AEBROWNSON's SparkPeople Blog AEBROWNSON's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community A walk at the lake <img src=""> <BR> Today was a gorgeous fall day! Lulu the dog and I went for a long walk out at the lake...walking on the earthen dam, checking out what the fishermen were catching (mostly channel cats). <BR> Lulu ran and ran and got into the water a bit. I did not. But it was still a great day. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> And Lulu was very appreciative. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.... Fri, 17 Oct 2014 19:29:20 EST Tracker lost, Tracker found Last night I lost my SparkTracker for the 3rd time...and found it for the 3rd time. <BR> <BR> Last evening, near dusk, I was walking the dog on the bike trail east of town. Now this bike trail is pretty rough, and I had already skinned my hands on some gravel. Lulu the dog wanted to get off the bike trail and wander off next to the cornfield, so I followed her. Eventually though, we needed to get back on the bike trail to go home before it got completely dark. So I went trailblazing through ... Tue, 7 Oct 2014 15:13:22 EST Bronchitis from Heck Ramblings from the bored at work... <BR> <BR> Went to the ear nose and throat doctor this week because I continue to have a terrible hack-y cough. I went to the ENT given my history during the last couple of months...see previous blog postings! He put the scope down my nose...pleasant, looked for a minute and said..."You still have bronchitis". So now I'm on my second round of antibiotics...a z-pac, so hope this gets rid of it. On the good side, my appetite has not been very good, and I'm on... Sat, 4 Oct 2014 13:04:15 EST A few photos from India As you may know, I spent a couple of weeks in India this summer. Here are a few photos... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> The Golden Temple...that's 1500kg of pure gold! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> We had Mehendi done with henna. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Yes, I got to ride an elephant! <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:36:30 EST I haven't really left, but... I haven't really been participating in SP either. <BR> Since my last blog, I've: <BR> Done a face plant while walking the dog that scraped my chin and broke my nose <BR> Gone to India with said face-planted face, and had a great time1 <BR> Lost 15 lbs temporarily because I couldn't eat the spicy food in India; then gained it all back. <BR> Suffered with 4 weeks of bronchitis contracted in India <BR> Experienced an infection in my nose related to the break that made my nose look like WC Field... Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:59:44 EST Making little goals I've never been one to make little goals. For example, I am treasurer of my church and we have had the opportunity to purchase two different properties adjacent to the church. When we met to talk about it, I said we should buy them both, because the opportunity may not come around again for a long while and putting our faith in God that he will keep our church strong and that we will have need of both properties. Needless to say, we are only hoping now to buy one of the properties. <BR> When... Sat, 19 Jul 2014 18:55:10 EST What the heck is a Burn Baby Burn Challenge Trophy? Because I won one today...I don't even remember signing up for such a challenge! <BR> <BR> Today was a day of lost and found. <BR> <BR> Lulu and I went out for a walk this morning at 6. Since I didn't have to work this morning (working tonight) we went for a long walk. Somewhere between four and five miles. At the end of it we stopped at the farmers market so Lulu could get love and I could get blueberries and onions and (bad Ann) an Apple handpie. Then we continued to walk home, arriving a... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 19:52:47 EST Regarding blogs I read today. Today I read Sparkguy's blog where he talks about his new 10 minutes a day streak. It's the consistency that is important. Doing 10 minutes a day isn't impossible for anyone, and it doesn't mean you can't do more, it just means you need to do SOMETHING. And then I stole this from GABY1948's blog: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So what did I take from today's SP reading? <BR> <BR> 1. Do something, <BR> 2. Do it consistently <BR> 3. Do it f... Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:40:44 EST Summer 2014 Good Morning! <BR> <BR> I was reading some of my old blogs andrealize that I haven't been very good about consistently writing about what's happening or not happening in my life. <BR> When I lost weight in 2010-11, I thought that regaining it was never going to happen because I was doing the weight loss thing on my own, and really for myself. Yet after reaching my goal weight for a nanosecond, I started to gain it back. I'm now about 60 pounds above where I'd like to be. <BR> <BR> But, ther... Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:47:17 EST It's Working! For anyone who doesn't know me, I lost over 100 pounds between August 2009 and June 2011. And then I gradually put half of it back on, reaching 205 lbs. last month. Finally, the wake up call I needed! That, combined with terrible arthritis in my hands, led me to eating much more healthy and eating small meals every 3 or so hours. (See previous blog.) I also happened to see a show on my local PBS station (during their fund drive) that talked about an anti-inflammatory diet. The women who devel... Mon, 24 Mar 2014 13:04:32 EST Elimination diet--hope it solves the arthritis problem. After talking to my doctor, we decided to try an elimination diet to see if there is something that I'm eating that is making my arthritis worse. So, for the last 4 days, I have been eating, fruit, veggies, nuts, whole grain (but not wheat), and meat (chicken and fish). If things improve within the next few days, then I will know that wheat and or dairy are to blame. If not, then I will take away the nuts. Then another week. One thing she has also said is that I shouldn't get too ... Mon, 17 Mar 2014 12:23:01 EST Big Snow, death of a faithful friend. It's been quite a couple of weeks. We had ice on New Years Day, then THE BIG SNOW in the midwest on January 5-6. Just laid around the house. Actually, that's not quite true...I shoveled a 150 ft driveway three times on Sunday and once on Monday and now have a little tendonitis in both shoulders. <BR> Then, on Tuesday January 7th when we could get out of the driveway I took my little dog Chica into the vet because she had stopped eating on Sunday and was coughing, particularly when she first... Tue, 14 Jan 2014 20:08:38 EST Random thoughts and a couple of goals. Today is my last day of work (except for a half day on December 26th) until January 6! It's time to do some serious reflection on my health and happiness. I will be here at home, mostly by myself (with dogs and cat) so I have almost three weeks to redevelop some healthy habits. At noon today I am going over to the rec center on campus and pay money for a membership for next semester...and that means changing my sleep habits...going to bed earlier so I can get up at 4:30, walk the dogs, go to ... Wed, 18 Dec 2013 11:01:06 EST A Find! One of the things I often crave is chocolate (and peanut butter, too, but that's a different story...) and a couple of weeks ago I was surfing the web and up popped an ad for "Choffy" Like ground coffee you put in a French Press, but made out of cocao beans instead. So I thought, hmmm, what the heck, and ordered a bag. It.Is.Amazing. You make it and pour it in your cup. after it has steeped for 5 minutes and it's like dark chocolate heaven. It's so smooth, you don't even have to put any sugar... Mon, 18 Nov 2013 11:50:39 EST Whew! Yesterday I went to the doctor, not because I was sick, but because it had been a year since I'd had bloodwork done and figured I'd better face the music about my blood sugar and my cholesterol. Not that my diet has been horrible <em>473</em> <em>76</em> <em>495</em> but it could be a lot better. <BR> So, my doctor hands me the results of the bloodwork and says "I think you'd rather be about 25-30 pounds lighter, but I can't really say anything, because your numbers are good, and I k... Thu, 14 Nov 2013 15:29:08 EST It's Friday! And I only work half a day on Fridays! This has been a really busy week, leading up to a conference program at our local History Conference yesterday. My colleague and I did two sessions yesterday morning, and that was after about 20 hours of work getting ready for it this week. God forbid that I should get things done early. I've known about this program since APRIL. But it turned out great and I think that people who attended were really satisfied. It was about using trade books to help wit... Fri, 25 Oct 2013 15:54:03 EST After a long hiatus, I'm back again. For how long, I can't say. During the entire time I have continued to read articles from SP, and have generally kept my weight about the same(within 5 pounds) since last December. Of course, that's approximately 50 