GREENGENES's SparkPeople Blog GREENGENES's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community All Green Bars After reaching my 10K step goal for today my FitBit dashboard shows all green bars indicating 28+ days of reaching my goal (I'm actually at 31 consecutive days). It feels great to get some consistency back in my fitness routine. I'm also slowly increasing my strength training routine and adding back core exercises. By the end of the month I should be back to all the activities I was doing before I let my fitness routine deteriorate to almost nothing. Sat, 11 Feb 2017 18:27:52 EST 131 days 131 days. About 4 months. That is how long it has been since I updated my status. A lot has changed in those four months. Almost all of it good - some of it very good - but one negative gnaws at me - I not only lost site of my fitness goals but have gained back ALL the weight I had lost and I can feel it negatively impacting my health. Around that time I was active with a running group, ran a 5K with my kid who was heading to grad school and still making progress to my goals with minor ups an... Fri, 13 Jan 2017 12:56:13 EST Where have I been and where am I going? Just noticed my last blog was almost a year and a half ago and I haven’t been active in many of my usual Spark hang outs during much of that time. In that time I have still been checking in and keeping track of things but just not participating. I tend to do things all out for short periods of time and then other things start to creep in and occupy my time. Unfortunately, this often also applies to fitness. However, I’m learning to be more moderate and balancing the highs and lows. So now i... Mon, 7 Sep 2015 00:29:02 EST 100K Points - now what? OK, I reached 100K points and level 20. Either I've been here too long or I need a life :-). I noticed there is no "X points to next level" note anymore. Now what? Feels a lot like reaching my goal weight and fitness level. I asked myself that same question then - Now what? <BR> <BR> So what has happened along the way to reaching this milestone? I've reached my goal weight a couple of times and then proceeded to slip back into old habits. Fortunately, I'm back at my goal weight but, mo... Sat, 22 Mar 2014 14:30:52 EST That doesn't happen very often A nice unscheduled workout. <BR> <BR> Today was packed with 2 classes, several meetings, a seminar and a workshop so I was jut hoping to be able to get to the fitness center before heading home. Instead, we had a gas leak so they evacuated the entire campus (right in the middle of my first class!). Of course, all my other events got cancelled and guess where they evacuated us to. They gym. I figured it may be a while so I might as well get in my workout. Mission accomplished! An odd... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:25:19 EST Sleep is important The past 10 days or so have been a bit hectic with multiple deadlines, long meetings, writing and grading exams, preparing a couple talks and a belated report I still haven't written. I also had a couple of days I didn't get to the gym or at least get out for a walk and I missed a couple of days of tracking what I eat. Nothing major but it led to a few excess food blips. I know I tend to slip into mindless snacking when I'm under stress and I have been good about catching myself so I don't ... Sat, 22 Feb 2014 23:22:08 EST Strange day at the fitness center I usually don't blog twice in a week but today was such a bazaar day I just had to write about it. <BR> <BR> Late getting to work and meetings all morning and classes the rest of the day so didn't get to the gym until after six. Got in a good 50 minutes on the elliptical but had to change machines twice. The resistance was non existent on the first two and I'm trying to increase the intensity of my workouts. The fitness center was so crowded though I had to keep waiting to move to another... Tue, 28 Jan 2014 21:12:06 EST 54 + 1 and thoughts on goals Today was my annual birthday challenge - 54 laps around the indoor track to celebrate 54 years. I added one extra lap to make it an even five miles. Felt great and I added some strength training on top of it. But that’s not the whole purpose of this blog. As I was running around the track I was doing some thinking (lots of thinking time while running around in circles for close to an hour :-). Why am I doing this and what do I expect to accomplish? Is running around the track 50+ times o... Sun, 26 Jan 2014 23:45:03 EST 4 out of 6! I've been trying to blog on Mondays but I'm running a little behind this week and not much to say. However, today I'll throw out a quick Woo Hoo blog. Ran 5 miles this morning which was a good start to the day but that's nto my Woo Hoo moment. I wasn't planning to play racquetball today which is why I ran a little longer. However, my friend's schedule changed so he wanted to play at noon and I can't turn down a challenge. This guy is really good and I can sometimes go several days withou... Wed, 22 Jan 2014 15:48:59 EST Getting organized and better prepared? My top goal for 2014 is doing a better job of getting organized and prepared