Noom Week 1 Weigh In

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Today was my first weigh in for week 1. I restarted my weight loss program with Noom less than a week ago, but for some reason, Noom wants me to weigh in twice a week and today was the first weigh in. I started out at 238 and today I was 234.6. I was actually 240 before I began my weight loss program, but I had already dropped 2lbs by the time I started, but I can’t count that. So as it stands I have lost 3.4lbs.

That’s good enough as far as I am concerned. You are only supposed to lose 2lbs a week, so I’m happy with 3.4lbs. I have been dieting and exercising, except yesterday I didn’t because I follow a routine now. I eat lunch at 12, then wait about half an hour before getting on the bicycle, then I try to be finished by 1:45 so I can get in the shower so I can watch tv with my partner. He likes to watch TV with me from 2pm to 5pm because that gives us time together. If we don’t, then we never see each other because of my video game addiction lol. So there is a reason for a routine.

My nutritionist wants me to follow a specific diet where my plate has 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch and 1/2 vegetables. Here are the papers she gave me which shows the plate planner, and breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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They don’t seem to be too bad. They are actually what SparkPeople wanted me to do, but the thing is, sometimes I don’t want to eat a specific thing. I usually only eat a Weight Watchers frozen dinner which is green in the Noom app. Hey, I lost 70lbs with the weight watchers frozen dinners, so how can I go wrong?

I will do my best to eat a healthy diet, but I can’t promise I will be able to fill a plate since I usually just eat my food from a bowl. If I eat pasta or rice and meat and vegetables, I usually mix the entire amount and eat it in a bowl. I find it better to combine everything because it puts sauce on the veggies so I don’t have to use margarine or butter. Oh and I asked her about that, and she told me to use lemon in place of butter. I haven’t tried that yet, but I have a feeling it isn’t going to be the same thing lol.

Well, I can’t promise I will eat a 3 or 4 course meal, but I will promise to do the best that I can with what I can actually afford on my disability checks. So far the best option for me is 1 weight watchers frozen dinner for $2 at Food Maxx. It fills me up and it isn’t expensive.

I don’t know if I will continue to update my blog every week like I did 2 years ago.

The Spark of Fire Under My Ass

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This new gadget that lives on the laces of my left shoe has really lit a fire under my ass. Now I know why it’s called The Spark. Every day since I’ve had it, I’ve been walking to the store and walking longer distances when walking the dog, and I’ve been riding my bicycle on my trainer in the patio. The first couple of times it was all I could do to stay on it without dying from the pain in my thighs, but since I’ve had the Spark, I’ve been using it for as long as I can. Yesterday I only got off of it because my show was coming on. Today I woke up early specifically so I could spend as much time on the bike as I could. I was only on it for 36 minutes, but I’m working my way up to a longer ride.

The goal they gave me for steps is 6000. The first day I barely made it to the goal, the 2nd day was basically the same, but the 3rd day, well, that you can see in the image above. Of course, that’s not all from walking, most of that was from the bicycle. You see, it doesn’t just log my cycling, it considers my pedaling to be steps. My nutritionist wanted me to walk 10,000 steps per day, well, here you go.

Sometimes I buy something and feel real good about my purchase, while other times I feel like I have made a huge mistake and regret it. I am so happy that I found this because it got me off my butt and made me think about how much time am I going to spend walking today, and how much time I’m going to ride the bike today.

IMAG0747SparkPeople also sent me a workout DVD called Total Body Sculpting with Coach Nicole. The exercises look pretty good. I haven’t started using the DVD yet, but I plan on soon. I want to buy the weights first. They have workouts that are beginners, intermediate and advanced. They also give you a week planner so you aren’t doing the same exact workout every time. The SparkPeople website even has these workouts available in the list of exercises so I know what to log. All I have to do is watch the video and then when I finish, log it with the exact amount of time I did it and I get the calorie credits. Cool, eh?

So I feel so much more motivation than I did before. If I ever get to the point where this DVD isn’t working, I mean when it becomes too easy and I plateau, then I will have to buy another one that is a bit more advanced. I will also have to step up my cardio as well. Perhaps I could do the 2 hour bike ride and then 2 hours of exercise DVD. Hmmmm… I better not count my chickens before they hatch lol. We will see how it goes, yes?

So… until then…

The Spark Activity Tracker

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Diet and exercise are very important to me. Since I have Scoliosis, I prefer cycling over any other form of cardio exercise that might hurt my back. I have a mountain bike on a bicycle trainer in our patio and I have a bicycle computer connected to the back wheel. I also use the Noom app on my Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ tablet to log my diet and exercise.

