JERSEYGIRL24's SparkPeople Blog JERSEYGIRL24's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 2017 Recap It wasn't pretty. I am starting 2018 off about 10 pounds heavier than I began it. But that doesn't tell the whole story. Apparently I lost some weight early in the year, and I have gained about 12 pounds in the last six months. I am trying to analyze why (not too difficult), and here are the main reasons: <BR> <BR> 1. I gradually let sugar back into my life to the point that it overtook me. <BR> 2. I was eating too much. <BR> 3. I have an extremely hard time tracking my food. I was... Sat, 30 Dec 2017 09:04:30 EST 10 Years a Sparkin' Yesterday was my 10 year Spark anniversary. All I can say is WOW!!! At the time I was concerned that I was a little old to be embarking on such a journey. Now I am 10 years older. Funny how life works. <BR> <BR> The anniversary is somewhat bittersweet because I am not having great success sparking right now. In early 2016 I managed to lose about 15 pounds. I felt so good. I gained back a little bit of that weight, say 5 pounds or so. Well, since the summer I have managed to gain back... Wed, 6 Dec 2017 00:10:24 EST Small Changes Really Do Add Up It has been a long time since I have blogged. I have actually made major strides regarding sugar, but I am struggling with exercise. But that is a story for another blog, which I hope will be coming soon. <BR> <BR> I love my coffee. I am probably a bit of a coffee snob. But it is something that gives me great pleasure. I can't even tell you how much coffee I drink in a day because it varies. But it is obvious that coffee is very important to me. <BR> <BR> About five years ago, my BLC ... Sat, 15 Apr 2017 10:19:44 EST Sing me a song of a lass who is gone, say could that lass be I Full disclosure: I am not Scottish. Anyone who has ever watched the TV series "Outlander" knows that this is how the theme song starts. <BR> <BR> I was very late to jump on the Outlander bandwagon. I don't watch much TV. Had no interest in Outlander until one day a co-worker took an afternoon off to see the cast in New York. She explained the show to me. This was as Season 2 was starting. My interest sparked, I watched the first episode (my cable service provides Starz on Demand). ... Fri, 23 Sep 2016 23:29:20 EST Update Wow, it has been almost 5 months since I posted anything here. <BR> <BR> The year has been going better than expected, but there is still much work to be done with respect to both weight loss and mind set. <BR> <BR> Here are some highlights of the last 5 months: <BR> <BR> 1. I have lost about 12 pounds since New Year's Day. I am not unhappy with that; however, most of that weight loss came in the first quarter of the year. Since April 1 I have lost only 1.8 pounds. I don't want to harp... Mon, 30 May 2016 00:43:13 EST A long overdue blog Wow, I can't believe it has been over 7 months since my last blog. I have thought about it and not done it, and now I am sorry because I would have a better handle on my thoughts if I had blogged more. But that's all in the past. <BR> <BR> First of all, when I last blogged I was recovering from a recent arm fracture. I am happy to say that things are pretty much back to normal now. Believe me, I am reminded of my bionic arm pretty much every day. It still hurts sometimes, and I still ca... Sun, 3 Jan 2016 21:43:07 EST Update on My Arm It is now two weeks out. Two weeks ago at this time I think I it was beginning to hit me that the arm would not heal on its own and that I would need surgery. <BR> <BR> All in all, I think it has gone very well. I had the stitches removed on Thursday and was told I could shower (thank goodness). I still have the sling, of course, but I have been told to try not to use it. So at this point I am only using it if I really feel I need the support or if I am going into a crowded situation. T... Mon, 25 May 2015 10:59:33 EST Broken Arm and Surgery It is amazing how life can change on a dime. <BR> <BR> OK I will come right out and say it and then provide details. I had a wonderful Mother's Day dinner at Legal Seafood where we ran into some of my best friends and they unexpectedly joined us for dinner. It really was a fabulous evening. i have a standing conference call at 8:00 am every day at work which I normally take from home. The next morning, while still basking in this wonderful evening, I was getting ready for the call and ... Fri, 15 May 2015 18:15:17 EST Update on Sugar It has now been about two weeks since I posted a blog about how