GAILRUU's SparkPeople Blog GAILRUU's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Got My Exercise! It took about an hour for me to find my little dog who got off her leash this morning. I live in a rural neighborhood along a lake and she managed to get nearly a half mile away and got stuck in a swamp! A neighbor saw her and heard her barking. She was stuck in the water in the middle of a patch of reeds and cattails and I had to wade in after her. I am so relieved to find her. She had a bath and is sleeping on a cushion right now. Cute, friendly and has a brain the size of a pea! Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:21:10 EST Busy Days of Summer I got through 2 days of being back on track. That is a biggie for me. Yesterday was a busy one with quilting at church followed by a tour of a beautiful garden belonging to one of the Master Gardeners. She had snacks available including an assortment of some very nice raw vegetables from her garden. Today I can finally stay home and do some catching up in my own garden since I have been away from home for several days with meetings and friends. <BR> Jerry is going to the lake to sta... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 09:46:08 EST Starting Over I should have titled this starting WAY OVER since I have regained all I lost plus a little more. I got on the scale this morning and started using the meal tracker here at Spark again so I am off to a good start. <BR> I have discovered that the more social I am, the more obstacles I find to eating. I just have to be careful and avoid too many treats. At least I don't have them at home to tempt me. Mon, 11 Aug 2014 09:18:31 EST Duh! It Works! I was very successful at losing weight a few years ago by tracking my food and exercising every day. My NY resolution was to exercise at least 6 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes and track all my food on paper since my old computer is a bit balky on Spark. I have been doing that actually since just before the new year and it is working! I am already down over 5 pounds which is something I have not been able to accomplish for the last year and a half. My third resolution was to eat o... Tue, 7 Jan 2014 08:36:48 EST Practicing! It isn't quite the new year yet, but I have been trying to stick to my resolutions. I have been using my Wii or going to Curves every day, attempting to eat only in the kitchen and sadly, not writing everything down. My old computer is so pokey that using the Spark Tracker is way to slow although I may try that anyway. I can keep a little notebook next to the computer and write it down. <BR> I had been lax in my exercise and eating too much so the results were obviously not going to be... Mon, 30 Dec 2013 11:35:39 EST Starting Over I was shocked when I got on the scale again this morning. I have been steadily gaining weight for the last two years and I am almost back to the weight I was at when I joined TOPS! I have been eating far too much and exercising very little so I can only blame myself. <BR> Christmas baking has been hard on my resolve to stay away from sweets. I packed up trays of cookies for my neighbors so once they are delivered I will not have that to tempt me although my DIL did send a few treats my... Mon, 23 Dec 2013 11:37:00 EST Checking In Once I reached level 20 I did cut back on my Spark time. I have learned to include exercise in my daily activities and to track my food but my computer is getting a little old and for some reason Spark is difficult for my poor old laptop to navigate through. I particularly have trouble with My Favorites in the food tracker and getting into recipes. I am not sure why. <BR> We are getting into the time of the year where the garden will be producing a huge amount of fruits and vegetables.... Tue, 9 Jul 2013 08:28:50 EST With This Post I Hit Level 20! Hooray! I decided to use this blog to reach the top of the hill points wise. I can still accumulate more but I will be wearing my gold crown! <BR> 1 Thu, 13 Jun 2013 07:20:18 EST The Great Outdoors I can't ever remember a spring that arrived so late. We had a snow storm about a month ago, even before all the winter accumulation had not melted. It delayed planting my vegetable garden until last Saturday for the final things that needed to go in and even today I added some shallots, Pak Choy and popped a few Connecticut Field Pumpkin seeds into my pile of rotted horse and cow manure. I got out my little tiller and got through the entire vegetable garden, a task that used to take me 3 d... Wed, 12 Jun 2013 20:09:51 EST I Should Have Saved My Money While wandering through Target yesterday I saw a display of Starbucks coffee and decided that since I have heard so much about how good it is, I thought I would try some. I must say I was quite disappointed. I think that the best tasting coffee is Folger's although I have gone to the store brand from Walmart in the last few years due to cost, and actually that is not too bad either. <BR> The closest I can come to comparing