for my classes. We're almost two weeks into the New Year and one week from the start of the semester. So how is it going so far? I am so used to teaching by the seat of my pants I can't be sure. I had two meetings today with staff who are helping me redesign my courses. Having regular meetings like this is so helpful to keep me on task so I know I've gotten a lot done but I also realized I still have a lot more ... Mon, 13 Jan 2014 21:57:50 EST Really? Five years?!? Today is my 5 year Sparkiversary. Hard to believe I've been using SP for 5 years now ... and I am still learning. It's a little embarrassing to have my Sparkiversary right after New Year's because it looks like it started as a part of a resolution which I'm not a big fan of. The truth is that I was introduced to SP by a student in my lab. It took me a couple of years to really take advantage of all the resources but I'm a slow learner. I've been through several ups and downs and am fortu... Mon, 6 Jan 2014 23:59:25 EST Goals for 2014 I already posted these in a discussion in one of my Sparkgroups but I might as well put them out there for a broader audience. I'm not big on New Year resolutions but I don't think of setting goals in quite the same vein. I equate New Year resolutions with the suddenly doubling of attendees in the fitness center for a week or so and then back to normal by the end of January. January 1 is really just another day and the goals I set I've been working on continuously so this is just a good ti... Tue, 31 Dec 2013 01:26:12 EST Looking forward I'm a day late with my weekly blog because I kept trying to reflect back and it just didn't feel right. I want to concentrate on setting goals and looking forward, not dwelling on the past. Sure, there's lots to learn from the past but it is applying those lessons going forward that is more important. So here I am. I'm a little ahead of my health and fitness goals for December but I have to be careful not to feel too proud of myself. I still have a ways to go to get back to where I was a... Tue, 24 Dec 2013 15:54:03 EST Negotiating the end of year gauntlet This is a challenging time to get back on track with healthy eating but focusing again on tracking has been a huge help. So far, I've survived 4 holiday parties, 2 graduation receptions and an award reception for a good friend. Despite all the temptations I've managed to keep well within my calorie range by planning ahead, sticking to my meal plan, drinking plenty of water and allowing myself one or two treats at each event. I have to wonder why I don't do as well when there are fewer temp... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 20:41:49 EST So far so good Keeping my trackers crossed. It's so easy to track food and fitness here (especially with activity linked to my Fitbit) I can't understand how I end up getting away for long stretches and falling back into old habits. However, no point in dwelling on those things. Just keep looking ahead and keep on tracking - it really is that simple. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 10:18:46 EST Here we go again It has been 3 1/2 months since my last blog and things have gone down hill without tracking. I've been back on track for the past week so I think I have finally stemmed the tide. Sometimes I just want to kick myself for letting my bad eating habits slip back into my routine but it happened again and now I'm starting over again from square one. Ah well, one day at a time. Mon, 2 Dec 2013 17:16:00 EST Riding with the wild turkeys The morning weather was perfect so I added a little extra distance to my morning commute to the office. Took a route out of town that I hadn't ridden in over a year. It's a nice quiet country road so almost no traffic. The route is rather hilly but I've been riding fairly consistently for the past few weeks so I was ready for a challenge. Lot's of wildlife out and about along the way but the highlight was riding alongside a flock of wild turkeys as they ducked into the woods. Fri, 16 Aug 2013 12:28:27 EST Eight days a week Topped 20K steps for the past 8 days in a row! Woo Hoo! Tue, 13 Aug 2013 22:22:21 EST Reassessment A rather boring blog today. <BR> <BR> Now that I’m back on track I need to sit back and reflect on how I managed to slip back into old habits again and lose most of what I gained. No excuses, just trying to think through the process and avoid future slips. <BR> <BR> First off, I stopped tracking in mid-April. Why did I stop tracking? Limited time was the excuse I used but, in reality, that doesn’t fly. I know how valuable tracking is and I let a lame excuse interfere. What is the so... Mon, 12 Aug 2013 15:49:03 EST I need to find a "normal 5K. Ran a 5k this afternoon and had a blast but it was brutally tough. This was only my second "official" 5K and the first that was chip timed. It was on a farm and the trails were rough and the hills intense. My first "official" 5K was in Denver which was rough because of the altitude. I think I need to find a "normal" 5K. Sat, 3 Aug 2013 23:18:07 EST Been Away Too Long Wow, I can't believe I've been away from Sparkpeople for almost 4 