Carolyn R Parsons

If you are unfamiliar with Spark People and you are on a weightloss journey I would suggest you check out this helpful website as soon as possible.


The reasons I endorse this website are varied. First of all, and likely the main reason is that it's completely free. This means that anyone who has access to a computer can join this group of millions of people and find inspiration, support, tools for fitness, tools for food tracking, menus, ideas, anything that you need to help you in your journey. If you have your own computer or have to go to a public library you can visit this website and use its tools.

I also like that it's private. As private as the Internet allows. You can use a user name and keep your weight private. That is a bonus for a lot of people who do not want to go to a group meeting in person.

I like that it is incredibly friendly. That it has a blog, that you don't have to use all the features, only the ones that you need, that you don't have to weigh in, just follow along with the program and go from there.

You can set up a page with your information called a Spark page and let people know in as much or as little detail as you like about yourself. This is a great page to do a picture or video journal of your success.

If you need to journal your food intake there is a place to do that, if you wish to journal your fitness progress you can journal that as well. You can log your fitness minutes. There are endless possibilities that would take too long to describe.

I would suggest you visit this amazing place and while you are at it visit the community boards and the success stories section. These are my favourite places.

And if your goal is wellness you can set your account up to help you in that journey instead of weight loss. So it can accommodate you in any way that suits you. I do this as I don't want to focus on weight loss even though I wish to meet that end eventually.




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Carolyn R Parsons

Training has officially started. When trying to find the motivation to keep active, be fit, move and live a full and healthy life what I've found to be motivational is to have a target, a goal. I'm competitive by spirit though not governed by the urge to win so much as the urge to play.

When I made the decision to work on my physical body without the aid of the diet industry I also made the decision to spend very little money on it. I have purchased a few items, my mP3 download, some good shoes, yoga DVDs. But I have also found some wonderful programs for free on the Internet.

When I started running last year I followed the couch to 5K program. I downloaded some free podcasts to my iPod and off I went. I can't find a link to my original download but if you search with google there are multiple choices for free downloads to get you started. Or you can just run with a stop watch, as many people do.

Then more recently I discovered the one hundred push up program. I was pleasantly surprised that in the initial test I could do 11 push ups. I'm in better shape than I thought particularly since I haven't done a push up in years. I'm adding that as part of my training. I will log in my workouts and watch my strength increase until I'm up to 100 push ups! I'll be sure to share my success with you.

That all leads up to the reason I've suddenly decided to go into training! I've joined a Dragon Boat team. For those who aren't familiar this is a rowing team as in the picture above. The boats are called dragon boats Last night I went for my second practice and it is extremely hard work! Our first event is on July 18, in Waterloo Ontario and I have to be ready! I'm learning but I don't have the physical fitness to keep my proper form and I need to get in some pretty good physical condition for this. The sport itself is rather inexpensive, I may purchase a life jacket and a paddle down the road, meanwhile I'll use the equipment they supply.

So I've found my sport, I'm in training and on to the next phase of my goal of optimum fitness and health! I'm excited and cannot wait for my first race!

Oh, and for the chance to win a free hypnosis download go here. I have the weightloss download and I find it invaluable in my journey! Good luck!

Namaste



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Carolyn R Parsons

Besides a brief set back with a macaroon I've remained completely on track. Some absolutely beautiful brown sugar strawberries got me over the hump yesterday. I realise that I am likely experiencing a hormonal shift as generally during the last week of my cycle my cravings do increase I've upped my awareness.

Today I'll have to pay particular attention because I've been awake since 3am. This means I will be very tired after dinner and likely the kids won't be. This is kind of a set up or trigger for eating for me. If I can have an early night, ignore the call of a late day caffiene fix, avoid the sugar trap for the evening and call it a night at a reasonable time I have a good chance of being successful. Meanwhile I tried on a pair of jeans from last year and they fit. They are a bit tight but they look nice. In fact my daughter complimented me on them when she came home from school.

Affirmation: There is no hurry. The journey is more important than the outcome. The outcome will be perfect. This I trust and this will guarantee success.



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Carolyn R Parsons

Starting over! Hard to do. Craved a bunch of sweets last night but ate none of them. Now I know, three days and it'll pass so I've got day one tucked under my belt. I probably ate too many other things but, one step at a time!

One thing has struck me lately. In all my binging on the cookies I haven't once worried about weight gain. I mean I know that the result will be weight gain and likely I did put on a few ounces over the few days of sugar munching however it hasn't crossed my mind. My thoughts instead were on health and wellness and avoiding diabetes down the road...all positive thoughts, no "I've blown my diet" thoughts and that has to be a good sign.

A friend of mine was lamenting about how she was doing "insert famous diet plan here" that she was stuck, couldn't lose any more, had lost 12 lbs the first 4 weeks and nothing since. My first thought was "there isn't any fat on you so why have you started dieting?" and my second thought was "Oh, I'm so glad I'm not dieting!".

And I'm not. I eat whatever I want whenever I want. My goal is to fix my disordered eating not to lose weight. I'm hoping the weight loss continues however it's not my goal, I have no definite weight goals, I only have behaviour goals and it's making me a much happier person.

