KRISTINE99's SparkPeople Blog KRISTINE99's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Summer update... I have missed sparkpeople! I hope to get back in the swing of things and start blogging again more regularly. <BR> <BR> Update: I've been taking metformin but inconsistently. I believe it is assisting with weight management but need to take full dosage every day to give fair assessment. And in regards to weight management, I haven't noticed a significant downshift in weight but I have been leaning up, as it evidence by fitting in to some of my slimmer fitting clothes. My diet has been slippi... Mon, 2 Jun 2014 22:12:41 EST Metformin and Me... Metformin is traditionally a medication used for diabetics but also can be used for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). I nickname PCOS the "ugly syndrome syndrome" because several of the symptoms are subtantial weight gain, adult acne, scalp hair thinning, and hirsuitism. I've never had issues with the hair thinning or abnormally dark hair growth on my face or body, but I definitely have had weight gain issues and adult acne since my early 20s. <BR> <BR> My endocrinologist prescribed birth ... Sun, 9 Mar 2014 18:48:20 EST Emotional eating to fill a void... I've gotten into a bad habit the past two weeks of snacking in the late evenings. I tell myself that my body needs some more food, when in fact I had my moment of clarity tonight -- I'm using food to fill a void, not because I'm actually hungry for food. <BR> <BR> Just when I was about to go eat something extra tonight, I got a Facebook instant message from a friend I hadn't talked to in awhile. We spent over 1.5 hours catching up, and before I knew it my "hunger" had completely dissipated.... Thu, 6 Mar 2014 06:43:10 EST Things to do... Things to do today <BR> <BR> -take dogs to dog park <BR> -walk dog afterwards <BR> -at least 30 minutes of weight training at gym <BR> -house cleaning and organizing while listening to audiobook <BR> -5 page on research project <BR> -in bed by midnight <BR> <BR> Hoping everyone has a terrific Thursday! :) Thu, 27 Feb 2014 20:58:20 EST Re-doubling efforts... Clothes shopping when you put on a significant amount of weight. Is there a more humbling experience? I'm looking for a new job so needed some interview outfits... Unfortunately, even what I thought of as my "fat clothes" are too small now. It's alarming how much weight I've put on in only 6 - 8 months. In Summer 2013 I was wearing a size 6/8. Now I'm a size large/size 12. <BR> <BR> Today I did have success finding a business jacket, a few blouses, and a pair of slacks. Thus, have at least a... Sun, 23 Feb 2014 00:55:34 EST Audio books, wigs, and more I've been way behind house cleaning and organization lately... In order to motivate myself I've been playing audio books to keep me engaged while I clean, organize, and other sundry activities. I initially tried to have a movie playing in the background, but I ultimately got sucked into watching it when taking "breaks." There's no danger of this with audio books so will continue this method. My goal is to have a tidy house and living space 24/7. <BR> <BR> I've been making progress as well wi... Thu, 20 Feb 2014 02:04:00 EST Serenity prayer... It's been 7 days since my DIY TCA peel... ill planned idea. Even after doing lots of research online and following the instructions, my healing did not go well. I was overconfident with self-administering this stronger peel because of the past glycolic and Jessner's peels I have done. <BR> <BR> But now I know there are various levels of skin "frosting", and I went too aggressive and deep with mine. I should have limited myself to a level ii frosting, but easily went into the level iii frost... Mon, 17 Feb 2014 20:55:19 EST Warrior's Diet... Yesterday I did another 24 hour fast. So for the past few days I've been only eating dinner. You would think I would be ravenous, but on the contrary! I have enough energy and focus throughout the day. I googled "one meal a day diet" and several fitness gurus label it as the Warrior's Diet. It's more common to restrict the one meal a day to dinner, in that way one doesn't need to go to bed hungry. <BR> <BR> Last night for dinner I had 1 can of pumpkin puree (120 cal), 1 banana (100 cal), 1 ... Wed, 12 Feb 2014 13:29:59 EST Weighing in... So far it's been a success with weighing in each morning! I've seen a steady decrease in my weight for the past week. Granted, part of it may be because my period bloat has subsided, but hopefully had some genuine weight loss. If anything I've been much more aware of what types of food and how much I'm