pounds above where I was at my thinnest, and about 30 pounds above where I felt my best. <BR> My puppy, Lulu, has turned into a dog. If you remember, she was the rescue dog I got last March as a 4 month old lab/pointer mix. Now it appears there is no pointer, but rather some Austr... Mon, 21 Oct 2013 10:36:54 EST SNOW We got a bunch of snow yesterday/last night. I don't know the official numbers, but it's around a foot. Here's a picture of my house taken at 6 am this morning. I'd just finished walking my puppy Lulu, who is doing fairly well at housetraining...though she has peepeed in every room in the house. <img src=""> Mon, 25 Mar 2013 11:29:55 EST Want to Lose Weight? Get a Puppy! Since making my goal weight in June of 2011, I have been on again, off again about tracking my food, having good food habits, and getting regular exercise. I'd spent $100 on a boot camp, and then only went 3 times... All that changed on Friday. Her name is Lulu. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Lulu is a 4 month old pointer/lab mix. (We think.) She is a rescue dog. She was found when she was about 8 weeks old, skinny and flea-infested, o... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 14:00:11 EST Change for the better Since my last post, I've been mostly eating better, tracking my food on My Fitness Pal, and doing a little bit of walking. I've pretty much stayed the same weight, so it is really time to kick it into high gear. Tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. (and this is after working until 10 tonight!) I am starting a Woman's Bootcamp! Only hope I'll be able to walk home after it's over at 6. <em>198</em> At least for 5 weeks I'm going to try and get myself back into the exercise habit. Bootcamp is Mondays,... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 14:13:55 EST It's been awhile, but I'm back! I note that the last time I blogged was September 30. That's a LONG time ago!, and my weight shows it. <BR> I finished with the 30-day heart monitor on October 25, and met with the cardiologist on November 15, at which time I learned that THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MY HEART and the "event" that occurred during my 24 hour heart monitoring was an "artifact". While it's good news that my heart is fine, I was kicked out of the gym for the entire time I had the heart monitor, and really got out o... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 15:26:25 EST News from the cat angel of death In my last blog I told you all about the new kitty. On Thursday when I went to clean her litter box, I noticed that she hadn't defecated at all, but had peed up a storm. Bad sign. I took her to the vet and discovered that she had not only diabetes, but also kidney disease. So I called the previous owner and told him I was not willing to provide the treatment this all would entail, and we agreed it would be better to put her down. So we did. Two cats lost in less than two months. I also learne... Sun, 30 Sep 2012 13:45:21 EST A lot's happened since my last post. Lots of news. <BR> First, health. <BR> On Labor Day I had gone to bed around 9 pm. I woke up around 11 and realized I hadn't plugged in my phone, so I got up to do that. I walked into the living room, picked up the phone, walked into the kitchen to plug it in, and next thing I knew, I was flat out on the dining room floor (about 5 feet from where I was last conscious). Anyway, I called the doctor, and had an EKG, bloodwork, etc, and they couldn't find anything wrong with me. But they put a 24... Thu, 27 Sep 2012 10:38:30 EST Sad news. On Tuesday, July 31 I did my last blog entry, with pictures of the animals. On Friday, August 3rd, Eddie ran out in the street and was hit by a car and killed. So it's been a very sad week. It's interesting, too, how Chica and Wasabi have responded to Eddie not being around. Chica has been piling all her attention on Wasabi, though I'm sure he would call it abuse. Wasabi, on the other hand, has been a bit depressed. For example, first thing every morning I go into the bathroom and Sabi comes... Mon, 13 Aug 2012 15:13:41 EST Pictures! Don't ever think that I'm a technological I figured out how to download pictures from Google+ to my laptop so I can upload them to SP. I've been saying that I would provide some visuals when I figured it out, so here goes! <BR> First, the pets. <BR> Chica...she really is my baby. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sabi in his favorite place on earth. