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Susan:  Thank you for the belated birthday wish.  :)  I got a ton of Disney eCards from friends.  They know me so well.  LOL! 

Julia:  I agree.  A lot of what you're experiencing, I've experienced too.  I just turned 58.  I had a hysterectomy in July 2010 and for some reason I got to totally bypass menopause.  I was told the hysterectomy would plunge me full blown into it but it didn't.  Zero hot flashes.  Not to say I won't get them in the future...I sure hope not.  But I have dealt with migraines and other fuzzy head issues.  I've done some looking into them and high caffeine items (like chocolate) help to get rid of them.  However, in my research, it seems high caffeine items  happen to bring them on as well.  We can't win!!! I haven't drank coffee in decades but chocolate...well...I'm working at limiting that more.

One thing that I have noticed clears my head up is clean eating.  My cousin has been posting all kinds of definitions of clean eating on her group.  Its several pages over many posts and way too long to repeat here but mostly its fresh fruits and veggies, zero processed foods... one ingredient foods for example: peanut butter where the ingredients are simply "peanuts".  Also staying away from all things white and refined like white rice, white flour and white refined sugar.  The more natural the better...like a bit of honey instead of sugar in my herbal tea.  My favorite definition is to never eat anything you can't pronounce...except for Quinoa. Hahahhahaa!  Quinoa is very good!  ;-)

On water:  Everything I've read and researched says drinking water is essential.  I pretty much gave up soda a year ago though I do have one on rare occasions.  It BURNS my tummy now so I don't crave it any more.  

I do a cleanse 3 to 4 times per month.  I do it on Sunday since there is no way I can workout and do that at the same time.  In the instructions, I am supposed to drink 10 oz of water as soon as I wake up.  I always make a mental note to myself that I should do this DAILY as is recommended.  But so far I keep forgetting that memo.  One day it will sink in.  However, this is an area I'm consciously trying to improve on.  I guess I need to make it one of my goals.

Also, I've noticed an new odor when I sweat.  Its mostly on my sports bra when I'm finished.  I looked it up and learned that its a result of the chemical process for building muscle!  Woo hoo!  Happy Dance!  This article also said that to help reduce this odor, I should drink more WATER!  Sheesh!  It said some other very specific things about water and results etc., but the bottom line...water is ESSENTIAL!  I'm working on drinking more.  I do drink A LOT more when its warmer but I need to drink more than I'm drinking now that the weather is cool.  

Another thing my cousin just posted today was that we should not feel deprived.  Feeling deprived messes with our head and causes us to ditch the diet or healthy lifestyle.  (she's big on getting away from calling it a diet since we should focus on this being a new lifestyle for the rest of our lives)  However, we should plan some treats but not over indulge and only do planned treats.  Today, hubby is home and we're going to go out to dinner for soup and salad.  It comes with a small french baguette and butter.  THAT will be my treat.  It fits into my container diet which allows me 3 starches a day but the cheat is that it is most certainly white and refined!!!  --NOT CLEAN!  But it is so stinkin' yummy!  Anyway, its happening and its my special planned treat.  

I have a WDW question.  I was thinking I want BOTH the chocolate ganache viking thing and school bread while at EPCOT.  But I'd like to take one home with me for the next day when we aren't going to the parks.  Do they have "to go" bags???  I think that would be better than eating both in one day.  ;-)

Last night I was super tired.  Being that tired is bad for my diet...(oops!  I mean healthy lifestyle!)  I wanted CHOCOLATE!  Like chocolate ice cream with hot fudge sauce on top AND brownie bits!!!  I fought with myself with this for hours.  Finally, I reminded myself that Jack was taking me out today and I would have that baguette and that got me past the binge fit.  I also have discovered that when I'm tired or overly stressed, etc., and I have one of these "must eat junk food" fits that the words, "I don't care" come out of my mouth.  So, last night I reminded myself that I DO care and that I was very upset about the weight gain I had over the holidays.  (I OBVIOUSLY said "I don't care" a LOT over the holidays)  That also helped with overcoming the fit.  I ate an almond, quinoa, cinnamon and chocolate KIND bar instead.   I got through it.  

I have a filter pitcher in the fridge with water.  I don't like the taste of the tap water here.  ;-)

Wendy, I have heard about chocolate helping migraines but it seems that it is triggering mine at the moment. But saying that I read something the other day that said that when you are getting a migraine it can make you want to eat sugar and more food, so we eat chocolate and then get a migraine and think it was the chocolate, but you already had the migraine. Who knows! I do feel quite put of chocolate at the moment though and that's never happened before.

