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Saying goodbye to September and welcoming October

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Between the 30 day blog challenge and the BLC#20 RINGO weekend challenge, I missed two other things.

The first is this, my monthly goal review and new month goal planning.

The second is my three-month fitness testing and review of the "State of the Blue". I need to figure out which day to squeeze that into. When I first started it, I wasn't a member of the gym yet and my strength-training was simple body weight exercises from SP, so attempting some pushups and squats was mainly challenging in its own way. Now ... either I do all of them on the same day as my ST or on the rest day in-between. Oh my, oh my. I'm thinking I might put it off until Saturday - which is also more convenient for getting to the blood pressure machine at the pharmacy.

*Crosses fingers that another BLC#20 challenge doesn't make Saturday a super busy day*

With no further ado:

== September goals ==

1) Weight stably below 175 pounds. emoticon
-- Hit my new low of 174.5, bounced up, bounced back down and seem to be sticking, so emoticon!

2) Adjust calorie range and workouts. emoticon
-- I made the mistake of trying to adjust my calorie range first (changed my fitness setup expectation of calories burned). Then I went a tad overboard to meet all the challenge requirements and burned as much, if not more, than usual. My calorie range is raised back up and this time I need to reduce the workouts first, and eat lower in my range to compensate until I find the balance I want.

3) Track the main vitamins. emoticon
-- Added in all the vitamins and minerals I wanted to see. I actually seem to go over on a couple pretty often, and two are consistently under but could be more a matter of under-reported information in the Nutrition Tracker. (Specifically Magnesium and Potassium are under, which are very inconsistently reported on packaged foods - so I could be doing fine and not be able to tell. Iron and calcium tend to be over, but not so terribly so that I need to panic.)

4) Next chapter of 7 Habits and start on practical. emoticon emoticon
-- I finished reading the chapter. I've got a goal elsewhere to get through the Mission Statement which is built as part of the practicals. Then I got distracted and haven't looked at it since. I do actually have a very specific plan for doing this, but want to have an hour or more of uninterrupted time and full focus to do it.

5) Get registered for Oktoberfest and Turkey Trot. emoticon
-- I printed the Oktoberfest registration form, but have to wait for next week to write the check. Turkey Trot sent me one email, but I had a little trouble seeing if registration was open yet and didn't go back. Definitely want to get both of these done this coming week IF I don't have any surprise expenses (*mentally eyeballs DDa*).

6) Begin preparing for sleep at midnight as often as possible. emoticon emoticon
-- Do the last four days count? So, I did okay with this at first, but it's definitely lacking something as a goal - a target. Saying "as often as possible" was laughable, because I didn't bother to keep track of how often I did it. I will say that I probably did it about half of the time, and the last four day I was lights out at 11:30 pm as part of the BLC#20 challenge to get 7-8 hours of sleep, but it wasn't as often as possible. No more sleep goals for me for a while. I will avoiding staying up excessively late, but I've not had as much trouble staying asleep as I have the last four days that I went to bed early.

== October goals ==

1) Weight seeing new low of 170.5 at least once.
2) Reduce cardio on weight days to 20 minutes before (warmup) and 27 minutes walk home. Review difference at end of month. Adjust eating as needed.
3) Plan and make at least two meals in skillet and/or slow cooker.
4) See if I can beat a my 42:08 PR in the Oktoberfest 5k.
5) Have at least the bare bones structure of my mission statement together.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAINTBETH 10/4/2012 11:21AM

    You are doing really well! Good goals.

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NANDA82 10/3/2012 1:32PM

    Great goals! I wanna try to sleep by midnight as well. I really want to get 8 hrs of sleep but I always end up staying up later than I should... I hope you crush all your goals!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIET_FRIEND 10/3/2012 10:51AM

    Very do-able goals. Have a great October!

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DEBJAE 10/3/2012 9:11AM

    You have so much going on, yet you do so well sticking to your plan :)

Great goals for October...and congrats on being below 175! emoticon

I track some vitamins, am consistently lacking calcium (?) but thanks for reminding me...I need to update it and add magnesium & potassium as well! emoticon

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YESCURLYCAN 10/3/2012 1:33AM

  emoticon Blue. Loving your sensible and acheivable goals emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 10/3/2012 12:17AM

    Well done!!

