CATMAGNET's SparkPeople Blog CATMAGNET's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Exorcising demons...or finding that sweet spot between exercise and nutrition. I had a 5 day long binge this week. Fortunately, there wasn't much damage from it, and I was able to press on. <BR> <BR> The problem is that I love being active to the point that I'm burning an INSANE number of calories, which also means I have to eat a bunch of calories to make sure that I stay healthy. With the number of calories, I am headed towards that slippery slope of compulsive overeating again, which scares me. <BR> <BR> However, I am at a loss as to what I give up as far as exer... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 18:40:09 EST My love/hate relationship with a "healthy" BMI. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't have a lot of love for the BMI measurement, because it doesn't take into consideration several things that impact me personally: the fact that I have a large skeletal frame, and the fact that through strength training since day one of my weight loss journey, I have quite a bit of muscle on me, and of course the density of muscle is greater than the density of fat, so more muscular people weigh more. <BR> <BR> However, despite the fact that I have a heal... Thu, 10 Jan 2013 12:38:10 EST Why losing weight this time ended up being different... I'm a little emotional saying goodbye to 2012 and saying hello to a new year with new challenges. <BR> <BR> 2012 was a HUGE year for me, because I lost 125 pounds and gained a whole new life for myself that I never thought was possible. However, this blog entry is not about me getting all sentimental and dramatic about the changes in my life. This entry is about something I wanted to share that most people would find surprising... <BR> <BR> When I saw my family at Christmas, I really didn... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 13:22:58 EST Sprinting, Sledding, Spaetzle and Snow... So I traveled to Upstate New York this week to spend time with my parents. My trip started with a delayed flight from Memphis to Detroit, a 10 minute sprint from A11 to C22 in order to catch my flight to Montreal (yep, my folks are THAT far Upstate that I fly to Canada!), then the realization that my flight to Montreal was delayed due to an inept gate agent. I was winded and dripping sweat for nothing. *sigh* <BR> <BR> It was a wonderful visit with my family, including my brother, sister-... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 18:23:22 EST Planning ahead for 2013... Now that I have proven that I can fulfill a New Year's resolution (learning to eat healthy and exercise regularly so that I can get healthy was the one I made in 2012), it's time to think about a resolution for 2013. <BR> <BR> I've decided that I really need a more balanced life. <BR> <BR> Planning my food and exercise has really been a HUGE part of my life this year, to some respects at the cost of my focus on work and my personal life. I know that I need to cut back a little on the exerc... Sat, 22 Dec 2012 07:27:30 EST Back in Stride Again! I am a HUGE R&B fan when it comes to music, and this ditty that I used for the title of this blog entry by Frankie Beverly and Maze seemed appropriate. <BR> <BR> My downward spiral ended up getting worse on Sunday after getting stood up for a date and not looking forward to going back to work and dealing with the wage index auditor from hell. However, I got it out of my system (the worst binge in a year), got back to healthy eating yesterday as well as continuing with exercise, and the dama... Tue, 18 Dec 2012 11:38:05 EST Even those that inspire can stumble a bit... This has been a really heady week, being voted a SparkPeople Motivator, getting my success story put into the database, and having so many wonderful comments, friend adds, Goodies, etc. Thank you EVERYONE for the kindness! I'm overwhelmed! <BR> <BR> However, I'm also VERY human and there are times when I don't do so hot food-wise (rare, but they happen). Yesterday and today for dinner, I made VERY unhealthy choices. Yesterday was leftover tortilla chips and spinach and artichoke dip from... Sat, 15 Dec 2012 22:12:41 EST HIIT it! OK, I don't know about you, but I was thinking about that scene in "The Blues Brothers" when I was thinking of a title for this blog entry. You all know which scene I mean...the one that starts with, "It's 106 miles to Chicago..." <BR> <BR> So after hearing so much about the benefits of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and doing some in my spin classes, I decided to do my own HIIT workout for the first time last night. I chose the elliptical, which is a machine I don't normally do. ... Thu, 13 Dec 2012 15:23:02 EST This and that...and that...and that (including the Brooks Dyad review)! So much to report on today, I don't know where exactly to start! I guess I'll have to go in chronological order: <BR> <BR> 1. Work was nuts for me yesterday. The main computer server that handles the network drives for my office was having MAJOR issues, so I couldn't access some of the files I needed in order to submit some information to Medicare for a big deadline. Fortunately, I figured out another way to skin that cat (though certainly NOT Leela or Sugar Baby!) and get everything subm... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 10:36:27 EST Shoes definitely make the runner... So I reached a personal best yesterday in the Ugly Sweater Run ( <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5160475 </link> ) and decided that it's time to retire my old running shoes on a high note. I had noticed that the balls of my feet were getting sore and my lower back REALLY hurt after yesterday's run. So sadly, I retired my trusted New Balance 1540s. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I ended u... Sun, 9 Dec 2012 10:30:48 EST Ugly Sweater 5k Fun Run 2012 So the Ugly Sweater Fun Run is a nationwide series of 5k runs to help raise funds for Toys for Tots. Everyone wears really ugly sweaters, run 3.1 miles, drink some beer and hot chocolate (not necessarily in that order) and have a good time. As you can see from these pictures, some were a little more creative than others: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I wasn't... Sat, 8 Dec 2012 20:25:50 EST Gratitude Today, I had my last voice conversation with my dad before I see him on December 22, since he's taking off for Bangladesh for 2 weeks tomorrow. Fortunately, I'll be able to catch him at 7PM/AM (12 hour difference between Dhaka and Memphis) for email "conversations" while he's gone. It got me thinking about what I'm grateful for, since there is SO much this year that has made it such a wonderful one! <BR> <BR> So here is my list: <BR> <BR> I'm grateful for: <BR> 1. A great job with a great... Thu, 6 Dec 2012 22:21:00 EST Trying not to skip a beat... So my left knee is still a skinned mess along with my right temple around my eye, but I'm still exercising like before...with some modifications. I'm not doing boot camp, yoga or swimming until the scabs are gone, because I don't want to put pressure on the knee when it's still tender to the touch, and they don't want people with open wounds in the pool. I think this means I'm out until at least the beginning of next year. Phooey. <BR> <BR> However, I've been doing strength training 3 tim... Wed, 5 Dec 2012 17:22:28 EST Quince Road 1, CATMAGNET 0 So I was doing my usual Sunday morning run before church. I was a little over 3 miles in, happy that it was the first Sunday of Advent, looking forward to the Hanging of the Greens to decorate the church after the service... <BR> <BR> BOOM! I tripped on the sidewalk, scraping both knees, my hands and my face. Here's the worst of it: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR>... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 18:41:22 EST Life is but a dream... And it definitely feels like I've been dreaming lately, as I have FINALLY emerged from my tunnel and achieved my goal of losing 120 pounds. Although I'm still 10% above where I should be on the BMI, I'm in the normal range for fat percentage, cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and all that. I may revisit the weight goal at a later date, but right now, I'm happy with where I am. <BR> <BR> Granted, yes, I do plan on losing another 5 pounds before Christmas, but that's more of a pre-emp... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 11:52:56 EST Who inspires me? Some of my friends and loved ones have told me that my weight loss story is an inspiration to them, and that humbles me. After all, the only things I did were change my eating habits and get into exercise. Now THIS guy, and what he was able to accomplish in roughly the same time period as my weight loss inspires me to keep going: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>sns=fb </link> <BR> <BR> Is that mind-blowing or WHAT? It moves me to tears every time I see it. Fri, 16 Nov 2012 06:24:40 EST What a WEEK! This has been one heck of a week for me. I'll start with my birthday, which was last Friday. I swam 42 laps to celebrate (41 laps for 41 years and one to grow on), went to work, went to boot camp, then picked up some sushi and a rare German chocolate cupcake to celebrate. I have found that as I went through the process of changing my eating habits, I'm MUCH more satisfied with less as the occasions for treats are not as frequent. I savored that cupcake and enjoyed it more than I would ha... Thu, 8 Nov 2012 21:01:43 EST My own "WOW!" moment... My brother has been the member of the family in the spotlight for the past couple of years with products that he's helped invent (The Mama Roo and the Origami Stroller with the former being