ITSMATT's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=ITSMATT ITSMATT's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Or you can whine about your weight. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5583458 It is time to man up. <BR> <BR> To start taking this seriously. <BR> <BR> To focus on what is important. <BR> <BR> And to do something about it. <BR> <BR> You *say* you are frustrated with your weight. <BR> <BR> Then do something about it! <BR> <BR> You *claim* to want to change your life. <BR> <BR> Then change it! <BR> <BR> <BR> Quit whining already. <BR> <BR> <BR> (By the way, if this post bothers you... tough. My blog, my rules. You want sugar-coating? Go elsewhere. I"m sure... Sun, 5 Jan 2014 20:05:00 EST ...and then do more next time! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5582275 The Goal: <BR> <BR> The goal is to make progress each day toward a healthier you. <BR> <BR> <BR> It is NOT to fixate on mistakes. <BR> <BR> It is NOT to make excuses and rationalize. <BR> <BR> And it is MOST CERTAINLY NOT to throw one's hands up and quit. <BR> <BR> <BR> Look, almost everyone fails at weight loss. <BR> <BR> Multiple times. <BR> <BR> <BR> I don't write that to discourage. <BR> So don't be discouraged. <BR> <BR> I don't write that to set your expectations low. <BR> So... Sat, 4 Jan 2014 20:19:28 EST What will YOU do in 180 days? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5581290 January 4 - Day 1 <BR> July 3 - Day 180 <BR> <BR> one hundred eighty days <BR> <BR> One Hundred Eighty Days <BR> <BR> ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS <BR> <BR> <BR> 180 <BR> <BR> <BR> that's six months <BR> <BR> Six Months <BR> <BR> SIX MONTHS <BR> <BR> <BR> A lot can change in that time period. <BR> <BR> A LOT. <BR> <BR> <BR> Or nothing can change. <BR> <BR> NOTHING. <BR> <BR> <BR> What will happen in 180 days? <BR> <BR> <BR> Well... <BR> <BR> That's what? About 26 weeks? <BR> ... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 22:04:09 EST Garlic and Summer Vacation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5580115 This is Inchelium Red Garlic. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/8/l682041668.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It is an heirloom soft neck variety of garlic. <BR> <BR> I'm partial to heirloom and open pollinated plants here on our farm. <BR> <BR> Soft neck garlic grows better in this part of the country where winter weather temperatures can be a bit erratic. <BR> <BR> I planted 75-80 of these plants in early November. <BR> <BR> We use a fair amount of garlic in our cooking an... Thu, 2 Jan 2014 22:45:10 EST Losing Weight ISN'T the Problem http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5579998 Losing weight isn't the problem. <BR> <BR> I really don't think so, honestly. <BR> <BR> I'm fairly certain that just about anyone can lose weight on any book diet. <BR> <BR> I'll say "just about anyone" to allow for someone with some medical condition that makes weight loss extremely difficult or impossible. <BR> <BR> But you get my point, I trust. <BR> <BR> Here's a picture of a shelf full of diet and fitness books that I took at the local Books-a-Million store. <BR> <BR> It's just one... Thu, 2 Jan 2014 20:59:13 EST Daily Decision Number 4: The Optimist http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5363273 (One in a series of posts related to decisions we must make.) <BR> <BR> You must decide today whether you will be an OPTIMIST. <BR> <BR> The OPTIMIST chooses to see the world in a positive light. <BR> <BR> Beyond just the hackneyed "glass half full" phrase, the optimist believes that, in all likelihood, things will work out and that one’s MINDSET has much to do with how things work out. <BR> <BR> The optimist believes that despite the current state of affairs, there is HOPE for the futu... Tue, 21 May 2013 10:10:05 EST Daily Decision Number 3: The Adaptor http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5336807 (One in a series of posts related to decisions we must make.) <BR> <BR> You must decide today whether you will be an ADAPTOR. <BR> <BR> As much as we would like to have everything go according to plan, things sometimes don't. <BR> <BR> Life throws us some curve balls from time to time. <BR> <BR> That's how things go. <BR> <BR> How we ADAPT to life when it ZIGS when we expected it to ZAG will make all the difference. <BR> <BR> So... <BR> <BR> How ADAPTABLE are YOU? <BR> <BR> Aside - ... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 21:49:47 EST Daily Decision Number 2: The Investor http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5335094 (One in a series of posts related to decisions we must make.) <BR> <BR> Time's valuable so let's get to it. You must decide today whether you will be an INVESTOR. <BR> <BR> I know a guy who views every outflow of cash as an EXPENSE. I've heard him gripe about the EXPENSE of his children's education and the EXPENSE of going on vacation and the EXPENSE of adding a deck onto his home. When his oldest wanted to play an instrument it was all about the EXPENSE of it all. Rental fees, lessons... Thu, 25 Apr 2013 09:45:10 EST Daily Decision Number 1: The Steward http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5332634 (One in a series of posts related to decisions we must make.) <BR> <BR> To get to the point and not waste your time or mine, you must decide today whether you will take STEWARDSHIP of your life. <BR> <BR> One definition of "steward" is "one who actively directs affairs". <BR> <BR> Are YOU actively directing the affairs of your life? <BR> <BR> Or are you playing the role of the HAPLESS VICTIM, sitting idly by while things happen? <BR> <BR> Throwing your hands up and wailing "Woe is me! ... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 08:32:07 EST Fifty Pounds Down http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5312276 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/5/l453678543.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This morning I stepped onto the scale as I do most mornings. <BR> <BR> 108.52 kilograms. <BR> <BR> That probably doesn't mean much of anything to you if you weigh in pounds. <BR> <BR> And when I write that I started this at 131.54 kilograms, that doesn't really make it any much more clear. <BR> <BR> 131.54-108.52 = umm.... <BR> <BR> 23.02kg <BR> <BR> So, a kilogram is 2.204 pounds, approximately, and so to p... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 07:48:27 EST Don't be an April Fool! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5307293 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l133898590.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Here in North America we are, at least in USDA hardiness zone 7A, starting to shake off the cold, icy grip of winter and enjoy warmer weather. <BR> <BR> I am in the midst of a large garden project that I'm cataloging elsewhere online and it was nice this past weekend to make some progress on it. <BR> <BR> I particularly like the notion that I can spend time outdoors on projects and get a workout in the process.... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 10:10:30 EST Dump that "For a Season" Mentality http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5303811 Weight loss is hard. <BR> <BR> Oh... I hear you, naysayer. <BR> And I've read your comments and blogs and emails. <BR> <BR> But let's be clear here. <BR> <BR> Weight loss is, indeed, hard. <BR> <BR> Don't believe me? <BR> <BR> Then ask yourself this simple question: <BR> <BR> Why is the weight loss industry generating BILLIONS of dollars in revenue if weight loss is so blasted easy? <BR> <BR> Because it isn't easy. <BR> <BR> Fact: Americans are fatter than ever. <BR> Fact: Americans... Thu, 28 Mar 2013 23:12:57 EST Today http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5301340 Short and sweet today. <BR> <BR> Today is a new day. <BR> <BR> A day full of new opportunities. <BR> <BR> And new chances to succeed. <BR> <BR> A day that isn't burdened by yesterday's stumbles and poor choices. <BR> <BR> Today is a time when you can take control. <BR> It is too late for yesterday and too early for tomorrow. <BR> But today... today's a day that is within your grasp. <BR> <BR> Today won't be perfect. <BR> But it can be better than yesterday. <BR> And it can be good enoug... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 22:12:13 EST If You HATE the Treadmill then DO Something Else http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5298277 The treadmill is a piece of equipment that I tolerate. <BR> <BR> I definitely don't LOVE the treadmill. <BR> But I don't HATE it either. <BR> The treadmill is what it is - a piece of exercise equipment that does a reasonable job providing me a way to walk when the weather stinks or when it isn't convenient to get outdoors. <BR> Given my choice, I'll pick walking in the battlefield parks or downtown or even doing laps on the farm over the treadmill. <BR> But I don't DESPISE the treadmill. <BR... Sun, 24 Mar 2013 13:40:10 EST A Gym Membership ISN'T Required http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5297499 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/0/l803516350.jpg"> <BR> <BR> You'll have to forgive the quality of this image. <BR> The camera on my iPod isn't that good and I didn't have my real camera handy. <BR> <BR> This was my workout this morning. <BR> <BR> <BR> I don't have a gym membership - I really don't need one here on the farm, <BR> Especially for the 9 months of the year here that don't involve the icy cold winds, mud and muck and freezing rain of winter. <BR> <BR> Don't h... Sat, 23 Mar 2013 18:40:01 EST Monkey Bars as a Metaphor http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5294285 How are you doing this fine day? <BR> <BR> Me? <BR> <BR> Well, I'm doing my best to make it a great day. <BR> <BR> Thanks for asking! <BR> <BR> <BR> So, this post is about monkey bars. <BR> <BR> No, not these monkey bars: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/3/l435459536.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/4/l745051585.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/2/l726573378.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I'm talking about the... Wed, 20 Mar 2013 21:57:29 EST Cheering Section Update http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5289083 Back in December I wrote a post entitled "A Cheering Section in My Closet". <BR> You could go read that if you like - here's the link: <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5164886 </link> <BR> <BR> The gist of it is that as obese or overweight people, we tend to have clothes that don't fit us. <BR> Clothes that, anthropomorphically speaking, mock us and remind us of our failures and our weight. <BR> <BR> I decided back then to "turn that frow... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 19:24:37 EST The Absolute Value of Truth http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5288305 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1864668556.jpg"> <BR> <BR> You get that sometimes? <BR> <BR> The "Talk to the Hand" reaction to something you've said or written? <BR> <BR> I do, occasionally. <BR> And it frustrates me a bit. <BR> <BR> I'm not losing sleep over it but it DOES frustrate me when someone simply isn't interested in hearing the truth. <BR> <BR> <BR> Sometimes people have said or written that I'm being negative in my approach toward their ideas or plans or ... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 23:32:36 EST Three Encouragements http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5284368 How's it going there? <BR> <BR> Me? <BR> <BR> Not too bad, all things considered. <BR> Thanks for asking. <BR> <BR> It's been a couple of weeks since I blogged last. <BR> Time for a quick post. <BR> <BR> Life's busy. <BR> Very busy. <BR> About a week of a stomach bug followed up by three days without power or running water. <BR> Work's been action-packed and the family has had lots of things going on. <BR> <BR> Busy busy. <BR> <BR> <BR> The weather is starting to warm up a bit. <BR> An... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 20:04:35 EST Mindlessness http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5263593 "Mindfulness" is, by my definition, "being in a position of actively looking at what is happening right now." <BR> <BR> That's the Matt definition. <BR> I keep things simple. <BR> You might have your own definition. <BR> That's OK. <BR> <BR> "Mindlessness" is, by my definition, "doing without thinking" or "relying on habit, repetition and automatic reactions". <BR> <BR> Mindlessness is, by my account, a leading cause for failing to lose weight and maintain that loss. <BR> <BR> <img src="... Mon, 25 Feb 2013 15:33:05 EST Decide http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5262714 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1259704105.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Tick tock. <BR> Tick. <BR> Tock. <BR> <BR> It is time. <BR> <BR> Time to reevaluate what isn't working. <BR> Time to decide what's important. <BR> Time to dispense with thoughts that are unhealthy. <BR> Time to eliminate the nonsense and drama. <BR> Time to get serious and focused. <BR> Time to commit. <BR> Time to change. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/8/l585995720.jpg"> <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 24 Feb 2013 22:47:43 EST 15 Weeks http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5255316 Fifteen weeks ago I began. <BR> I began changing my life. <BR> Doing things differently. <BR> Taking Control. <BR> Deciding. <BR> <BR> It has been an exercise in retraining my brain. <BR> In creating rules as an alternative to the default. <BR> The default habits which have been burning into my brain from years of actions. <BR> Actions that were not healthy. <BR> Actions that reinforced bad choices. <BR> Choices that reinforced actions. <BR> <BR> So I created rules to change that. <BR> To b... Mon, 18 Feb 2013 19:55:27 EST Perspective http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5252894 This is a LONG post. <BR> Even long for me. <BR> Let’s burn some calories while you read it. <BR> Stand up and do some squats or stretches or punches while you read. <BR> Here we go... <BR> <BR> <BR> There exists in art and photography and life a concept called PERSPECTIVE. <BR> And it changes everything. <BR> <BR> Let’s play a game, shall we? <BR> I hope you are at work reading this or even better out in public. <BR> And that you are bold enough to play along. <BR> Because folks might l... Sat, 16 Feb 2013 18:36:49 EST How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5247842 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/3/l631479238.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Before we get started, grab some water and something healthful to snack on. <BR> I’m going to write a tome here, I’m sure of it. <BR> <BR> Some of my fine SparkFriends asked questions in response to my post entitled Mindset. You could read that post here: <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5245626 </link> <BR> <BR> I thought I’d respond in this blog post where... Tue, 12 Feb 2013 13:53:06 EST Mindset http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5245626 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/2/l320409429.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I'm a data guy. <BR> Facts, figures, numbers - all of it interests me. <BR> Because knowledge is power. <BR> <BR> I capture information such as my weight. <BR> What I eat. <BR> My workouts. <BR> How my food tracking and exercising is going. <BR> And I know that correct interpretation of that data - those pieces of reality - is vital. <BR> There is always the opportunity to let a misinterpretation of that data allo... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 21:28:07 EST Today's Word: Improvement http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5242924 How are you doing today? <BR> <BR> Me? <BR> <BR> Great. <BR> And getting better all the time. <BR> <BR> Thanks for asking. <BR> <BR> Let’s talk about today’s word - yes, I’ve just decided what “the word” will be for today - and that word is “Improvement”. <BR> <BR> One of my workouts involves doing this Bob Harper “Butt and Balance Workout”, which I call my “Anything But Balance Workout” because it is proof positive that my balance, frankly, stinks. <BR> <BR> Often with workout videos... Fri, 8 Feb 2013 13:42:00 EST The Core and Posterior Chain http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5238600 In my "Visualize Your Healthier Self" blog post, which you can read here: <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5161591 </link> <BR> I listed off a number of future activities I want to do. <BR> <BR> Know what the lion's share of those had in common? <BR> <BR> A strong core. <BR> <BR> Do you know about the "core"? <BR> <BR> It's one of those fancy pants terms that trainers and would-be trainers use. <BR> For a little fun, let me use it in a few sent... Tue, 5 Feb 2013 11:01:53 EST 13 Weeks http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5237927 Time flies. <BR> <BR> <BR> Thirteen weeks ago I decided that I was fed up with my physical condition. <BR> <BR> <BR> Physically I was a wreck. <BR> <BR> <BR> I “tipped the scales” at over 131 kilograms (~290 pounds). <BR> <BR> <BR> “Tipped the scales”... what a silly phrase. <BR> I was breaking the scales, literally. <BR> <BR> <BR> This wasn’t the most I had weighed in calendar year 2012. <BR> And certainly it wasn’t the most I’d ever weighed. <BR> The maximum recorded weight in 2... Mon, 4 Feb 2013 22:23:09 EST I Keep Overeating But The Weight Gain Takes SO Long! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5236286 "I keep overeating but the weight gain takes so long." <BR> <BR> Ever say that? <BR> <BR> Me neither. <BR> <BR> ::: <BR> <BR> Let me park right here for a second to say that IF you or someone you know has been trying to GAIN weight, this isn't a post for you or them. <BR> I ABSOLUTELY know there are folks who struggle to gain weight. <BR> While her two brothers are big guys, someone I know has been at times in her life underweight. <BR> And weight gain has been a challenge for her. <BR>... Sun, 3 Feb 2013 21:41:19 EST Positivity and a 12 Second Plank http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5233852 I love a challenge. <BR> <BR> Tonight was my night to do crunches and dumbbell bench presses as well as walk on the treadmill. <BR> <BR> I saw a video blog a month or so ago and the person in the video was doing a plank. <BR> <BR> Have you done the plank before? <BR> <BR> I hadn't. <BR> <BR> <BR> Quite frankly, it looked easy. <BR> <BR> It looks like a push-up except that you're on your forearms: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1162448685.jpg"> <BR> <BR>... Fri, 1 Feb 2013 22:31:45 EST Bob Harper, Bruce Banner & Me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5229379 I got an inexpensive DVD with Bob Harper the other day. <BR> <BR> I wanted to mix it up a bit. <BR> <BR> So tonight I tried it out. My daughter and I did the Bob Harper "Butt and Balance" workout - it's 20 minutes in length. <BR> <BR> I want to rename it "Anything But Balance" because I really stink at this workout. <BR> <BR> It is quite challenging. <BR> <BR> And that's a GOOD thing. <BR> <BR> <BR> It is going to take some time - maybe weeks, perhaps months - to get a bit more comfor... Tue, 29 Jan 2013 21:26:31 EST Mix It Up or You WILL Burn out! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5226316 The same thing. <BR> The same thing. <BR> The same thing. <BR> <BR> Does that describe your food choices? <BR> Does that describe your exercise routine? <BR> <BR> It DEFINITELY described MY food choices. <BR> And it DEFINITELY described MY exercise routine. <BR> In the past, that is. <BR> <BR> I decided that THIS TIME and GOING FORWARD <BR> I wouldn't let my diet <BR> And my exercise <BR> Become BORING or ROUTINE. <BR> <BR> <BR> :: DIET <BR> <BR> Recognize when I write the word "diet",... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 22:34:00 EST Who Wants It Most? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5224793 If you are anything like me then there are people in your life. <BR> People who want you to lose weight. <BR> To get fit. <BR> To be healthy. <BR> <BR> I've got my lovely bride. <BR> And my children. <BR> My parents. <BR> My friends. <BR> My co-workers. <BR> My employer. <BR> My physician. <BR> My insurance agent. (Well, the jury is out on him.) <BR> <BR> Lots of folks. <BR> <BR> How about you? <BR> <BR> You probably have SOMEONE who wants you to lose weight, get fit and be healthy, right... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 20:03:01 EST Is THIS the Future of Weight Loss? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5223264 I'm a big proponent of personal responsibility and "manning up" about one's life. <BR> <BR> Generally about life and specifically about weight loss. <BR> <BR> You might have gathered that I hold such a position from reading other blog posts I written. <BR> <BR> It's a common theme. <BR> <BR> So I'm frustrated by today's post topic. <BR> Because it doesn't.... well, let me just get right into it, OK? <BR> <BR> Money, time, effort and thought has been spent and are being spent by Dean Kam... Fri, 25 Jan 2013 15:27:26 EST The New BMI Calculation & Why I Don't Care http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5218272 Back in the stone age of medicine - which is, in my opinion, anytime prior to the work of Snow and Pasteur - a formula was created to capture in a number one's healthy weight - the body mass index or BMI. <BR> <BR> Most of you are familiar with the BMI. <BR> <BR> Some of you can probably quote your BMI without doing the calculation. <BR> <BR> And what BMI value you are working toward. <BR> <BR> <BR> The BMI formula is a simple one as formulas go: <BR> <BR> BMI = weight in kilograms div... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 09:24:57 EST 11 Week Recap http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5217296 11 weeks ago I started changing my life. <BR> <BR> Making positive choices. <BR> <BR> Focusing on hitting my daily net calorie target each day. <BR> <BR> And most importantly, changing my brain. <BR> <BR> It is all about the brain change. <BR> <BR> You know that, right? <BR> <BR> <BR> That's what *I* had to learn. <BR> <BR> <BR> :: WEIGHT <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/4/l644419398.