GIRANIMAL's SparkPeople Blog GIRANIMAL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Babies are amazing! Baby weight, however, sucks. Hello, all! Here I am with some rare downtime at work, so I thought I'd post an update. I sure do miss being a regular Sparker! First off, aside from work (I'm a manager now), the reason I've been so busy is THIS AMAZING GUY! <img src=""> Wow, guys. Being a mom is crazy awesome! I had no idea I'd enjoy it this much. Of course now he's nearly 17 months old and also making me insane with his mood swings and te... Thu, 23 Jun 2016 13:14:29 EST Let's try this again Ugh. 150. Dang it! 20 pounds. Monday morning. It's ON!! Sat, 16 Apr 2016 18:26:26 EST Not toooooo far gone?! Hi guys! Beware, this a twisty-turny rambling blog of trying to figure out where I'm at right now. <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> So I've been on the scale twice since my 150-pound return to Spark Land (last week? I dunno; life is a blur) and first saw 146 and then, this morning, 142. Whaaaaaat? I have changed next to nothing so far -- more like just talking and thinking about it. So that doesn't seem possible! And therefore I am not willing to log it yet. <em>58</em> <BR> <BR> Then again I... Thu, 24 Mar 2016 17:02:14 EST Trying, trying, trying to come back! <em>524</em> <BR> <BR> Hey, Spark friends! Holy geez, have I been missing everyone! <BR> <BR> I never thought I was going to be gone this long -- or slip this far -- even with a new baby! But here I am: my son is 13 months old, I am probably almost done nursing and sure enough, WHAM! all my extra eating and NO exercise beyond rocking a baby has caught up with me with a quickness! <BR> <BR> 150, y'all. UGH. <BR> <BR> My lowest weight was 125, I think? Of course that only lasted about ... Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:15:24 EST Hello from Baby Land! Hi Sparklers! <BR> <BR> Oh man, has it been FOREVER! I miss all of you -- and exercising, and possibly even tracking my nutrition, which I never ever thought I'd say -- so much! <BR> <BR> But life is good. Chaotic, but good. Great, actually, with THIS! --> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> ... Fri, 24 Jul 2015 12:48:07 EST Meet Baby Barrett! <img src=""> <img src=""> Hello, all! Of course I'm so sorry for not being around and for not posting a proper birth announcement, but wow ... newborns are demanding! 😄 Here are the most recent pics of my baby boy! (Can't figure out why the one is posting sideways!) He was born Feb. 5 at 7 lbs 11 oz and 20 inches ... of PURE AWESOMENESS! Long and short of it: he arrived 1 week... Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:28:29 EST Preggo update + exercise? Hi Sparkies! <BR> <BR> I'm so bummed that I've not been able to document this journey and share regular updates, but work has just been TOO busy and I am freakin' exhausted in the evenings! Seriously, I have barely swallowed my last bite of dinner before I am asleep sitting up nearly every night. <em>40</em> This baby-growing business is hard work! LOL <BR> <BR> So all is well with Baby G and me! Hubby too. <em>211</em> Had my glucose test (for possible gestational diabetes) and my i... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 12:32:35 EST 20-week ultrasound Amazing! Psssst...there's a BABY in here! <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> We've decided to be surprised about the sex, so I don't have that information to divulge, but I can share that the baby's size and weight are a solid-average 53rd percentile, and that the tech saw all the things they are supposed to and none of the stuff they aren't! <BR> <BR> So ... by all accounts thus far, we have a healthy baby incubating in here. HOORAY! <em>129</em> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:12:58 EST Fibro flare, pathetic yoga attempt and back to work! I've been off work since the Friday before Labor Day, and man, was it a busy week or so! <BR> <BR> I mostly unexpectedly had my 12-year-old cousin over for the weekend before the holiday. She had asked the week before but I didn't think I could swing it because I had soooooo many chores and such planned, but she must have called me three times that Friday while I was at the laundromat to ask (beg) LOL so at about 3 a.m. in my sleep I decided I felt too guilty not to have her over. She's mor... Mon, 8 Sep 2014 08:05:49 EST Dilemma: "wake-up" pic while pregnant! Help! We're