GINGERHAWK's SparkPeople Blog GINGERHAWK's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community March, 40, and looking forward March came and went so quickly, didn't it? I can't say it was an overly successful month in terms of my healthy lifestyle, but it also wasn't so bad. I turned 40 late in the month and I'm actually feeling good about it and how far I've come in the several months leading up to the big day. Namely, I've lost 24 pounds and brought both my cholesterol and blood pressure into the normal range - awesome! <BR> <BR> I lost sight of my goals in March so the numbers below aren't anything to write h... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 12:03:28 EST Goodbye, February. Hello, March. As I do at the start of most months, I was feeling good about what I could achieve in February. Then the month progressed and I just fell off track. No legitimate excuses, I just got lazy. That said, below is how I did with my monthly goals and be warned, it isn't pretty. <BR> <BR> February goal accountability: <BR> Starting weight = 114, BMI = 21.5 <BR> Ending weight = 113.4, BMI = 21.4 <BR> <BR> Fitness: <BR> 1) Strength train at least 3x per week <BR> 75% - I ACCOMPLISHED THIS 3 O... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 12:46:49 EST January is over, February is here, and I'm feeling optimistic! Happy February, everyone. January felt like a really long, tough month to me - I was overly emotional and didn't feel motivated to accomplish much of anything. I regrouped this weekend and am feeling so much better about things. I'm ready to make February count and to keep moving in a positive direction! Come join me! <BR> <BR> Looking back - January goal progress: <BR> Starting weight = 117, BMI = 22.1 <BR> Ending weight = 114, BMI = 21.5 <BR> <BR> Fitness: <BR> 1) Strength train at le... Mon, 4 Feb 2013 11:11:22 EST January Goal Accountability - Update #2 Hi, everyone. Is it just me, or has January been a really tough month? I started the month feeling really energetic and hopeful and that spirit has just seemed to leave me as the month moves forward. I know that most of this is mental - my husband's health has weighed heavily on me recently. He had a liver biopsy earlier in the month and the results were less than positive. Additionally, he's had a bug for a few weeks now and even a round of antibiotics hasn't helped. I married him know... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 13:05:49 EST January Goal Accountability - Update #1 Hi, everyone. So far 2013 has been busy but fairly on track. I'm nursing a cold right now that I got from my hubby, but feeling okay just the same. Below is how I am doing on my monthly goals as of 1/9 (which means the month is about 29% over): <BR> <BR> Fitness: <BR> 1) Strength train at least 3x per week <BR> ON TRACK. I HAD 4 ST SESSIONS IN WEEK ONE AND 1 SO FAR IN WEEK 2. <BR> 2) Achieve a minimum of 2,000 fitness minutes for the month <BR> ON TRACK. AS OF THE 9TH, I HAD 631 MINU... Thu, 10 Jan 2013 11:35:28 EST December Tally and January Goals Hi, everyone. I hope that you had a wonderful New Year. I'm feeling great about 2013. I'm not one for resolutions but I do feel strongly committed to maintaining a healthier lifestyle. With that in mind, below is my end tally for goal tracking for December along with my January goals. <BR> <BR> December Goals: <BR> <BR> Starting weight = 119.6, Starting BMI = 22.6 <BR> Ending weight = 117, Ending BMI = 22.1 <BR> <BR> Fitness goals: <BR> 1) Get in a strength training session 3x per we... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 10:04:52 EST December Goal Tracking - Update #3 Hi, all. I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday filled with healthy choices, fun times with friends and family, and a heart filled with peace. Today is my first day online for several days and I have had the opportunity to tally up some of the holiday 'damage' - not entirely pretty, but not horrible either. We survived the inlaw visit and, as expected, there were some highs and lows from the trip. I was thankful that we made the choice to make the 6-hour drive home on Christmas eve s... Wed, 26 Dec 2012 11:44:22 EST December Goal Tracking - Update #2 Happy Monday, everyone! It's been a somewhat hectic month getting ready for the holidays but I took the initiative to get shopping done early and finished up my wrapping over the weekend and am feeling good on that front. We head to NC this Thursday to my mother-in-law's house for the four nights leading up to Christmas. I'm feeling a bit better mentally about the trip - thanks SO much for all the supportive feedback on my blog last week related to my anxiety about this trip! I'm still co... Mon, 17 Dec 2012 09:58:58 EST December Goal Tracking - Update #1 and Inlaw Anxiety Hi, everyone. It's hard to believe that Christmas is just shy of two weeks away. 2012 went by so quickly! <BR> <BR> My husband and I leave for a long weekend in NC with his family on the 20th and we return home on the 24th. I'm trying to find some inner motivation for the trip as I'm not looking forward to it at all. We'll be having the extended family holiday celebration one day (Aunts, Uncles, cousins - everyone!) and his immediate family celebration another day. This is a second mar... Mon, 10 Dec 2012 10:53:18 EST December goal establishment Given that I wasn't able to reach all of my November goals I decided to replicate them in December in the hopes that I'll push harder to reach them this month! Ready, set, let's go! <BR> <BR> Starting weight = 119.6 <BR> Starting BMI = 22.6 <BR> <BR> Fitness goals: <BR> 1) Get in a strength training session 3x per week (2/12) <BR> 2) Maintain 500 fitness minutes per week for a minimum of 2,000 for the month (0/4) <BR> <BR> Nutrition: <BR> 1) Drink no more than 3 diet sodas per week fo... Tue, 4 Dec 2012 09:30:13 EST November goal tracking - update #4 Wow, has November ever gone by quickly and what a month