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KSCHRAUT 10/2/2012 7:29PM

    You sure have been a busy bee! I've been reading your other BLC stuff and it sounds like a fun challenge! Good job with your goals for Sept! I know you will rock Oct!

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SHERIO5 10/2/2012 7:05PM

    Some great goals once again, I admire your consistency in tracking these!

Thanks for the information about potassium, I didn't think to check if that was one they don't have to put on packages... emoticon

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TRACYKHOLM45 10/2/2012 5:13PM

    Way to go on reaching most of your goals and good luck for reaching them this month. emoticon

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KALANTHA 10/2/2012 4:53PM

    Love your goals! You made good progress in September and I'm sure that will carry over into October!

Way to go!

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RUNNINGWILD 10/2/2012 2:55PM

    Sounds like I'm not the only Outlaw with night-owl habits..

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MUSOLF6 10/2/2012 2:40PM


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KUJAYHAWKGIRL 10/2/2012 2:33PM

    Great goals! I especially like your goal for vitamin tracking. This is something I often overlook, but it's so important. You've inspired me to pay better attention :)
Cheers to a happy (and healthy!) October!

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 22

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog:

22. What is your current workout/fitness routine?

Currently I do cardio every day and weight work three days a week -- Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. emoticon

For cardio, my order of preference right now is Recumbent Bike, Elliptical, and Stationary BIke emoticon . I will on rare occasions use the Treadmill, but as I do not run, the Elliptical is a better option usually - and I prefer my walking outside. emoticon

For weights, I do a full-body workout all three days - most of it on machines emoticon , a couple things with dumbbells emoticon , and a few body weight exercises emoticon .

I always finish up with stretches emoticon , especially a couple that are good for calves emoticon and achilles tendons (which have really helped with my foot's plantar fascii).

In addition to that, I throw in walks. It's about 1.6 miles from the gym to home and I can usually walk that in 27 minutes (which includes getting stopped at a couple of lights and walking in small circles until they change). These aren't normally a deliberate workout so much as having the energy and deciding to enjoy the fresh air. The funny thing is it takes me only a couple minutes longer than the bus ride, so if I'd have waited more than a few minutes for the bus, I beat it home.


While that is my current workout routine, I'm actually trying to adjust it. The challenge is to find the right combination of changes and to decide which advice is most beneficial to listen to. Sometimes it can be confusing. For example, cardio first or weights first?

emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon
Seriously I just tried a Google search of this and the results were:
1) Weights first
2) Weights First
3) Separate days
4) Depends (muscle build = Weights, cardio endurance = Cardio, Burns Fat = Depends, Health = Doesn't matter)
5) Cardio first (but consider separate days better)
6) Depends (similar to previous one)
7) Depends on Condition and Mindset.

And I stopped there. SparkPeople has a quiz with a True or False that says Cardio first. But they also have an article in which three different SP fitness experts give their own answers which, unsurprisingly, vary. I do like Nicole Nichols' start to her answer, though: "What I always say matters most is that you're actually doing both cardio and strength training". Get doing it first, fine tune it later. Which is pretty much where I'm at now, I think. I'm ready to start fine-tuning and working toward a more efficient (and hopefully effective) routine.


emoticon Had to get my little meditation moment on that. I do have general ideas of what I want to change:

I want to get less cardio, ideally scheduling an actual rest day when I don't go to the gym. I've been thinking about Saturday which would be active rest with all my normal running around - errands and fun both.

I want to challenge myself with two more of the cardio machines at the gym (ergometer and rowing machine), both of which I'd been hesitant to try while my upper body was so weak. I'd like to see what sort of cardio effort those would take for me. (I remember using the rowing machine 20-some years ago, but do I remember my form?)

I ~NEED~ to reduce the length of my cardio workouts on my weight days. This one's a certainty. I started with 40 minute cardio workouts, but as I got stronger on the elliptical or bike, I went longer. Now I'm regularly exceeding what some studies recommend of no more than 45 minutes on a weight day.

I would like to figure out a good way to swap my weight days from full-body all three days to focusing more on one area (arms or legs) on specific days.

I would like to expand the variety of weight exercises I do without completely losing the ability to track my progress. I really don't care for absurd looking moves like throwing medicine balls at the floor. But I want more options for my hamstrings than a lying leg curl machine and I want to make sure I'm keeping all of my arms, shoulders, chest and upper back in balance - not just the muscles I'm working most.

