BARCONIUS's SparkPeople Blog BARCONIUS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I did a pushup! Okay, a pushup may not seem like much, but you had to be there. I recently started reading "Mini Habits for Weight Loss" by Stephen Guise. He writes about how his path to establish mini habits that would lead to a healthy lifestyle started with a goal of one pushup a day. He often did more and other things, but always at least one pushup. <BR> <BR> So, I thought, "Why not?" It was ugly. I have little upper body strength and less core strength. But, I did it. I'm pretty sure it's my first pu... Tue, 9 Jan 2018 06:47:35 EST 250 By Turkey Day - Day 1 of the "Jumpstart Your Workout Challenge" Ok, so it took me 5 days to actually get to day one, but I'm in it now. Yay! It was a great day for a walk at lunchtime, so that made my cardio. The strength training was a little challenging, but I only had 5 pound dumbbells. Well, I also have 20 pounders, but I'm not really quite up to them yet. Something to look forward to. <BR> I met my step goal of 8,000 steps by getting 8,155. There'll be a few more, but I'm on my way to bed, so not too many more. Only 5 hours of sleep last night ag... Wed, 4 Jan 2017 23:14:32 EST Back in the groove So, the weekend was kind of a bust. I spent all day New Year's Eve in my car. Never saw midnight. I was so tired by 10, I just called it a night. I battled off a head cold the rest of the weekend, and just didn't have what it took to move. Even so, I dropped most of the holiday bloat by this morning. It was kind of nice to get back to work. The weather was depressing, cold and wet, but I had some cause to get out of my cubicle, so that was good. <BR> <BR> The fitness bands...that worked ... Tue, 3 Jan 2017 22:20:54 EST Getting a baseline So, today it was time to break out the tape measure. I've always found it vital to have more than the scale to go by, especially since it varies so much. In fact, I was up 3 pounds since yesterday.I don't fret the scale. 'Official' day at the scale is Monday for me, but I check it almost every day. No big surprises with the tape. It's interesting to see how things shift around. Some measures were up a bit, others were down. If I add them all up, it's about the same as the last time I measu... Thu, 29 Dec 2016 06:37:33 EST 250 by Turkey Day - Not a New Year's Resolution I know...if it walk like duck. As a general rule, i don't do New Year's resolutions. Everyone I know who makes them has forgotten them by mid-February. I've made them in the past and had the same experience, so I don't bother with them. That said, it is the end of the year, and I have been doing some reflecting, introspecting and re-evaluating. It sure talks like a duck. <BR> <BR> Sooo, time to get real about getting to a healthy weight again. The big impetus? 2017 is my 40 year high s... Wed, 28 Dec 2016 13:08:45 EST 19 Days To Go Baby Girl talked me into walking an untimed 5K this month. Of course, she talked me into it months ago, but time is getting short, and with the weather, I’ve not been walking. No excuses. I have a gym membership and I could easily have taken my aching knees to the local treadmill. It was a lovely 77 F at lunch time today and the knees weren’t feeling badly at all, thank you very much, so I headed out at lunch time. 75% humidity made it awfully sticky and I finished at 1.7 miles. Just ov... Tue, 2 Aug 2016 14:00:17 EST What a boost If I'd been blogging regularly, I 'd have followed up on lots, I suppose. My team completed our Virtual Appalachian Trail Walk. And we did it with some miles to spare. It was kind of fun, but I knew none of my teammates, and none of them were local for me. When they do the walk across Europe this fall, I'm going to friends so I have local company. <BR> <BR> I spent a week in Arizona last month. I went as part of a volunteer team to renovate a church on the Navajo reservation there. It ... Wed, 13 Jul 2016 11:21:27 EST Easy does it, or, what I learned when I didn't know my limits A couple of weeks back, I set out to ride the Schuylkill River Trail from Valley Forge east, just to explore somewhere new to me. I had a nice 5.5 mile ride when I noticed my front tire was a bit low. I stopped to pump it up and head back to the car, when I accidentally let all the air out of my tire. One thoughtful soul stopped to see if I needed assistance, and rode off without actually giving any. That was a bit frustrating. (I'm not sharing details on the tire. It's embarrasing.) <BR... Thu, 26 May 2016 09:39:08 EST Virtual Appalachian Trail redux Before the big accident last year, I was planning a virtual bike ride of the