BIGSLINK's SparkPeople Blog BIGSLINK's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community It's been a LONG time...! I noticed that I haven't blogged in over two YEARS. I've never been much of a blogger, but sometimes I do feel the need to get my thoughts down in writing. <BR> <BR> This year started with me resetting my goals, getting plenty of sleep, focusing on consistency, adding in new technology (BodyMedia LINK) to help get back to my goal weight. I busted my butt for months. Measuring, weighing, counting and tracking all of my food, compulsively at times. Even on days I didn't track my food, I had my... Sat, 19 Jul 2014 16:55:04 EST P90x Lean Week 1 COMPLETE! So after around a year of being too chicken to start the P90x workouts that my brother gave me, I finally forced myself to set a start date. I sat down and made my schedule through the end of July to follow the P90x Lean plan. I think what initially worried me was the first workout that I previewed was literally a full hour of pushups and pullups... neither one I care for at all. But the Lean option is geared more towards toning instead of bulking up (more suitable for women) and that first w... Sat, 5 May 2012 12:20:41 EST Repeat for LIFE Coach Nicole posted this on Facebook and it really hit home with me. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Repeat for LIFE is the 'biggie' for me. I'm closing in on almost a year of 30+ pounds lost (healthy BMI!) and MAINTAINED without fad or restrictive dieting. Sure, my weight went a little up around the holidays, but I re-focused, didn't let it discourage me and fixed it. And I still lack willpower around sweets at times, but I know that ... Fri, 20 Apr 2012 12:40:19 EST My Food Poisoning Diet Today I really wish I owned a scale to see how much weight I lost since Saturday due to the starvation and dehydration from food poisoning. It's been a rough couple of days, but I'm finally re-introducing foods: dry toast, applesauce, clear broth and maybe a banana later. I don't think I've ever had food poisoning before and wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Not a recommended diet at all. I'm normally a person who eats something every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day, so not eating for 37+ h... Mon, 2 Apr 2012 14:16:10 EST Today's theme is... ... Foods that seem 'bad," but are REALLY HEALTHY! We had Almond Joy Steel Cut Oats for breakfast. It turned out really well and my husband went in for seconds, which was a good sign. Then we just finished up our Buffalo Blue Chicken Quinoa for dinner (with grilled asparagus). And it was fantastic. My husband even commented on how filling it was. He and I ate the same amount and I am totally stuffed. I have some garlic parmesan kale chips baking in the oven for our snack too. I bought a bag o... Sun, 18 Mar 2012 16:01:15 EST Rude! I admit that sometimes my mouth moves faster than my brain, and I say something that would have been better left unsaid. I think we all have those moments. For example, one year I was talking about hanging out with my parents on Father's Day, and what fun we had. It wasn't until shortly after I remember that my girlfriend had lost her father a few years back... and talking about hanging out with my dad on Father's Day wasn't the best idea. That is probably a hard time for her every year and I... Sat, 10 Mar 2012 15:05:02 EST Howdy Sparkers! The gaps between blogs get longer and longer... <BR> <BR> This are going really well. After a few month long hiatus from SparkPeople, I am back as much as ever tracking, eating, tracking, working out and then tracking. Even though I was not on SP much, I still tried to control my eating over the holidays. I did really good - a happy balance between enjoying holiday treats and eating right. I was working two jobs and had myself stretched as thin as I can go... I ended up sick for weeks! After... Tue, 28 Feb 2012 15:09:41 EST Juggling the Two Jobs and All Else! Things have been going well. I've been working two jobs for over a month now. I have not been able to make time for myself to exercise, but am still tracking my food as best as I can. I've eaten too much Halloween candy, pizza, and junk this month, but checked my weight and am still basically the same! (up .8 lbs does not bother me!) Most of my days are still within my ranges though... <BR> <BR> I am really looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with