And another exciting thing. I think I've decided to take up a sport! Dragon boating which is basically competitive team rowing. They practice on Monday nights and do three competitions a season. The price is completely reasonable and I think I would absolutely love it. I love to row and to be in a boat regularly would be heaven! So next Monday I get to try it out for free so see how I feel. If I like it I will join the team! I've been looking for a sport because I like the idea of the social time of a team rather than the solitary of a gym for exercise. I will still continue to run and work out with weights and do yoga but this will be very exciting if it turns into something I want to do!

Wish me luck.

Affirmation: I am open to trying new things to find out what I actually love to do rather than what others recommend to me as exercise!





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Carolyn R Parsons

Sugar crept back into my life and it's not a pretty picture. I'm actually quite fascinated by my complete and utter failure to avoid the trap of compulsive binging, wondering after all the self-searching and growth I've accomplished in the past while, how I possibly let myself fall back into those old habits so completely and without hesitation. One cookie, the catalyst for a binge of monumental proportions.

I thought I was ready. I thought I could handle one, just one cookie, but nope, not entirely there yet. In exploration of the past few days I found there were several events that led to my nap in sugar land.

First of all I've had visitors, my sister and her two kids and the house has had more pop, sugar, junk food of all manner occupying spaces in front of me for 10 days. It's very frustrating to see all this, it's particularly difficult to watch young girls drink diet pop regularly(my daughter has occasional pops but it's never in the house) and the donuts, muffins, oatmeal cookies were too much of a temptation for me.

Second of all, there was a neighbourhood picnic where the only thing I could eat was a potato salad and some crackers and cheese I brought myself. And of course desserts that were magnificent and oh, so tempting!

And the third reason and probably the reason I succumbed to the temptation in the first place, was the sudden and tragic death of an old friend in a motor cycle accident. I've been mourning the shock of the loss for three days, living in sort of a fog and consoling myself with all manner of goodies. In fact, the day I sampled the first cookie was the day I learned of his death. Are the two events tied together? For a compulsive and emotional eater such as myself, absolutely! The recognition of this and my mind's ability to excuse me for allowing this as an excuse is key to understanding what I do. What do I replace food with when faced with the next emotional unheaval? I must plan for that.

So now what? Well my company leaves today and whatever sweets are remaining will get dumped in the garbage. I will make myself a batch of the wonderful refined sugar-free banana muffins I love, buy my sugar-free bread again, some fresh fruit and veggies and cook myself my favourite honey-baked lentils for dinner. I will drink my healthy tea and I will listen to my weight loss hypnosis recording as I lay in bed tonight. All is not lost. Today is another day!

And this I will take from my regression. I am human, I make mistakes but I have an incredible capacity to remedy them as well. From this day forward I will again remove refined sugar from my diet. Because this time I know I can.

Affirmation: Forgiveness is key. I easily and without effort forgive myself and move forward. It takes time to re-record the new messages to replace the old in my mind. But I will succeed, I have succeeded. I will move on.



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Carolyn R Parsons

This weekend we had a family BBQ. This was the first social event I've attended since embarking on my journey to remove refined sugar from my diet. It was a huge success.

Let me preface by saying that my sister and nieces are visiting for 11 days and this makes it difficult as well. But the lack of response to baked goods, I could seriously take them or leave them, gave me the confidence to make a double batch of chocolate chip cookies without eating a single one. I have not even been tempted to taste them.

So I thought this would be a good time to write down the steps I've taken to defeat sugar addiction and cravings.

1. I prepared to quit. I thought about it, journalled about it and then started when I was ready.
2. I only quit refined sugar and ate fruit in any quantity and type until the worst of the cravings passed.
3. I bought and used sugar-free whole grain breads and would have a slice instead of something sweet.
4. I removed all temptation from the house the first week.
5. I used an hypnosis download for weight loss from hypnotransformations.
6. I planned lots of little jobs for me to do while I was fighting the cravings
7. I journalled here.
8. I did not attempt to lose weight and just considered it a lifestyle change. I do not know if I lost weight during that time or not.
9. I decided I could and would do this.
10. I took it moment by moment and promised to forgive myself if I messed up at all.

Every person is unique but if I can do it so can you. Start thinking about it and try one day to give it up. If you can do one day, then you know you can do another and so on until you are free from the cravings. I found the first three days very difficult however the cravings dissipated after the third day and I then cut back on my fruit and bread intake.

On the weekend I sampled a fruit dip I had made for the party. I was really put off by its sweet taste. I would never have thought it possible to dislike the taste of sugar but I really couldn't eat it.

If you want to make lifestyle changes that are permanent and will result in a healthy attitude towards food once and for wall giving up refined sugar is a great place to start. And it's not all or nothing. I decided to leave the occasional glass of wine in my life as deprivation is not my goal at all. So far it is working brilliantly for me. It's over a month and counting now.

Affirmation: Today I decide again that refined sugar is currently not a part of my diet.



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