Appalachian Trail. This Spring, my employer/insurance company/benefits department are sponsoring a virtual walk. So, I'm part of a team of 11 people who will be measuring our walking for the next 8 weeks. On the tracking page, there's an app that converts non-walking activity to steps and yesterday's trip to the treadmill boosted my day's steps to over 8,000 and today's stationary bike trip pushed me over 9,000 st... Tue, 12 Apr 2016 22:30:07 EST New job, new shoes What more could you ask for in one week, I guess. The new job isn't really new. It's the exact same job, with a commute that is 26 miles shorter. I can remember when I would have thought a 26 mile commute was excessive, but now 41 is shorter. It has other advantages. I'm working closer to where my 'bookends' live (My oldest and youngest daughters share a house. The middle lives at home with me and mom). I'm also minutes from two trails I've been itching to put my bicycle on, so now I'm... Mon, 22 Feb 2016 12:53:58 EST Ooh looky. Two days in a row. So, two days into tracking everything I eat, and I discover that my food choices are all out of whack. OK, honestly that really wasn't much of a surprise. Even without tracking, I know pretty much what I eat. I met my calorie goal, but that's not the whole story, of course. I'm not ready to share details here, but let's say that fat, cholesterol and salt were all to high and the healthy stuff was a bit on the low side. I may just have to be a bit more pro-active in helping DW with her me... Tue, 5 Jan 2016 21:56:39 EST I'm back! Not another year to waste. Not a New Year's resolution. I don't really do them. But, I did kind of take a big, lazy weekend off, to kind of build a barrier between last year and this. Some new things. I've never been good at keeping a journal, but I'm a bit into one, and it's starting to become a habit. Good for me. It made me feel a bit better about starting to blog again. <BR> <BR> A quick story about the journal. I was thinking a few weeks ago about what I would write on my first entry. Then, when I had pre... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 22:37:04 EST Checking in and catching up OK, bloggers. Do you ever go back and reread your past blogs? I just did, and it's kind of depressing. Not if I go back far enough, but for the past year. Obviously, I've been MIA (Missing in Action, for the uninitiated). Or perhaps UA (Unauthorized Absence) would be more correct. Usually, I would say I just didn't have much to say, but upon reflection, there has been a bit over the past 2 months, so let's catch up. <BR> <BR> First, I was in a car accident 7 weeks ago. I'm fine. Than... Sun, 9 Aug 2015 20:52:38 EST One Things - Day 77 - Back on track Started my team walking challenge today. I intentionally walked 1.2 miles in just under 20 minutes. For the whole day, I walked 3.5 miles. Not a bad start, considering it was like walking in a sauna. <BR> <BR> For the job, I spent the whole day in training. That takes care of the career thing for the day. I confess I missed the business one thing. I spent some time talking out some things with DW tonight, and that seemed a better use of the time. Lots to go through. All in all, it wa... Mon, 15 Jun 2015 23:41:27 EST One Things - Day 76 - Reboot This seemed like such a good idea. Pick a few things. Do one thing for each area of my life that needs work each day. make regular progress. It is a good idea. Unfortunately, I never really made a plan of it. I just got through the day, came home from work and vegged out. Wrong kind of vegetable. Actually, I learned to deal with most of my frustration at my lack of progress by playing World of Tanks. Now WoT can be a hoot. But I really buried myself in it. I didn't get more fit. I... Sun, 14 Jun 2015 21:47:32 EST One Things - Day 8 - Friends Don't Let Friends Shop Sleep Deprived First thought: I needed to do a little quick shopping last night, while severely sleep-deprived. (See below) Being very tired, my body was feeling the need for some quick energy. As I've sworn off caffeine (also below), it wanted sugar. Lots of sugar. I didn't spend a lot of money, but I came out with tons of empty calories, for which my coworkers thanked me. Onward and upward (see below now, if all that upward and downward hasn't gotten you lost) <BR> <BR> Sunday didn't end nearly as ... Tue, 7 Apr 2015 20:59:02 EST One Things - Day Six Had a great Easter with the kiddoes, well two of them anyway. Number two had to work. Nice healthy Easter dinner. Not very much activity. Still managed to take care of three out of four One Things. Looking forward to tomorrow, which I need to get to bed to get