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Eddie avo... Tue, 31 Jul 2012 16:53:12 EST Gosh It's Been A Long Time It's not that I've quit or anything, I just haven't blogged. No excuses, just haven't done it. So, what's happened in the last 2 1/2 months? Well, my garden has dried up to nothing. We haven't had more than a couple of sprinkles of rain since early June. We're under water restrictions, so the only things I've been watering are my vegetable garden, (though I don't know why I bother because it's so hot it's not even flowering, let alone getting any tomatoes or eggplants.) Oh, yeah, it's hot. Fo... Tue, 31 Jul 2012 10:59:16 EST I'm a gardening fool! The weather this past couple of weeks has been perfect! Perfect for what---you may ask? Perfect for gardening! I started out a week and a half ago pulling out all my containers for annuals that I intersperse between the various shrubs and grasses in the backyard. 14 of them! That means carrying about 8 40# bags of potting soil home from the Rural King (our local farm store). Of course, this gardening story wouldn't be MY gardening story without an accident. I was sitting on my deck, filling t... Mon, 14 May 2012 10:49:29 EST Back to the gym! I did it! I went back to the gym today! My physical therapist said that I could, as long as I didn't overdue it. So I went on the elliptical for 15 minutes, walked the track for 20 at a 15 min/mile pace, and then did a few strength exercises she recommended. <BR> Interestingly enough, what she recommended for a bad hamstring is to do exercises for your butt! That's right, the old gluteus maximus. Apparently, with women, the way our legs fit into our hips pulls our knees in toward each other,... Wed, 2 May 2012 16:08:54 EST Back to the beginning. I had a very quiet weekend. It was crappy weather....can you say thunderstorms? So anyway, I sat on my sun porch (which also works in the rain) <em>24</em> and read books and re-evaluated my progress or lack thereof. With my injury, I am missing about 1800 or so calories a week of exercise, and because I am frustrated and bored, I am eating like a pig. Yes, a two pound gain this week. It's so bad I'm not even tracking it. <BR> Anyway, it seems like going back to the beginning, when I was ve... Mon, 30 Apr 2012 10:14:12 EST Weekend of bad food decisions As I mentioned in my last blog, this weekend there was an arts festival on campus (Note to weatherman...that was not "CLEAR"). Yes, it rained a little and was mostly cloudy and very cool and windy, but I still went several times and ate way more than my share of fried food. Can you say funnel cake, deep-fried mushrooms, deep fried sweet say nothing of the grilled pork shishkabab, pulled pork sandwich, and cotton candy (twice). And then a friend came over and we went out for Mex... Mon, 23 Apr 2012 10:58:38 EST Not a tear! I heard back from the MRI on my's not a tear, but rather a severe sprain. Although I have to say it is about 80% better this week! And they put me in for a month of physical therapy. Hope that that will help get that muscle better and all stretched out so I can get back to exercising without pain. <BR> During the summer at work we have a "Step It Up challenge" where we have teams and record our steps each week. I signed up yesterday, so I really am planning to get back to the ... Fri, 20 Apr 2012 10:00:06 EST Hamstring redux As you may know, I've been having a lot of trouble with my leg. The chiropractor and the doctor have been confused as to whether it's muscle or nerve, since it's mostly centered in the middle back of my thigh, but occasionally I have shooting pains down my leg. I'm scheduled for an x-ray/MRI of my back on Friday to see if I have a disk issue. <BR> That takes us to this morning. I was sitting on the bed getting dressed, and noticed a bruise on the side of my knee. So I got up and looked in th... Wed, 11 Apr 2012 13:54:40 EST Sweets and me...together forever.... Today I have decided that I am not going to worry about my sugar intake too much, within reason. As long as I make sure that I stay around my calorie goal, and get enough protein, not too much fat, and have enough fiber and calcium and fruits and veggies, if I have cake, or a Hershey's kiss, or an occasional Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (My ABSOLUTE fav) it's okay. For the past several weeks, I have tried to limit, actually eliminate, sweets and desserts from my daily food intake, and I have fai... Wed, 4 Apr 2012 21:19:41 EST Trigger finger fixed Good evening... <BR> This morning I went to the doctor for an in-office procedure...having my pinky finger operated