BRIARD's SparkPeople Blog BRIARD's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Miscellany I haven't had much time for blogging lately although I enjoy this chance to connect with SparkFriends and to organize my thoughts about my journey. Truth be told, I don't have time right now either, but I am making a few minutes!! <BR> <BR> Things have been hectic lately. New position at work is taking additional time and adding stress to my life. Overall, it is a positive but it does change the amount of time I have for myself and taking care of my stress levels is even more important than... Sat, 3 Aug 2013 18:18:09 EST Dear Self: I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how proud of you I am! You've been doing a lot of great work lately and it shows! Just a little over 5 months ago you weren't getting any exercise at all and not concerned about changing your eating habits. But when a co-worker started a weight-loss competition, you took the opportunity to turn your life around! You took on your overeating and you have become a runner, going from absolutely no exercise to running a five-mile race yesterday! And that... Sun, 28 Jul 2013 07:56:10 EST Get out the door! Tonight I was feeling tired after a very busy few days at work, and to be honest, after a couple of beers with a friend while catching up with her. I knew I wanted to get a little easy cardio in so I put some leggings and walking shoes on, even though it was feeling late. Opened up the door and saw that it had started to sprinkle lightly. Do I really want to go for a walk and get soaked? I guess... since I'm already dressed for it and what does it matter if I get wet? <BR> <BR> I got out the... Thu, 25 Jul 2013 21:06:15 EST Tackling the scary stuff I wish I had a bit more time so I could blog more; a lot has been going on lately on my journey-- struggled with motivation for a week as I hit a plateau, but stuck with it and started finding it again. SparkCoach has been helping me with consistency and I have been maintaining most of my streaks, which become more and more motivating as they get longer. I don't want to break my streaks after working so hard! But tonight I am not going to address any of those things...instead I want to write ... Tue, 23 Jul 2013 22:01:13 EST Reflection on Big Goals My SparkCoach challenge a couple days ago was to identify some big, long term goals in my life, not necessarily related to weight loss goals. I didn't have much time that day to really reflect on this so I am taking a few minutes now to think about what I have in mind for myself over the next year, five years, ten years. <BR> <BR> I've never been someone who has her life planned out, mapped and organized. I've generally been more the type of person who takes opportunities as they come along... Sun, 14 Jul 2013 12:56:47 EST Milestones and Motivation I'm getting very close to 50 pounds gone. Celebrating these milestones and the good feeling from them is definitely motivational for me. As of today I have 21.3 pounds to lose to reach my goal weight. I know that this stretch could be harder with pounds dropping more slowly as I get closer to my goal. So today, recognizing how much I enjoy reaching milestones, I used some downtime (woohoo! haven't had much lately!) to make a long list of milestones that I will reach between now and reaching m... Fri, 5 Jul 2013 17:42:30 EST Running App Test 2 After taking a look at the first round of tests on the running apps on my iPhone ( <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5410484 </link> ), I corrected my weight on all of them and then did a run at a local running path that has mileage markers every quarter mile. It is a 3.5 mile loop. Here's the new data: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> As you can see, there is still a lot of variation in distance but R... Fri, 5 Jul 2013 11:21:32 EST Running App Comparisons As you might know, I love running using the iPhone app Zombies, Run! for motivation and entertainment. I sync my Zombies, Run! data to Runkeeper as well. Theoretically, these two apps/websites use the same exact GPS info but I've been noticing large discrepancies. So I've decided to do some informal testing, not only of Z,R! and Runkeeper, but of a bunch of the other tracking apps that I have on my phone. <BR> <BR> I recently did a run with 3 apps running in the background, plus my usual Zo... Thu, 4 Jul 2013 10:07:01 EST Note to Self: Running is awesome! Lately I've been slacking with running. I started running back in February using a couch-to-5K style app that had me training three days a week. Since then I've graduated from that app, run two 5ks and started running without the structure of a training app. (However, I absolutely LOVE Zombies, Run! which keeps me motivated and entertained, plus does a decent job tracking my runs.) The last two weeks I've been on vacation from work and had family visiting and many other distractions. I haven'... Fri, 28 Jun 2013 20:58:35 EST Same Place, Same Shirt; Different Year, Different ME! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My father and stepmother have been in the habit of visiting me in Maine each June for the last several years in a row. This year they requested we go back to the same restaurant we ate at last year because we all enjoyed it so much. I remembered that I had some family photos from last year and chose to wear the same shirt this year and requested that we take some pictures again. I hope you can all tell which pictu... Wed, 26 Jun 2013 22:36:47 EST Recent Victories It's been a busy few weeks and even though I am on vacation from work for another week, life is still moving at a fast pace. I've really struggled the last couple of weeks to find time to exercise, cook, Spark, and take time for myself. I definitely have a tendency to focus on the scale hasn't budged lately, and I've been putting in very little cardio time...I've made some food slip-ups... <BR> <BR> So