months! No excuses, no self-blame, no self-pity, just get back at it. I miss the people here and I still need that awesome support so here I am. Thu, 1 Aug 2013 13:52:02 EST Midterm grades This week is Spring break and midterm grades are now out. I usually ask my students to give me a mid-term grade to see how my classes are going. At the start of the year I posted my fitness syllabus so I should post my midterm fitness grade. I'm tempted to give myself a "C" because I've missed a few "assignments" but I am getting caught up and doing well on my "tests" so I'm going to give myself a "B". I still hold hope of getting it up to an "A" but it is getting late. I've decided that... Thu, 28 Mar 2013 23:46:37 EST Finishing where I left off I didn't finish up my blogs about our annual St. Patrick day celebration so here's the rest of the story. We actually skipped town for the weekend (DW found a great deal on a nice little B&B at Table Rock Lake for the weekend) but the celebration continued. Saturday morning was the annual parade and we hear a good time was had by all. The student board in charge of the celebration and many of their alumni get up early in the morning and literally paint the streets green. It is quite a sig... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 18:13:49 EST Let the games begin! Today begins Spring Recess (I just love that name). Two days off from classes but we still have to work. The students begin celebrating the "Gonzo Games". Among the games today are a shillelagh toss and a cudgel carry (there, more health and fitness content!). The weather is looking better so it should be a nice couple of days for fun and games. <BR> Thu, 14 Mar 2013 10:51:44 EST St. Pat is Coming to Town ... on a manure spreader. Don't ask. It's a tradition. Yes, the Follies continue today with St. Pat arriving on his trusty manure spreader. Then lots more fun and games for the students. And then Thursday and Friday OFF! Wed, 13 Mar 2013 10:55:13 EST Minute to win it? Today's St. Pat festivities (referred to as "Follies") were some competitions to see who can put on the most official sweatshirts in a minute, who can put on the most garters in a minute, a dizzy bat race and limbo. Lots of crazy fun. Tue, 12 Mar 2013 20:05:56 EST Who's the greenest? No, not who's most environmentally friendly. I mean literally, who is the greenest? That's the fun event of the day as we enter the final week before S.t Pat's. Today students competed for the greenest man/woman. Some get a little carried away and paint themselves from head to toe and parade before St. Pat and his court. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and it was downright cold and windy but the kids toughed it out and seemed to be having a good time. Ahh, youth! Mon, 11 Mar 2013 18:44:38 EST Snake Invasion This is an interesting time of year on our campus so I thought I would share some of the happenings leading up to St. Patrick's Day. First a little background. Many years ago (105 to be exact) the students on our campus declared St. Patrick to be the patron saint of engineers and convinced the administration that they should have a day off to celebrate. So for 105 years we have had a Spring Recess to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. As one would expect, a lot of tradition has built up during ... Sat, 9 Mar 2013 12:51:15 EST Was that me? Played racquetball again today and I was on fire. Usually, if I'm lucky I'll win 1 game out of five or 6. Today I won 3 out of 4 games of cutthroat and 2 out of 3 games of singles. I was hitting all my shots, getting to every ball. The other guys I was playing with were stunned. Who was that guy? I think part of it was playing 3 days in a row. The other guys were getting tired and I had plenty of energy. Fitness is starting to pay off? Woo Hoo! Fri, 8 Mar 2013 16:02:04 EST How can something that has "work" in its name feel so darn good? I was going to write this last week but just didn't have time. I am still amazed that a good workout can overcome so many things. Early in the week I was just not feeling right. Little aches and pains here and there. Nothing major, just blah. Still, I would convince myself to get to the gym and at least get in a short workout. And once I get started, all those little aches and pains go away and that short workout ends up being an hour and a half or two hours. You just have to overcome ... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 11:42:09 EST Parking - with attitude A NEW attitude that is. Why do we often try so hard to find the closest parking spot? This semester I decided to give up my parking pass. It's only $10 a month but that's also the same cost as the fitness center so it sounds like a good trade. I plan to ride my bike to work more often and I don't really need to park right next to my building so I finally decided to do it. I had gotten in the habit of parking at the furthest section of the parking lot anyway (along with farther from the g... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 15:55:17 EST First official weigh-in in over a month I am trying not to obsess about the scale and focus on all aspects of my fitness. Part of my plan is to stick to a regular official weigh-in only on Monday mornings. The best scale I have is at the fitness center so if I can't make it to the fitness center on Monday morning I just skip that week. My schedule has been kinda crazy for the past month so it's been a while since my last weigh-in. I do still get on the scale regularly so I know I've been hovering at the top of my tracker range ... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 08:35:30 EST You just can't do everything I haven't blogged in a while. I've been mulling over a few topics but haven't had time to sit down and write them up. I don't like to have my first blog in several weeks a negative one but I just have to kick myself in the backside today so here's my story. A couple of weeks ago one of my students encouraged me to sign up for the intramural racquetball tournament which started last night. I was really looking forward to it. It so happened my first match was supposed to be against my stud... Sat, 2 Mar 2013 11:53:38 EST Strange Monday Things have been moving along pretty well and I've been keeping to my routine pretty well but yesterday was one heck of a Monday. I had three classes, a seminar to attend, lunch with the seminar speaker, a meeting with the seminar speaker, another meeting with a job candidate for another department, a meeting with a student and dinner with the job candidate. I was planning to go straight from dinner to the fitness center but I had leftovers that I had to take back to my office. I realized ... Tue, 5 Feb 2013 11:49:02 EST Time for a new tracker My first goal for this year was to change my tracker to a maintenance tracker rather than my old "goal" tracker. My plan was to do that by my birthday at the end of January. I was hoping to get to the lowest end of the range before switching but I didn't quite get there. Nevertheless, I think it is more important to change my mindset from trying to reach an arbitrary goal and instead focus on maintaining what I've accomplished. I feel comfortable with my current level of health and fitne... Tue, 29 Jan 2013 11:44:45 EST 53 for 53 I wrote about this briefly in one of my regular discussion threads but figured I should write a blog about my "plan". <BR> <BR> I started running "seriously" about a year and a half ago and really enjoy it. I'm not out to run a marathon or even a half marathon. Maybe a 5K or 10K here and there but that's about it. I just enjoy running and it feels great. During the winter I run on our indoor track which is about 11 laps/mile. Last year around this time I was gradually increasing my dist... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 16:15:09 EST Shifting priorities - my most important syllabus Every semester I carefully plot out my weekly schedule, classes, labs regularly scheduled meetings, conferences, etc. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I put together my syllabus for each course making sure to cover all the essential topics. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The one thing I have always left off my scheduling is fitness time. Not this semester. Last semester I... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 23:23:13 EST Fight the Flu - Wash your hands and clean your machines I'm sure everyone has seen or read all the news stories about this year's flu season being earlier and more serious than we've had in years. I blogged earlier about the flu shot - the BEST way to prevent getting the flu. If you haven't had a flu shot it is not too late. From what I have been reading, the current formulation works against the three flu strains that account for 90% of the cases so far this year. This is great news. You may have been hearing that the vaccine is not 100% eff... Fri, 11 Jan 2013 19:23:27 EST ABCs of Dave ... I saw a few people post these recently so I thought it would be fun to play along. <BR> <BR> A – Available or Married: Married for 28 wonderful years <BR> B – Book: Science or Scientist biographies – What can I say, I’m a science nerd <BR> C – Cake or Pie: Cheesecake – does that count? <BR> D – Drink of Choice: all varieties of tea. <BR> E – Essential Item: as of last week, my FitBit <BR> F – Favorite Color: GREEN – duh. <BR> G – Game to play or watch: play: racquetball; watch: college bas... Tue, 8 Jan 2013 16:29:26 EST Four Year Sparkiversary Musings As I was checking something on my Sparkpage I realized I have now been a Sparkpeople member for 4 years. How did that happen and where did the time go? I started reflecting on what brought me here, the ups and downs over the past four years and what I think is different about me now. Some of this I posted in my first blog so I’m sorry if I’m repeating myself a bit. This turned out to be pretty long so if you don’t want to read all this drivel you can skip to the end for the take home mess... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 12:53:31 EST Goals for 2013 Yesterday, I took a quick glance back at 2012 and now it’s time to focus on the year ahead. I'm not a big fan of "New Year’s Resolutions" which don't seem to last. However, a new year, new month, etc. makes for a nice bookmark for tracking my goals which are more tangible. By putting them in this blog I hope to make myself more accountable and better able to achieve those goals. I’ll also throw in a couple of “resolutions” at the end, just for grins. <BR> <BR> Goals: <BR> <BR> 1. Transiti... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 12:27:09 EST A glance back at 2012 I want to keep looking ahead and not dwelling on the past so just a quick glance back at 2012 and then focus both eyes ahead to 2013. <BR> <BR> I look back on 2012 as an important transition year for me as far as health and fitness is concerned. Not surprisingly, that has also had a positive impact on other aspects of my life. I'm still learning but I know I'm now on the right track for me. Two big reasons for that: 1) I made a firm commitment to prioritize my fitness time, and 2) I fin... Mon, 31 Dec 2012 19:40:24 EST Seriously? A whole bag? I was debating writing this short entry. It's not a big deal but the whole point of blogging is to be more accountable so here goes. Last night I had one of those mindless eating moments that I've been avoiding pretty well. I had been under on my calories and especially protein so I got myself a glass of milk. Then I thought to myself, "what's a glass of milk without a cookie, or better yet, a couple of white chocolate/peppermint covered pretzels? I will still be in range." Before I kne... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 17:21:18 EST Froehliche Weihnachten Froehliche Weihnachten und einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr to all my German speaking friends. <BR> <BR> Oh how we miss strolling the Weihnachtsmarkt. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> noshing on Bratwurst <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> and sipping on Gluehwein <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 25 Dec 2012 00:37:02 EST Praise for Automated External Defibrilators (AEDs) I just received the latest issue of our local hospital newsletter. One of the stories is about a friend who was saved thanks to an AED and I wanted to share the story. I wasn't present when this episode happened but I had heard all about it and now after reading the story know more about what happened. I used to play basketball with a group of guys at our campus gym - "Noon League" as we call it. A few students, a few faculty, a few coaches, a few local businessmen, etc. This guy is an ... Sun, 23 Dec 2012 01:29:51 EST Good Genes, Bad Genes, Blue Genes, Green Genes My apologies to Theodor Geisel. The last few weeks of my genetics course we discuss genes and cancer and now that the semester is over I thought I would write a bit about this topic because it reflects a bit on my motivation for finding a healthier lifestyle. Sorry it is so long. <BR> <BR> Obviously, our genes determine who we are and many aspects of our health but they don’t determine everything. We all have “good” genes and “bad” genes so is there anything we can do about the cards we h... Mon, 17 Dec 2012 00:18:08 EST Putting it in pixels If you write it, it will happen, right? Today will be a challenging day with several receptions and dinners to celebrate graduation. Making sure I get in my workout at the fitness center this morning should not be a problem but I have to watch out for the mindless grazing this afternoon and evening. Here's to a fun, Spark friendly day. Fri, 14 Dec 2012 08:32:56 EST Yes, there is a Madness to my Maintenance Method Since joining the Maintenance group I have been observing the approach others are using and contemplating my own method. I think putting this in writing is the best way to hold myself accountable to stick with my plan. <BR> <BR> As I say on my Sparkpage, my overall objective is to maintain my weight in the healthy BMI range. Beyond the numbers, other parameters such as fitness level, stress, general health feel best when I am below 170. I hit my initial goal of 165 several weeks ago and... Wed, 12 Dec 2012 00:38:18 EST Sunday summary It's been a pretty good, productive week. This was the last week of classes for the semester which is always a little stressful but I'm getting much better at recognizing and dealing with stress appropriately. I got in some good work outs and lots of walking. I have not done any running because of a twinge in my knee but I think I should be back to running next week. I survived my trip to the big city (St. Louis) to purchase food for my Microbe Lunch (see my previous blog to learn more ab... Sun, 9 Dec 2012 13:23:30 EST Feasting on Microbes Yesterday was my semi-annual Microbe Lunch so I thought I would share my menu and some pictures. I do this every semester to celebrate the end of my laboratory course. I prepare a Feast made up entirely of foods and beverages that involve microorganisms. These may be foods in which the microorganisms are a major component of the food, involved in the preparation of the food, growing the food or preparing an ingredient. My goal is to impress upon students (and my colleagues) the beneficial ... Sat, 8 Dec 2012 14:32:39 EST