my family. A couple a days chasing nie... Sun, 20 Nov 2011 00:30:28 EST Desperately Seeking Motivation! I've been overworking myself again, not working out, and while I have been sticking with my nutrition goals, I could be eating much better than I am. I just feel so overloaded that I kinda shut down and can't get anything done then. Gonna go get a shovel to dig myself out of this funk! <BR> <em>422</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 22 Oct 2011 21:50:04 EST Hey you! Yeah... YOU!! <img src=""> Wed, 12 Oct 2011 22:47:28 EST Surprised Myself I did something that I never EVER thought I would do... I signed up for a seven class sampler at a new fitness center that opened up near me! It was a deal through the LivingSocial site. It includes One Aerial Yoga, One Pole Fitness, One Jukari Fit to Fly, One Jukari Fit to Flex, One Yoga, One Zumba, and One Turbo Kick! I am really interested to try all of the different workouts (not so much the 'pole fitness" lol) The ones that are Cirque du Soleil-ish just look like pure fun. I may get kick... Tue, 11 Oct 2011 09:46:05 EST Nervous! I got the job! AND they offered me what I was expecting, so it was good news. I have to go in tomorrow afternoon to meet with them. I don't officially start until the 21st, but I need to go in a few days to get acquainted with the projects I'll be taking over and to meet some of the people I'll be working with. Since it's filling in for a maternity leave, I need to get up to speed as soon as possible in case the baby decides to come sooner! <BR> <BR> But now that starting the second job is ... Mon, 10 Oct 2011 17:21:20 EST Getting Close!! I was over at my brother and SIL's house to watch my niece this evening so my SIL could go to her Zumba class and my brother was still in class. I usually weigh in at their house since I don't own a scale and don't feel the need to own one. I had to step on the scale a couple of times before I would believe it!! I lost 4 more pounds in the past month! (And I logged my weight in WITH heavier clothing on since it is cold now: long sleeved T, hoodie, and long yoga pants with socks.) I always hav... Mon, 3 Oct 2011 20:58:57 EST A Scary Reminder! I figured I would put this out as a reminder to all of my SparkFriends: My DH's Aunt was found unconscious in her home yesterday. She was overcome by carbon monoxide and was rushed to the hospital to get into an oxygen chamber. Luckily she was found before it was too late, but they think she's been getting poisoned over a long period of time. One of her sister's had purchased and given the afflicted aunt a CO detector a while back that she never bothered to use! <BR> <BR> She was still havi... Mon, 3 Oct 2011 00:44:19 EST Don't Lose Your Focus I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! <BR> <BR> Don't lose sight of why you're here! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <em>211</em> Wed, 28 Sep 2011 23:10:06 EST Goal Setting I went out and sat on the deck for lunch and read a few more pages of The Spark. I need to do that more often! It got me thinking about goal-setting and making sure I stick to my goals. <BR> <BR> I need to keep up with how well I have been doing with sleep. I did have a couple of days where I had trouble falling to sleep and need to get back on track. <BR> <BR> I need to make more 'ME TIME' I spend too much time worrying about work, hubby, life, etc... and forget to sit in the sun and read ... Mon, 26 Sep 2011 15:57:29 EST Some Motivation For me, I've had to be really honest with myself to lose weight. Tough love works for me... I think that's why I enjoy Jillian Michaels DVDs a lot, They really push me to work harder. I don't like the happy-sappy, smiley workout videos – I need to kick my own butt! I have been wanting to start up P90X but don't have the time to put a full commitment into it right now. I am going to set that one aside and will tackle it once our schedules settle a bit. Maybe that will be my first 2012 goal to ... Sat, 24 Sep 2011 19:30:20 EST Size 6 Waist with Size 8 Butt and Thighs I've not been on SparkPeople for a long time. I was off having tons of fun and spending as much time with my DH as I can, as he's traveling/working multiple jobs until the beginning of November. I even traveled with him for a couple of days to Buffalo, just so we could see each other when he was not working. We did the Food Wars challenge between Anchor Bar and Duff's for