ready for. Night all. Sun, 5 Apr 2015 22:59:21 EST One Thing - Day Four End of the week, at last. Mixed results on the One Things. Most important, I managed to check in to every day since I started. Progress is progress. <BR> <BR> Planning to go bike riding tomorrow, finally. The weather is promising and family commitments are light. Sunday is Easter dinner with the bookends (My oldest and youngest, who share a house). Fri, 3 Apr 2015 22:38:22 EST I have decided and "One Things" Day one (again) Some confessions. I haven't been to the gym since I blogged about it back in January. It was great, but I'm still not a morning person. Until today anyway. I made it back today. It wasn't nearly as much fun as that last trip, but was much more realistic. I also confess that I've allowed myself to be in a funk for the last several months. I've been allowing my circumstances to determine my mood and my outlook. I know that's not productive, and usually I'm pretty good about staying out ... Tue, 31 Mar 2015 23:57:17 EST 5:30 AM is a GREAT time to go to the gym! <em>324</em> <BR> <BR> I've never been a morning person. Even after 2 years of getting up at 4-something, I hate waking up before the sun. I naturally do my best thinking and working in the evening. It energizes me. Unfortunately, my life doesn't work that way. No big. It's just what is, and I normally make the best of it. When J and I recently took our winter break from walking (we are talking about wind chills below zero this week), I saw an opportunity to fill that time at the g... Tue, 6 Jan 2015 11:29:27 EST Just don't call it starting over! First a mea culpa - The "Walking to Mom's House" thing seemed like a great idea, for about 3 days. By that time, my knees were in full rebellion. I was already headed to the doctor to have an injection in the more painful of them, so I thought I would just put the whole thing on hold for a couple of weeks, then pick it up again. The treatment didn't go as well as I'd hoped and my walking partner had to drop out on me. I'm not making excuses. I made choices, and none of them made me healt... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 00:22:38 EST Walking to Mom's house in a year challenge -- Day 3 I'm off to an embarrassing start. Only 1 mile on Monday. I let an inconvenient change in plans by daughter number 2 derail my evening walk. Not her fault. I'm in charge. Yesterday it rained and I only got in one mile then as well. <BR> <BR> I set out to start to make up for it today, and completed 3 miles. I should still have completed another half, but now my knees are complaining and I need to save some for morning, just five and a half hours from now. <BR> <BR> Good news on the k... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 23:13:24 EST Walking to Mom's house in a year challenge -- Day 1 One thing my lack of progress this year has taught me, is that I work best with a clear measurable goal. Last year, it was walking in my first 5k. Now I don't know how much of a walk it takes to get to your Mom's house, but according to Google maps, my Mom is 1,044 miles away. Walking six days per week, I'll need to walk about 3.4 miles per day to reach her by this time next year. <BR> <BR> Just to add a little motivation, I'm going to throw a dollar for each mile I complete into an envel... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:06:19 EST A view of the world from behind my eyelids Thanks Mav. That was an awesome thought. I finished up my last part-time shif last night. It was nothing but anti-climactic. Thursday tends to be a relatively slow night. By the end of my shift, I was surrounded mostly by relatively new hires, so I didn't really get to say goodbye to the people I will miss the most. Ah well, life moves on. <BR> <BR> I finished my first full week back at the morning walks with J, and he's on his way to Arizon to build a school or some such project. Go ... Fri, 16 May 2014 14:13:10 EST Catching up and the end of the Geek Squad So much since I took time to linger here. First, morning walks with J have resumed. You might think that recovering from sleep depravity would be incompatible with getting up at 4:30 in the A.M. to walk a quick (relatively) mile, and you would be right. My part-time schedule went all over the place with the arrival of spring and all the things that retail workers need time off form work for (including Baby Girl's college graduation! Congrats Baby Girl) OK, she doesn't ready my blog. Bu... Thu, 15 May 2014 15:02:45 EST When is a goal not a goal? I know I said yesterday that getting more sleep was a goal. Truthfully, it was more of a wish. PLMitch commented that it was a good goal, and it made me think..."I really didn't make a goal of it." Well, that's going to take some thought and planning. So I started small and set a goal last night for 6 hours sleep. That might not sound like much, but I worked both jobs last night and didn't get home until almost 11:00. I have to start my morning commute no later than 6:30 <BR> <BR> Meet... Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:18:13 EST Rested and ready?...Naw I've been working on the whole sleep thing. Last night was not helpful. Lots of catch up stuff the last two nights, actually. Not terribly strenuous. I got a haircut, did some shopping. Attempted a light repair at home (need to go shopping again to buy longer screws). I did some laundry. Before I knew it, it was midnight. Not good for someone who gets up at 5. <BR> <BR> I rarely remember my dreams, but I dreamt that my legs were on fire, and woke to found them in significant pain. ... Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:09:33 EST Extra hours, Good DR visit and "I'll sleep when I'm dead"...or something First the Doc visit. Doc cancelled a visit late last year when I was to have my blood pressure checked. DW tired of waiting for me to fit a return visit into my busy schedule and made the appointment for me (Thank you Sweetie). End BP was 120/70. I'm staying on the 5 mg of whatever she prescribed for me, but it's totally under control. Another year like last year and I should be coming off of that med. <BR> <BR> Overtime at the day job. Only 60 - 90 minutes per day, but it ... Wed, 2 Apr 2014 14:55:19 EST It hurts so good...or not so much It's been quite a while since I had a gym membership, so I knew I'd need to scale things back. Well, I didn't scaled back quite enough. I didn't injure myself and mostly experienced that discomfort that comes from first using unused muscles. <BR> <BR> Still and all, it was nice to be there, even if I didn't have a workout buddy. I did learn that I'm less ready for cycling than I thought. Just a little hump to get over to get active again, then look out world! Fri, 14 Mar 2014 15:33:33 EST Spring Cleaning and trading Netflix for 'The Gym' I've never been one for New Year's resolutions. I don't keep them, so I don't bother. Now I'm having some wonderful convergences. My hours have been cut at my part-time job. That comes right as my need for fuel oil is falling off. I'm incredibly pleased. <BR> <BR> That makes it time for spring cleaning for me. I've cleared my streaks and confirmed my goals. For readers from earlier last year, that means I can reconnect with J and start walking again. We start in 2 weeks. We'd start... Mon, 10 Mar 2014 14:29:35 EST S.A.D and an introspection on passion Oh my, wasn't that a catchy title. OK, not my best, but I've been introspective over the last few days, so there ya go. <BR> <BR> S.A.D. I wonder how long someone worked to come up with that one. Seasonal Affective Disorder. We used to call that the winter blues. Before that we just chalked it up to cabin fever. Now it's a full-blown mood disorder with a variety of treatments. If you have a real problem, don't think I'm making fun of you. I'm sure there are some who really suffer thi... Tue, 4 Feb 2014 09:45:10 EST Job interview, NSV and a pet peeve Job Interview <BR> <BR> I've been employed long enough now to be eligible to apply for seniority promotions (without going through the civil service testing system). I had my first interview and it was a total bust. As we were going through the interview questions, I was strongly left with the feeling that the panel hadn't actually read the job description that had been posted, because one had nothing to do with the other. In fact, it's unlikely I would have applied for the job I was inte... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 09:59:25 EST Catching up, peddling and remember your clocks Thanks for all the warm birthday wishes and encouraging comments. It was quiet, and that's all I'm really up for these days. Sorry to hear about those who don't enjoy them. I don't make a big fuss, but as is evidenced by the fact that I announced it here, I do make a fuss. Or, rather, like to have one made. Thanks for cooperating. <BR> <BR> The new second job seems to be working out. I get to work with real customers next week. I'm still tweaking the sleep schedule and working out mea... Fri, 1 Nov 2013 14:12:32 EST Birthday reflection - 500 miles?! I'm not normally one to spend a lot of time reflecting on the past. It's called the past for a reason. Still, sometimes it's good to see how far we've come and birthday's can be as good a reason to