CASEYTALK's SparkPeople Blog CASEYTALK's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Picture of my progress -- take two <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Spark Coach has again given me the task of making a visual representation of how much weight I have lost so far. Last time, there wasn't so much in the picture. <BR> <BR> This time -- guitar 11 lbs <BR> samovar 11 lbs <BR> hand weights 5+3 = 8 lbs <BR> a pint of water 1 lb <BR> <BR> Nice not to be carrying that around with me all ... Mon, 31 Jul 2017 12:47:11 EST See, whatcha otter do. . . . I bought a kayak last year. I live near a beautiful river and I love to kayak, so it made sense. Besides, the road to my house floods in the winter a couple of days a year and it doesn't hurt to have a way to get out. <BR> <BR> It turns out that getting a kayak to and from the river, even nearby, was a challenge. I bought a rack for the car. This broke, that didn't work, couldn't figure out the other. . . urgh. I never put the boat in the water last year! <BR> <BR> <em>198</em> <B... Thu, 29 Jun 2017 18:59:00 EST Dad joke for the win! My father and I have a very good relationship, built on mutual respect, curiosity, fondness for wordplay and, most of all, love and laughter. <BR> <BR> He has everything he could possibly want. I haven't bought him father's day gifts in . . . a decade or two? <BR> <BR> Today's gift was a 'dad joke' that left him chortling for quite some time, according to my mom. <BR> <BR> PUN WARNING! DO NOT ATTEMPT WHILE DRINKING! <BR> <BR> Ready? <BR> <BR> Are you sure? <BR> <BR> You can stop ... Sun, 18 Jun 2017 14:16:57 EST I ain't that lonely yet I heard a song on the radio today -- "I'm lonely, but I ain't that lonely yet." <BR> <BR> Since the divorce, I have thought about dating and there are a couple of blog posts here about it. I'm not having much luck because, like it or not, most men are not interested in fat women. <BR> <BR> The only ones I have 'luck' with are married men. <BR> <BR> I'm lonely, but I ain't that lonely yet. Sun, 11 Jun 2017 18:13:24 EST You'll see it's all a show -- keep them laughing when you go! I had a big audition yesterday. I flubbed the singing, though there was enough there for me to show I can carry a tune and be heard at the back of an auditorium. Meh. I am under no illusions that I am a great singer, just a competent one. <BR> <BR> The monologue, though, I killed. I had them completely caught up in the story. It was supposed to be funny and I managed the perfect slow boil -- chuckles and small laughs through the buildup and great glorious belly laugh at the end. If you... Sun, 21 May 2017 12:03:27 EST And I think to myself, what a wonderful world! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I took this yesterday on my way home from volunteering at the school library. I caught a lovely little rainbow, didn't I? Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:45:58 EST How did I do on my holiday strategy? ONEKIDSMOM summed it up pretty well: <BR> <BR> "Balance and planning. I do better with a plan than without one, even if I don't follow it exactly!" <BR> <BR> I didn't follow my plan exactly, but I did better than I would have done without a plan. I didn't track as I intended. I did, however, restrict my treats to special events and special foods. The result is that I gained a pound-and-a-half since November (already lost the one. Working on the half.) rather than the more significant wei... Sat, 7 Jan 2017 15:50:11 EST You can save lives, please! A dear friend of mine has her birthday tomorrow. It is a MIRACLE because not long ago she went through a lung transplant that saved her life. <BR> <BR> In her honor and in honor of all the other people who have been and will be saved through the generosity of organ donors, I am asking my friends to PLEASE SIGN UP TO BE AN ORGAN DONOR NOW! <BR> <BR> If you are a US citizen, your drivers' license mark is NOT enough*. The link to make sure you are in the donor database is at the end of this ... Thu, 17 Nov 2016 12:00:40 EST Strategies for the holidays This is how I plan to avoid weight gain this season and, with diligence, actually lose weight. <BR> <BR> 1) Plan now. NOW. When I go to a gathering is too late. <BR> <BR> 2) Eat well and track on days when I am not going to a gathering. Don't buy festive foods for home other than for the actual special occasions. Keep the 'special' eating 