the best wings in Buffalo. Anchor Bar won our vote. I ate wings three days in a row, but I really only ate a couple of win... Sun, 18 Sep 2011 20:42:01 EST Howdy Strangers! Never a dull moment in our lives! This will be a long-winded, catch-up blog for sure! I haven't been on SP much for over a week beyond tracking my food most days. I'm certainly not deserving of any consistency or fitness awards this past week! lol <BR> <BR> So two weekends ago, we had my whole family visiting to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday and our youngest nieces 1st birthday. Tons to celebrate! We had planned to take my parents out for the afternoon to visit a local farm market/store b... Tue, 6 Sep 2011 17:00:19 EST Yuck! Basement flooded yesterday again from the heavy rains. It's been nine months since the last time it flooded. I spent from 4:45 until 9:30ish mucking out the basement and bleaching everything with my brother and husband. I also ingested half of a medium pizza for dinner. I am not too worried about that... four hours of very heavy cleaning was enough calories burnt (and I was already on the low end of calories). When I first checked on the basement, the water (raw sewage, actually...) was comin... Sun, 21 Aug 2011 01:48:12 EST Beef I can see how easy it is to lose sight of the goal and fall off track. This was one of those weeks that I knew would be full of temptations and I certainly failed the test. <BR> <BR> "We count on winning. And if we lose, don't beef. And the best way to prevent beefing is - don't lose." Knute Rockne <BR> <BR> I'm not going to 'beef' about it though. I had an amazing week and allowed myself to enjoy some chocolate, cheese, pie, wine AND this evening... mini cheesecakes! Three of them! I nor... Sun, 14 Aug 2011 00:32:06 EST "You've come a long way baby" Happy belly! <BR> <BR> I just got back a little while ago after a lovely dinner with my girlfriend Tracy. The Melting Pot has a 'girls night out' event every couple months and it usually benefits a different charity each time. Tracy and I made it to one last year and we loved it, so we were happy that we saw they had one tonight and both of our schedules were open. I wanted to take her out to celebrate her expecting their first baby too. <BR> <BR> I probably ate an entire days worth of calo... Wed, 10 Aug 2011 23:29:32 EST SEVERELY Obese I've been a bit stressed for a long time about my and my husband's weight. We've both gained many pounds over the last few years. I've now managed to lose enough weight to get into the 'normal' BMI range after being at the very top of the 'overweight' BMI category. I realized that I really needed to take action when I was a mere pound or so away from OBESE. I also felt that my healthier cooking and habits would rub off on my husband. Now after seven-ish months... I am heartbroken to know it i... Mon, 8 Aug 2011 23:21:26 EST Eating out adventures This week has two days with planned eating out adventures. Always a source of a little stress when you're trying to eat healthier. <BR> <BR> Today was the first trial - Carino's Italian restaurant for my friend Tracy's birthday. I've only been to this restaurant once before and didn't really like it, but it's the birthday girl's choice! So last night I was very happy to see that they have a downloadable nutrition info guide for their whole menu. I really love when they give you all of the i... Sun, 7 Aug 2011 21:29:03 EST Healthy my arse!!! I haven't had much time to blog, but have a quick one to share. <BR> <BR> We didn't get home until Sunday evening and I never had time to look through the Sunday paper yet. Last night I pulled out the paper to glance through it and cut coupons. I always enjoy doing the sudoku puzzle every week. Flipping my way through the insert to the puzzle, I saw a dessert recipe and stopped to look at it. The headline had the word HEALTHY in it, so it caught my eye. I'm always trying to find healthier r... Tue, 2 Aug 2011 16:07:53 EST Awesome Week I haven't had as much time on SparkPeople as I would have liked this week. I feel helplessly behind on reading your blogs, blogging myself and just saying hi! It's been very busy, but very awesome times. On top of the usual busy workload we have a second honeymoon planned for our first anniversary this weekend. A nice weekend at a resort about two hours away. They have a package that includes your room, breakfasts and an outdoor adventure pass