it has been! There have been highs and lows, but overall (and given the Thanksgiving holiday) I've done reasonably well staying on track in terms of nutrition and fitness. I need to stay motivated as I know the Christmas/New Year season will pose a bigger challenge for me than Thanksgiving. I've got this though, I just know it! <BR> <BR> With just a few more days remaining in the month, here is where I'm at thus far with my November ... Wed, 28 Nov 2012 09:00:01 EST Shameless plug for my husband's book Hi, all. I am writing to shamelessly promote my husband's memoir (entitled 'Bleeder'), which is scheduled to be released in February 2013 (though you can pre-order it now). I'm insanely proud of him and want to do everything in my power to ensure the book is a success. He's got a compelling story (I've included some details below) and I can say that he is, without a doubt, the most selfless and loving person I have ever met. He inspires me every day to be the best person I can possibly be... Mon, 19 Nov 2012 16:07:29 EST November Goal Tracking - Update #3 Good morning, everyone. November has been a little bit bumpy in terms of staying on track with all of my goals but I'm still plugging along and hope to end the month on a high note. I'm currently 4.2 pounds away from my final goal weight and have only lost .8 pounds so far this month. The closer I get to the goal the harder weight loss seems to be, but I'm still pushing! Quite honestly, I'm now at a healthy BMI (22.5), I'm physically active almost every day, and I stay on track with my ca... Mon, 19 Nov 2012 09:43:43 EST November Goal Tracking - Update #2 Happy Sunday, everyone. Given that I had an absolutely horrible day in terms of eating yesterday (think Mexican restaurant binge and a total daily calorie count of 2,449 <em>24</em> ), I figured today was a good day to own up to it and to refocus on finishing November on a positive note. I am 5 pounds from my goal weight and am really wanting to bring in 2013 at goal. Yes, I know it's just a number on the scale and that I've reaped so many benefits from living this healthier lifestyle, ... Sun, 11 Nov 2012 07:40:07 EST Historical goal tracking May-October 2012 As a way of shifting my historical goal tracking from my Info page, I'm copying everything here so that I can maintain my tracking record somewhere. <BR> <BR> First month on Spark (5/9-6/10/12): <BR> Starting weight = 137.4 (BMI = 26), Ending weight = 136.4 (BMI = 25.8), Pounds lost = 1 <BR> <BR> Short Term Goals (6/11-7/31/12): <BR> - Exercise a minimum of 3 days/week and 90 min/week <BR> GOAL MET - EXERCISED 44 OF 51 DAYS! <BR> - Drink more water! <BR> GOAL MET - CONSISTENTLY DRINK... Mon, 5 Nov 2012 10:42:05 EST November goal tracking - update #1 As a way to mix up my monthly goals and participate in my "Sparking as a Team" challenge I am going to try to use blog entries as a way to monitor my progress against goals and to hopefully be more accountable for the goals I set. That said, if you see my slipping, don't be afraid to give me a talking to! I can always use a little nudge in the right direction. <BR> <BR> My goals and progress for the month are as follows: <BR> <BR> Fitness goals: <BR> 1) Get in a strength training session... Mon, 5 Nov 2012 10:27:18 EST Trying the one-word answer challenge Not as easy as you might think! Copy and Paste into your own blog, change the answers to suit you. It's really hard to only use one word answers. <BR> <BR> Where is your cell phone? <BR> Desk <BR> <BR> Spouse? <BR> Chip <BR> <BR> Your hair? <BR> Red <BR> <BR> Your mother? <BR> Charlotte <BR> <BR> Your father? <BR> Deceased <BR> <BR> Your favorite thing? <BR> Family <BR> <BR> Your dream last night? <BR> None <BR> <BR> Favorite drink? <BR> Soda <BR> <BR> What room are you... Tue, 23 Oct 2012 14:24:36 EST The toughest job you'll ever love You're probably thinking the Peace Corp, right? I swear this slogan is aimed at parenting because wow, is it ever tough sometimes. I'm the mother of a 19 year old boy and have found that the last year or so has been more trying than I ever imagined. <BR> <BR> To be honest, the first 18 years were relatively easy. Z (my son) was an easy going, though somewhat introverted, child. Fun to be around and sweet. I invested in private schools K-12 and watched him excel until high school. While... Thu, 4 Oct 2012 15:33:44 EST It's an uphill battle In April I bought a used bike just knowing that she would help me lose the extra baggage I'm carrying around. Her name is Miss Mae and she's beautiful. She's a brilliant blue and is very comfortable. See? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> At first I thought that I was too young for the 'comfort bike' model but I now realize that the upright position and the roomy seat are just what I need. So what if small children and the elderly le... Thu, 28 Jun 2012 08:52:18 EST What I've learned in my 30s I've learned numerous things since turning 30 back in 2003. I've had some ups. I've had some downs. Literally and figuratively. Here are some reflections. <BR> <BR> The Bad: <BR> - Hair removal is now part of my daily routine. Seriously, how does the stuff grow so quickly? Shaving, waxing, tweezing....enough already! <BR> - While I'm talking about hair, what's up with all the grey? It's bad enough it springs up on top of my head (don't even ask me what my real hair color is anymore, I... Fri, 15 Jun 2012 10:04:39 EST 8 months, 12 days This is the number of months and days until I turn 40. I am hoping that when the day comes I'll finally be able to figure out why '40 is the new 30' because, as of now, I'm definitely scratching me head in bewilderment. The bigger question I've posed to myself is 'can I look as good at 40 as I did at 30'? Not without some progress! I'd like to shed about 20 pounds, have more energy and confidence, be healthy and stunning. Is that too much to ask of myself? I hope not! Surely I can do ... Thu, 14 Jun 2012 11:41:07 EST