You are totally right about lifestyle, all the things your cousin is saying is what I learnt on a course a while back called Flourish, and the amazing thing I find is that over time my diet has changed so much since the course that I can't imagine eating what I did, I just not too sure why I am heavier than I was, I think it might be my age. Also I need to increase my exercise.

I am pretty good at drinking water, that's all I drink unless it is a hot drink. I take a pint of water to bed with me and drink that as soon as I wake up, it's good for your kidneys:-). I pretty much down it these days. I would be interested to see how much water I drink throughout the day, I always feel it's a lot but maybe I still need more. I hate being thirsty and I seem to really feel effected by dehydration so I keep myself well hydrated. It does have a down side of always needing a wee!! :-)

Tiredness definitely makes your resolve low and it also makes you really want to eat bad things as your body is craving energy and it will get it anyway it needs it even if that is fake energy. I am trying to teach my kids about sugar and it's effects at the moment, well for some time really and I think they are beginning to learn, I never let them drink soda when they were little and I rarely have it in the house, but when Michael worked at Subway they could drink what they liked so he drank loads of soda and after a while he began to notice that he didn't sleep very well and he had headaches and he decided himself that he would cut it right back while he was working and it stopped, so he is quite aware of the effect of sugar on him. I'm hoping now that Abby's thyroid problem is a bit more under control and she's not just contantly hungry all the time, her sugar intake will lessen as well. I am the Sugar Police in our house, which they all find a bit irritating but I do see it as poison, and even though I do have it at times, my intake is a lot less than it used to be and I feel yuck after eating loads of it.

Not feeling deprived is really important, you need to not look at what you can't eat and look at all the amazing things you can eat! The other thing I try to remember is, is it really a treat if it is not doing you any good, some how we are hot wired to think something unheathy is a treat but surely really it's a punishment as you are mistreating your body. I still struggle with thinking a salad is a treat though:-).

I have finally got some spinach, there's been some sort of shortage, so I will be back to green smoothies next week and I am going to try and reduce my carbs. Those are my two goals. So salads for lunch for the majority of the week. I'm not sure I can do a salad and a green smoothie in one sitting but we shall see:-).

Julia!  Wow!  You had so many wonderful insights in that last post!  I don't know why it didn't dawn on me that my body is craving energy (or telling me to go to bed!) and my mind equates that to chocolate.  That makes so much sense!!  Another thing to try to remind myself when I have a craving.  Its worse when hubby is home since he eats junk and is a living breathing Jack Skellington!  Grr!  Its also special when he's home so that makes both of us want to eat munchies.  We have a long history of bad eating together.   He's much more careful during the week when he's trucking.  Do they call it trucking in the UK since they don't call them trucks there???  Do they have the big 18 wheeler rigs there??  I remember all the cars and trucks in Italy being so much smaller than what we have over here.  

Both of my youngest sons were Subway sandwich artists.  My 2nd youngest gave up soda while working at Subway because he found it burns his belly.  Now it burns mine.  Yay!  That's definitely incentive to give it up.  They both work at Walmart now and are more determined than ever to get back to college and get their degrees.  

I always have a bottle of water next to my bed.  I drink it through the night when my throat gets dry.  I kind of do it without waking, but I think I will plan to finish the bottle in the morning as soon as I get up.  That will be my daily goal this week.  Something to be mindful of.  

That article I read said we should have at least 2 clear urinations a day.  No yellow.  That's a sign we are drinking enough water.  

I'm glad Abby's thyroid is better under control.  I've thought a lot about her lately.  :)

Today, I got in 45 minutes of an awesome cardio kick boxing class holding 1 pound weights in each hand.  And a super long stretch making sure I stretched all my sore areas.  I haven't had as much time to do a good stretch recently.  It felt good and some of the poses reminded me I NEED to do these more often.  ;-)

For the chocolate cravings, get your iron levels checked. I used to crave chocolate so bad, I couldn't function. It turns out that I was severely anemic - the doctor said to not get cut, as I would bleed out. Um, WHAT? Taking iron pills has helped increase my levels (although I am still on the low end), and my cravings are almost gone. When I feel that I want chocolate a lot, I increase my iron, and things are good in a couple of days. :)

Home test: take a gold ring, and use the band to "draw" a line on your cheek. If a mark appears, you are low in iron. It may be an old wives tale, but it has worked for me before - and the line didn't show when I was on heavy iron doses!

yes, cravings are a strong sign of deficiency but not 100% of the time is that the case. I checked and salt cravings mean you need... and this one is fun. Salt. um no. I also read a salt craving can mean you need to drink more water. That is more likely.