that gives you a mountain bike rental, frisbee go... Thu, 28 Jul 2011 00:53:06 EST Adventures in Kim Chi! Today's late night adventure was making my first batch of korean kim chi! <BR> <BR> "Of the countless varieties of kim chi that are made in Korea, by far the most common and celebrated version is made with Napa cabbage. <BR> <BR> Kim chi that's made with cabbage is loaded with indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a compound that is well recognized as a powerful cancer-fighting compound. Numerous studies indicate that I3C can offer protection against many differen... Fri, 22 Jul 2011 03:40:10 EST Re-thinking Goals My original goal was to get to a healthy BMI (DONE) and then get around 10 pounds lower than that. I've been thinking recently that I may be selling myself short with that goal. I know I can do better! I had gained 53ish pounds and hope to lose 33 pounds by my 33rd birthday, but when I really think about that, it's only 10 pounds below being considered 'overweight' on a BMI chart. I don't place a huge amount of bearing on the BMI system that is so generalized, but it is a handy guide to keep ... Wed, 20 Jul 2011 23:20:20 EST Goodbye Lean Cuisine!! Today I was reflecting back on what my staple for lunch daily was in the past: Lean Cuisine frozen dinners. Sometimes I would also pack a banana, yogurt or a small salad to go along with it if I remembered and had time. I am proud to say that I have been Lean Cuisine free for a couple years now. I have nothing against them, there were quite a few yummy types and are much healtier than most foods out there. I am simply happy to be rid of the less-than-filling portions, sodium laden, over proce... Thu, 14 Jul 2011 16:39:17 EST Busy day! I woke up somewhat early (for me) as I had a morning meeting downtown. I made my usual breakfast smoothie, but decided to try Silk almond milk instead of regular 2% today. I've been wanting to try it for a while, but $4 for a half gallon is a bit steep. I was happy to find the almond milk on sale and had a $1.25 off coupon. I grabbed the sweetened kind since it seemed like it would be a good fit in smoothies, which was what I planned to use it in. I was wrong. I could barely get a couple sips... Wed, 13 Jul 2011 00:30:45 EST Cleaning the Closet :) Today is a beautiful sunny day. Our AC is back up and running for a tiny fraction of the estimate that we had received on Wednesday. We were lucky enough that DH's coworker's husband owns a commercial HVAC business. He came out on Thursday to look at our furnace, had a new part delivered Friday and was here on a Saturday to put the part in for us. It was such a blessing! We could have made due with fans, but it's been 80 to 90 degrees in the house, which has been rough on us and the three cat... Sat, 9 Jul 2011 16:23:53 EST Awesome Day! <em>248</em> <BR> <BR> DH and I went to meet up with some of his other family members in Ohio to take a trip to Rogers, Ohio. For those of you not familiar, Rogers is a HUGE kind of flea market/auction place only about an hour away from where we live in PA. It's the kind of place you can basically find anything and everything that you never knew you needed. Unfortunately, it was a rainy morning and started down-pouring as soon as we pulled into my MIL's house, dampening the plans to go to ... Sat, 9 Jul 2011 01:35:29 EST What to do...?!?!? I'm a bit frustrated today and need to vent a little. (sorry!) <BR> <BR> We bought this house two years ago and we LOVE it. It's perfect for us. It's pretty small, which means we can usually keep up with housework and don't plan on expanding the family, so one spare bedroom for guests is enough room. We knew the house had been flipped when we bought it. We expected things to go wrong, things would break and need fixed. Unfortunately, we didn't anticipate how much of a shyster the guy who fli... Wed, 6 Jul 2011 13:15:15 EST Camping, Updates, Yadda Yadda... I've still been doing my best to keep up with life in general. Work has kept me on my toes and every summer we end up with more plans than we have time for, but neither is really a complaint. I am loving life and thankful for each busy day I am given. I have been able to keep up with my workouts too. <BR> <BR> My husband and I went on our annual camping trip with his family and some of his BIL's family last weekend. It's at a private camp in PA - absolutely beautiful there. And it's MY kind ... Wed, 29 Jun 