the Starbucks coffee to is the coffee supplied by the local hosp... Thu, 6 Jun 2013 08:24:46 EST Almost There I have been a Spark People fan for many years and within the next week I should reach level 20! I do have to admit that right now I am 9 pounds heavier than when I joined! I don't consider that a total failure. I did get to my goal and maintained it for quite a while before old habits and stresses began to work their way back into my life. I managed to stop it before I got totally out of control but I expect it will always be a problem for me and Spark does help me keep focused on what i... Fri, 31 May 2013 10:14:44 EST Those Bothersome Things I was a little stressed because I needed to make a vest for a great-grandson and I only had a few days to get it done. This afternoon I got busy and got it done. I suspect it may be a little large, but I made it the size his mother wanted and I expect it will look fine under the suit jacket. He is five years old and will be in a wedding on Saturday. I doubt non sewers realize just how much time it takes to sew a garment and even though this was a relatively simple project it did take me a... Wed, 22 May 2013 23:01:36 EST Finally a Warm Wind Today is the first truly warm day we have had this spring. I have to get some plants ready for the plant sale tomorrow which will take much of the day. I also agreed to be interviewed by phone about the sale with is a little bit of a stress for me but the interview is at 8:10 in the morning on our local public radio station so I can delude myself that not many people will be listening! <BR> I will make some notes this evening and hope the lady from the station can keep the conversation ... Tue, 14 May 2013 21:55:04 EST Too Little Time! I have so much to do outdoors and the weather is not cooperating. Tomorrow I will be busy all day working in my greenhouse and potting up some plants to bring to the Master Gardener plant sale. We have had very little warm weather so most of my perennials are not up, or at least not enough to recognize and divide. I also have a very expensive Martagon lily bulb that needs to be planted and tomorrow I will try to get that done. We may get temperatures into the 80s so I am crossing my finge... Mon, 13 May 2013 23:06:45 EST Gloomy Weather The thermometer has not gotten out of the 30's all day. I will have to go tuck in the greenhouse in about an hour to help conserve heat for the night. Most years it has been warm enough at this time of May to even have some frost free nights. I think we are about 2 weeks behind our normal spring weather. It is affecting my mood since I really would like to be outdoors working in my yard and getting my flower beds cleaned up before I tackle the vegetable garden. I am carb craving and attr... Thu, 2 May 2013 18:52:12 EST Sunshine! The snow is starting to melt and I can see more of the lawn every day. My path to the maple trees is still snow covered but at least it is not deeper than my knee high rubber boots any more. The sap has slowed a bit since last night didn't quite reach the freezing mark and I do have about a dozen jars of syrup made so that will supplement what I have on hand and give us pure maple syrup for the next year. Making maple syrup is a lot of work and takes fuel as well. Since I am doing only a ... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 20:08:51 EST Snow is Melting! I finally got a few of my plants out to the little greenhouse. I have them tucked in for the night with a little electric heater to keep them warm and blankets over the shelves. The snow is knee deep in places but at least it is starting to melt around the house. It is 39 degrees right now and the forecast is for a low of 32 tonight so I am crossing my fingers the seedlings will survive out there. Thu, 25 Apr 2013 21:12:38 EST I May Have Fixed My Computer Problem! I am crossing my fingers on this one, but somehow, when downloading a program, I managed to get two tool bars across the top of the screen. My computer was so slow on Spark that it was like being back on dial up!! This morning it took me half an hour to get my points for Spark Messages and I did a search for how to get rid of a toolbar. In desperation I downloaded a tool bar cleaner and (careful to uncheck any boxes that might add more unwanted things on my computer) got rid of one of the t... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 11:04:31 EST Frustrated with my Computer It is a good thing I am patient with this computer since it has been slow as cold molasses when I am on Spark. I am within 4000 points of level 20 and I am determined to get there in spite of my balky lap top. After that I don't know what happens although I plan to continue tracking food and exercise. <BR> Sun, 21 Apr 2013 20:10:28 EST The Year Without a Spring It is April 18 and we are having more snow! This wouldn't be quite so bad if the winter accumulation had melted but we still had over a foot on the ground and at this point I am beginning to wonder if it will ever melt. I have two tables and two shelves of seedlings under lights but they need to get outside and I am not sure when that will happen. I need to plant my cabbage and broccoli seedlings but don't want to start too early. When it looks like things are warming up a bit I will star... Thu, 18 Apr 2013 21:13:05 EST Busy, Busy, Busy! Spring seems to bring along a large number of activities and end of year celebrations. Every weekend this month has had a planned activity from going to a local theater, a birthday party, a garden workshop, a quilt workshop and a retirement party. Add to that a club meeting, weekly TOPS and WW meetings and quilting at church as well as Sunday services. I also gave a class on gardening focusing on recycling. I enjoy doing all these things but it does take up a lot of time and some days my ... Tue, 16 Apr 2013 20:26:05 EST Struggling a bit This Week I have been a little off track this week with 3 occasions that I did not have complete control over the food. I admit to making some bad choices in addition to that. I am on track so far today and expect to get through the day in good shape but I will do badly tomorrow at my WW weigh in although I do intend to go and face that scale. I need to be honest with myself and what happens when I eat the wrong things and too much of them. Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:17:41 EST Frustrated but Determined I have just over 5000 points to go to reach level 20 here at Spark. I have to say it is getting more difficult to accumulate the points. First of all my options to get points is limited because I have taken all the polls, it is very difficult to find a blog I have not read and for some reason gathering the Spark Message points has slowed down so the wait is almost as bad as when I was still on dial up! The rest of the site works fine. I have learned a great deal from Spark and I am not su... Mon, 8 Apr 2013 10:06:21 EST It Wasn't the Smartest Thing But it's Allright. Yesterday we went out for dinner before going to the theater. I planned ahead and since I had a gift certificate for Applebee's decided to look on line for the menu and decide ahead of time what I would order. They have some very good choices under 550 calories so that should have been easy. Wrong! My first mistake was to order what I think they called a perfect Margarita which was good but later I found out it was 243 calories! I followed that up with a non diet entree of rice pilaf, de... Sun, 7 Apr 2013 21:03:17 EST I Don't Think Spring Will Ever Arrive! It is April 6 and we woke up to another inch of new snow! We have well over a foot left on the ground and huge piles of plowed snow along the driveway and my seedlings need to get out to the greenhouse but it is too cold yet! I think I will work off the depressing start to the day by turning on the Wii and getting some exercise. Sat, 6 Apr 2013 12:53:55 EST Okay, I Got Through Easter! We didn't have an Easter celebration but I managed to get through the day, a breakfast at church and a ham dinner I cooked at home and not have a gain. In fact the number on my scale actually dropped a little this morning. I didn't buy any Easter candy so I don't have that to contend with. I would have a hard time if I had to deal with chocolate bunnies and Peeps so it is best not to have them around. <BR> I have to say that except for a small ham, the dinner cost me very little. We ... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 11:01:46 EST Another Tiny Loss Today I weighed in at WW and had a .4 pound loss. That is what I gained last week so basically I am treading water at this point although I faithfully follow the diet, don't use the extra points (or at least not many of them) and exercise daily. I can only hope that at some point my body will cooperate and the scale will show the results of my efforts. Thu, 28 Mar 2013 20:05:27 EST No Job is Over Till the Paperwork is Done I spent half of my day trying to do the paperwork to access a retirement account that I need to start drawing from in the next month. The form they sent me was so complicated that I could not understand it so I went looking for help. First a trip to the credit union where someone filled in that part and put post it notes on other areas that looked important. Then a trip to the hospital where I worked where another section was filled out, a trip to the accountant to see what I needed to do ... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 20:06:43 EST Very Slow Weight Loss I weighed in at TOPS tonight with a .2 pound loss. While I am very happy that I am headed in the right direction, I am a bit frustrated at the rate. I am tracking, sticking to my plan, watching the sodium and exercising as much as my knees can tolerate and losing so slowly that at my age (70) I will not make it to my goal before I croak. Tue, 26 Mar 2013 19:53:28 EST A Nice Saturday Morning My husband and I are both retired and it is rare that I actually get some time alone in the morning. He went to an auction this morning so I had time to get a major refrigerator cleaning done in the kitchen, work out and clean the fish tank without anyone in my way! 24-7 togetherness is very much overrated. <BR> He saw a terrible accident today. A big Cadillac going at a high speed blew through a stop sign and broadsided a smaller car. He said there was a huge explosion of glass and the... Sat, 23 Mar 2013 12:44:23 EST End of a Challenge My Curves had a 6 week challenge that I joined. Today was the final weigh in and measuring. I did fairly well with my weight and lost 6 pounds but I won't know how I did in the contest until I go back, probably tomorrow since I have to babysit on Friday. I have been quite good about limiting my calories and have been exercising a minimum of 30 minutes a day. I would like to do more exercise, but my knees are protesting so I am taking it a little easy and adding more time when I am feeling... Wed, 20 Mar 2013 19:54:57 EST More Snow! I was quite depressed to see that we got 4 inches of new snow last night. I am so tired of winter and anxious to get out and work in my yard and garden. I bought a little portable greenhouse to set up inside and keep my cat away from my tomatoes and got a good workout putting it together! At least I have somewhere to put my seedlings now. Mon, 18 Mar 2013 17:09:47 EST Not Spring Yet! I have several kinds of seeds growing in the house so I can get a head start on my vegetable garden. This morning I see that the Walla Walla onions and tomatillos are starting to sprout as well as the Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes from seed I saved last fall. I need to get out to the garden shed today and get pots and light stands since I will need to transplant some of them in a week or so. I am still waiting for the peppers and I have a lot more to plant inside. We have had a lot of snow fal... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 13:38:08 EST No Stress Eating Today I take care of my two great grandsons on Fridays while their mother goes to school. Some days I feel stressed and end up looking for food!! Today I was able to get through the day without a problem. They are ages 2 and 5 and usually we end up baking something since they like to help. Today we made snickerdoodle cookies and I sent most of them home with them. There are a few left for my husband but they are not overly tempting for me. I got in a 10 minutes walk this morning before they g... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 19:19:09 EST Right On Track I lost one pound today after 6 weeks on WW and a total of 8.4 pounds. The graph on the back of the weekly weigh in card shows that I am right on target for weight loss. As long as I can keep losing an average of a pound a week or more I am satisfied. Most days the plan works quite well for me and I am not at all hungry. I keep a basket of clementines on the counter for a snack any time and a box of grape tomatoes washed and ready to eat sitting in the window to develop Vitamin C. I try n... Thu, 14 Mar 2013 15:35:37 EST Oh Well! My WW weigh in was down two tenths of a pound. I will hope for a bigger loss next week and continue with what I have been doing. <BR> Today the topic was planning ahead and we used some WW books to plan our lunch. I actually went to Subway and had a roasted chicken six inch sub with a slice of American cheese and a teaspoon of lite mayo which is about 9 to 10 WW points. I am not sure how many calories that would be but I suppose about 400. I will track it here on Spark and see. Thu, 7 Mar 2013 17:53:04 EST Crossing My Fingers! Tomorrow is my weigh in at WW. I have been diligent about food and exercise this week. I also go to TOPS and only had a .2 pound loss there yesterday but for some reason the scale cooperated today so I do hope for progress. Wed, 6 Mar 2013 20:15:56 EST Tortoise Report I lost weight at my TOPS club for the fourth week in a row. Today it was only two tenths of a pound and 3.6 for the whole month. That is not a lot but at least it is going in the right direction. I was very careful with my calorie intake for the week and exercised a minimum of 30 minutes a day so I was hoping the scale would show a little more progress, but I am happy that at least it was down a little. Tue, 5 Mar 2013 18:12:30 EST Techie Grandma All right, I am not really much of a techie, but I got a Kindle Fire and actually have managed to make it work. I have lots to learn and I am hoping there is a way to add a tracking program to it since it can access my email and Facebook. Sat, 2 Mar 2013 19:57:40 EST Escaped a Cold I seem to have avoided catching a bad cold although I may be counting my blessings too early. I had two days with a swimmy head and a runny nose but it went away! Fri, 1 Mar 2013 20:06:27 EST I think I am Catching a Cold! Just the other day I commented to friends that this is the first winter I can remember not having a cold! Wouldn't you know, today I think I am coming down with the symptoms, slightly scratchy throat, drippy nose and a little headache. I took some pseudoephedrine