The Noom app added a new feature that allows you to connect your Google Fit account so it can copy all of the cardio information from your Google Fit tracker. I didn’t have a Google Fit tracker, so I went looking for one, however they are very expensive. I went looking for an alternative and found The Spark Activity Tracker from Spark People for only $29.95. It attaches to your shoe or your belt or wherever you want to attach it. It logs your steps and all of your cardio from walking, jogging, running, cycling, elliptical and even when you are just working or shopping. It comes with a USB Wireless Sync Point that allows The Spark to sync when you are in range of your computer where it is plugged in. Once it syncs up with your SparkPeople account, you can then see your progress. It shows daily steps, activity minutes, calories burned and distance covered.

imageUnfortunately The Spark doesn’t connect to the Noom app, but I will be able to use the information from SparkPeople to log my activity to Noom. Perhaps this will be more accurate since it is much newer than my bicycle computer. If The Spark is permanently attached to my shoe, I will never forget it, and the battery will last for a year, so no worries about having to keep it charged. I can also edit the steps in the Noom app so they are the same as in the SparkPeople website.

What I was not expecting was to receive a SparkPeople Exercise DVD that will give me complete weekly workouts for beginners, intermediate and advanced. I am considering buying some weights to go with these workouts. I watched a few of them and they aren’t bad either. I don’t have a lot of space in my bedroom, but I might have just enough to do these workouts.

I was curious to see if The Spark would know the difference between walking and riding my bicycle, and it knew exactly what I was doing because it logged 22 minutes on the bike as “Cycling”. Although, the 2nd day I used it, it logged it as general exercise. I had to reclassify it, and that also affected my steps on the SparkPeople website and app, which gave me more steps. A little strange that I had to do that, but that’s fine.

It’s also interesting how The Spark works. You tap it 5 times and it will show lights to show you how you are doing. If it only has 1 light on the top, you haven’t done anything yet, if it shows half, then you know you’ve still got a ways to go. If all the lights come on, and they blink, then you still have a few minutes of exercise to go. You know you’re finished when all the lights glow and they don’t blink. That’s when you can sigh and say I’m done! And if you meet your goal for the day, the week or the month, you get a trophy. The image at the top of this paragraph is my first trophy which says I met my goal of 6000 steps. I got the same trophy on my 2nd day using it. The trophies are a fun way to encourage you to meet all of your goals. Although, you don’t get an actual trophy, but if you do all of the work and eat right, you get a flat tummy, and isn’t that worth all the trophies in the world?

I was motivated by the Noom and SparkPeople apps, and I was motivated by my bicycle and the bicycle trainer, but even though I had all of those things, I wasn’t 100% motivated. I do feel that this Spark will light a spark under my ass and get me back to work so I can lose this weight. I hope it does.

No Flour Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

gluten free no flour peanut butter cookies

Did you know you could make peanut butter cookies with just 3 ingredients?  1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg.  That’s it.  My mother taught me how to make homemade peanut butter cookies when I was a teenager, but I don’t even remember what the recipe was, but it did involve a lot of ingredients.  They were really good, but these are better.  And the fact that they are gluten-free is even better.

So here is the recipe.  Combine 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg and mix until it’s like a dough and the peanut butter isn’t sticking to the bowl.  Make 36 balls and smash them with a fork and bake them at 375F for 9 minutes each.  That’s it.  No muss no fuss.  They are 67.9 calories per cookie.

But… if you want them to be healthier, make your own peanut butter.

If you have a food processor (if not a blender would work), add 1 cup of unsalted peanuts and grind it until it’s chunky.  Add 1 tbsp of peanut oil, 1 tbsp of packed brown sugar (or any sweetener that you prefer) and 1 tsp of salt and blend it until it’s as smooth as peanut butter.  Then add 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg and blend it some more until it’s like a dough.  The calories go down to 62 calories per cookie.  That’s not a lot, but it’s something, and at least you know what went into your peanut butter because you made it.

Look at your store bought peanut butter, look at the list of ingredients.  It has high fructose corn syrup and more corn syrup.  That is what you aren’t putting into your peanut butter cookies and that makes it healthy.

Want your cookies to have even less calories?  Replace the peanuts with pecans and your cookies go down to 52 calories per cookie.  I created this recipe for the SparkPeople website for No Flour Pecan Butter Cookies because we have a pecan tree that drops a lot of pecans.  Instead of wasting them, I’m going to make pecan butter and pecan butter cookies out of them.  I’m not sure how they will taste because I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m looking forward to trying it this week.  I will blog about it with a picture.  If it doesn’t work out then I will blog about my failure LOL.

Spark Peoples Mobile Makeover

Spark People has finally given their mobile site a long overdue makeover. I was having trouble with my slow computer so I turned my PSP on to log my dinner through their mobile site and found a cool new look.

