ice.  I told her to go skate and to "keep her head up".  I really thought she would rise to the occassion.  I really did.  I thought she'd see that I was trying to help.  She started crying and half-heartedly moved around the ice.  She even kicked the ice with her toe pick in protest.  This of course, was not helping her case at all.  Now, I should point out that there was only ONE other girl on the ice and there was no worry that she would make fun of my daughter.   So, it isn't like I set out to embarass her in front of a crowd.  She was mad.  When we got in the car she changed her attitude but it was too little too late.   I was mad now.

After talking to my husband, we decided that she would have three weeks to break the habit or she would lose the private lessons.  She was a little shocked when I told her the news but she knows we mean it.  Taking away ice time... that would get some reaction.  Taking away lessons... OH MY GOODNESS!!  This decision wasn't just about getting her to break the habit, it was to remind her where the funding for the sport she loves actually comes from (read: don't give your momma attitude).  This may seem like an overreaction to a minor thing but this isn't minor.  She has set goals and she will not acheive them by keeping her head down on the ice.  And so, I asked her "how much do you want it?"

Only God knows whether she'll break the habit or not; However, I'm happy to report that after some time alone in her room she emerged with verses to help her keep a positive attitude during the process.  We also registered for a competition that she really wants to skate with the stipulation that if she doesn't get to do it she will pay us back the fee.  I believe the Lord can help her overcome this but what's better is that she believes it too.

Categories:   Figure Skating
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hitting the trail again

Monday, 18 April 2011 09:45 by Blair

Last August I did a really stupid thing.  I hiked Pikes Peak (up and back down in one day) and then did the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon less than a week later.  I was still recovering from the hike when I did the half-marathon... which made that race feel like a total beat down.  I haven't been able to get excited about running(or hiking for that matter) since.  I've jogged a mile here and there but nothing consistent. 

Getting yelled at a few times while on a run by idiot drive bys didn't help motivate me to hit the trails either.  I would rather be ignored.  One of the major reasons we got a dog (and pepper spray) was so I wouldn't have to run alone.  I've worked with him some.  I've even run him on the treadmill (yes, he likes it).  I still wasn't sure how he'd actually do jogging along side me.  Well, today I decided to find out.  We walked to the trail, I set my watch, tied the lead around my waist and off we went.  We jogged for 15 minutes straight and for the most part he stayed right beside me.  He tried to head for the grass a couple of times but a snap on the line with a "No" and he returned.  I elected to go uphill first.  This little jog was just as much about getting my legs moving again as it was about trying out the dog.  The wind was pretty rough but at least it wasn't knocking me over today.  I wish I could have gone longer than 15 minutes and I wish I could have run faster.  I'm trying be be patient with myself though.  My times will get better if I keep at it.  Plus, I walked/jogged the stands at the rink for 30 minutes earlier this morning.

Today was day one back on a training schedule.  I'm not going to decide just yet what races to enter until I see how quickly I get my distances back.  For today, I'm just thrilled with getting out there.

Categories:   Health & Fitness
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BodyBugg: Week 2

Friday, 8 April 2011 12:20 by Blair

I expected to maintain based on the numbers.  I have an average deficit of 148 calories per day but have felt a little swollen so I thought it might cancel out the deficit.  Despite this, the scale went up significantly from last week (more than 3 pounds).  BodyBugg believes I miscalculated my calories eaten because statistically most people underestimate their caloric intake.  Well, I'm not most people.  I weigh/measure almost everything (the primary exceptions being pre-portioned foods and apples/oranges).  I have been weighing and measuring my food for over two years now and if I wanted to, I could very likely "eyeball" how much a half cup of ice cream is; although most of the time, I still measure it out.  Typically I will actually overestimate rather than under.  For instance, one day this week I was sure I had eaten over 2K calories for the day but when I entered everything it was just over 1600.  I know I didn't overeat this week.  No, I didn't eat on my target to lose two pounds but I definitely shouldn't have gained... and I am confident that my calories logged were fairly close to accurate.

So what could be going on?  Well, today the program allowed me to enter my measurements and body fat percentage.  Once this information was entered, the program said that my goal for the last two weeks was to lose 4.25 lbs of body fat but that according to my measurements/body fat percentage I had actually lost 5.31 pounds of body fat.  Then how on earth can the scale say I'm only down a total of 0.8 pounds in two weeks?  Well, I haven't gained fat, that's for sure!  I have felt like I was retaining a bit of water, probably due to some meds I took for sinus pressure.  I also believe I've gained some muscle.