and it is helping so maybe I can keep from becoming the disgusting puddle I generally turn into when I have a head cold. <BR> I went to my TOPS meeting this afternoon and actually had a small loss. I was hoping for a little mo... Tue, 26 Feb 2013 21:36:53 EST Those Weigh Ins! Today I weighed in at Curves for the challenge I joined there. Tomorrow morning I weigh in for a challenge with an internet group I belong to and tomorrow evening at TOPS. Thursday is my Weight Watchers day. I know this is a little overkill, but I really am motivated right now and the only days I could probably get away with a little overeating would be Thursday evening and maybe Friday. We are also having a contest at TOPS so another reason for me to mind my diet. I am off to a good sta... Mon, 25 Feb 2013 20:37:08 EST Incentive I am within 10,000 points of reaching the 100,000 mark and I am newly motivated to keep Sparking. My goal is to get 100 points a day minimum and reach that by the time summer gets here. I checked in most days but didn't do much more for the last 9 months but now I am back and working at it again. Sat, 23 Feb 2013 15:36:24 EST Pleased With my Progress Three weeks into my return to Weight Watchers and I have lost 5.6 pounds! I know it will go slowly for me, but I really have been careful and weigh and measure what I am eating as well as exercising every day. I have had to limit my exercise to 30 or 40 minutes because of hip and leg pain but I hope to increase that as my weight drops a bit more. I am a sucker for any new and miraculous sort of diet but I have always done well with WW and using Spark to track is also helpful. Thu, 21 Feb 2013 20:05:25 EST So Far, So Good! I went back to Weight Watchers two and a half weeks ago and except for one evening, I have been following the program fairly well. Even with that, I didn't use up all the weekly points allowed and I don't feel nearly as guilty as I usually would and I was able to get back in control the next morning. I have joined any and every challenge I can for the coming month or so to make sure I have frequent deadlines to meet. I am keeping up my exercise although I am a bit limited by hip pain when ... Mon, 18 Feb 2013 22:09:04 EST Counting Down The last year has been one of struggling to keep my weight from getting totally out of control. In spite of good intentions, I managed to gain 25 pounds even though I tracked my food (most days) and attempted to keep up my exercise. I twisted my hip late in the summer so I cut back on moving and some days didn't do it at all. I finally made up my mind I either have to get moving and losing again or I will end up with a hip replacement! Since January first I have been back at doing 30 minu... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 09:08:48 EST A Brand New Year! In spite of staying home last night, I woke up tired and a feeling a bit yucky. I managed to get moving and so far the calories have been fine. I still have some Christmas treats left but of course, the ones I like the best are gone so it should be easier from now on. <BR> I had some stress during December when my 95 year old mother died. It was a blessing for her and I hope she was able to spend Christmas in heaven with my youngest sister and her brothers. I find it hard to feel sad a... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 13:23:52 EST I got through the First Day! I am trying to get an early start on the new year. Yesterday I started using the food tracker again and, in spite of pain in my hip which has slowed down my exercise for several months, I managed to get in 32 minutes on the treadmill by breaking it down into smaller sessions. I need to work a little harder on controlling the calories but I did manage to come in under my goal for the day. I still have a few Christmas treats left to contend with but I see my DH eating cookies and he doesn't ... Fri, 28 Dec 2012 10:51:02 EST A Year of Backsliding I finally got up the courage to get on the scale this morning and was shocked to see that I have gained over 10 pounds since October! Not only that, but I had gained about 20 pounds in the year before that. I am now within 20 pounds of the weight that got me started on a very successful weight loss 4 years ago. What I did then was to make a resolution to exercise at least 30 minutes a day for one month and joined a local TOPS group. I also was very faithful in tracking my food on Spark an... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 09:57:12 EST Pumpkins! I had 2 hills of pumpkins this year and got a total of 29 pumpkins from them!! My goal has been to give as many as I can away to anyone who will take them. Yesterday I went to TOPS and brought along a sample of mini muffins made with a can (2 scant cups) of cooked pumpkin and a cake mix and enough water to make it easy to stir. I got 48 mini muffins from one batch at 42 calories each and brought some pumpkins along to give away. So far I got rid of 7 pumpkins that way and my kitchen is sl... Wed, 17 Oct 2012 08:24:03 EST