eating. I'm still aiming for low carb, but my new discovery is that I do better on less meals a day... ideally a light breakfast and a heavier dinner. When I eat three meals a day, or worse, th... Tue, 11 Feb 2014 09:47:54 EST February...time for a change Wow! Can't believe it's February already. Well, I'm resolved to implement some changes. For me, though, in order for habits to solidify and be consistent, I need to do them EVERY DAY. These two new changes: (1) weigh myself every morning and keep a food journal. <BR> <BR> So far, so good. I've been doing these two new practices for the past two days. <BR> <BR> Hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday :) Wed, 5 Feb 2014 22:28:04 EST Year 2014 Happy (belated) New Year!!! <BR> <BR> I've been having major internet connection issues due to a resistant computer virus. But hopefully can get back into the habit of blogging more frequently. <BR> <BR> Some good news and bad news. First the bad news... <BR> <BR> My 11-year-old weimaraner, Buddy, was diagnosed with terminal cancer last week. He began having ill symptoms in the beginning of December -- hacking cough, lethargy, lack of appetite. The last symptom was the most worrisome as h... Mon, 13 Jan 2014 23:42:19 EST Day before Christmas... I got in a good upper body workout yesterday at the gym. But the gym will be closed today and tomorrow, so I planned an hour long hike for each day. <BR> <BR> Game plan for family dinners for the next two days? Lots of water (at least 64 ounces), and eat as much protein and veggies as possible. I don't want to be tempted by the carbs. I had my fill of desserts this past Saturday. <BR> <BR> <em>446</em> Tue, 24 Dec 2013 04:21:40 EST Hair growth progress... Along with getting my skin in shape, I've been growing out my hair for nearly three years now. In January 2011 I got a pixie cut. Usually I let my hair grow to shoulder length and then chop it off into a pixie cut, and this is the cycle I've been doing since high school. However, at some point in 2011 I decided to change things up and let my hair grow long. <BR> <BR> Before <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> After <BR> <img src="http:/... Mon, 23 Dec 2013 11:31:14 EST Ok, Italian Desserts, you won the battle but not the war... Last night my family had a holiday get together. I did relatively well in staying hydrated and loading up on protein (lots of water and rotisserie chicken). However, there were a ton of desserts, and I ended up having 1.5 large cannolli and at about 6 pizzelle. <BR> <BR> In order to compensate today, I went relatively low carb, ate smaller meals, and drank a lot more water. I made a promise to myself that that was my ONE and ONLY day for this winter season holiday to overindulge with desser... Mon, 23 Dec 2013 00:26:40 EST My journey through adult acne... This year had its ups and downs for me in terms of skin health. I had the worst acne flare up I've ever experienced during the summer of 2013. I felt like a leper. I stopped going swing and salsa dancing, and even was too embarrassed at times to go to the gym (vanity can be insidious). <BR> <BR> Behold! Not for the faint of heart... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <... Sat, 21 Dec 2013 03:30:03 EST Progress! I'm very happy with the progress I'm making, both in terms of my skin and body. The Retin A .04%/Hydroquinone 4% mixture that I'm applying to my skin every night is nothing short of a miracle! It's only been four days but I already see a definite lightening of the hyperpigmentation left over from acne. I'm still applying benzoyl peroxide in the mornings to keep further acne from bay. Plus, the RA/HQ sufficiently speeds up cell turnover rate, thus my pores have less of a chance to clog. Now I'... Fri, 20 Dec 2013 20:19:31 EST Terrific Thursday... Goals today <BR> <BR> (1) walk dogs for 1 hour <BR> (2) do at least 1 hour of house tidying <BR> (3) drink at least 64 ounces of water <BR> (4) spend less than 1 hour on internet <BR> (5) weight train at gym for 1 hour <BR> <BR> Wishing everyone a terrific Thursday :) Thu, 19 Dec 2013 07:05:11 EST Ch-Ch-Changes... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I love this chart. It's a good but simple reminder about happiness and life. Today I am going to post this chart and the serenity prayer on my fridge to keep me focused. <BR> <BR> I am also going to make a greater effort this winter to spend as much time outdoors. The weather is mild and beautiful right now in Phoenix, Arizona. Plus, I have an extra incentive because of my dog, Buddy. This month mark's his one-yea... Wed, 18 Dec 2013 15:51:59 EST Merry monday... Today I finally got my package in from!!! The company is based in India, so it took about two weeks for it to be shipped to the USA. My order contained several tubes of Retin-A Micro and hydroquinone 4%. I am a bit hesitant about using the hydroquinone. However, I am impatient to get rid of the prominent hyperpigmentation that I developed from my last serious acne breakout this past summer. The last time I was at the dermatologist he advised using hydroquinone, as it is the ... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 23:56:17 EST Tuna salad... Tonight I made a big batch of tuna/salmon salad that should last me for the next few days. I added apples, celery, swiss chard, parsley, romaine lettuce, carrots, olives, walnuts, olive oil, apple cider vinegar with the combination of canned tuna and salmon. There were only two apples in the whole batch, so it is relatively low carb. <BR> <BR> I've been sticking to carbonated water and unsweetened tea for my beverages, and along with upping my exercise I hope to shed the holiday pounds. <BR... Tue, 3 Dec 2013 03:45:08 EST Thanksgiving weekend... Thanksgiving was pleasant and low key this year. Usually there is some tension and family arguments, but those issues were nearly non-existent this year. <BR> <BR> In terms of diet, I didn't go wild and crazy but probably had more pumpkin pie than I planned. Pumpkin pie is definitely my Thanksgiving food weakness! Thankfully, I probably saved some calories because I am only partial to the filling -- I've never liked pie crust so end up leaving it aside. <BR> <BR> However, my exercise routi... Sat, 30 Nov 2013 23:47:56 EST Braving the excessive heat in Phoenix... I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona but this summer is proving challenging! The other day I went for a two-hour walk with my dogs on a greenbelt nearby. Out of curiosity I weighed myself afterwards and lost a whopping two pounds... This is why I keep reminding myself to drink close to a gallon of water each day. <BR> <BR> As I am writing this blog entry it is 6:30 pm and 105 degrees Farenheit outside. Ugh :( I wouldn't mind so much but I have my two Weimaraners to keep active. Well, I'... Sat, 17 Aug 2013 22:33:31 EST Summer hiatus... Wow! I meant to take a break from Sparkpeople, but NOT a two-month break. Truth be told, I got into a bad rut this summer. First my skin broke out with major hormonal acne. The entire lower half of my face was riddled with congested pores that broke out in angry red spots. So for nearly two months I have missed my regular social salsa outings...too embarrassed with my pimply face. It's one thing going out in public with less than perfect skin, it's another when you know your face will be inch... Tue, 13 Aug 2013 15:16:38 EST Coconut oil and more green smoothies... Yesterday I went grocery shopping at Sprouts and there was a great clearance sale on coconut oil -- $5.99 for 23 fl. ounces (or 46 tablespoons/servings)!!! I bought the last 5 containers. I love, love, LOVE coconut oil. From my understanding after thoroughly researching the oil, it is truly a wonder food. The only drawback is that I can't externally use it as well. Coconut oil is known to be highly comedogenic (can clog pores if used topically), and since I'm acne prone I can't take any chanc... Sun, 16 Jun 2013 17:13:17 EST Swing dancing... Current weight: 145.6 lbs <BR> <BR> <BR> My plans fell through for country dancing last night, but luckily there was a special 1st Friday rockabilly event at a local 5 & Diner. It was great! There were historic vehicles, a dance floor, and an incredible live band all dressed up 1950s style. I danced for about 2 hours but the event ended rather early around 9 pm, so I headed off to my favorite sports bar for more dancing and socializing. <BR> <BR> I met a group visiting from out-of-state f... Sat, 8 Jun 2013 07:27:35 EST Be bold and courageous! Good news! I found a new venue for salsa dance. So far I've only been doing Wednesdays and Sundays, but now there is a new venue close to where I live that is on Thursdays. Granted, the turnout is nowhere near the 100+ people that come to the others (closer to 30 people), but in a way that just makes it nicer. This way I get to know the people at this smaller Thursday venue better, and actually can dance more. <BR> <BR> Also, I intend to regularly go to the Saturday salsa venue. Thus, I'll ... Fri, 7 Jun 2013 15:26:33 EST Month of June -- Dairy free OK, for the month of June I am resolved to be dairy free. This means no cheese, yogurt, milk, butter, etc. The purpose behind this "elimination diet" is to determine if