today I want to take a look at some of the victories from this period. <BR>... Fri, 21 Jun 2013 09:43:20 EST Focusing on the Positive Today's blog is part SparkCoach assignment and part reflection on the past week or so. I've been frustrated with myself and the lack of time I've had this past week. I've wanted to be more active on Spark this past week but I've been getting pulled in multiple directions on top of not feeling well. Last week I was riding a high most of the week, between getting a promotion I've been working towards for over three years and feeling successful with weight loss and fitness. Getting "Sparkler of ... Fri, 14 Jun 2013 17:23:42 EST SparkDiet: Rewards and Setbacks I've been participating in the SparkDiet plan since I joined here, starting with the Fast Break and getting through the Healthy Habits section. These parts of the SparkDiet both involved weekly, manageable challenges and action steps. I'm in Stage 3 now, Lifestyle Change. For me, this stage has been a little harder, I think in part because the challenges go for a full two week period rather than just one week. I find that I am holding myself less accountable for meeting the challenge because ... Sun, 2 Jun 2013 13:25:01 EST Saying Goodbye to Obesity As of today, my BMI is 29.9. <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> I've been looking forward to this moment since starting my weight loss journey. Today, I am merely overweight. Yesterday I was obese. I know that BMI is not the last word in measuring health or fitness, but it is still an important milestone for me because it is an indicator of how very far I have come. Just a few months ago my BMI was 36.2. Not just obese, but well into that range. It's taken a lot of commitment, but I've successfully l... Sat, 1 Jun 2013 15:43:41 EST Another not-so-ordinary day Job interview...fasting most of the day...cholesterol and breathing test...swimming in the Maine ocean in on the patio of a favorite pub in 85 degree heat...biked to work and medical appointment...rocked strength training...gentle yoga on the beach. <BR> <BR> Highlight was the swim in the ocean. It was sooooo cold, but that didn't stop me from playing in the waves for about 20 minutes while my boyfriend (almost) chickened out. He eventually took the plunge and then ran back to th... Thu, 30 May 2013 21:35:57 EST First 5K! Today was a milestone day for me! I ran in my first ever 5K race. It feels so good to be making fitness gains and today I can really see what I have achieved in just a few months. I started running back in February, using Zombies, Run! 5K app to train. In the first week, I was only running 15 second intervals!!! Today I ran 5K in 34 minutes and felt absolutely fantastic doing it. I really pushed myself today, running at the very top of my heart rate range. Even though I was exerting myself mo... Mon, 27 May 2013 13:14:58 EST Mason-Dixon On my "Appalachian Trail" journey of weight loss, I just entered Pennsylvania, crossing the Mason-Dixon line. I'm not quite halfway to my goal, but I should be able to hit that milestone this week! Just gotta keep up all the good habits I've been forming over the past few months! Wed, 22 May 2013 21:02:14 EST Appalachian Trail Back in my teens and twenties, I thought a lot about hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. At times, I went as far as buying planning guides and making lists of the steps it would take to make it happen. But in the end, the logistics (time off, money for plane ticket, supplies and mail drops, etc.) always kept me from making the commitment to doing it. <BR> <BR> These days, hiking the entire AT is even more of a pipe dream. I have arthritis in both feet and am obese and asthmatic. Hiking is ... Sat, 18 May 2013 20:50:12 EST Emergence I feel like I've finally emerged from hibernation! Last week was draining for me. Very little exercise, lots of heat-and-eat meals, and way too much time spent at my computer finishing my thesis presentation. (Yes, I passed! Some revisions to take care of, but minor compared to the intensity of the past 9 months.) Even after my presentation, I wasn't ready to bounce back. Too much beer and food this weekend as I celebrated with friends. <BR> <BR> But today... today I feel a bit more back to... Mon, 13 May 2013 20:52:37 EST 4 Days until thesisD-Day Taking a day off from work today in order to finish my thesis defense presentation. Hopefully this will be the last big push I need before Friday. I spent the entire weekend (with a couple hours off to socialize during and after the Derby!) working on it. No exercise at ALL yesterday! My 59 day exercise streak is over, but I'm choosing to look at it as a new goal... to go more than 59 days with at least 10 minutes of exercise. <BR> My body feels the difference. Two long days sitting in front... Mon, 6 May 2013 07:25:04 EST 5 days left until Thesis Defense! The count down continues. Today is my last day off before I defend my thesis. <BR> <BR> I worked hard yesterday on my presentation even with a "Cinco de Derby" party going on in my home. I took a couple hours off to watch the race and then socialize for a while with friends and then got back to work. The downside is the only exercise I got yesterday was 15 minutes of yoga. Today I am so sore from sitting at my desk all day. Fitness has started to be addictive! I really missed doing cardio y... Sun, 5 May 2013 09:31:15 EST 6 Days... Not counting Friday, May 10th. I defend my master's thesis in biology next Friday. So far behind on getting my presentation done. Somehow I need to crank through it this weekend while feeling PMSy and stressed out AND co-hosting a "Cinco de Derby" party today! If it wasn't an annual tradition that means so much to my upstairs neighbor and good friend, I would never have committed to being involved with a big party right before my defense date, but this is one of her favorite days of the year,... Sat, 4 May 2013 08:22:27 EST