owned by celebs such as Sir Elton John and the latter being featured on such shows as "ellen"). <BR> <BR> Well, it's MY turn. I got an email today, stating that the Huffington Post wants to publish MY weight loss story and that it should be posted... Tue, 30 Oct 2012 14:46:45 EST Motivation vs. Inspiration One of the popular message threads in the SparkPeople Cafe lately has been, "Who on SparkPeople motivates you?" I think whomever started the thread got the term wrong. Instead of "Who motivates you?", the question should have been "Who INSPIRES you?" <BR> <BR> Why is this a big distinction? People can and do get INSPIRED by people, events, and actions to do a variety of things, including make significant changes in their lifes, such as losing weight and getting healthy. However, in order... Thu, 25 Oct 2012 13:51:10 EST Getting to work on my fitness bucket list... After I finished my 7.32 mile run this morning, I realized that with a little more effort, I honestly could run a half marathon. So I looked for one for this spring and found the Germantown Half Marathon. So it's official, I'm registered as a runner in that race! <BR> <BR> I also want to run a 10k race at some point, and I think there's one in February that I can do, but I also know how ambitious I am...and I know that in the shape I'm in, I can do the 13.1 miles. <BR> <BR> Will keep you ... Sun, 21 Oct 2012 16:41:57 EST Ready for the next chapter... After some careful thought and the realization that I'm really comfortable with my body, I've decided that it's time to go into maintenance least for now. I'm about to go into the busiest time of my year at work, and with the holidays coming up, I also don't want the anxiety that comes from worrying about having enough of a calorie deficit while not getting enough exercise because I'm traveling. <BR> <BR> Don't think I'm going to slack with the healthy eating and exercise...I won'... Thu, 18 Oct 2012 15:57:19 EST Back in the saddle...shoulder-wise at least! I was in a bit of a funk this weekend, due to my Depo Provera shot on Friday afternoon. Yep, nothing like a huge shot of synthetic hormones flowing through your body to take the wind out of ya for a couple days...but it's still better than the alternative: absolute agony during my TOM and needing a trip to the ER and morphine. <BR> <BR> So that on top of nursing my injuries this past week did not make me a happy camper. I ended up skipping a bachelorette party and going to the art museum b... Sun, 14 Oct 2012 21:19:14 EST Slowed a little but certainly not stopped! So after yesterday morning, I got the skinny on my injuries as a result of my bout with the treadmill on Tuesday: a bruised right patella, an abrasion on my left elbow, a bruise on my left forearm, and a strained left deltoid muscle. Since I've been able to walk on my knee without a limp, I resumed my running and have been cross-training on the elliptical this week, since with the shoulder injury I couldn't swim. I'm still icing down the knee periodically, and it's healing. I'm also making... Fri, 12 Oct 2012 19:39:44 EST And in one's life, there are occasional setbacks... I went to the gym this morning in order to get my run in, and I had two options: the treadmill and the indoor track. <BR> <BR> Since I usually use the track, I thought I'd give the treadmill a shot. Boy, was that a mistake! About 2 miles into my run, I hit the edge of the belt, lost my balance and fell....HARD. I ended up with bruising on my left forearm, an abrasion on my left elbow, and a big contusion on my right knee. Fortunately, the knee will be fine in a few days, and I've been OK... Tue, 9 Oct 2012 16:54:42 EST My First 5k: What a RUSH! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It was a hilly course: much more hills than I ever dealt with when running my usual course in my neighborhood, but I don't know if it was the rush of running a race or my playlist or both, but I ran faster than I ever thought I could: 31 minutes, 50 seconds! That's 10:16 miles! HOLY TOLEDO! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I had an amazing time today, meeti... Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20:22:28 EST My Fitness Bucket List I have signed up for a 5k that I'm actually going to RUN! The race is the first Saturday in October and it's to benefit a local camp that helps kids 6-12 years old deal with the loss of a loved one. The interesting twist? The race is in a cemetary! Now I may have to bite the bullet, get a smartphone and start playing Zombie Run with some of my buddies... <BR> <BR> So I am knocking something off my bucket list: a 5k race. Here's the other fitness-related items on my bucket list: <BR> <B... Fri, 24 Aug 2012 15:47:12 EST No Fat Chicks? Even though I've pretty much decided that *IF* I'm going to date someone again, I want to meet him while I'm out doing my thing, I do belong to a