I was going to give up sugar. I am beyond happy to say that it is working!!! It has been three weeks since I have had any of the biggie type of sugary snacks I mentioned in the blog, namely ice cream, cake, cookies or candy. Even though I said I would allow myself one treat per week, I really haven't done this. There have been some minor exceptions. I have had some trail mix with chocolate in it, but I ran out of the trail ... Sun, 25 Jan 2015 23:22:29 EST My Latest Attempt at Kicking the Sugar Habit I have many friends on Sparkpeople. Some have been with me for about six years. Some are very new. To paraphrase the Beatles, in my life, I've loved you all, and I appreciate that you are with me now. <BR> <BR> Those who have been around for awhile know that I struggle mightily with sugar. I probably have the same relationship with sugar that a smoker has with tobacco. Yes, I know there are differences but the similarities are striking. In my case, I will decide that I am kicking the s... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 13:50:36 EST January 1, 2015 - A New Start Happy New Year, everyone!! <BR> <BR> I noted in my status (which is going to disappear at some point) how much I appreciate my Spark friends. I really do!!! I thank you for all your support for the past (I can't believe this) seven years. The cast of characters has changed during this time, but the support has remained constant. <BR> <BR> I was very quiet last year. The year started with uncertainty regarding my job situation. I was not working at the end of last year because of a budg... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 00:38:41 EST My poochie is gone We had to put George down today. It is really miserable that this happened the day before Thanksgiving, which is probably my most favorite holiday. His health has been deteriorating for about 2 1/2 years (slowly, of course). He has had difficulty walking, but as long as he could walk at all, I was fine with it. <BR> <BR> But on Saturday he reached a point where he could not walk any more. I had him out in the late afternoon, but by night time I could not even stand him up, let alone ha... Thu, 27 Nov 2014 00:10:28 EST My Goals for BLC26 (and my other challenges) I know I have been uncharacteristically quiet for awhile. I feel that I owe an apology to my Spark friends, particularly anyone who has reached out to me, but I have not responded. A lot of stuff has been going on, and I can't share all of it at this time. I will try to blog a little more often, and some of it will come out. <BR> <BR> After a year's hiatus, I rejoined the BLC 26. Conveniently, I am a member of two other challenges that are starting now as well. <BR> <BR> So I can refl... Mon, 22 Sep 2014 23:30:50 EST Fitbit Comes Through Again My Fitbit One died Monday night. I put it in the charger, and since then it will not display. While in the charger it displays "Fitbit 6.60" (I think this is the firmware version) and shows that the battery is fully charged. When I remove it, there is no display at all. <BR> <BR> The worst part? The Fitbit warranty is supposedly good for a year, and I purchased mine just over a year ago (sometime around January 19 of last year). However, I contacted Fitbit customer support. After going... Wed, 5 Feb 2014 22:03:35 EST Happy New Year, Everyone First of all, I truly wish everyone a Happy New Year. <BR> <BR> Thank you to all my Spark friends for your love and support during 2013 (and earlier). I feel like I am not always the most attentive friend, but I sincerely appreciate all the goodies and comments on my page and blogs, even if I don't always acknowledge them. <BR> <BR> I want to give a special shout to my friends from my former BLC team, the Forest Green Pixies. The forest was indeed a magical place. I miss it and wonder if... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 15:04:16 EST What are the odds? <em>227</em> WARNING!!! This blog has nothing to do with diet, weight loss or fitness. In fact, it has nothing to do with me. Just a story I want to share. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, my daughter came home from Philly to pay a shiva call. For those of you who don't know, shiva is a Jewish custom. When a Jewish person dies, the funeral takes place as soon as practically possible, usually the day after the death. This is followed by a week of mourning at the family home. Friends and family co... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 23:08:31 EST Please vote for Sparkpeople A friend shared this link with me, and I think it is such a great cause that I am doing the same. <BR> <BR> Right now Intuit is running a contest for small businesses. The prize is a commercial during the Super Bowl. I know that Sparkpeople has changed my life, and I know that many of you feel the same way. This is the opportunity to give this small organization the large recognition it deserves. All they need is the support of people like us. <BR> <BR> Go to this website and vote for ... Sat, 21 Sep 2013 11:54:03 EST I feel like I've been punched in the stomach No, nothing bad has happened to me. But has anyone seen the news about the fire in Seaside Heights, NJ? Less than a year after Hurricane Sandy? After listening to commercials all summer about how we (New Jerseyans) are "stronger than the storm"? <BR> <BR> Here is Funtown Pier taken about 5 years ago: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here it is as of this evening: <BR> <img src=""> <... Thu, 12 Sep 2013 23:02:55 EST An Afternoon at the Mall I am not big into shopping in the mall. In recent years, I have come to dislike it. I've never been a compulsive buyer/spender, and at this point I can't afford to be. When my kids were little we would sometimes go out and walk around a mall and have dinner in the food court. We probably haven't done that in at least 15 years though. <BR> <BR> On Saturday, I accompanied my husband while he spent the afternoon refereeing some lacrosse games. This was in Delaware (about 2 1/2 hours from h... Tue, 23 Jul 2013 22:04:38 EST BLC 22 Mid-Term - Regroup Here are the goals I set at the beginning of the challenge: <BR> <BR> 1. Interact with my team on a pretty much daily basis. <BR> 2. Keep the streak <BR> 3. Before the challenge is over, I will prepare at least two new healthy recipes. <BR> 4. Some sort of balance exercise 3x/week. <BR> 5. Make strides on tracking (a HUGE problem for me) to the point that by the end of the challenge I am tracking as best as I can 5x/week. <BR> <BR> I really have done poorly. I haven't achieved any of t... Mon, 22 Jul 2013 23:12:56 EST BLC22 Goals - Part 2 To get points for the team, I am adding to what has already been said: <BR> <BR> 1. I want to interact with my team on a pretty much daily basis. I am on a new team for the first time since starting BLC, and this is kind of a new experience for me. <BR> 2. Keep the streak - so far so good. <BR> 3. Before the challenge is over, I will prepare at least two new healthy recipes. This can be a challenge because my family and I don't see eye to eye on how we should eat, but it is doable. <BR>... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 23:42:23 EST BLC22 begins today The start of BLC is a lot like New Year's Day. New beginnings, etc. This round will be very different for me because I am on a new team after five rounds on the same team. I am very much looking forward to this new experience. <BR> <BR> My last round was not good. In fact, I gained weight. In fact, after hitting a recent low weight around Christmas and having some pretty good NSVs to go with it, I am now about 18 lbs. heavier. I am not proud of this, but I have to face this. For some r... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 18:02:54 EST Graduation Day, Part Deux Last Friday (May 10) I was in Natchitoches, Louisiana (pronounced nack-a-dish) for my son's graduation from college. Tomorrow I will be in Philadelphia, PA for my daughter's graduation from law school. Not only do I get to attend a graduation, but I will have to arrive early to watch her receive a prize for outstanding achievement in evidence. She thought she did poorly in that class but she was best in her class for it. <BR> <BR> Now to only get a job. But I am so proud of her. Here is... Wed, 22 May 2013 23:42:54 EST More about George Thanks to everyone who commented on my blog. So, so appreciated. <BR> <BR> It seems like he has actually improved since I wrote the blog. I am not going to delude myself to think that he is "all better". I know he is only going to get worse. But since I wrote, he has been getting up the steps a little better. We have a piece of wood that we use as a ramp. We also have two real doggie ramps, but he refuses to use them. Maybe they are too narrow. The problem is that he has become hes... Tue, 21 May 2013 23:37:52 EST My Poor Poochie My 5% challenge team, the Spirited Underdogs, has a blogging challenge this week. It is appropriate that my first blog will be about my precious dog, George. <BR> <BR> Please note, George