2011 01:32:50 EST Trying to Keep Up with Life!! The past two months or so have been intensely busy. I haven't had as much time for Sparking as usual. I still pop in daily and track my food/workouts, but I've been doing OK with tracking my whole day in one sitting (and trust myself with portions and calorie knowledge more now!) I try to keep up with SparkFriend blogs too. <BR> <BR> I didn't work out much for nearly two months! I had more freelance work than I knew what to do with for a few weeks, wasn't sleeping enough, got a very nasty ch... Fri, 27 May 2011 23:23:28 EST "To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." Processed food really is junk. It often tastes great but lacks the nutritional content that our bodies need. With my working too much recently, we have not made it out to restock on fresh fruits, veggies and healthier foods. I'm not eating all junk, but much more than usual. I would still occasionally eat processed foods of some sort, even after changing how I eat months ago. It never really affected me because it was rare. (Who can resist a couple BAKED Mrs. T's pierogis with a huge pile of ... Mon, 11 Apr 2011 22:50:12 EST Family First!! My husband and I are the kind of people who love kids, yet have NO desire to have kids of our own. Most people don't understand how we feel that way, but we do. We enjoy every minute with our seven nieces and nephews. (ages range from 7 months to 17 years old.) We spend a lot of time babysitting these days. It is hard work! I watched my niece Lily yesterday for seven hours or so. She is such a joy!! Yesterday was no exception. (Thankfully her teeth coming in were not bothering her too bad yes... Sat, 9 Apr 2011 16:24:19 EST Calories & Nutrients Over Time I usually got to the end of my day and see that I haven't met my carb of fiber goals for the day and eat one gala apple and it fixes everything. :) <BR> <BR> Today I splurged a bit on a carb-heavy dinner and went a tiny bit over my daily recommendation. I just thought it was funny, as I'm not usually a 'carby' eater. I certainly love carbs, but the healthier foods I am eating now just tend to be lower in carbs. I still admit to eating white bread, white rice and flour tortillas, but I make s... Thu, 7 Apr 2011 21:46:36 EST Mentally preparing myself for disappointment The last two weeks have been pretty rough - working until the wee hours of the morning, not getting nearly enough sleep and skipping a lot of workouts. I've come to terms that something had to give and that has unfortunately been exercise recently. I'm so proud of my progress to date and hate to take a step back at this point, but I'm already working until 2-3 in the morning most nights. This is pretty typical for my line of work as a freelance designer - it ebbs and flows - sometimes working... Thu, 7 Apr 2011 13:11:19 EST I LOVE Fruit!! I have come across multiple instances recently where a person refuses to eat ANY fruit because all fruit is BAD for you. I understand a lot of fruit is high in sugar and can affect your glycemic index in cases of having diabetes or pre-diabetes. But refusing to eat ANY fruit is unfathomable to me. Fruit is what gets me through the day when I need a quick snack, am craving something sweet or need to increase my fiber intake. Yikes! <BR> <BR> In a timely fashion, I received this article in an ... Wed, 6 Apr 2011 17:07:35 EST Happy Dance!! I was worried about stepping on a scale today. I have been working crazy hours recently and while I have maintained my food and workouts, I just don't feel like I've been able to give it my ALL... only given it 90% at times. I have not been getting enough sleep many nights and am really feeling the affects. My work is deadline driven = long hours as needed. <BR> <BR> So when I stepped on the scale I was trying to remind myself that ANY progress is good. I had to step on the scale twice to ma... Tue, 29 Mar 2011 23:37:12 EST Measuring Food I have so much fun measuring my food at this point. I feel bad scolding my hubby when he does not measure, but sometimes he makes it hard to track (but I DO really appreciate that he like to help in the kitchen.) I caught him 'measuring' with a plain 'ole kitchen 'table spoon' the other day. That made me chuckle... I had to explain that tableware and measuring spoons are NOT created equal. It reminded me that my mom used to give up cough syrup, etc. from the same tableware we are using today.... Sun, 