on for a trigger finger. The tendon would catch and cause great pain and aggravation. <BR> so I arrived at the doctor at 9 am. The assistant prepped me for surgery...local, so I was completely awake, but the hand was numb. The doctor started the surgery at about 9:30, finished at 9:45, and I was back on the road at 5 to 10. <BR> What he found was: <BR> 1. I had a thickened tend... Wed, 21 Mar 2012 21:44:24 EST Great weekend for family, horrible weekend for food choices Okay, so last Thursday I left to go up to DeKalb for a children's literature conference. Which would be great except for being plied with cookies. And when you're not very good at limiting cookies and other sweets to begin with, and the cookie tray keeps being passed...well, you get my drift. <BR> Then I drove to Iowa to see family and for the baptism of a great niece and nephew...and cake, and brownies, and cookies. <BR> Yes I went overboard...yes I have gained two pounds in 5 days. <BR> I ... Tue, 20 Mar 2012 14:01:28 EST Gardening! I'm back on the sugar busting plan. Yesterday I ate leftover homemade turkey pot pie with cornbread topping that I added tons of extra veggies to. I had cut up several kinds just to have them on hand for snack attacks, but they were on their last legs, so I threw cauliflower, broccoli, and celery in with a can of mushrooms the frozen mixed vegetables, and only added a little white sauce to the mix instead of cream of mushroom soup. It made a 9x13 pan full, and I had 4 people over on Friday ni... Tue, 13 Mar 2012 10:56:56 EST Pretty horrible weekend on the sugar bustin' front 1 Reeses Peanut Butter Cup <BR> 1 double dip coffee ice cream waffle cone <BR> Brownie sundae <BR> <BR> And that was just Saturday... <BR> <BR> Sunday, there was <BR> 3 pices of granny cake at church <BR> 1 small Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard <BR> half a cup of vanilla soft serve <BR> <BR> However, yesterday I worked outside from noon until 6 pm cleaning out garden beds and raking, raking, raking. I took 14 bags of yard waste to the yard waste recycler. So I don't feel too bad about ... Mon, 12 Mar 2012 16:12:50 EST Day 2 of the Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge I'm doing pretty well with this! Yesterday I had a fundraiser dinner to go to that had several unfamiliar foods. It was a dinner to raise money to support a South African's attendance at culinary school, sponsored by the local Rotary Club and also featured a local graduate student who was sponsored by the Rotary in his studies in South Africa. Anyway, we had wine (which I just realized I didn't track...Oops, that takes me over my daily calories for yesterday...) and appetizers and then someth... Fri, 9 Mar 2012 10:11:18 EST Starting a new challenge Since I seem to be at a standstill with exercise because of various injuries, I am going to focus on my eating instead. I just joined the "Tame your Sweet Tooth" challenge and am going to work on staying away from all the sweet treats that I have been craving. And once I start eating, I can't stop. A cookie here, a candy bar there until it adds up to some real calories. <BR> So, I'm going to try to blog daily about my progress. <BR> This morning was kind of the last straw. I went to my month... Wed, 7 Mar 2012 15:56:49 EST Help me pick a new dog... For a couple of years now I have faithfully gone to the gym and walked on the treadmill, ridden the recumbant bike, used the elliptical and rowing machines, and lifted weights using the circuit machines and free weights. And I'm bored, I tell you, bored. I got all the way to my goal weight with that practice, but I NEED A CHANGE! I do like to run outside, but I have a chronic left hamstring/gluteus muscle problem so I really can't run more than twice a week, and I have tendonitis in my right ... Mon, 5 Mar 2012 14:49:17 EST Another month goes by... I can't believe another month has blown has been incredibly busy, and it seems like life is passing me by while I chug away at work and all the other stuff I have committed to. <BR> Went to the orthopedic guy who gave me a cortisone shot in my finger for the trigger finger, with the hope that that will take care of it permanently. I'm thinking it's not going to happen because it's been a few days and there is very little improvement, so I guess surgery is next. <BR> Yesterday, on t... Thu, 1 Mar 2012 10:05:37 EST How time flies Seems like only yesterday when I last blogged. Yes, I know I promised that I would blog at least once a week. Maybe I need to put it in my SparkStreaks like the article