almost back from an awesome weekend in and around Pittsburgh for a good friend's wedding! (Well, another 2 hours through Indiana.) The informal reception at a beautiful park was fun, and it was great to see our friend and finally meet his bride! (My husband has met her and has seen our friend more recently, but I was at work the last two times they blew back through Chicago.) And we got to share the news of my pregnancy! <BR> <BR> But here's my super-sad moment that I just can't shake... Sun, 24 Aug 2014 22:13:27 EST Mini update! I'm 17 weeks pregnant today! <BR> <BR> I had my regular 16-week checkup with my midwife yesterday, and she is pleased with my 3-pound weight gain. That's TOTAL so far, and I've been freaking out a little because at my last visit she told me she wants to see 10 pounds by 20 weeks, and I continued to gain nothing despite not even thinking about calories for the first time since as long as I could remember. And I seriously don't know how I could possibly eat more! <BR> <BR> It is a serious... Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:15:07 EST Sushi salad! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Prego safe! Mixed greens, scallions, cucumbers and avocados, topped with broiled salmon and jasmine rice, garnished with toasted sesame seeds and crushed seaweed sheets, and dressed with gluten-free soy-ginger dressing. Served with edamame (not pictured). YUM! <BR> <BR> Inspired by the brilliant gals at the blog A Beautiful Mess! Tue, 12 Aug 2014 21:19:00 EST Long overdue update, including some BIG news! Hello, Spark Friends! <BR> <BR> I sure do miss all you guys. I've been just barely showing up around here for way too long. <BR> <BR> Most recently, that is because life is just crazy-busy (as it is for us all), but also because I am trying to redefine my fitness and nutrition priorities in light of the fact that... <BR> <BR> I AM 15 WEEKS PREGNANT! <BR> <BR> I've spent so long trying to hide it while I waited out the requisite first trimester that it now feels pretty darn exciting to ... Thu, 7 Aug 2014 14:56:42 EST FitBit Flex might be crazy :( Or it could be me, of course. But it's only my second day with it, and I'm super frustrated! <BR> <BR> Yesterday it seemed to be doing a few weird things, but since it was the first day and I was just setting it up and such, I decided to mostly ignore the feedback until today. It's not going well so far. So many people report loving these -- it has to at least in part be something I am doing/not doing/not understanding then, right? Any feedback from experienced users would be greatly appreci... Fri, 4 Oct 2013 14:58:52 EST Gluten-free gumbo! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> NOT "diet"-friendly, but my hubby made it for me! First time we've had gumbo since I stopped eating gluten, so ... 2-3 years?! <BR> <BR> His go-to recipe (which he only ever uses as mere guides) used to be Emeril Lagasse's, and when I looked up a GF recipe I discovered both his daughters are gluten-free (one has celiac disease) and they wrote a GF cookbook, containing, of course -- gumbo! <BR> <BR> Ours has all t... Sun, 22 Sep 2013 22:06:10 EST Moving forward Hi Sparkies! <BR> <BR> Synopsis: I am a mess but determined to get back on track. Read on if you care about any of the details. If not, no hard feelings! This is mostly me trying to get my head together. And besides, I'm sure you've heard the sob story before. Possibly from me. <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> First off, I have to apologize again for not yet personally getting back to everyone who sent their well wishes for my husband and their support for me -- every single one meant a lot to me... Mon, 9 Sep 2013 18:10:36 EST Bike meets car - but I'm fine! I was about halfway home on my bicycle on Tuesday evening when, waiting behind two cars at a stoplight, I was rear-ended by another car! I had no idea what was happening at first! I just remember being crashed into from behind and sort of gasping and flailing before I instinctively somehow braced from falling. Then I whirled around to see this guy's front end smooshed into my back tire. <BR> <BR> Of course, my instinct was to yell, "What the hell are you doing?" The guy, in his defense, did ... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 08:23:26 EST I gave blood! And an impromptu gift I'm actually a regular blood donor, but the past year or two, I've been encountering iron levels that are too low, and I have to walk away all sad and dejected. (They are clinically fine, just not high enough to give away any blood safely.) And it was so random! Sometimes fine, sometimes not. I tried to focus on iron-rich foods, avoid tea (the tannins interfere, I think they told me) and even switch up the time of day. And then, the last time I nearly passed out for the first time in years of... Thu, 7 Feb 2013 14:06:28 EST Another reason not to eat foods with labels... Labels can be wrong! <BR> <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> I found these great gluten-free cookies recently -- more like biscuits, really -- and at 99 calories for two small cookies, they seemed almost like a dream! The brand is called Go Go Quinoa, and my little treat of happiness was the orange-mango variety. <BR> <BR> Well, lo and behold, look what I found by pure accident on the company's website! <BR> <BR> "Please note there is a printing mistake on the nutritable on the <BR> actual b... Mon, 28 Jan 2013 12:41:03 EST Curious reaction to awesome weight-loss news I fear I am being a petty, judgmental hater here, but I just have to pose the question anyway: <BR> <BR> How unfair does it feel that doing this weight management thing the "right" way sometimes yields the slowest and least dramatic results? I know I am feeling vulnerable right now after having to own up to a small gain, but I can't help it -- it feels totally unfair! <BR> <BR> This comes about because I just read an article about the Paula Deen family's combined weight loss ( <link>omg.yah... Thu, 24 Jan 2013 17:47:27 EST News, a muse and a vow Hi Sparkers! <BR> <BR> OK, so it's been FOREVER, I know. I have been lurking around, tracking my fitness minutes as I've had time and, as it turns out, living a little too hard and fast in what was essentially maintenance my mind anyway. <em>20</em> <BR> <BR> Here's where my weight and such are at: I am sad and disappointed to admit that, as of this morning (after a week of the most workouts I've logged in a year and a unfair) I am up 13.5 pounds, at 137.5, from my ... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 14:24:04 EST Just for fun -- One Word Blog I never do these, but I am up for a fun distraction today. <em>20</em> <BR> <BR> 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> pocket <BR> <BR> Spouse? <BR> almost <BR> <BR> Your hair? <BR> mousey <BR> <BR> Your mother? <BR> missed <BR> <BR> Your father? <BR> unknown <BR> <BR> Your favorite thing? <BR> reading <BR> <BR> Your dream last night?... Mon, 22 Oct 2012 15:05:37 EST Fancy new scale Hi friends! <BR> <BR> I've been meaning to blog for months now with an update of my fibro trials and travails -- and perhaps I will soon, but right now they have me so frustrated that I'd rather talk about something more positive: my fancy new scale! <BR> <BR> I ordered it from Amazon a few weeks ago have had it all programmed and ready to go for maybe a week or two, and I've managed to get on it only about three times since then! (Kind of impressive for a former daily weigher.) <BR> <BR>... Wed, 1 Aug 2012 16:31:00 EST Accentuate the positive, part 3 Things big and small for which I am grateful today: <BR> <BR> My wonderful boyfriend and his amazing patience with me <BR> Good friends <BR> Vacation days <BR> Having my cooking genuinely appreciated <BR> Feeling appreciated in general <BR> Leftovers for lunch <BR> Sunshine <BR> Super-nice neighbors, especially the ones who let me pet their dogs <em>41</em> <BR> Our new filtered shower head <BR> Not dropping my rear fender in traffic (again) despite a loosening screw (again) <BR> The Livi... Tue, 17 Apr 2012 14:59:27 EST Pain vs. soreness with fibro It's been months (probably more than 8, I am sad to admit) since I have done any strength training. My chiropractor urged me to just ease off the 5:30 a.m. workouts while I was trying to get my sleeping patterns in order. I'd started suffering fairly miserably with some insomnia, so eventually I relented that 5 hours of sleep was not cutting it anymore. <BR> <BR> I have yet to actually fix it, but some days are better than others now, and I force myself to get more like 7 on most nights. (W... Tue, 17 Apr 2012 14:48:13 EST I rock! (A list of my accomplishments for when I'm feeling down) It's a two-fer blog day! Work must be slow. <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> My effort to take note of