Well, there we go. I wonder what my answer to this question would be a year from now.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIET_FRIEND 10/3/2012 10:55AM

    You are a great role model!

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BLUE42DOWN 10/2/2012 2:24PM


My answer a year ago was 20 minutes of walking every day and a routine of 7 to 10 ST exercises from SP. I remember doing Boxers and Skater Squats and Wall Pushups along with some other things.

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SHERIO5 10/2/2012 1:59PM

    Not to mention, what your answer WAS a year ago! Keep up the good work.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 10/2/2012 1:30PM

    I bet it will be interesting to look back a year from now and see what has changed and what is the same. emoticon

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BLC#20 - RINGO - "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You"

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Oh my gracious, so many GOYBAD. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Trying to do more than a couple of those on TOP of all the other working out going on ... on TOP of the fact I tend to run music while I'm waiting on the bus, standing and dancing all the time. I truly am going to have to ease up after what this weekend challenge and my own decisions had me doing. emoticon

First, my 10 things I am grateful of:

1) that the weather was gorgeous this weekend
2) that I can, with words and SparkGoodies and sometimes just my pictures, encourage and cheer on others
3) ebooks - a constant book supply without stopping at the library
4) libraries - because there's still something special about turning pages sometimes
5) my best friend, even when he's busy and quiet
6) my health - I can't remember the last time i was sick
7) my imagination - I can daydream and fantasize without losing my grounding in reality
8) my ability to get things done when I choose to focus full attention on them
9) my job - even if I want to change, it is stable and pays more than my basic needs
10) my ability to not just get through a Cycling class, but to do it after a walk/run and follow it with a brisk walk home.

That last one ... I'm feeling tired today. There's a couple of reasons, not least of which was three days of walk/runs on the treadmill on top of outside walking on top of regular cardio workouts, and my ST on Sunday. Another reason was the getting to bed at 11:30 pm has not been working well. Every night I've been unable to sleep solidly, half-awake at 3 am and 5 am, tossing and turning. And the last is the monthly visitor showed up this morning.

Do I let any of that slow me down? Oh, no. I plan for an hour-long Cycling class (basically Spin, I think). But that won't be good enough. I need the walk/run too. So at 6 pm I start a 20 minute set of intervals of 4 mph walk and 6.5 or 7 mph runs, a minute each. At 6:30 pm, I'm in the spinning room learning how to get set up. Done at 7:30 pm. Maybe I could have actually pushed a little harder. I wasn't quite sure just how far to push it and be able to survive the whole class.

So, done right?


Oh, no, not yet. I'm going to walk home from the gym again too. Briskly, as usual.

Nope, still not quite done. I have a little ST to do for another square. Squat time. emoticon Ouchies. Why did I leave the leg ones for today?!

I may not have a rest day planned tomorrow, but running is definitely OFF the schedule. As I mentioned in my status one day, it has caused notable aches and twinges in my shins, calves and ankles (no injury, just fussy). BUT, the notably body part not mentioned - my knees - haven't complained AT ALL. That is a major win right there. The cycling class also didn't bother my knees. emoticon

I seriously credit strength training (quads - leg press/squat, hamstrings - lying leg curl, calves - calf raises). Strength training is about more than muscles. It's encourages bone density. It strengthens ligaments and tendons. Combine it with lots of stretching to maintain flexibility in the joints that need it (ankles and hips) and keep the muscles limber, plus the obvious fact of losing many pounds of weight, and my knees are rather happy campers.

Finishing off, I think the only minus for me from this challenge was that I did things I wouldn't normally do - but didn't really find many that I'd keep doing as a matter of course. The food I cut out all four days will be back in my normal routine tomorrow, my sleep schedule will go back to normal tomorrow, I'm not running again except as part of a future challenge, I'm not going to consistently eat fish. But, the plus is that I did do things for 1 to 4 days that I otherwise was not pulling off as a monthly goal (the sleep thing) and learned some things I am more capable of than expected.

And now "This Bird Has Flown" (better known as Norwegian Wood).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PKCTTS 10/2/2012 11:33AM

    Wow - great effort on the challenge. (I wish I'd done as well.) I like your list too. And if your take away is the fact that you can do things you thought you couldn't, that 's important.