As you can see they have added the ability to track your weight and water as well as being able to browse Restaurant foods. That is a nice addition for those on their mobile phones when they are out at the local Burger King so as they are eating their “salad” (yeah right) they can look up how many calories they are eating then track it.

Here are some more pictures.

Even though I’m not technically a huge mobile user, I do appreciate that they are finally working on their mobile version. I do use it occasionally because it loads much faster than it does in the browser on my slow computer.

My Weight

Wow!  I just weighed myself and it’s not good.  Of course most people would just not talk about it, they would pretend that it doesn’t matter or the problem doesn’t exist but I know the problem exists.  I was doing Spark People a year ago (I started on October 1st 2007) but something happened in my life and I just couldn’t do it anymore.  I gave up dieting altogether even though I had lost over 20lbs.  I was so proud of myself and then I just quit.

I was eating the food but not exercising and I was in a plateau for over a month and just couldn’t take the torture of having to suffer eating such small portions and so many veggies.  Although it wasn’t all that bad, the veggie portions were pretty big but it was still torture to eat good and not lose a single lb.  But I wasn’t exercising either so that’s where I made a huge mistake.  I didn’t step it up and help myself along the long road of losing weight.

My highest weight that I’ve ever been was 245 and I weighed myself just before I started this post and I was 243.  I’m just 2lbs from being right back to where I was.  I need this Dell DJ battery to come soon and the pump and bag.  I need them to come so I have motivation to ride my bike to get exercise.  I need the pump because it has a gauge built-in so I can see if I’m pumping the correct amount or not.  Right now they don’t feel fully pumped but I’m afraid to put too much air in because it will pop if I do.  If it doesn’t have enough it may pop from my weight.  The frame bag is just a bonus to keep all the tools with me so I don’t have to carry them.

The Dell DJ battery is a crucial part of this whole journey.  I refuse to ride the bike in silence.  It will be too boring and I will not want to keep doing it day after day if I’m bored doing it.  Of course I probably won’t have to do it day after day.

As of right now my leg muscles are still not ready for a 2 hour bike ride.  It is ready for a 5 minute bike ride before I can’t walk anymore.  What I will have to do is just ride for as long as I can going towards beach park where the bike trail is and when I get too sore then just stop, rest and head back home.  Just keep doing that every day or every other day or whatever I need.  I can’t push my muscles too far because the more sore my legs are the less likely I will want to do it.  But I heard from a trainer that if your legs are sore, so what, keep doing it.  You don’t want the muscles to heal fully, you want them to be sore because they won’t get used to it unless you keep doing it.  Yeah they will be sore for a few days but once they get used to it they wont be painful.  It will become old hat.

Let’s just hope that these items come to me soon, within a week at least.  I don’t know how much more of this fat I can take.  I can’t look at myself in the mirror anymore.  I have BDD so bad from this that I don’t even want to leave the house because people are staring at me and judging me every day.  I just want to be back to where I was when I was thin.  Nobody even noticed me because I blended in with all the other skinny people.  Fat people don’t blend in too well especially when their t-shirts are stretched out in the stomach area. Which reminds me, if this does work, if I lose a massive amount of weight by riding my bike, I’m gonna need a wardrobe change hehe.

Weight Loss

When I quit smoking in 1996 I gained weight. A lot of weight. About 50lbs. And over the years it has grown. I’ve gone on diets and I’ve never really lost that much weight and when I did lose it, I ended up gaining it back.

One time I lost 40lbs and didn’t even realize it until I weighed myself and then I started gaining it back. Well, I’ve gotten so heavy that I went to 243lbs. I was originally 150lbs when I first quit smoking. I was very comfortable at 150lbs and I was happy but 243 is just too much so I went back on a diet.

I’ve so far lost 20lbs and hope to continue this quest of losing weight. I’m using 2 different programs, SparkPeople.com and Slim Fast. I like the slim fast optima because it curbs my appetite for 4 hours. I don’t get up early, I get up at noon, I don’t know why. But I do and so I wake up and have a chocolate shake then 4 hours later I have vanilla shake then at 6pm I eat dinner that is usually a recipe from Spark People.

At 8pm I will have a strawberry shake because I’m usually hungry again by that time so the shake controls my appetite until it’s bed time. Unfortunately I can’t go to sleep until 2am. The last shake would normally wear off by midnight but I try my best to not eat. If I have to I’ll eat a Slim Fast candy bar hehe. Those have the optima too. Well, I’m hoping to be 200lbs by the end of summer at least and then 150lbs by my next birthday.

If you want to see my progress look at the scale on my spark page (look at the menu on the left).