BIGPAWSUP's SparkPeople Blog BIGPAWSUP's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Time Off I was ready to write my withdrawal from Spark. I had the baseline down. I had already written a good-bye to one of my teams and I posted it yesterday. Then the notes and emails and phone calls started. <BR> <BR> I guess I should share the reasons I was leaving. The basics are that I'm in a downward spiral. I'm physically sick all the time with chronic conditions that doctors can’t/won’t help with. My weight is back to where I started. I'm emotionally spent - I'd like to say how I’m fe... Sat, 16 Jan 2016 14:31:41 EST 1/1/16 Day 1 of the restart Actually took the girls out walking today. It was only 40 minutes and we made about 2 miles but it was a start. I'm gonna call it a win. I was up, outside, and moving. That is more than I’ve done the entire month of December. <BR> <BR> Tazzy was extremely excited to have her roll as personal trainer back. I think she took it a bit too seriously. I can’t say I actually walked the whole two miles, I think I skijored about 1/2 a mile. Gypsy was very unhappy about the pace but we had a go... Fri, 1 Jan 2016 21:53:44 EST 2015 - No review, not worth it. Well I had quite the blog written. B*tch, moan, whine and complain about everything that has gone to hell in a hand basket this past year. <BR> <BR> But that's not what I want to be. Long story short. Eating has been bad. Exercise worse. Weight is way up, motivation is way down. Asthma suck. My job is akin to the 7th level of hell. And my money problems have steadily gotten worse all year culminating in a $9,000 roof repair right now (Merry Christmas to me!) <BR> <BR> I had a few go... Thu, 31 Dec 2015 15:45:05 EST Chicago Tardis Ok, I've been looking forward to this for months. Long story short - this was my first Doctor Who convention (didn't know they existed). I've been a fan of the show since the 70's. And I was able to meet several people from that era! Yates and Benton (ok, that's their characters from the show, I can never remember the actors names) were so open and just out socializing with the fans. AMAZING. Paul McGann melted me to absolute BUTTER. Katy Maning was more spectacular than I though anyo... Mon, 30 Nov 2015 19:33:49 EST Hot Chocolate 5K 2015 Well, I was ready to right a blog blasting RAM racing. However, I will just say, after the debacle that was packet pick-up yesterday and the horrible experience my hubby and I had at the race today - I am EXTREMELY doubt full I will ever run a RAM race again. <BR> <BR> On to the better news of the weekend, last night I was at a get together at a friends house. Really helped with the whole “need for human companionship” thing. Got to talk with a bunch of ladies, play with a few dogs, and s... Sun, 8 Nov 2015 14:35:31 EST The last few days . . . have had huge swings of up and down. I'm just trying to focus on the positive. <BR> <BR> So looking to the positive only, first I had a 3 day step streak going. I made my steps Sun, Mon, and Tues. I feel off Wednesday and I'm in no way to do it today but I think we will restart again tomorrow. Just nice to know I can still do it. <BR> <BR> Last night I have a wonderful dinner with a friend. It's been so long since I've just had a relaxing evening and able to just speak my mind with no ... Thu, 29 Oct 2015 19:10:09 EST Halloween Hustle 2015 Well I have recently been "reprimanded" for my lack of blogs. I suppose that is part of my "lack of effort". If I have to blog daily, then I have to DO something daily. <BR> <BR> Today is easy. This am I had the Halloween Hustle. I really do like that race. Nice community run with lots of local support. It is also a costume run so: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I didn't have a very great race. I'm rea... Sat, 24 Oct 2015 14:32:38 EST My kind of tech support. <img src=""> Thu, 1 Oct 2015 15:13:57 EST Sums it up. <img src=""> Fri, 25 Sep 2015 10:05:57 EST Yoga in my house. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Yup. That's about right. Wed, 16 Sep 2015 10:00:40 EST Support and Thanks <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I just wanted to thank all my wonderful Spark buddies. I needed to vent and you guys are just so supportive. I love each and every one of you. <BR> <BR> I'm feeling much better and moving forward again. Hubby is encouraging me to just keep up my normal attitude - if you don't like me bugger off! My dad gave me permission (not that i needed it but I wanted him to be ok with it) to tell h... Tue, 1 Sep 2015 12:32:12 EST Fighting Stress <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have spent the better part of two years revamping my life. I've been getting rid of the negative and trying to surround myself with more positive people. Or at least people who can appreciate who I am. It was going better than I thought. <BR> <BR> I appreciate that there is nothing I can do about the people at work. Just ignore what I can, do my job and get the heck out of Dodge at ... Sun, 30 Aug 2015 16:49:47 EST We all Change <img src=""> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 06:40:27 EST Glasses So I've had to go from no glasses to "cheaters" to bi-focals in the last 18 months. Guess the peepers are just getting old. I'm still having some issues getting used to the bi-focal. Sometimes things are crystal clear, sometimes not so much. No headaches though. I was told a week to 10 days is a normal adjustment period. <BR> <BR> Do what do ya'll think? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://ph... Sat, 22 Aug 2015 12:10:23 EST Woodward Dream Cruise was a DREAM!!! This was my first time at the Woodward Dream Cruise with my dad and his SS. I really had no idea what to expect. Now I do have to say first off that I had a horrible FUBAR, I was supposed to meet up with a Spark friend on Saturday. This was something we had been planning for quite a while. My phone was dying Saturday am so I plugged it in to the car charger. It promptly died as the charge cord was dead - and we only brought the one charger between the two of us. So neither of us had a w... Sun, 16 Aug 2015 16:09:31 EST OOPS and I was honest! Well my attempt to be more accountable at the end of June obviously failed miserably. So July was a wash and most of August has been a roller coaster. Let's try to hit the reset button YET AGAIN. Good gravy, I wouldn't blame any of you for giving up on me. But I thank you for hanging in there with me. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So for a laugh this was my ACTUAL encounter with Chgo PD on Lake Shore Dr... Wed, 12 Aug 2015 15:31:02 EST Trying for accountability. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm trying to add back in some accountability into my Sparking. So for yesterday <BR> <BR> Steps - 10,202 <em>224</em> <BR> ST - nope <em>39</em> <BR> Stretching - another big 0 <em>46</em> <BR> Cardio - 45 min, close but no cigar. <em>198</em> <BR> Water - 88 oz <em>224</em> <BR> Calories - squeaked that in <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> So a 50% day. Fri, 26 Jun 2015 10:45:16 EST My computer experience of late <img src=""> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 09:53:53 EST 20 Year Ago Today Twenty years ago today my world ended and my life has never been the same. Twenty years ago today I wasn't certain how I would get through the next 24 hours let alone the next week or year. Twenty years ago today my brain decided I would die at 44, some painful horrible death. Twenty years ago today I decided I never wanted to think about the future again. Twenty years ago today I lost all of the extended family I ever knew in one moment. <BR> <BR> Twenty years ago today, we turned off t... Sun, 31 May 2015 11:32:48 EST Have to share I need to get this off my chest. <BR> <BR> I was driving home from work yesterday afternoon. I cut through the south side of Chicago to avoid the traffic by the schools on South Shore Dr. Mid-way through the block is a stopped car and I hear "firecrackers". As I pull up behind the stopped car I see a man with a small caliber handgun wobbling in the street and shooting in random directions. <BR> <BR> I watched him shoot a house and an apartment building. It was not a place that I wanted t... Sat, 16 May 2015 17:07:58 EST Going after May May is traditionally a very bad month for me. I've caught myself already falling into it. The canceling of Bark in the Park today because of the canine flu isn't helping. <BR> <BR> But I can't live in the negatives of the past. I'm tired of being depressed and fat. Tired of having a closet full of cute clothes that I can't wear. Tired of feeling like I'm always going to cry. <BR> <BR> So, I'm going after May. I'm going to face it like I would anything else that opposes me. I'm a fi... Sun, 3 May 2015 18:19:35 EST Amazing Day Ok, this blog has NOTHING to do with weight loss or healthy living. I'm just living in a rush right now so I wanted to share my super excitement with my friends here. <BR> <BR> I've never been to a comic con before today. Hubby and I went to C2E2. I was excited because I was going to be able to meet Sylvester McCoy (the 7th Doctor and Radagast the Brown). We were in line for an autograph and he was a bit late. Then his head shots had not arrived yet. He walked the line PERSONALLY to ap... Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:00:19 EST Good Day, not perfect, but good. I realized today that me last blog kind of left a sour taste in my mouth. Yes, I had a horrible Easter but I think everything is resolved. I'm having some issues getting the charges reversed but we'll get there. <BR> <BR> I've been getting a bit more active again. Did a lunch walk today (I REALLY miss those). I'm going to try to make that a real habit again. It isn't always easy, out immediate boss is a PIA about getting away from my desk. The idea of a lunch where he cannot get me to ... Wed, 15 Apr 2015 19:35:01 EST Happy Easter - Ya Right!! Ok, so this is the first Easter my sister is living in Colorado. And my dad (or his wife I'm not certain which) decided that we are not getting together for Easter. Not that we have actually celebrated since my mom died, but we have always spent the day together. This year nothing. <BR> <BR> So I woke up this am to a ton of text messages. Appears that someone has hacked my credit card. $800 in fraud charges racked up in 48 hours. I've had to cancel my credit cards and now I'm panicked ... Sun, 5 Apr 2015 13:08:05 EST 2015 Bunny Rock I missed the Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday because of a cold. I was NOT missing Bunny Rock. I love this 5K. I'm not 100% but hey, I've raced in worse condition. <BR> <BR> We were up super early this am (none of the girls wanted to sleep past 3 am). So Tazzy and Gypsy got to snuggle with me in bed. Hubby played with Buffy. Then it was time to get dressed and off to breakfast. <BR> <BR> I had reserved parking through Parking Panda. I will NEVER do that again. The address it gave for the ... Sat, 4 Apr 2015 16:04:08 EST 2015 Oak Forest Fleadh Well, I had another 5K today. This ups my streak to 17 months straight with at least one 5K. I've been power walking the last three because of my asthma, but I'm still having decent times. I'm proud of the work I'm doing. <BR> <BR> The Fleadh is always a favorite of mine. I grew up in two towns on the south side. High school was Oak Forest, so it is always fun running in the "home town". <BR> <BR> The people are also great. There is the leprechaun dude. He is there every year (his so... Sat, 7 Mar 2015 17:17:39 EST March Re-start: Kitty NEEDS to get back. I’ve had a horrible winter this year. I’m not going to go into it as I am refusing to focus on the past or make excuses. Life happened, it sucked, and I gave into it. Boo Kitty. <BR> <BR> However, March is here and I don’t care if it is 8 degrees outside. This is the start of Spring! New beginnings and new life. I’m going to focus on the future and what I can do. <BR> <BR> So I’ve gained 31 pounds over the last 4 months. That is going away this year again. I’m getting back to eating... Mon, 2 Mar 2015 12:09:49 EST Update and a Happy share! I have been "gone" for quite a while. I could give a 1,000 reasons and possibly a few more excuses. I'm going to bother with neither. <BR> <BR> I've been a bad sparker. I've been stressing and allowing the stress to dictate what I eat. I've gained back 30 pounds and my exercise is half-hearted at best. <BR> <BR> That all changes TODAY. Because as of today I know I have plenty of tomorrows. I know I will not be fighting cervical cancer. About 4 weeks ago I had an abnormal yearly. T... Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:32:21 EST Brookfield Zoo Run Run!! I have had this run planned since my birthday in April. Up yesterday I wasn't certain I was going to be able to do it. <BR> Hubby could take me to the race, even stay to take some pictures, but he had to leave for work. Talk about adding to the bad mood!!! But my buddy (who was walking the course) said she could get me home! WOO HOO!! <BR> <BR> So up early and dressed. Hubby made us some awesome omelets for breakfast (I had spinach and feta). Then out the door, but not without the st... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 18:56:16 EST Warrior DAY!! Yesterday was my scheduled Warrior’s Dash. I do the one in downstate Indiana. Hubby and I usually make a day (or weekend) of it. This year he was offered a chance to pick up and extra day of work. We are short on funds (who isn’t) so he took the work. I wasn’t upset. I encouraged it. Just meant I was on my own for the race. No biggie! Packed all my MCR cd’s for travel with my changing bag and figured good to go. <BR> <BR> We took a few pictures before I left. <BR> <BR> <img src=... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 10:07:27 EST Weekend Spent the weekend taking some me time. Saturday, I went and had my hair done for the first time ine two years. The selfie is REALLY bad, but you can get the idea. Color came out all wrong in the picture, I'm black and red. Hubby says it looks good, I just really needed to have something different. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Then yesterday we spent the day at Brookfield Zoo. I love the zoo. If you need to go on about animals... Mon, 1 Sep 2014 12:12:42 EST Too Hot for my girls to walk today. I was horribly hot and humid again here today. I had wanted to take a long walk with the girls but it was just too much once we got out there. They were both suffering after a bit over a mile. We did our normal 3 mile route and then headed back into the house. They have both just been laying in front of a fan for the last two hours. <BR> <BR> We had a friend follow us for a bit while we were walking along. When you see this picture, remember this is only about 5 to 6 feet from me and m... Sun, 24 Aug 2014 18:54:21 EST Epic Fail was an Epic Success!!! Today’s race was unplanned. See I had registered for 2015 Foam Fest when I complete this year’s. It was my favorite race. However, I guess it wasn’t high on everyone’s list as the organization went bankrupt. Red Frog events offered a free registration to one of their other events. I looked at the five choices with hubby. He thought that Epic Fail looked promising and it was close to home (soldier Field). It was a bit close to my Black Light race but I figured why not, it was inflatable... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 20:36:28 EST Dunes Day! I had a really nice day today. A friend of mine came over and we took our dogs to the Dunes. <BR> <BR> We got a bit of a late start but that didn’t matter. We walked our dogs around the neighborhood a bit so they would be calmer together in the car. Then we headed out to the Dunes. <BR> <BR> We did trail 9 (one of the “moderate” trails). We also took the dogs down to the beach. Tazzy actually got her first time “off-leash” in the water. She was nervous about it but ended up having a t... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 20:55:22 EST Black Light Run - NEVER again! I am normally very excited to write a race report. Even the traumatic experiences of the China Town 5K – rain, cold, bronchitis, etc- did not make me passé about writing my report. This race, however, I am hard pressed to write about. <BR> <BR> See, I have absolutely NOTHING good to say about this race. The organization was horrible. The staff was rude. The course was dangerous. I will try to give a truthful account and let you decided if I am being overly harsh. <BR> <BR> The “before... Sat, 16 Aug 2014 23:19:17 EST My New Challenge for Myself. I don’t have very much blog time tonight so I’m just going to get right to it. <BR> <BR> See, I’m really not happy about how things have been going. I went up 22 pounds the beginning of this year. Since April I have been playing with the same 3 pounds. Nice little roller coaster ride. <BR> <BR> Well, all rides have to end. I’m either going up or down. I’m either going to gain back all the weight and live life as a blimp eating myself into an urn the size of Toledo. OR I’m going to get... Fri, 8 Aug 2014 23:35:31 EST WHAM Bike Ride I was determined to do the WHAM bike ride this year. WHAM is Whiting-Hammond After Midnight ride. I have not been riding this summer as planned but you all know me, when did lack of prep stop me from doing something. <BR> <BR> So the details of the ride are this: It is a 30 mile ride through Whiting, Hammond, Highland, and Munster, Indiana. About 80% of the ride is on bike trails through the different cities. This means LOTS of 6 passes like the one I showed on my walk blog (steep ups/... Sun, 3 Aug 2014 17:49:43 EST Pierogi Fest I had a great time at Pierogi Fest yesterday. One of my Spark buddies came over to my house (I had parking saved right in front of my house for her to use). She got to meet Buffy and say hi to my girls. <BR> <BR> Then we headed off to the fest. I must admit we had WAY too much soda and sugar. However, we did have some awesome pierogies. Then fun at the craft fair. We both got our doggy pierogies to take home to our furbabies. We got to listen to one of the bands. <BR> <BR> Then it wa... Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:21:44 EST My new dog. I just wanted to let everyone know, my whole family has been to the doc. We are all on antibiotics and some heavy duty cough syrup. This is far from fun. I have no energy or stamina right now. I can only hope this runs it's course soon so I can have a day one. <BR> <BR> Now, on to the title of this blog. I have been torn over writing this blog. See I KNOW someone turned us in on Bilbo before we could get our license. That really hurt. In the same vein, I want to share my life with my... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:17:26 EST China Town 5K Swim, I mean Run. I know this is late but . . . <BR> <BR> This past Saturday was the China Town 5K. I'd wanted to do this race last year but I had a scheduling conflict. So needless to say I was really excited for this year. <BR> <BR> I hadn't been feeling well all week, cold/allergy thing. I wasn't about to let that stop me. We got up uber early because I wasn't able to get to the rescheduled packet pickup. I hate getting my packet the morning of the race but - oh well. I watched the weather, as always... Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:24:04 EST Bad Kitty!! I've had 5 days off - and I took them off of EVERYTHING. I'm admitting to it: <BR> <BR> I did not track. <BR> I did not eat well. <BR> I did not exercise. <BR> I sat on my butt for hours. <BR> I just played with my girls around the house. <BR> We shared pizza. <BR> I drank far more than I should have. <BR> I ate out everyday. <BR> <BR> I'm not exactly feeling guilty about this but I'm not going ANYWHERE NEAR a scale this week. <BR> <BR> I have to just start with day one tomorrow. I haven... Mon, 7 Jul 2014 22:59:48 EST 5 mile trail extension (Pictures!) Well I left everyone at our nature center yesterday. If we turn around there and come straight home it is exactly 2.97 miles. That would be our normal week night walk. Weekends and holiday we go further. The five mile extension turns off at the nature center. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The first place you pass on the extension is where we have our bonfires. There was one for fourth of July so there are still embers. <BR> <B... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 20:17:17 EST Our Trail (picture heavy) I realized that I always talk about our local trail but have never shared it with you. So here is our 5 mile dog walk. Enjoy! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> This is the entrance to the park/trail. It is about 4.5 blocks from our house. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Water stop before heading out. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> This l... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 08:57:00 EST Still unhappy but supposed to be fixed Well I will not be running the dirty dash this year. Glad I had other runs in June. Supposedly I will gay a refund in 7 to 10 days. Believe it when I see it. <BR> <BR> I was told that they sent an email "several weeks" ago announcing the change. They wanted me to do a different dirty dash but next closest is Detroit. Sorry to my Michigan friends but you couldn't PAY me to go back there. <BR> <BR> So, I now have an unexpected free Saturday. What to do? <BR> <BR> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 12:07:22 EST Dirty Dash has me PO'ed I signed up for the Chicago Dirty Dash back in January. My confirmation says tomorrow 6/28 at 9am. I have an entire day planned as Ottawa is about a 1.5 hr drive and I have friends that live out there. <BR> <BR> I didn’t get any emails this week which is unusual so I went to the website to check things out. <BR> <BR> They have changed the date to 9/6 with no notification to those of us who signed up early. And to make matters worse, I have Warrior’s Dash down by Indy on 9/6. the Indy r... Fri, 27 Jun 2014 08:09:43 EST Day at the Dunes! Had a really fun day today! <BR> <BR> One of my Spark buddies came over this morning so we could go to the Dunes. She brought her dog with, and we introduced him to Tazzy. It took a few trips around the block but eventually they hit it off. We packed them in the car and headed off. <BR> <BR> It was strange not being the driver when I head out to the Dunes. We got there early and headed out. It was really fun to have a person to actually talk to while I was walking. Awesome to see the ... Sun, 22 Jun 2014 16:51:37 EST Color Me Rad - 2014 I know I’ve been a bit MIA the last two days. See I signed up for a Color Run in Fort Wayne, Indiana. When I signed up, I didn’t realize Fort Wayne was almost 3 hours away! After hubby revealed this fact to me, we decided to make a short weekend of it. <BR> <BR> So we headed out yesterday afternoon. Let me tell you 3 hours driving through Indiana cow country is BOREING!! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve driven worse but there is NOTHING to report on the drive. It was what it was. <BR> <BR> Fo... Sat, 21 Jun 2014 23:13:34 EST food and motivation It’s amazing how attached you can get to an animal in just 2 months. Hubby and I are still heartbroken, but this too will pass. Snuggle my girls and move on. <BR> <BR> I’m on day 3 of being in calorie range. I’m pretty happy with that. Food has always been a real issue for me. I love junk food. I’m a total choc-o-holic! I just can’t leave it alone. So I’ve been trying to leave myself a bit of room each night for a small amount of chocolate. I don’t know if it is going to work on the... Thu, 19 Jun 2014 23:50:55 EST Getting some good Well, I’m finally getting some good to go with all the bad. <BR> <BR> Gram is at home. One week after almost dying of a heart attack, she is home and doing well. “Getting back to life” is the only Spark appropriate quote. My gram could make a sailor blush. <BR> <BR> I got a very nice email from Fitbit today. I knew they no longer supported the Ultra. I honestly didn’t expect anything except maybe an idea or two to save it. After exhausting a huge list to no avail, they offered me a ... Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:07:37 EST Who Uses a Fitness Tracker? Ok, the Universe has decided to give me another little smack in the face - my FitBit died. I mean, it is beyond dead. So I need a new fitness tracker. I'm trying to decide what route to go. So I'm looking for input. <BR> <BR> What trackers do you, my Spark friends use? Pros and cons? I'm not certain I want a FitBit one, I keep hearing about how they fall out of their holders. I'm not certain about the Spark tracker - I like a read-out display not a series of lights. <BR> <BR> I'm not... Mon, 16 Jun 2014 19:31:31 EST