'special.' <BR> <BR> 3) When there is a gathering, prepare and bring something healthful and tasty. There are loads of great recipes out there ... Tue, 1 Nov 2016 11:40:17 EST How not to eat Halloween candy (for me, at any rate) When I was living in other countries, there were usually some neighborhoods in the city where the US people were concentrated. It did not take long, I expect, for the locals in those countries to learn that their kids could get free candy by going to where the Americans are. I had to buy a TON of candy because half the city would show up. I would wait until the last minute to buy it and would give it all out. I ate a few, but not as many as if I had had it in the house or had any leftover... Mon, 31 Oct 2016 12:26:29 EST Just say, "Yes! And. . . " We had another fantastic show on Sunday. I love improv. It is having a great effect on several aspects of my life. Here are some of the benefits I've already seen: <BR> <BR> <em>361</em> I am making fun friends from many backgrounds. We PLAY together. How cool is that? <BR> <BR> <em>312</em> It gets me out of the house regularly. <BR> <BR> <em>246</em> It is a huge rush when people laugh at something I've said or done. <BR> <BR> <em>525</em> The principal of "Yes! And.... Wed, 26 Oct 2016 14:52:53 EST Not carrying THAT any more! My SP coach challenge for today is to translate the weight I have lost into other things to show how far I have already come. Here is about twenty pounds of barbell, cheese, peanut butter, butter, and honey: (two eight-pound barbells) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am glad I am not carrying all that around! Imagine what it will look like when I reach my goal! Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:33:53 EST Not another false start. At last! Background: I lost 50-60 pounds when I lived in Ecuador. <BR> <BR> I retired, divorced, kids left for college, moved house in 2013. I ate. I gained back more than I had lost and yes, that's a very short period to have gained so much. As usual, I repeatedly started back here because THIS TIME WAS IT. <BR> <BR> Late spring, I started losing slowly for a month or so, then I was diagnosed with diabetes. I was in denial for a while (see previous post. I had good reason to be in denial)... Mon, 17 Oct 2016 16:50:31 EST Time for a new doctor. I have had wonderful NPs and doctors for most of my career. Even living overseas, I felt that I was in good hands. I retired, came here, found a doctor in my insurance network and was ready to work with her as I had with my previous health care providers. <BR> <BR> This one is dangerous for my health. <BR> <BR> (SKIP OVER THIS PART AS HEALTH DETAILS ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DULL) <BR> <BR> My concerns: <BR> ONE: I am not menopausal, though most women my age are. Every time I vi... Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:29:21 EST On being furniture In spring of 2002, our family adopted two cats. My daughter chose Beck, a tuxedo cat, and my son chose Angel, a black cat. This is the story of Beck. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> This was typical. <BR> <BR> We lived in Virginia at the time. The cats were indoor cats and quickly displayed their quirky personalities. Beck was the goofy, lumbering one who was very friendly and always looking for human furniture, ... Sun, 22 May 2016 12:12:31 EST Three successes! The WooHoo jar lounge group focuses on reminding ourselves of the positive things we do. Heck, we all KNOW what we're doing wrong and beat ourselves up for it all the time. Today, I am posting three things I've done recently that are good for my journey: <BR> <BR> 1) I've started working with a personal trainer. If I have an appointment and I've paid for it, I'll get my backside there and do the workout! <BR> <BR> 2) I've held another meet-up coffee with the Santa Rosa Spark Team. It wa... Sat, 9 Apr 2016 17:24:52 EST Just wing it What has been happening? <BR> <BR> Nutshell since last blog: <BR> <BR> Dating: <BR> The guy I met in the city and I had two dates. No spark there, so that's fine. We tried. Then I met another man I've been seeing from time to time. I'm not in love and I'm pretty sure he isn't, either, but we go wine tasting and things like that and enjoy each other's company a lot. He has frequently said he'd like us to travel together, which I wouldn't mind. I'm actually fairly