is still very much alive!!! I am not writing to mourn his death but rather the deterioration in his health. <BR> <BR> George came into our lives in May 2005 shortly after the death of our collie, Sparky. We found a dog online that we wanted to adopt from a nearby rescue organization. They told us tha... Mon, 20 May 2013 01:48:27 EST Boston So shocked and upset, as is everyone. If anyone here is affected directly or indirectly, my thoughts are with you. <BR> <BR> What has the world come to???? Tue, 16 Apr 2013 00:45:01 EST BLC21 - Next 4 Weeks It is no secret that this has not been a good round for me. I have become unexpectedly extremely busy. For the last few years I have been either unemployed or working in jobs where I haven't been too busy most of the time. This gave me plenty of time to Spark and also to exercise. <BR> <BR> No more!!! I have been so busy at work that I can barely breathe!! Also, I signed up for an online course, Introduction to Databases. It is a non-credit course offered by Stanford U., and it is free... Wed, 20 Mar 2013 00:16:08 EST Happy New Year, Spark Friends I just want to wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year. Personally this was a tough year between my father's death in September (a blessing in disguise in some ways but sad and shocking nonetheless) and the major hurricane that hit my state a month later. Not to mention the deaths of many people (including the victims in Newtown and the significant others of some good friends) that left me very sad. I am hoping to be able to put this behind me in 2013. <BR> <BR> If there was one ... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 01:14:00 EST BLC 21 Registration is now open Registrations are now being accepted for the next round (round 21) of the Biggest Loser Challenge (BLC). Here is the link if you are interested: <link><BR>ndividual.asp?gid=58447 </link> <BR> <BR> This challenge requires more work than many challenges on SparkPeople. This is mainly because of the requirement to post to your team board several times per week. Yes, this can be demanding, but the rewards are definitely there. Many people have had v... Fri, 28 Dec 2012 00:33:51 EST Hurricane Sandy I have been without power for 75 hours now (since Monday around 5:30), with NO clue as to when it will be restored. I guess things could be worse. Some gutters fell off the house but no real damage otherwise. <BR> <BR> I have been living in internet cafes, in large part because they are warm and well-lit. I am now in a public library in a nearby town (my own library does not have power). These wonderful people are staying open until 10:00 just so those of us without power can hang out. ... Thu, 1 Nov 2012 20:57:09 EST BLC 20 Mid-Marking Report I have not been doing well. I can't lie or sugar-coat it. I start most days with the best of intentions, only to be derailed late in the day. Upon re-reading the goals I set at the beginning of the challenge, I feel like I have deviated from them so much that I simply need to rededicate myself. Also, I have cut myself way too much slack with respect to sugar. In keeping with the concept of baby steps, I am going to eliminate sugary sweets for a week. I am virtually certain that I will s... Mon, 22 Oct 2012 16:02:05 EST 12 Week goals for BLC20 My initial efforts in the BLC20 were severely derailed by my father’s death on Thursday, Day #2 of a 91 day challenge. I made a very short-term pledge to continue a healthy eating pattern in spite of the many goodies that would be thrown my way. I did a reasonable job with this pledge. As far as other things go, I have cut myself a little slack and promise that I will be back on track by Wednesday (start of Week #2). <BR> <BR> This part of the journey is where it gets a little scary. I a... Mon, 17 Sep 2012 22:33:03 EST My father It is with sadness that I report that my father passed away around 6:30 this morning. As many of you know, he had battled Alzheimer's for many years. He moved into a residential hospital, the NJ Veterans Home, about two months ago. My last real visit with him was about four weeks ago. He was in his world of dementia, but he was able to carry on a conversation. On August 28 he fell and sustained a pelvic fracture. Last week we were informed that the situation had really deteriorated, but... Thu, 13 Sep 2012 11:54:15 EST ABCs for BLC20 is for ABOVE and BEYOND...Does competition push you? - Yes. This type of competition pushes me in the sense that I don’t want to let the team down. However, in some ways