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SOULFISH80 10/2/2012 11:21AM

    I love your send of my first favorite Beatles songs. Wow is all I can say. I feel so accomplished when I complete a tiny fraction of what you do! But, it is incredible to read about what a successful sparker does, and how they reach their goals. It helps me to see where I am headed. And yes, you are a definite inspiration to me and countless others I'm sure! Amazing work, thanks for sharing, you are spreading the spark by being you...........what a cool way to inspire others, and the only true way to do it, in my opinion. Keep it up, so we can see that there is hope for us!! emoticon

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DIET_FRIEND 10/2/2012 10:28AM

    You are a busy chick! I like your gratitude list too. I share many of items.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 10/2/2012 9:02AM

    You are staying very active. I bet you see some major changes during this challenge. emoticon

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SHERIO5 10/2/2012 8:02AM

    A thankful heart is a happy heart!


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ILOVEMALI 10/2/2012 2:31AM

    I love your gratefulness list!

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    Love the Beatles.

Thanks for sharing your thankfulness list.

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 21

Monday, October 01, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog:

21. Did you or do you have any disordered eating habits - binging, purging, excessive calorie restriction or excessive exercise? How did develop (or how are you developing) a healthier relationship with food?

Thankfully, no.

The closest I've come to any would probably be "binging", but what I do is more the kind of mindless finish the packet or wanting more than 2 cookies or one donut and eating several more servings. I don't have the secretiveness, the loss of control / inability to stop, or the post-eating guilt, so I don't think of them as binges in the sense of an eating disorder.

I'm having to be careful on the exercise too. I do limit my gym workouts to no more than 70 minutes of cardio, more usually 40-60 minutes, and 3 days a week of lifting. I had been planning to create a rest day in there and reduce my cardio on lifting days to 40-45 minutes, but didn't do so this past week. (In addition, I don't work out harder or longer to make up for overeating. If anything, I eat more when I'm hungry because I worked out more.)

Something not mentioned, and not really an eating disorder, is a food issue I did develop growing up. That was racing to finish my meals. If we wanted seconds, with six kids and two adults, we had to finish quickly because there was a chance any good food would be gone. If we wanted to escape the horror known as family time over dinner, we ate as fast as possible (until a rule was made that we couldn't leave until fifteen minutes after dinner started).

Even after moving out, I ate fast. I can eat like an assembly line, taking a new bite while still chewing several other bites and swallowing as they got chewed enough. (( There was some other stuff that went on due to my step mother's "health food" crazes, but none of those survived past moving out -- sneaking sweet foods, such as carob chips or brown sugar, and even stealing money to buy food outside the house. ))

The most important thing I do for my relationship with food is really and truly take the time to appreciate it. That's partly an effort to combat the feeling I need to race to finish my food. It's also because I feel it is stupid of me to say I love food, and then to eat it in a way that doesn't allow me to actually appreciate it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKFRAN514 10/2/2012 8:52PM

    Great blog you are a great all the time you take to read and leave encouraging notes on blogs and spark pages and all the work out time you put in you are very dedicated and have a great plan in place. it seems odd to have to limit work out time i bet when a short time ago your were just starting way to go you will be at goal sooner than you thing. emoticon

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DIET_FRIEND 10/1/2012 11:57PM

    I think my biggest problem is one summer I was low on funds and couldn't afford a lot of food. I became like Scarlett O'Hara and swore I'd never go hungry again. I have been known to overeat. I have gone to bed many a night with a stomach so filled that it was uncomfortable. To be honest I feel better when I DON'T pig out, but when I start, it's hard to stop.

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SHERIO5 10/1/2012 9:31PM

    I can relate to eating too fast...I think mine was because of the larger family eating dynamics as well! I continue to work on really enjoying my food, rather than wolfing it down. Thanks for your honesty.

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ILOVEMALI 10/1/2012 5:16PM

    So relieved that I've never had to deal with eating disorders -- I have enough problems! emoticon

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EMGI129 10/1/2012 4:06PM

    I loved this entry.i can relate 100%. I can plow through food at a ridiculous pace. I say I love food, but often don't really show it by my appreciative chewing. Very often I don't taste it. My mom wouldn't let us have sweets as a kid, and I still feel a little sneaky every time I eat sugary things, which often equals inhaling them quickly and, especially, not sitting down to enjoy them.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 10/1/2012 3:30PM

    Sounds like you have a good balance in your eating habits and food choices after reading this and your other blogs. You are indeed blessed. I have a few issues but they are getting better. emoticon

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BLC#20 - RINGO - "When I Get Home"

Monday, October 01, 2012

Today's title is dedicated to the fact I was out more than I was home, and only now at 10:37 pm am I finally done with all the running about and settling in to finish off the last few things such as my list of 10 things I'm grateful for.