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> 11 weeks, 14.75 kilograms lost so that...mmm... car... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 15:58:18 EST Positively Influence Yourself! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5216192 I've written a fair amount here on SparkPeople about being an encouragement to others. <BR> <BR> I honestly believe that you and I have a responsibility to encourage others. <BR> <BR> Because it is something that we CAN do. <BR> <BR> And it doesn't cost us anything. <BR> <BR> Not a dime. <BR> <BR> Well, maybe it costs us a few seconds. <BR> <BR> Maybe. <BR> <BR> But we all have a few seconds to spare, don't we? <BR> <BR> <BR> And so it is great when we take a <BR> <BR> <em>224</e... Sun, 20 Jan 2013 21:58:14 EST PLAN for SUCCESS! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5214254 One component of being successful each day is to be proactive. <BR> <BR> I'm certain of this. <BR> <BR> You see, it is EASY to do nothing. <BR> To just fly by the seat of your pants. <BR> And see what happens. <BR> <BR> I call that a recipe for disaster. <BR> <BR> Seriously. <BR> <BR> When I've just shot from the hip, I've found that I make poor decisions. <BR> And I stress a bit about the day. <BR> <BR> And I'm ALL ABOUT minimizing the monkey business stress in my life. <BR> <BR> That... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 12:09:01 EST I Quit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5213016 I'm mean it. I quit. I am done this time. <BR> <BR> No more. <BR> <BR> I'm utterly fed up with this !#$% garbage. <BR> <BR> This pointless attempt to lose weight. <BR> <BR> It never works. <BR> <BR> I'm sick of the scale and the constant battle to see it move downward even a little. <BR> <BR> I am SO TIRED of losing two pounds and then gaining them back. <BR> <BR> And I just can't eat this health food. I hate veggies and I miss my lunches at Burger King and my Sara Lee cheesecake an... Fri, 18 Jan 2013 12:49:22 EST Guaranteed Lock: You WILL Fail At Weight Loss! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5212235 I'm certain of this. <BR> <BR> ABSOLUTELY certain. <BR> <BR> You - and by "you" I'm including me in that "you", of course - you will ABSOLUTELY FAIL at weight loss. <BR> <BR> That a GUARANTEED LOCK. <BR> <BR> <BR> Unless something changes. <BR> <BR> Changes in your brain. <BR> <BR> <BR> Do you GET that this isn't - absolutely ISN'T about silly, ineffective things like juice fasts? <BR> <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> "Oh no he didn't!" <BR> <BR> <em>228</em> <BR> <BR> Yes, I did.... Thu, 17 Jan 2013 22:22:56 EST Why, Yes, I AM a Swinger! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5210600 No, silly. <BR> <BR> Not THAT kind of swinger. <BR> <BR> Well.... <BR> <BR> No. I'm kidding. <BR> <BR> I'm about as boring as they come. <BR> <BR> I mentioned I play banjo and keep bees, right? <BR> <BR> And I square foot garden? <BR> <BR> And I once met This Old House's Tom Silva? And was THRILLED by that? <BR> <BR> See? <BR> <BR> Ahem. <BR> <BR> ANYHOW... <BR> <BR> So, yes, I AM a swinger... a KETTLEBELL swinger, that is. <BR> <BR> And I started off just figuring out how to sw... Wed, 16 Jan 2013 20:29:50 EST Under the Weather http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5208293 Today's a tough day for me. <BR> <BR> I started feeling badly yesterday afternoon and KNEW I was going to be ill. <BR> <BR> Fortunately it isn't a gut-wrenching sickness. <BR> <BR> I just feel awful. <BR> <BR> Drained, achy and a little woozy. <BR> <BR> This tends to happen once or twice a year for me. <BR> <BR> And usually in January or February. <BR> <BR> So, I wasn't particularly surprised. <BR> <BR> But it still stinks. <BR> <BR> I'm a leader of a local group and can't run my... Tue, 15 Jan 2013 11:53:53 EST Don't Wait to Lose the Weight! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5205819 I read a lot of blogs and message board posts and webpages and emails by folks struggling for motivation. <BR> I talk to people who people who have tried and tried and tried. <BR> And yet the weight remains. <BR> Or returns. <BR> <BR> Maybe you are one of these folks. <BR> <BR> It's time to do something about that. <BR> <BR> Today. <BR> <BR> <BR> Today is the day to change things. <BR> <BR> <BR> If not today, when? <BR> <BR> <BR> When will it happen? <BR> <BR> <BR> Look, weight los... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 22:27:02 EST From My Chair On a Saturday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5203840 There are cardinals flying about the large bird feeder right now. <BR> <BR> A few of them. <BR> <BR> The bright crimson of the males and the dull red-gray female who is currently sitting on a fence rail. <BR> <BR> The feeder resembles an eight-sided wooden gazebo and one of the males is stationed within and currently spends much of his time chasing off the others as they land in one of the openings. <BR> <BR> The feeder is generously stocked with more seed than all of these tiny birds com... Sat, 12 Jan 2013 15:53:13 EST Weight Loss Pointillism http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5198647 (I have decided to update and republish a blog post I wrote 2.5 years ago with new data and a fresh perspective. I hope you find this helpful. -Matt) <BR> <BR> <BR> :: ART APPRECIATION 101: SEURAT <BR> <BR> Take a look at this (admittedly pixelated) section of a famous work of art: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1409027874.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Hard to tell much about the original, isn't it? You might be able to figure out which work of art this comes from but... Wed, 9 Jan 2013 11:22:10 EST Started Kettlebell Swings http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5197858 In a brief digression from my normal blog posts, I wanted to talk a bit about my exercise routine. <BR> <BR> Very briefly. <BR> <BR> Probably the shortest post I've ever written or ever will write. <BR> <BR> I'll be back to my normal verbose self tomorrow. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I started doing kettlebell swings tonight. <BR> <BR> Have you tried these? <BR> <BR> Deceptively simple looking. Practically looks like you're just having fun swinging a cannonball on a handle. <BR> <BR> I... Tue, 8 Jan 2013 22:31:18 EST Hop Out of the Box! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5195190 How’s the view in there? <BR> <BR> “Where?”, you may ask. <BR> <BR> The box. <BR> <BR> The box you are sitting in. <BR> <BR> The box that you use to define your world. <BR> <BR> Perhaps you didn’t even know you were in a box. <BR> <BR> You are. <BR> <BR> The box has some labels on its flaps. <BR> I don’t have my reading glasses (yeah... I’m 45. I now have reading glasses.) but I think I can make out the writing on some of the labels... <BR> <BR> “There’s nothing I can do.” <BR> <BR>... Mon, 7 Jan 2013 14:25:36 EST Afternoon Quickie! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5191727 Yeah... it's not that. <BR> <BR> LOL! <BR> <BR> Or IS it? <BR> <BR> No... it's not. <BR> <BR> <BR> So, I'm on a fifteen minute break from a day of installing shelving in the garage to make better use of the space. Thought I'd get off my feet for a few minutes and write a short post. Well, short for me that is. <BR> <BR> Three things that are on my today. <BR> <BR> First, I'm thrilled to feel the muscle soreness in my body from walking and doing some kettlebell deadlifts. That sorene... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 14:36:14 EST Step Two: Setting Reasonable Goals http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5188316 In Step One <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5187171 </link> I encouraged you to start tracking. <BR> <BR> Tracking changes everything. <BR> IF you are being honest with yourself. <BR> <BR> Honest tracking provides you with (at least!) three benefits: <BR> <BR> 1. Accountability <BR> 2. Data <BR> 3. Consistency <BR> <BR> ACCOUNTABILITY is important because it is easy to sweep our problems under the rug. To put our heads in the sand. To hi... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 14:06:01 EST Step One: Tracking http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5187171 Hi there resolution maker. <BR> <BR> How are you doing? <BR> <BR> Great. <BR> <BR> Me? <BR> <BR> Oh, I'm doing wonderfully well today. <BR> <BR> Thanks so much for asking! <BR> <BR> So you've made your resolutions. <BR> <BR> You're going to do all sorts of things this year - maybe learn Italian, take up knitting, plant a garden, volunteer, take that cooking class, stop smoking, join an adult kickball team, run a 5k, and lose some weight. <BR> <BR> Ah... lose some weight. <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 22:34:22 EST