this morning talked about. <BR> Anyway, I have held my own since my last blog. Not great, but the weight is starting to come off. I'm now sitting at 157, which is 7 pounds down from my most recent high. (Post goal I gained 22 pounds). <BR> <BR> I've been in an exercise funk. My latest injuries are a strain in my right elbow I... Fri, 3 Feb 2012 10:35:19 EST No really, I'm back on track this time. If you've been following my blogs at all, you know that for the past six months I've been having trouble staying with the program and gained back over 20 pounds of the 115 I lost. I've kept trying but failing to eat within my calorie range and have backslid on the exercise as well. <BR> A little over two weeks ago I had my annual physical with my nurse practitioner and she, at my request, is having me check in every two weeks. The goal for the first four weeks is to have lost four Thu, 29 Dec 2011 11:55:43 EST Whew, thanks for the reminder Last week I said that I would blog once a week to try to 'fess up as to whether I was being accountable for my eating and exercise. Thankfully, a Sparkfriend commented on my blog yesterday so that I was reminded that I needed to write again. <BR> I'd give myself a C- this week. I did really well on exercise--I made it to the gym Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and today, and worked hard on four days, easy on one. <BR> Food...not so good. I wasn't within my calories all week, though I w... Fri, 23 Dec 2011 16:27:50 EST It's been awhile I can't believe it's been a month and a half since I wrote last. A month and a half in which I gained several pounds, and completely got off track, with eating mostly, but also with exercise. As a result, I am now 22 pounds above my goal weight, and am pretty down on myself for all my stupid food choices. <BR> <BR> But today I made a change. I had an appointment with my doctor for a yearly physical. My bloodwork was all good EXCEPT for my LDL cholesterol, which has sneaked up a bit...probabl... Wed, 14 Dec 2011 21:03:22 EST The scale is my REALLY GOOD friend. For most of this journey, the scale has been my arch-enemy. She's the one thing that doesn't lie to me. She knows when I haven't stayed with the program, when I ate that medium Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard. And since I reached my goal weight last May, I've started to ignore the scale, because now I am a "normal person", and normal people don't have to weigh themselves. And it's beginning to show. Since May, I have gained 15 pounds. You know, I said I would allow myself 5 pounds, but 5 ... Sat, 29 Oct 2011 11:01:38 EST Fireplace nearly done Thought I'd log on quickly to show my fireplace all done except for the gaslog... <img src=""> <BR> Spent an hour and a half at the gym this morning, but it's a crazy day both at and after work, so no bike riding today! Wed, 5 Oct 2011 14:54:09 EST More remodeling news...both me and the house (with pictures). It has been a crazy fall thus far. As you may know, I work at a university, and early fall is a VERY busy time for me as a librarian, because we are doing lots of library tours and instruction, in addition to trying to order books with the new budget that has finally been released, etc. etc. Anyway, I waited ALL SUMMER for my contractor to start working on my house when my life was more relaxed. And of course he started 3 weeks ago. He's pretty much done, but the tiling guy is there today, an... Fri, 30 Sep 2011 12:35:51 EST Construction and biking update Just a quick update on my projects: <BR> <BR> Project Sunporch--It's all done except for painting and installing the ventless gas stove, which is scheduled for Monday. Unfortunately, I am the painter and this weekend is almost completely full. I have about 4 hours tomorrow afternoon, so I'll attempt to at least get it primed. <BR> Here's a picture: <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Monday besides putting in the gas stove, construction schedule inclu... Fri, 16 Sep 2011 12:45:44 EST Fun times on the bicycle Fifteen years ago I spent big money and bought a nice bike. And for the last fifteen years, it has pretty much hung in the garage. Last week I pulled it down, stuck it in my car, and took it to the local bike shop, where they replaced tires, tubes, cables, and seat, so that I pretty much have a brand new bike. And this week I started riding it to work! Monday and Tuesday were gorgeous days, and I had lovely rides both to and from work (it's only a ten minute ride--I live in a SMALL town!) <B... Wed, 14 Sep 2011 21:58:10 EST