I don’t like to view weight loss as a “competition”. I gladly celebrate the success of others, even if it drops me a little lower in the standings. If you were beating me in a race, I would not stick my leg out and make you trip LOL. I would like to see the Pixies name in lights this round. I'd really love to see the Pix... Fri, 7 Sep 2012 12:28:00 EST Coincidences There are two here. One is related to weight loss, the other is not. <BR> <BR> First, the non-weight loss related one. On Saturday mornings, my local NBC affiliate has a little trivia contest. I have not done this for awhile. Did it last week and scored very poorly because there were a lot of questions about a Broadway show (Lost) that I have not seen. Yesterday's category was Firsts and Lasts. The first question was: Who was the first man to walk on the moon? Choices were Neil Armst... Sun, 26 Aug 2012 14:51:49 EST A day in Cape May - and a Pixie!!! Sunday was spent with the family in the lovely shore community of Cape May, NJ. Cape May is at the very southern tip of New Jersey, Architecturally, it is a Victorian community, About 30 years ago it became very trendy, A lot of old houses were converted into quaint B&Bs. A lot of fantastic restaurants sprang up, I think a lot of laws were passed so the homeowners are required to keep up their homes in proper fashion, <BR> <BR> We had a great day. One of the negatives of going there i... Tue, 3 Jul 2012 23:56:09 EST Mother's Day I am back from my long anticipated trip to South Carolina. I was there for a wedding. It was not really essential for us to go to the wedding. The bride's father is someone who my husband calls part of his "extended family". They are not really cousins, but they are cousins by marriage, I guess. My husband's uncle was married to this guy's aunt (they are both deceased now), and we have always been considered to be family even though technically we are not. <BR> <BR> We have seen them ... Tue, 15 May 2012 15:03:09 EST Update on 5K I completed the 5K in just under 42 minutes (41:46.8). It was great weather for a race; a little cold, but fine once the race started. It was sunny, the course was very nice (albeit hilly), and the event was very well organized. Not surprisingly, the head of the event is dealing with Alzheimer's in her family. This was the third year they did this. The atmosphere was festive. <BR> <BR> I finished next to last in the race. I was actually very pleased with my time. I hesitate to say tha... Mon, 30 Apr 2012 00:57:32 EST My Pixie Plan To achieve my goals for BLC-19 I will do the following: <BR> <BR> 1. Add a motivational quote to my signature (to by done by end of day tomorrow - Saturday). I will review it every week and decide whether to replace it. <BR> 2. Track my food. This was key to my best success four years ago, and I have definitely strayed. Because I frequently do not prepare my own food, I don't always know exactly I what I am eating and how much. But that is not an excuse; I can guess. <BR> 3. I will po... Fri, 27 Apr 2012 22:14:17 EST ABCs of the Forest - for BLC 19 A is for ABOVE and BEYOND...Does competition push you? - TMI here. This type of competition pushes me in the sense that I don’t want to let the team down. I would say that it doesn’t bother me too much if the team doesn’t have a good showing compared to others. In some ways I don’t like to view weight loss as a “competition”. On the other hand, I enjoyed seeing the Pixie team lit up in lights in BLC-17 (top team of the week). This didn’t happen last round. I would like to see it again.... Sat, 21 Apr 2012 16:37:28 EST My struggles with sugar I feel like this is Deja Vu all over again. Sort of like the movie Groundhog Day. <BR> <BR> I have blogged many times about my struggles with sugar. I have sworn I was going to give it up completely. Those of you who have known me for awhile are probably reading this and saying "Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've heard that before". <BR> <BR> Frankly, I don't blame you. I swear I will give up sugar, something happens where I end up having a sugary treat, and next thing you know, I am eating so m... Sun, 18 Mar 2012 23:21:33 EST Me and Skeeter Phelan This is in reference to "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, which is the book on which the movie is based. In August, with Hurricane Irene approaching, I bought the book so I would have something to keep me busy if we lost power for several days. I was interested in seeing the movie and thought it would make the movie a better experience if I read the book first. <BR> <BR> Fortunately, we did not lose power. I started to read the book and then found it on audiobooks. I borrowed the audio b... Mon, 16 Jan 2012 09:36:59 EST ABCs of Me This blog is for the BLC 18 challenge: <BR> <BR> A is for ABOVE and BEYOND...Does competition push you? - BLC –type competition does push me, but as a whole, I am not super competitive. <BR> <BR> B is for BLC rounds... Newbie?