27 Mar 2011 16:25:49 EST Bathing Suit Realization The last place I rented was a 'quaint' guest cottage of an elderly couple who I had rented off of a couple years prior. It was a sweet deal. Two bedroom house (shack) with access to their laundry, a tiny yard where she allowed me to have a 4' square garden, and free access to their pool in the summer.... for an incredibly low rent. I lived there for about eight years and realized that the longer I lived there, the less I used the pool because I got heavier and more self-conscious every year. ... Fri, 25 Mar 2011 23:40:05 EST "I feel... thin. Sort of stretched, like... butter scraped over too much bread." Not sure why, but I am starting this week feeling like I am in a fog. I am a bit overwhelmed with freelance work right now and have some time planned off coming up, but the weeks leading up to the time off will be hectic, unfortunately. I can't seem to focus at the moment and I really NEED to be focused now... I think I'm just feeling a pulled in too many directions ans not sure how to fix it. ("I feel... thin. Sort of stretched, like... butter scraped over too much bread." for any LOTR fans ... Mon, 21 Mar 2011 14:39:02 EST The Biggest Honkin' Salad!! I have to open this with I'm a HUGE salad fan. I always have been and eat them rather often. I started tracking my fiber a couple weeks ago and was floored that I was having single digit days. (far from 25-35!) So I have been trying to still have my salads regularly, but try to add more fiber into them - chick peas, broccoli and everything but the kitchen sink. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After I carefully measured, chopped and dre... Wed, 16 Mar 2011 13:35:35 EST A GENTLE REMINDER As you might remember, the head of a company survived 9/11 because his son started kindergarten. <BR> <BR> Another fellow was alive because it was his turn to bring donuts. <BR> <BR> One woman was late because her alarm clock didn't go off in time. <BR> <BR> One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike because of an auto accident. <BR> <BR> One of them missed his bus. <BR> <BR> One spilled food on her clothes and had to take time to change. <BR> <BR> One's car wou... Sun, 6 Mar 2011 23:28:43 EST Slacker Weekend I definitely had some cracks in my resolve this weekend. Friday was good - complete with a great workout... it all went downhill on Saturday. My husband and I were spending the day visiting his family out of state. I knew it would be harder to track/plan food in an uncontrolled environment (and I KNEW the food options were not going to be ideal) I didn't work out in the morning because I had worked out late on Friday and like to give myself time for muscle repair. We were supposed to be home ... Mon, 28 Feb 2011 11:42:56 EST Nutrition Report = Pretty Darn GOOD!! So to help calm my nerves before my first weigh-in tomorrow, I wanted to run a full nutrition report to see how I have done over the past three weeks since joining SparkPeople. While I have had some ups and downs and am still adjusting to the new routine, I was surprised to see that I am doing better than I expected! (Pat self on back.) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I am trying calorie cycling as another Sparker suggested. See my nice zig-... Mon, 21 Feb 2011 15:02:17 EST Valentine's Day Tradition Every Valentine's Day, my mom would lovingly make my dad his meatloaf dinner (and still does.) It's not just ANY meatloaf though. My mom takes the time every year to shape her loaf on a baking sheet in the shape of a big round HEART. The really funny thing is that after cooking, it looks more like a big 'ole BUTT than a heart. My DH and I think this is hilarious and a couple years ago decided to perpetuate the tradition of the 'butt-loaf.' Years prior I would cook a full-out fancy dinner for ... Mon, 14 Feb 2011 11:21:44 EST Guide to NOT Dread Special Occasions As I hit my two weeks using SparkPeople, I am so thankful for the tools it provides me to keep on track. I now realize that there were many days that I was eating too little and sending my metabolism into stockpile mode. On the complete end of the spectrum, I often had days that I probably ate thousands of calories and hundreds of grams of fat! <BR> <BR> One of my biggest challenges has been special occasions. This is a work in progress, but I have learned some important lessons so far: <BR... Sun, 13 Feb 2011 16:46:29 EST