do that as any. Last year this time, I was a lumpy couch potato, unemployed and stress eating my unemployment away. Since then, I'm employed, I started a walking plan, walked my first ever 5k, took up bike riding and, according to Spark People, I have travelled over 500 miles in my various work... Tue, 29 Oct 2013 10:44:21 EST What are you doing under there? Last weekend I was in the mood for something funny and ran across a video by Ken Davis. I've never heard him for more than 30 seconds (he does a daily radio blurb). Very funny and I didn't have to be embarrassed to watch in front of my daughter. He is 65, has lost over 100 pounds in the last few years, and made a choice to really live for his remaining years. He has some very funny stories, and is also very inspriational. <BR> <BR> It came at a good time. It's easy to feel sorry for mys... Thu, 17 Oct 2013 10:50:47 EST Look Out Geek Squad and, Adding a Little Perspective Well, a surprise second interview later, I have my second job. I'm feeling less sorry for myself than I did when I applied. Getting a job offer is always affirming, even if you don't want the job. The new job shouldn't affect my morning walks unless being on my feet that long bothers me knees too much. The second job will provide precisely the amount of income I need and it will work to sharpen and expand my IT skill set. It's a good all-around fit. It just makes for long days. Life co... Fri, 11 Oct 2013 11:37:50 EST Next big challenge What a year it's been. Not much new progress to report. In fact, I'm sitting upon a well-earned plateau. That I can deal with. <BR> <BR> As with many of you, we've been facing financial issues for well over a year now. Recently several things have come to near crisis and I've decided to take on a second job. It's not the first time I've worked two jobs, though I really hoped never to have to again. I've got a second interview tomorrow for a part-time job. It will keep me on my feet, l... Tue, 8 Oct 2013 15:50:52 EST With apologies to Norway A co-worker shared this with me today, and I though I'd pass it along: <BR> <BR> <BR> Norwegian diet <BR> <BR> Ole was turning 78 and was overweight, so his doctor put him on a diet. <BR> <BR> The doctor said, "I want you to eat regularly for 2 days, then skip a day, and repeat this procedure for 2 weeks. The next time I see you, you should have lost at least 5 pounds." <BR> <BR> When Ole returned, he shocked the doctor by having lost nearly 60 pounds! <BR> <BR> "Why, that's amazing!" ... Mon, 7 Oct 2013 08:35:10 EST Funny NSV My poor DW...She flagged me down in church this past Sunday (I work the sound board, so I keep pretty busy). Apparently she's been approached by a number of our little old ladies who are just incredibly impressed by my weight loss this year. Then the other day, one of our older female neighbors stopped me on the sidewalk to comment. Now, I've never given my dear wifey any cause to doubt my fidelity, but other women approaching her about my appearance did unnerve her a bit. I'm just thorou... Wed, 25 Sep 2013 10:44:31 EST I felt foolish...sometimes that's good for me. I mentioned a couple of posts back that I'd had a phenomenal ride up the Union Canal Trail that had left my knees pretty sore. In fact, that soreness grew over the next couple of weeks and I pretty much put the bike up. I was just getting ready to get a doctor involved in my knee pain when I noticed that my feet weren't quite righth in relation to the floor. I pronate moderately (walk on the outside of my heels). Ususally I notice when my shoes are starting to wear and need replacing, but... Mon, 23 Sep 2013 09:05:21 EST When I was "J"-less... ...I was like Kahless at the Three Turn Bridge. Okay, that's an fairly obscure Star Trek reference. If you get it, we should definitely be friends. <BR> <BR> I really meant to blog about Monday's walk, but didn't. So, here goes. It was practically a religious experience. First it was cold. 51F by the app on my phone. So, I pulled out a flannel shirt for warmth and headed out, still on my own. My normal route is a big rectangle, starting north and running clockwise, so my first turn p... Wed, 11 Sep 2013 09:01:30 EST Sunshine on my shoulders... ...means I finished my ride before sunset! And, yes, that makes me happy. (Baby Boomer song cue) <BR> <BR> It's been an interesting week. First, DW and I had a nice holiday weekend. We didn't really do anything special, but it was nice, unstructured time together. We don't really get enough of that. Tuesday was right back to the regular routine, out in front of my house at O dark thirty to walk with J, who told me he needed to