couple of free dating sites, just so I can see who else is out there. One profile on OK Cupid! was all fine and dandy until the last part. Granted, I have a lot of qualifiers in my last part ("You can message me if...") such as committing to childfree and healthy lifestyles, having a clue, a spine and a brain, and making sure that one is informed ... Sat, 4 Aug 2012 08:33:46 EST The loudest voice of all... Since this is my third time around when it comes to weight loss, I was thinking about what makes this time so different. I discovered that it was my inner voice that is making the difference, which I discussed a couple of times: once on the message boards on SP and once on Facebook. The last two times, I had plenty of external support, but I was also losing weight for external purposes: the first time to hang on to a guy that I affectionately call the Waste of 2.5 Years and the second time ... Fri, 3 Aug 2012 12:34:19 EST Chucking the BMI and re-setting goals So I got my body composition checked, and I was stunned. Instead of being in the low 40s as I thought for my fat percentage, I'm at 37% body fat! If I were to get to the top of "normal" for BMI for my height at 149 pounds, I'd only have 8% body fat, which means my body wouldn't be able to function properly. I had a feeling that was the case, because when I look at my body, I have NO idea where I can lose another 72 pounds. Between my large skeletal frame and all the intense strength train... Thu, 19 Jul 2012 09:13:40 EST Financial setback, but triumph over unhealthy eating. :) I decided to take a mental health day today and take it easy a little. Then I remembered that the "Maintenance Required" light was on in my car, which meant that the oil needed to get changed. So off I went to a place that a co-worker of mine trusts his car in order to get the oil changed and the tires rotated, since they need to be done every 5,000 miles to make sure that the tires last as long as they can. <BR> <BR> Granted, I should have known that the front two tires needed to be repla... Mon, 25 Jun 2012 14:48:55 EST Letting go...and that first step is a doozy! So this past weekend, I finally finished getting my apartment organized for the most part. I still have some decluttering, but at least I can have company over and I'm not totally embarrassed. This meant that I also started sorting through my clothes and have set aside the ones that are too big for me to take with me the next time I head to Goodwill. <BR> <BR> This is a difficult step for me, since this is the THIRD time I'm in the process of losing weight in the past 10 years. Although I... Wed, 6 Jun 2012 23:23:15 EST Crazy couple of weeks, but still on track! Wow, what a whirlwind couple of weeks! <BR> <BR> At the beginning of the week, I was over in Nashville for a conference full of folks in healthcare finance. I learned a bit about disaster recovery (one of the speakers was from Mercy-St. John's Hospital in Joplin, MO, which was destroyed by a tornado a year ago), leadership, got a healthy dose of regulation updates both at the state and federal level, saw some old buddies from the prior conference in East Tennessee back in October and met so... Sat, 2 Jun 2012 19:57:41 EST Little Victories and Big Frustrations So this morning started pretty bad. I couldn't get my heart rate above 65% of MHR when I was doing cardio, so I gave up after 30 minutes and did my chest and back exercises. When I did some research and found out that usually in the morning, one's heart rate can be up to 10 BPM slower than later in the day, I felt a bit vindicated. <BR> <BR> So when I got home from work, I did another 30 minutes of cardio and 3.5 minutes of the Pilates Abs video (which is better than the first time I did... Mon, 7 May 2012 21:27:25 EST Point of No Return...and Anger Management So today, I weighed myself and I am now at a BMI of 39.9! I'm thrilled that I'm no longer a candidate for bariatric surgery, but it also brings up some anxiety as well. I no longer have anything to fall back on for losing the weight. The only thing I can do is continue to eat healthy and exercise. <BR> <BR> And that's what leads me to another issue that I have. I had a rough day yesterday, which left me angry and frustrated. All I wanted to do was dive into a pint of Ben and Jerry's and... Sat, 5 May 2012 22:26:28 EST How did I even get here? Well, I've been re-Sparking now for the past 4 months, and I figured it was time to write down my story, my trials and tribulations. <BR> <BR> So how did I even GET to 285 pounds in the first place? Well, it helps to have a mother who is a compulsive overeater and her own demons and toxic relationship with food. Don't get me wrong, she's a wonderful, kind, generous woman whom I have a great relationship with, but heck, we all have our issues, since none of us are perfect. It also didn't h... Fri, 4 May 2012 23:13:31 EST