I am grateful that:
1) Salmon doesn't taste too terrible, so I was able to eat dinner just fine.
2) I don't have to eat seafood as a matter of course.
3) My KNEES haven't hurt at all from the running!
4) I got the big fat case for my smartphone, because I drop it plenty
5) I've managed to befriend the landlord's dog so well he follows me around now
6) Today was sunny and warm, perfect for all the walking I did
7) I have this room to rent, which costs me barely more monthly than a car costs some people
8) The laundromat wasn't too crowded, so I didn't have to wait on washers
9) Both the restaurant and the laundromat had the same game playing, so I saw most of it
10) My DDa's uncle/wife told her to spend the rent money (I gave her last month) to pay for her classes, so she's attending this quarter

So, yes, per the first item there, I went out to dinner and had Norwegian salmon steamed with ginger, on top of tomatoes, bok choy, asparagus and shiitake mushrooms. It wasn't terrible. I didn't have to choke it down. Which was a blessing. With that out of the way, it wasn't something I'd choose to have under normal circumstances. Beef has so much more flavor on its own, chicken absorbs the food flavors, while seafood tends to have a fishy aftertaste no matter what. So ... I don't hate seafood with the same passion I reserve for brussels sprouts and cilantro, but it still won't make a regular appearance in my meals.

Regarding the cilantro - interesting snippet I learned on that. Most people either love it or hate it. Those who hate it apparently lack the ability to recognize a particular "savory" taste. Without that savory taste, the bitterness is the strongest flavor. Those who can recognize the savory aren't overwhelmed by the bitterness. (Add to that the fact I do NOT like bitter foods at all, which is part of why I never learned to like coffee, and it's amazing I ever manage to enjoy Mexican food with the cilantro obsession some restaurants some have.)

And, slightly TMI, but my clothes to set aside today are bras. I've been wearing 38DDD normally and using my older 40DDD as my workout ones. Last week I finally picked up my order of 36DDD (had to special order - stores don't routinely carry them). It's been nice to swap to those for normal wear, and now that I've washed those largest ones, they're on the outs. Of course, this has only made me realize I also need to replace some other too large underthings. I only have 14/16, 16/18, and a few 18/20. I'm wearing 12s. The 18/20s will be tomorrow's sort out clothes.

Ending off here so I can get the last couple things done and meet my 11:30 pm bedtime. Fun has been had, a good habit practiced, a bad habit avoided, a treat has made me feel fine, and I've let go of something.

One more day of this ... and then NO MORE RUNNING. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MNJONES2 10/1/2012 1:47PM

    I am glad things are going well for you - look at the progress you have made!!

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RG_DFW 10/1/2012 12:39PM

    I discovered Salmon a few years ago and it's truly one of life's little pleasures!

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ILOVEMALI 10/1/2012 12:06PM

    Sounds like you had a great weekend -- get rid of those big clothes -- you'll never need them again! xoxo

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HOPEFULHIPPO 10/1/2012 11:12AM

    I LOVE salmon! especially especially Norwegian Salmon OMGosh it is so good. :o) love the 10 list...

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MEH50BEWELL 10/1/2012 9:34AM

    Eww I cannot get to a point where I have found a salmon dish I have liked. Good for you for trying so many things and I love your top 10 grateful things. You are doing amazing!

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DJHARLEYQ 10/1/2012 6:08AM

    Awesome news about the clothing. Sure it's a little TMI but hey I know I'm going to be excited when my under garments are smaller and I have to buy more. Especially when Im able to buy the smexy stuff.

I'm one of those people that can do fish and cilantro. I personally like tuna because it has less of an aftertaste for me. Shark is really good too but not many places sell grilled shark.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 10/1/2012 5:55AM

    Great things to be thankful for.

I am one of those that loves cilantro. I can eat it like lettuce. emoticon Salmon that is another story. I am only fond of the canned kind.

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