be away for the next week. I miss him, but I'm having a be... Fri, 6 Sep 2013 09:09:09 EST Amish Flu and Funny Looking Ships You know how to tell if you have the Amish Flu? You don't get really sick. You just get a little hoarse and buggy. <BR> <BR> That pretty much sums up my weekend. I did like most men of all levels of manliness. I whined and felt sorry for myself. Not too much, mind you. Though I guess you'd have to ask DW to see for certain. I should have medicated, but didn't. I also didn't engage in any activity more strenuous than driving the Daddy Cab. Don't feel sorry for me. It wasn't all that... Mon, 26 Aug 2013 14:09:43 EST Racing the sunset...again...and losing I headed back out to Monday's trail last night. Yes, that was the Union Canal Trail. Thanks for pointing that out. I started out heading toward the city and was very disappointed to find every old building neglected, abused and covered in graffiti. Even the display board explaining what the structures were is so paint covered that it's unreadable. <BR> <BR> I continued on to where the trail joined a local surface road and returned to the trail, aiming for a landmark about 5 miles away.... Wed, 21 Aug 2013 11:28:13 EST Another Day, Another Trail (minus water weight) I raced the fading daylight (an all too regular practice anymore) to try out a trail I'd not ridden yet last night. I've kind of been saving this one. It isn't a rail trail, so it had turns and small hills for variety. I've walked about a half mile stretch once in the past, when I was going to college across the Tulpehocken Creek from the trail (the Tully, for locals). I hadn't researched the trail, so I didn't really know how far I could go and DW decided she wanted to come along and wal... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 15:21:15 EST Tanned, rested and ready Had a lovely "staycation" with DW. Number 3 came home to visit. Her first since December, so it was delightful. <BR> <BR> Friday, DW and I walked a small part of the Bartram Trail (that Berks Co. Sparkers for that one). Only a half mile out and a half mile back (notice the symmetry. Could have been awkward otherwise). It was very nice. We haven't walked even a mile together for a very long time, and it was nice to not have any noise around. She was hoping to see more critters, but ... Mon, 19 Aug 2013 10:42:14 EST Singin' in the rain (minus the singin') The morning started out damp, with J and I greeted by a not-too-awful rain this morning, so we grabbed umbrellas and we headed out. "Singin' in the Rain" kept running through my head. Of course singing wasn't really a likely occurrence. It was just after 5 AM. and the only songs we both know are hymns. I can just imagine our poor neighbors being awakened by our joy, if sodden, renditions of classic hymns, mine in English and J's in Spanish. <BR> <BR> We got about half-way through the w... Tue, 13 Aug 2013 14:56:52 EST A string of landmarks -- officially down 30 pounds What a weekend! First, I took my bike off the nice level, nicely tended rail trail and onto some seriously eroded county roads. I was riding the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT), which extends beyond the end of a rail trail that JOEF2F and I rode a few weeks back, and wasn't quite ready to turn around, so I followed the signs and followed a short stretch of road further. For the first time in over 20 years, I was tackling hills. Not big, challenging hills, but small ones. That was enough for... Mon, 12 Aug 2013 12:44:33 EST Spark People Boot Camp Day 2? Well, I was feeling really ambitious the other night and realized that if I set my alarm 15 minutes earlier and actually got out of bed with it, I'd have enough time to do Coach N's Boot Camp workout and shower before J arrived for our morning walk. I was having no success at adding this in during the evening, so it seemed like a good idea. And it worked out that way...yesterday. I got up, did the Day 1 routine, showered and waited out front for J to arrive. He forgot to set his alarm. S... Fri, 9 Aug 2013 08:48:24 EST Goodbye July -- If you're going through Hell, keep going. Okay, it's a little late to get to that, but I still had some July hangover and so here it is today. July goals were all shot to pieces. I didn't expect the really hot weather to hit until August (my, wasn't I surprised) and I really mind the heat. I tried not to complain ovemuch, but I tend to get ill when the nighttime temps don't get below 70, so I was kind of miserable for those two weeks. <BR> <BR> Right as temps returned to normal, the terrible tooth reasserted itself and was join... Wed, 7 Aug 2013 09:02:25 EST