BodyBugg says that "if your body fat goal is ON TARGET according to your most recent measurement, you may ignore the last paragraph on this screen. You do not need to alter your current program."  Unfortunately, they don't ignore the last paragraph.  They show in my status reports that I must have averaged a surplus of 412 calories per day this week in order to gain weight.  If I hadn't taken my measurements (lost an inch in both my waist and hips alone), I would be very discouraged right now.  The scale is not always an accurate representatation of what's really going on.  I'm happy with dropping body fat even if the scale doesn't show it just yet.  I'm doing what I can and trusting God for the results.

On to the new week!

Categories:   BodyBugg | No Dieting
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not as I do

Thursday, 7 April 2011 13:01 by Blair

As I opened the door to my insanely messy office today a flood of conviction washed over me.  About two hours prior I informed my seven year old that she could not watch a movie because of the state of her bedroom.  I spend a lot of energy instructing my kids in doing their chores and cleaning their rooms and picking up their things.  When I walk around the house I realize how many of my chores are undone and how many of my things are hanging out where they don't belong.  Despite this, I watched TV last night.  I never wanted to be one of those "do as I say, not as I do" parents.  Well, except in the area of imparting wisdom from my past stupidity in the hopes that they won't follow in those footsteps. I didn't want to be a parent who said, "when you become an adult you can decide if you want to clean your room or not."  No, I wanted to be a parent who modeled responsible behavior because it's the right thing to do, not because someone is forcing me to.

Often times I think I spend so much time preaching at my kids about what they should do (or shouldn't) but how much time do I spend modeling those actions?  Not enough.  Fortunately, God doesn't bring conviction for condemnation.  He and I both know that I'll never be perfect at this parenting thing but I am capable of doing better than this.  I'm just glad He doesn't leave me to do it on my own.   I love that God is a "do as I say and do" parent.  Thankfully, He's also a "love you no matter what" parent.

Categories:   Faith | Family
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the cycle of the thorn

Tuesday, 5 April 2011 15:57 by Blair

When I reach this point in the “cycle”, I always wish I would stay right here and not cycle back through.  Where am I?  Well, I’m back to that point where I realize I've begun to rely on my own strength in the daily battle.  I’m back to that point where I can see the lies that crept back in without my notice.  It’s a gradual progression of course.  Let’s face it, the enemy knows what works to get this flawed girl to fall into old thought processes.  Every time I hit this point I ask God, “Why won't You take this away for good?”  The answer is always the same.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:8)

Ouch.  I know by now, after 24 years of struggling with this that God is not going to take the “thorn” from my side.  It is there for a purpose.  It is there because without it I might think I’ve “got it all together”.  And if I have those thoughts then what need would I have for grace in the first place?

It's time to turn that thorn back over to my Savior’s capable, nail-scarred hands.  I am far from "having it all together".  To be quite honest, it's a bit of a relief every time I come back to the realization that I don't have to because He does.  

Categories:   Faith
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BodyBugg: Week 1

Friday, 1 April 2011 07:29 by Blair

This morning I stepped on the scale.  It says I lost 4.4 pounds this week.  So I went into my BodyBugg account and entered this information.  According to them, I should have lost 2.14 pounds.  I'm not totally sure where they are getting that number though.  My food log for the week shows an average deficit of 656 calories per day which would equate to 1.312 pounds lost.  When your measurement numbers don't match your log, the system automatically assumes that you did not accurately track your calories.  This approach is more than likely the case most of the time, but I found it weird that they would assume that I only ate an average of 400 calories per day (and yet logged an average of 1752 calories/day) to get that 4.4 loss.  With the exception of possibly last Friday, my food log was pretty darn close to accurate this week.