everyday things for which I am grateful amid the chaos of life has also prompted me to recap my significant life achievements, so I can review it whenever I am feeling down and beating myself up for it. <BR> <BR> See, since I turned 35, I've been really stressed out by the general state of affairs known as my life, how it is nothing like I imagined it would be by this age, etc. I often feel unacco... Thu, 12 Apr 2012 14:38:05 EST Accentuate the positive, part 2 Today I am grateful for: <BR> <BR> sunshine <BR> leftovers turned into a mighty fine soup <BR> knowing how to tackle very basic bike repairs <BR> natural soaps strong enough to remove chain grease from such repairs <BR> the law of attraction <BR> awesome friends <BR> barrrrrely detectable improvement in this morning's pain and exhaustion levels <BR> my new (reasonably priced) filtered shower head <BR> <BR> Thu, 12 Apr 2012 12:52:32 EST Accentuate the positive, part 1 It has come to my attention that, perhaps for most of my life, I tend to focus on the negative. This is greatly upsetting, since I very much believe in the power of thoughts and all things of the mind and spirit! <BR> <BR> But believing and doing can, in fact, be very different things. So my "assignment" is to go beyond recognizing the negative thoughts as they come fast and furiously (which in itself is a recent accomplishment, of which I am proud) and actually replace those thoughts -- co... Wed, 11 Apr 2012 13:02:12 EST Trying not to panic I've gained 3 pounds in the 5 days I have been taking these darn pills from my new doctor. But I'm also so painfully bloated that it feels and looks more like at least 10 pounds. I also have strange stomach pain, but I suppose that could be more of an IBS-like reaction to the garlic I dared to use in dinner last night. These days, it's nearly impossible to tell what's causing what. All I know is I feel like I swallowed a water balloon. <em>15</em> <BR> <BR> I know, I's only 3 p... Fri, 6 Apr 2012 11:29:20 EST I have fibromyalgia (settle in for a looooong read!) It still sounds weird to me, even though I have been half-suspecting it for several years now. <BR> <BR> Briefly, fibro is characterized largely by long-term widespread, chronic pain and fatigue of varying degrees, but sadly, it is of debilitating levels for far too many people, mostly women. According to Dr. E, it involves a genetic predisposition for low serotonin that is triggered by major and/or prolonged stress and trauma (and, unfortunately, I've had lots of those in my young life). <... Mon, 26 Mar 2012 18:06:38 EST Tonight's dinner: baked trout! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sealed in parchment and baked with lemon slices, thyme and oregano, served with mashed sweet potatoes and steamed zucchini. <BR> <BR> YUM! Mon, 5 Mar 2012 20:59:59 EST 5 stinkin' pounds Well, friends, I've done it. <BR> <BR> I've been fighting a pingpong battle royale with the scale for a month or more now, and I have resigned myself to the fact that this 5 pounds I've gained is not water or anything else. It's real, at least for now, so onto my ticker it goes: 128.5. <BR> <BR> I feel kind of foolish for complaining about being under 130, but when you've seen 123.5 -- felt how it made your clothes fit, enjoyed how much less puffy you felt 'round the middle -- well, darn i... Wed, 15 Feb 2012 14:57:03 EST It's good to be alive...but WOW, that hurt! I took a nasty spill on my bike Friday on the way home from work. <BR> <BR> The crazy part was it happened because my boyfriend and I, who were enjoying an infrequent ride together these days, actually clipped each other in some weird set of circumstances I can barely even reconstruct, and I instantly went down. <BR> <BR> In a downtown Chicago intersection at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday. Holy smokes. <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> Thankfully I always wear a helmet, and thankfully my normally-not-so-f... Sun, 5 Feb 2012 12:25:11 EST The old me no longer exists Hey, Sparkies! <BR> <BR> I've been far less active on here lately and feeling a little bad about it. I miss my friends! But more often than not, I find myself with little to say these days -- I'm just sort of plugging along -- or I have so much running through my head that I can't seem to formulate any of it coherently. <BR> <BR> But I want to share where I'm at these days! <BR> <BR> In short, I'm not always easily maintaining at what I have given into as my for-now goal weight -- hoveri... Thu, 12 Jan 2012 12:14:10 EST Random MIA update Hi Sparkies! <BR> <BR> So, I've been kind of MIA lately, for no great reason, really. Busy, of course (who isn't?) and just not really having much new to say! I've felt bad, so here is a random picture update: <BR> <BR> My first gluten-free pizza! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Namaste Foods makes the crust mix and it is awesome, in case you're wondering. <em>211</em> I am casein-free (cow's milk) right now as well, so it's cove... Wed, 7 Dec 2011 20:17:15 EST Totally impressed. Yesterday evening on my bike ride home from work, I encountered a runner in my path. The road curves around a small park, and she was running against traffic, and in the poor-visibility bend in the road at that. <BR> <BR> Normally the dangerousness of this would make me really angry, but this time what caught my attention was something completely different. <BR> <BR> It was her smokin' hot bod. <BR> <BR> When I was overweight and grossly insecure, I instantly would have hated that girl f... Wed, 21 Sep 2011 13:23:30 EST Tonight's dinner! YUM! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Grilled portabella mushroom marinated in organic balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and Greek oregano and thyme from my back-porch herb garden; beet greens and spinach with chickpeas and a freshly roasted red pepper, all sauteed together with garlic in a little EVOO and some organic chicken broth, with a little red pepper flakes for some heat; and brown rice. OK, the rice was leftover... Tue, 9 Aug 2011 20:36:07 EST A brief history of my journey thus far -- in pics! Hi Sparkies! <BR> <BR> I snapped one of those silly bathroom mirror pictures of myself at work today because I just couldn't believe I was wearing a skirt that shows some leg! I have yet to actually wear out anywhere the last one I posted pics of. <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> And I have a confession. <em>245</em> <BR> <BR> I actually reached my goal weight a couple of weeks ago and have not even announced it! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR... Tue, 12 Jul 2011 22:44:23 EST Watermelon ice pops This is my latest yummy experiment! <BR> <BR> <em>491</em> <BR> <BR> Roughly chop fresh watermelon, removing seeds, and toss in the blender. Add a tiny squeeze of lime or lemon juice if you like. Whirl away. Pour into nifty ice pop molds or any approximation -- I remember as a kid using small paper cups and wooden craft sticks -- and freeze. <BR> <BR> I actually dreamed this up because I had a watermelon that was a tad bit mushy since the day we cut it. So even "fresh" is sort of opti... Tue, 21 Jun 2011 18:06:07 EST Bittersweet discovery My beloved great-aunt died yesterday. It was very sudden and unexpected. But I am grateful that also means it was peaceful. <BR> <BR> I learned so much from her. Most of my current core beliefs come from the gems she's presented to me -- or to my mother, who passed them onto me -- throughout my life. She also was the first to help me hear what I already knew when my mom had spent 3 weeks in the ICU -- my mom was ready to leave and I needed to let her go, to help her pass on. <BR> <BR> I cam... Fri, 17 Jun 2011 14:11:19 EST New dress! I talked about how I got all these super-cute new dresses last week. Well, the BF and I got around to taking pictures of one right away, and then none of the others since. <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> we go! I have no idea what I was told to look at in this picture, but here I am. Size small dress, 127 pounds and WHITER than white! A card-carrying member of the pale princess society - LOL. (Thanks, CMBELISLE - still love that!) <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 13 Jun 2011 14:18:13 EST Just another number? Now that I have been plunged so quickly, after such a looooooong plateau, toward my goal weight, I've been thinking about my ticker. Specifically, I've been thinking about changing my starting weight. <BR> <BR> <em>38</em> <em>38</em> <em>38</em> <em>38</em> <em>38</em> <BR> <BR> Kinda weird, huh? <BR> <BR> Like so many people, I struggled to lose weight before I found SparkPeople. Not as hard as most, since I was sort of in denial. But I had lost about 20 pounds or so on my own... Thu, 9 Jun 2011 12:36:16 EST I'm doing it. That's it - I'm logging this weird but awesome weight loss that has resulted from my drastic food changes. My gut (ha - pun intended, I guess) tells me it's from removing the processed sugar. <BR> <BR> No more of this, "but what if it comes back when I start eating normally again?" Uhhhhhh, DUH, Angie -- my tummy feels great, for once. This IS my new normal! And furthermore, I don't need cookies. My palette is tryyyyying to tell me something when it notes that unsweetened applesauce and fro... Sat, 4 Jun 2011 09:57:42 EST Finally! An update! Man, this blog has been a long time in coming! <BR> <BR> So Sparkies, most of you know of my food woes. After some tests that could very well explain a multitude of symptoms, I have been trying to treat probable food allergies and intolerances with avoidance. I gave up gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, corn, walnuts and sesame. Pretty much overnight. Yikes. <BR> <BR> <em>205</em> <BR> Well, because I like to be SPECIAL, that just wasn't cutting it. I needed to do things the hard way! ... Fri, 3 Jun 2011 13:25:51 EST Does sunshine kill brain cells? I'm sorry for spewing the negativity here, I really am, but I just have to get this out. Please, don't continue reading if you're not in the mood for a glimpse-of-angry-Angie rant! <BR> <BR> Why is it that the most perfect riding weather - 80-plus degrees but not too humid and just a gentle breeze instead of typical 30 mph Chicago wind gusts -- brings out the worst, most dangerous combination of self-righteous, oblivious and just plain ignorant people EVER?! <BR> <BR> On a five-mile ride --... Thu, 12 May 2011 19:20:16 EST Food intolerance/allergy victory! I have been trying to be positive about all these new food restrictions I have and focus on what I CAN eat and the opportunity to incorporate new, healthful foods into my diet. But as far as I can tell, soy, peanuts and sesame have pretty much ruled out one of my absolute favorites -- Asian food! <BR> <BR> To review, I am currently working hard to eliminate, at least for now based on some test results that corroborate my feeling-like-crappiness, all of the following: gluten, casein (dairy),... Sat, 30 Apr 2011 10:33:41 EST Dear goddess, the pain... I hope I am right in my decision that what I need more than losing this last 10 pounds is to just tone up ... otherwise the thorough butt kicking delivered by Jillian Michaels' No More Trouble Zones will just have been senseless torture! <BR> <BR> Since it was my first attempt with this DVD, I only followed maybe half to three-quarters of it fairly well...and yet, I have pain in muscles I didn't know existed on the human body. She may have burned straight through to my tendons and bones, act... Thu, 21 Apr 2011 23:02:40 EST "Food shouldn't be this hard" Hello, friends! Sorry I've been a little out of the loop lately. I've had a lot going on! <BR> <BR> Between my current chiropractor and my GP, these two smart ladies have determined that I almost definitely have intolerances to gluten, dairy, soy and eggs, PLUS newfound allergies to corn, peanuts, walnuts and possibly sesame seeds. Never mind a handful of environmental allergies as well. Well...hell. <BR> <BR> The above blog title had become my mantra for a good week or two. I was so angry!... Thu, 21 Apr 2011 00:18:36 EST The only constant is change Hey, Sparkies! This is a long one. Be forewarned! <BR> <BR> I have some interesting news to report. Take note, chronic pain sufferers, in particular. Maybe this can help you too! <BR> <BR> I had a little scare early this year with a positive result for one of the tests for lupus. My mom died of likely complications from lupus, so my GP sent me to a new rheumatologist to follow up. Luckily the result was just barely into the positive range ("clinically insignificant") and my symptoms are not... Mon, 28 Mar 2011 14:51:11 EST A lesson in self-confidence After nearly six loooooong months off my beloved bicycle, I made my first almost-5-mile ride into work this morning. I don't know what I was so worried about - it was like, well, riding a bike! LOL Like I never left it. Like a piece of a CAKE! <BR> <BR> And now, I feel AWESOME! Freakin' invincible, really! <em>104</em> Bring it on, annoying job. I. Don't .Care. You are not the boss of me. Not today! <BR> <BR> Dude, I totally rule. <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Maybe it's the insanely warm w... Thu, 17 Mar 2011 10:48:04 EST