content with my roman... Tue, 8 Mar 2016 10:52:53 EST I don't like reality sometimes. I'm starting to get out there to try to meet people. I'm on a couple of on line dating sites. I try very hard to be honest because I'm tired of not getting second dates. If they don't like me as I am, then let's not even get started, right? <BR> <BR> Today I was chatting on line for the first time with someone who sounds very promising. We like a lot of the same things, we get the same cultural references, we're making each other laugh. He has seen the head shot I have on the site. He a... Sat, 18 Apr 2015 22:54:17 EST You are not alone And neither am I! <BR> <BR> The SP team for my area has been inactive for a very long time. I finally broke down and decided to offer to lead the team figuring I couldn't do any damage to it. There are thousands of members, yet no activity on the team page. <BR> <BR> I posted, sent e-mails, tried to stir up some interest, and was happy to see a couple of posts now and then. We finally arranged a meet up and today was the day. <BR> <BR> EvilDuckie, Amerkrebs and I met for coffee thi... Sat, 21 Feb 2015 20:19:28 EST Interim goal achieved! I had gained so much weight that I was over my previous highest weight. When I started again this time, I made my first goal to reach my previous highest weight by my birthday, which was yesterday. <BR> <BR> I made it! <BR> <BR> I hadn't adjusted my little tracker turtle, so he wasn't budging even though I was losing some weight. Not a lot. . . I wasn't that far over my previous top. <BR> <BR> My little turtle has started his journey again. That tiny tiny tiny amount there means a l... Tue, 3 Feb 2015 11:57:33 EST Baby step day For the last three nights, I have had very frequently interrupted sleep. I'm exhausted. It should be fine soon, but today, I have no energy. I stayed home all day and my fitbit is showing a meagre 1,237 steps. <BR> <BR> It is STILL a good spark day. I drank loads of tea (oh, thank goodness for tea) and I stayed within my calorie range. I made the SP cookbook creamy broccoli soup and omitted the butter and cheese. I tracked as if I had made it according to the directions, though, and s... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 21:23:53 EST What I want to tell myself My challenge today is to write down a letter of encouragement to myself. I'm to think how I would encourage a friend and say those things to myself. I know I'm very critical of myself and I will rewrite several of these lines to make sure that I keep that out and keep the positive in. <BR> <BR> Casey -- <BR> <BR> I know you are facing a difficult road ahead and I want to write you a few words of encouragement. <BR> <BR> You can do this. You know you can. You've learned what works for ... Sat, 17 Jan 2015 13:27:32 EST Mushrooms! My daughter gave me a mushroom farm and it has been producing gorgeous fresh shiitakes. I have made mushrooms with brown and wild rice, a mushroom omelette, Thai soup with mushrooms. . . I will let you know when I start to be tired of mushrooms. I don't expect it any time soon. <BR> <BR> On the WOO HOO! front, I have stayed within my calorie range for two weeks now. The loss isn't showing on my ticker because I didn't adjust my ticker to show my new top weight. I am fine with that. I w... Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:29:54 EST I'm NOT starting again If you go through my blog, there's definitely a theme . . . starting again. Starting over. Not giving up. <BR> <BR> That last, fortunately, is the one that applies today. I have been tracking my food for over a week and I stayed within my calorie range all but one of the days. Therefore, I have already started and now I get to CONTINUE doing well. <BR> <BR> It feels good to be able to look over the last week and be pleased with my progress. I know this process. There's a long road ... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 10:43:17 EST Fine dining This post is inspired by ADARKARA. <BR> <BR> I love to eat. I think that is obvious, don't you? I love to eat so much that I eat too quickly to feel full and start looking for more to eat and then become overfull by the time the brain kicks in to tell me I've had enough. I need to slow down my eating. <BR> <BR> Easier said than done, right? I mean, I expect none of this is new to you. It's clearly a common problem among us. <BR> <BR> Adarkara posted her menu for the week. It's very ... Sun, 4 Jan 2015 11:54:46 EST It has been forever It seems that while I was losing weight, I was blogging. Perhaps I should listen to that. Today SP will be swamped with the annual resolutions and that's great. Yes, a lot of people don't keep them, but I did keep mine one year and lost a lot of weight, so why not do it again? <BR> <BR> Any day is a good day to get healthy. <BR> <BR> I've logged into SP. I've logged my breakfast. I'm signed up for a hike today. It feels good. <BR> <BR> Thank you all for not giving up on me as I st... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 11:10:55 EST "She has a great personality" One of today's daily Spark videos is this: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ark-videos-detail.asp?video=54 </link> <BR> <BR> (This is a gender normative post because I'm straight and these are my experiences. I understand that people in other situations have other or similar experiences, but I'm using 'men' and 'women' to reflect my own experiences only. ) I never played with Barbie when I was growing up, but I was surrounded, as we all are, with impossible beau... Thu, 20 Mar 2014 14:32:43 EST Cosmos and me I'm a nerd. I looked forward to Neil Degrasse Tyson's revamp of Sagan's Cosmos and watched it excitedly last night. While I hope future shows in the series tone down the whiz-bang effects of the space ship, it was a fun ride. I'll keep watching. <BR> <BR> I want to think about how I fit into the cosmos. We are all star dust, after all, right? <BR> <BR> It's so pretty here. I live in California's redwood forest. The trees, the Russian River, the hills, the wine country, it's all so bea... Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:47:12 EST Struggling with the daemon Yesterday afternoon, I was hungry. I looked at my plan and saw hard boiled egg and spinach salad. Sounds good and I have the hb egg already in the fridge, so it will be pretty easy. <BR> <BR> I pealed the egg and thought, I would really rather have this with mustard. That's no problem, so I ate it that way and then got to thinking I had some calories left over, so I could eat some more. That is when the daemon came. <BR> <BR> He won the first battle. I had a slice of bread and salsa a... Sun, 23 Feb 2014 10:48:50 EST Four and more! Four days following the SP menu plan. I really like this. By shopping only once a week, I am not being tempted to buy foods I shouldn't eat. I have everything I need to make good food. I am learning how I will modify the menu next week, too. I am going to add in some of my favourite spark recipes and make up a batch that I freeze in portions. It will save money and I do love to eat the spark cookbook recipes. <BR> <BR> On life -- <BR> <BR> I've started volunteering at the local scho... Sat, 22 Feb 2014 13:01:07 EST Back to the basics Before I regain ALL the weight I had lost, I know I have to change. Madness, as they say, is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Waking up every morning and saying "this is the day!" and then continuing to make poor food choices was clearly a failed policy. <BR> <BR> Now that I am living in the States, I have been seeing adverts for Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem. I don't want to spend the money for those, but wouldn't it be nice to have the planning done and one simply eat... Thu, 20 Feb 2014 11:23:11 EST A lot has happened Major life changes in the last six months: <BR> <BR> Retired. <BR> Empty Nest. <BR> Decided to divorce. <BR> Moved house from Quito, Ecuador to Guerneville, California <BR> (Includes purchase of a house, packing, unpacking, etc.) <BR> <BR> I knew these were all coming, so I tried to prepare myself and to warn myself against eating for stress reasons. It didn't work. I gained back a lot of weight. No more excuses now, though. I'm nearly settled into the new house, the family have departe... Sun, 12 Jan 2014 16:21:40 EST I sparked a colleague! I have been walking to work every day. As my workplace is two miles from my home, that's four miles a day. One of my colleagues just told me that inspired him to go for a bike ride after work. What a nice thing to tell me! <BR> <BR> The bad news is that I have really fallen off the nutrition wagon in the last two weeks. I have been doing stress and boredom eating. I don't have a scale here, but I do not need one to know that I have gained. <BR> <BR> Plan: <BR> <BR> Stop eating betw... Wed, 14 Aug 2013 07:30:20 EST Anticipating body aches and soreness. :) I went to my do jiang today. For an hour and a half I trained with the advanced class. I expect I will be sore tomorrow, but I feel great today. <BR> <BR> I love tae kwan do. I'm glad I'll be able to take it up again now that I'm retiring. I've missed it! My instructor said I was looking pretty good out there. He said it's strange, but I seem to be doing even better than when I was training with them every day. I pointed out that it's a lot easier to do this stuff when I weigh so mu... Sat, 3 Aug 2013 16:36:23 EST Back and blogging Since I was last here, I've packed up all my belongings and sent them off with the shippers. I don't know when I'll see them again as I can't take possession until I have a house to put them in. That won't happen until after I have been here in Washington, DC for a month or so. I do so detest DC in August. It's hot and sticky and just not 'home'. I'll go to Northern California in September to house hunt and, once I have a place, I can have my things delivered and unpack. I won't be sett... Wed, 31 Jul 2013 08:35:22 EST What do I fear? My Spark Coach challenge today is to do something I'm afraid of doing. SparkGuy, as we all know, has worked hard to overcome his fear of public speaking, which is one of the most common fears out there. I don't happen to share it, which is a good thing as public speaking has been a significant part of my professional life. I get butterflies and all, but in general public speaking is something I do well and I seek out opportunities to speak or perform. <BR> <BR> I went skydiving with my d... Sun, 14 Jul 2013 11:27:39 EST Out, Damned Clot! About three or four months ago, I posted that I had a blood clot in my left leg. Serious stuff -- my mother has clots, her father had clots, and her brother died of an embolism caused by a clot when he was 29, before I was born. <BR> <BR> <em>230</em> <BR> <BR> During a recent trip to Mindo, I was eaten alive by bugs. I had 54 bites on the left leg and 29 on the right. The Monday after that, I noticed that my left leg, the one with the clot, was swollen. Our health care provider,... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 12:39:14 EST SiXTY down -- again! At the end of August, I posted my SIXTY down! blog. Here it is: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038410 </link> <BR> <BR> I lost another two pounds after that and made it to 185. I have a photo in my gallery commemorating that. I then gained back close to 20 pounds, which I am happy to say, are GONE again. <BR> <BR> I didn't give up. I just kept sparking, kept starting each day, kept reading articles, talking to YOU, my spark fr... Thu, 13 Jun 2013 05:37:44 EST That . . . urgh . . . feeling in my stomach I have a zillion things to do. I'm steadily working through them, but I still have more to do. My son's graduation is a week from Thursday and the fiesta dinner (they don't have a 'prom', exactly. The families participate) is the Friday after. I have loads of things to do for those. I have loads of things to do for leaving Ecuador late July. Transporting the cats, selling things, packing up things, etc. There seems to be no end of things I have to do. <BR> <BR> In the meantime, I h... Tue, 11 Jun 2013 14:59:55 EST I like to play with my food. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My Quito Sparkies and I have a healthful foods potluck where we share ideas for tasty, nutritious, and low calorie dishes every Wednesday. Today I made my penguins. The picture here shows them with cream cheese in the lower olive, but now I make them with yogurt cheese. There's so little of it that the slightly tart taste of the yogurt cheese is not noticible, it's less expensive, and it has fewer calories. <... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 14:12:15 EST It's about to hit the fan. DUCK! In the next few months: <BR> <BR> My son graduates <BR> Seven people in the house for the graduation <BR> Sell the car and some of my furniture <BR> Pack everything and ship it <BR> Fly to the USA <BR> Find a house and buy it <BR> Unpack everything <BR> Find a new job <BR> Send my youngest away to uni and go through empty nest <BR> <BR> I'm probably missing something. Still, that's enough, surely? Fri, 31 May 2013 11:13:13 EST Drawbacks to the life of a nomad I have lived in many countries around the world. I currently live in Ecuador and before that it was Uzbekistan. Before that, the USA, before that Germany, before that Korea, before that Sri Lanka, before that Ukraine. . . You get the idea. <BR> <BR> I love it. I learn languages, I meet fascinating people, I learn history, and I visit places others dream of. For example, the Galapagos are part of Ecuador, so I've visited them and the Amazon while I have been here. <BR> <BR> There are dr... Fri, 24 May 2013 10:22:13 EST Pep Talk My Spark Coach challenge yesterday was to focus on the positive and to give myself a pep talk. <BR> <BR> I did and it feels good. I strongly recommend it. <BR> <BR> One. I have taken off and, more importantly kept off 50 pounds. I started this process over a year ago. Keeping it up so long is creating new habits replacing the bad ones. <BR> <BR> Two. I am breaking through the plateau at last. That shows perseverance. I won't give up on myself. It also shows I do know what I n... Fri, 17 May 2013 07:38:47 EST Nothing. . . and everything My daughter called me for Mother's Day. It was a great call. I called my mom, too, and we also had a great call. We're three amazing women, we are, and it's good to chat. <BR> <BR> My son lives with me. He never even said, "Happy Mother's Day, Mom", let alone made a card or anything. And that, my friends, is beautiful in its own way. <BR> <BR> We spend a lot of time together. We laugh, we cook together, we talk about the Big Issues, and, a lot of the time we're together, we're silen... Sun, 12 May 2013 20:10:55 EST So much to do. . . We've lived in Ecuador nearly 4 years. We're leaving in July. The less I own, the less I have to pack and ship and unpack on the other end. As the kids are both going to be at uni, we're looking to find a retirement property that's smaller than our current place, too. <BR> <BR> With that in mind, we held our second yard sale today. We rid ourselves of a lot of stuff. Even with moving every few years, we still manage to accumulate things and it's good to be shedding them. We made a f... Sat, 11 May 2013 16:47:52 EST It's What's For Lunch! I wrote recently about my laptop lunches. I thought today I would share a photo: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> yum! I already have the sushi roll with ginger as a grouping, so tracking will be easy. Fri, 10 May 2013 07:50:58 EST Warning -- This Will Break Your Heart History: <BR> <BR> When my son had his 7th birthday, he invited all the children in his class to come to a party at our house. We had all the balloons and serpentine, cake, ice cream, party games -- all ready. The time for the party came and went. No guests. Fifteen minutes later, no guests. A half hour later. . . I went out into the neighborhood where we lived and gathered in every child I could find of any age to come eat the cake and ice cream and play the games. Not one invited g... Fri, 3 May 2013 22:23:15 EST Vote! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have joined the Woo Hoo jar team. I decided not to make a new container for the purpose as I have these two perfectly functional and currently unused ones available. So - should I use the tea caddy or the biscuit barrel (cookie jar in the American dialect)? <BR> <BR> Wed, 1 May 2013 09:19:54 EST Yes, this is my smug face. My son has been accepted to the culinary school he wants to go to in California. <BR> <BR> He's graduating from the British School here in Quito with International Baccalaureate certificates. In the last few years, we've found how much he loves cooking. His grandfather (my father) is a very good cook and I'm not too shabby. With just the two of us living here in Ecuador, one way we've found to share time and interests together is to cook. <BR> <BR> He has been loving the recipes in t... Sat, 27 Apr 2013 10:17:13 EST I have conquered LUNCH! I thought I'd pass this along. <BR> <BR> I used to eat at the office cafeteria every day. The nutritional value varied and, as I was hungry while in line, the treats would call to me. The cost adds up, too. <BR> <BR> So, I bought myself a Laptop Lunch bento system and started taking my lunch to work. I get it out when I'm putting away dinner, so I can put in leftovers and all. I buy canned veggies (asparagus, artichoke hearts, green beans, hearts of palm, whatever) and plop one of th... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 13:33:07 EST