(first BLC round) Oldie?(1-3 rounds) Goldie?(long time BLCer)? Former BLC team(s)? - Oldie (second time around as a pixie) <BR> <BR> C is for have? Sharon(26) and David (23). <BR> <BR> D is for DOWNFALL...what's you're biggest temptation? – sugary... Tue, 10 Jan 2012 16:51:46 EST Day 1 of 5% Challenge Things were better than I expected on several fronts. First of all, 85 minutes of walking. tThen we went out for dinner at an Italian restaurant to which I had a coupon. Turned out to be very nice. I didn't make the best choices (had filet mignon for dinner and too much bread), but it could have been worse. After dinner, DH wanted to go out for gelato. Yeah, like I need this. But the place we went to has a dessert called a banana cloud, whcih is pure banana that is pureed into a frozen... Sat, 3 Dec 2011 23:41:40 EST Thankful for BLC-17 and SparkPeople in general Well, tomorrow is the end of the BLC=17 (and my first BLC) challenge. I am happy to report that I have lost about 12 lbs. during this time and seem to be back on track!!! <BR> <BR> When I first signed up for this challenge I didn't know what to expect; in fact, I was seriously considering dropping out before it even started. I am sure glad I stayed, though. Obviously I am happy for the weight loss, but even more, I was challenged in the truest sense of the word. 120 minutes of fitness in... Tue, 29 Nov 2011 19:17:48 EST Love Letter to Myself As part of the BLC 17 challenge, my team had an assignment to letter to myself stating only positive things. This is not easy for me. My first reaction was that I would rather eat dirt. I am not comfortable blowing my own horn. That said, I definitely have some positive things to say. <BR> <BR> 1. This is the most important. I have two really great kids. Sharon is 26. After working in the advertising industry for three years, she left her job last year to go to law school, and she is... Tue, 18 Oct 2011 22:09:00 EST Update Just wanted to provide an update on a few things I blogged about earlier this year (not the hurricane!). <BR> <BR> My mother is not staying with us any more. She went home three weeks ago. It is working out ok I guess. I still feel that she has some form of dementia. Maybe it is Alzheimers; maybe it is something else. But it just seems like there is some cognitive decline. There have been many incidents that would not be of much concern when taken individually, but in the whole they ar... Mon, 5 Sep 2011 00:43:51 EST Another Hurricane Update I did not go to work today because my office was closed. I think everything is fine there, and it will be open tomorrow. Driving around, I am running into a lot of roads that are closed because of flooding or downed trees or power lines. <BR> <BR> In the end, the Jersey shore and New York City did not take as big a hit as predicted. However, parts of inland NJ, as well as other places in the Northeast where you would not expect it (Catskills, Vermont, etc.) took a much bigger hit than exp... Tue, 30 Aug 2011 00:44:02 EST Hurricane Update Happy to say that we made it through without losing power. I am surprised that some nearby communities (i.e. Millburn, Cranford) are experiencing serious flooding. I think that large chunks of inland New Jersey are going to be flooded within the next few days. <BR> <BR> They say every dark cloud has a silver lining (terrible pun). Here is mine. I lost my pedometer about 7 weeks ago. I was wearing it, and next thing I knew, it was gone. It had to be in the house, but I just could not fi... Sun, 28 Aug 2011 16:27:01 EST Hurricane Irene I am sitting here waiting for this thing to come through and pass. Right now it is raining heavily. The worst is yet to come. Initially I wasn't too concerned about the hurricane. I don't live on the coast. My home is actually on fairly high ground. However, I am scared about losing power. We lost power for almost two hours last Sunday after some heavy rain. This rain will probably be worse, and I suspect that if we lose power, it will be some time (at least 24 hours) before it is res... Sat, 27 Aug 2011 21:13:20 EST