A little tutorial pops up after the weigh in and in it they do mention water weight fluctuations and muscle gain.  They suggest looking at a three to four week period of results before determining what is really going on with your habits/changes.  I do agree with that last suggestion.  All in all, I am fairly confident that I know what the difference in the numbers is this week and it isn't that I logged MORE calories than I actually ate :)  Here are my observations of what could cause this much of a difference:

  1. The biggest reason is likely the time of day (as well as time of month) I weighed in.  My starting weight was taken in the afternoon and this morning's weight was taken before breakfast.
  2. Both my calories logged and calories burned were not accurate for Friday.  I guessed at my total calories consumed and they guessed at my total calories burned since I didn't put on the bugg till that afternoon.
  3. On the nights when I wore the bugg all night, I burned more calories while asleep than what they averaged for me on the nights I didn't wear it.  The actual average per minute was 1.2 calories while sleeping with the bugg on and their estimated average when I didn't wear it was 1 calorie per minute.  During a six hour period (because let's face it, I've been watching LOST and not sleeping like I should), that comes out to 72 calories per night that I don't wear the bugg that they don't count.  I don't see this as being a big enough difference to worry about though.  I think I'd rather not sleep with it on.
I knew going in that this week would likely not be accurate.  Even other reviewers have mentioned that it takes a couple of weeks for the program to even out and become more accurate.  I still don't like the food log aspect but I do like being able to view my current burn during the day.  It has prompted me to move more.  The tutorial claims that you can do this program without logging your food (although they do highly recommend that you log what you eat).  I've been tempted to try a week of that suggestion but I log my food not just so I won't overeat but so I won't undereat either.  I tend to fluctuate between those extremes if I'm not paying attention.

Well, that's how week 1 went.  Moving on to a new week today :)

"Build a Food or Meal" Feature

Monday, 28 March 2011 15:31 by Blair

Tonight I'm putting together a soup so I had to use the "Build a Food or Meal" button on the BodyBugg website.  At first it looked promising as this is one feature of The Perfect Diet Tracker that could be improved upon.  Then I attempted to use it.  The pluses are:

  • Allows you to enter an actual serving number
  • It is saved in your database for future use

The minuses?  Well, let's see:

  • If the ingredient you are "searching for" doesn't exist, then it says "no matches, add custom food below".  That's great but when you look "below" there is no where to add a custom food.  So I had to close that window, go back to the place where you enter food in general (which I've already mentioned isn't user friendly) and go through that whole process in another couple of windows.  Then you can go back and attempt to build a meal again.  My suggestion is to stay in that food entry window until you've checked to make sure all of your ingredients are in the database (which they won't be) before trying to "build a meal".  When you do add custom ingredients or foods, it doesn't give you the option of saving it to your database without adding it to your food log.  So, I had to add all of my ingredients to my dinner log, then go "build a meal" which they also add to the dinner log by default, then go into the dinner log and delete all of the individual ingredients from said log.  Ugh!
  • The other minus is that while you're building this meal, you can see a "total" calorie count for the entire recipe but not per serving.  So you might be staring at a number like 1246 and not know how many calories you'll be eating of that (unless you rock at doing math in your head) until it gets added to the log.  The drawback to this is if you're wanting to alter the meal to make it more calorie friendly you'd have to keep saving (which adds it to your log automatically every time) before you could see the calories per serving.  If they think people don't do this, think again!  I did this all the time when building recipes in WW eTools.

Oh and I wanted to see if the tab/highlight thing was just a Firefox thing so I openned IE and got the exact same thing.  Not a browser issue, it's a Web Developement issue.  Here's a screenshot of the "Build a food or meal" window:


Notice the word "Dinner" at the top.  If you've already entered the other meals for the day, you have no choice but to enter something into "Dinner" unless you click on "I skipped this meal" then it will take you to "Late Snack".  That big green "Calories Consumed" button on the main page takes you to the last meal you didn't enter, in order.  You MUST enter your foods in the correct "meal order" apparently.  The only exception is another link further down on the main page intended for "report" type stuff where you can list everything you ate by meal in one place.  IF you've entered something into a meal category then you can "edit" that category from there; However, if there isn't anything entered then no "edit" option appears.  Kind of makes me want to go through and enter "baby carrots" into every meal category at the start of the day just so I can go into whatever category I want to enter what I ate.

Now that I've said so much negative about the food tracker, there is something I do like.  If you're in a meal category, like "Lunch" for instance, it lists foods you've recently eaten in a window on the left.  Better than that is that it keeps the serving size you used then too.  So, with one click you can add it to the day without any further hassle.  This is great for things you tend to eat often and at the same time of day... mostly snacks in my case.

Well, it's time to get that soup on, and maybe I'll burn some calories in the process :)