Tanya - thats very interesting! I may have to try that. I know when I didn't eat meat my levels were low.

Bad weather has been effecting my eating and I need to stop that. Yesterday I was doing so well til Perry got out the cookies that I made for football and I ate 3!!!! Today there will be no cheats! I am determined.

Last week I made a goal to workout 6 days.  I planned 6 cardio workouts with 3 of them being on my spinning bike.  I also planned 2 weight lifting work outs and 6 good stretches.  Most of the stretches ended up shorter than I would like...so there is room to improve on time management this coming week.  However, I got them all in.  YAY!

This week I will go with the same plan.  I find when I put it down in writing some place that I really work to reach my goals.  I strongly dislike lifting weights but I do the workouts because I've told people I'm going to do them.  

I also ate CLEAN the majority of the week.  Hubby was able to meet up with me on Wednesday and took me out to dinner to Sweet Tomatoes.  Its a big salad bar so its mostly clean eating.  I did have a couple of their chocolate brownie muffins.  ;-)  They're super small but Oh So YUMMY!

I am planning ahead of time what I will eat at the Parks in LESS than 2 weeks!  <super big cheesy grin>  I'm sure I'll get plenty of exercise there as I dance and skip through the parks.  ;-)

Sounds great Wendy:-). Well done! Ahhhh eating at Sweet Tomatoes is such a fond memory of ours:-).

I should get lots of walking in this week as steve is at home, so I need to eat well for the maximum effect!

Julia:  I didn't know there was a Sweet Tomatoes in Orlando until you told me.  Thank you for that!!!  We are definitely going there while on Vacation.  

Wendy you are doing great! I am glad you guys like Sweet tomatoes. We like them too but avoid them when on a diet because the salads can get very carb loaded very fast. So are the soups and that bread that is hot... yeah. bad news. LOL!

I was starting out this week well. I even got a planner insert at Michaels that is fantastic and I highly recommend it because it is bound but the pages pull out to put in your binder if you have that size. Its got a fitness section, food, goals, and the best part is the little waters! Check it out:

There are 2 more pages but those were goals and stuff, not as fun.

So yeah, that was all fine and good til I got a King's Cake. Its a Mardi Gras thing and its like a giant circle cinnamon roll. Perry and I will probably eat 2 pieces each and throw it out. Still its just like making me start all over.

I haven't stepped on the scale since I got back from the parks but my boys have.  One gained just 1 pound and the other one had no gain at all!!!  They were thrilled!  I hurt my bum knee...just something that I have to live with...on our 2nd day and hobbled through 4 more park days afterwards.  I got on my bike on Tuesday and hurt my knee even more.  Sheesh!  So I'm just stretching and elevating it and watching the swelling SLOWLY go down.  I'm back to work today so, we'll call that my workout for now.  

I'm back to my 21 day fix diet and trying to get my appetite back to what it was before I left.  We did NOT eat school bread at EPCOT and only had 1 Dole Whip instead of 2.  Since I've been staying away from sweets, the Dole whip was a bit too sweet this time for my tastes.   

We packed a yogurt and banana in an insulated lunch bag for hubby and me.  The boys brought Muscle Milk and we all ate some rice cakes until we went to Sweet Tomatoes for a late lunch.  The rice cakes were particularly helpful when we had a bit of motion sickness.  Hollywood Studios and Universal Studios were our big motion sickness days though both Space and Thunder Mountain can get to me as well.  

I'm hoping to be back full force on my bike next week, though I will start out taking it easy.  Gotta get this healed up or I'll just keep limping along.  Thankfully there is little to no pain!   I won't weigh again until the end of March when my current challenge group ends and I start a new one.  

My aim was to be sugar free for February but it was really hard and I didn't lose any weight in the first two weeks, so on walentines day I gave in as I wanted dessert and I couldn't see the point in making myself miserable about it, I was a bit slack yesterday as well as we were all out together as a family. But back too it today. I think if I was living on my own and just feeding myself it would be a lot easier , I always have to consider everybody else and then give them dessert or film treats. But saying all that, I felt really good not eating sugar and my whole body acted differently. We think it can't have that much of an effect but it really does!

Well done on being in Disney and not indulging too much! :-)

When my husband is trucking, it is SO easy for me to eat properly.  My sons are 25 and 28 so they buy and prepare their own food.  Its easy to stay away from their food because they eat meat.  They are also staying away from breads and sugars.  Then hubby comes home and toasts bread and wants sweets.  I get weak and fall into old habits.  I am working toward breaking these old habits.  There is obviously a lot of room for improvement.  

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