dairy is contributing to my adult acne. My skin has been much clearer laterly -- I suspect because of all the green smoothies I'm consuming daily -- but I still get clogged pores along my jawline. <BR> <BR> I don't expect flawless skin, but I'm trying to achieve clear enough skin in which I don't feel I need to wear foundati... Sat, 1 Jun 2013 05:40:52 EST Green smoothies... For the past two years I have been mostly following a paleolithic diet -- no grains or processed food but lots of vegetables, healthy fats, lean protein, and some fruit. However, the past few months I've noticed a trend in which I was consuming not as much vegetables as I should be, as well as not drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of filtered water a day. <BR> <BR> The solution? GREEN SMOOTHIES. Seriously, this was a change in my diet in which I thought, "Where has this been all my life?!" Ba... Fri, 31 May 2013 16:58:55 EST Stop, release, sleep, eat nutritionally, reflect SRSENR Do you remember the fireman's warning to stop, drop, and roll if you catch on fire? Well, I figure I should have one when I encounter an emotional crisis. <BR> <BR> Stop, breathe, sleep, eat nutritionally, reflect. I certainly used this technique the other night. Basically, I was stood up and it took its toll on me emotionally... <BR> <BR> Here are the facts: over the past month I have gotten to know, E., one of the regulars at the salsa venues that I frequent. We exchanged phone numbers se... Sat, 11 May 2013 23:40:49 EST Judge people by their actions, not their words... More and more I realize how important it is to judge people by their actions, NOT their words. The same could be said for ourselves. The more honest we can be with ourselves, as well as relying on honest, dependable people in tough times, the better our lives will be. <BR> <BR> For instance, I tell myself I'm a good dog owner, but because of extenuating circumstances I have let their daily walks fall to the wayside for the past two weeks. I'm now determined to make it a priority because my ... Tue, 7 May 2013 12:57:42 EST Ways to pep yourself up when you hit rough patches... I've been going through a rough patch this past month, pretty much on all levels: career, finances, housing issues, family, friends/social networking, etc. Feels a bit like a domino effect... <BR> <BR> However, I will perservere! Easier said than done but the following sayings are helping me stay positive during this tough period in my life. <BR> <BR> <BR> "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" <BR> <BR> "I cried that I had no shoes until I met the man who had no feet." <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:12:36 EST Punishment -- who should administer it? Question posed: Who should administer punishment? Their maker/high power/etc. or the proper legal authorities for abuse that happened in the past, that is, if the statute of limitations haven't run its course? <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> OK, a situation occurred in which I learned that a friend of mine suffered sexual abuse from her brother, six years her senior, while she was growing up in their parents' home. The parents learned of the abuse when she was 13 years old, after she confided during a... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 05:25:13 EST Serenity prayer to build inner strength... Today was certainly challening, in more ways than one... I think the "old me" would have broken down under the duress, but I was able to silently recite the serenity prayer to myself until my inner strength calmed my spirit and renewed my hope for better times: <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> God grant me the serenity <BR> to accept the things I cannot change; <BR> courage to change the things I can; <BR> and wisdom to know the difference. <BR> <BR> Living one day at a ... Tue, 16 Apr 2013 21:09:05 EST Spring cleaning, part 3... Just a quick update -- things have been going marvelously for my spring cleaning, part 3!!! I've been doing "cleaning" in more ways in one. For instance, I've been cleaning up my friend and family networks in order to diminish contact (not outright avoid them, though) with certain "toxic" individuals. I've been getting better this with week with controlling my temper when these people say or do hurtful things, as well as clearly defining the boundaries that I'm comfortable with when interacti... Sun, 14 Apr 2013 10:49:41 EST Spring cleaning, part 2... My friend, M., has gotten me hooked on aromatherapy! After doing some cleaning, he recommends burning, or as aromatherapists say "smudging," sage. At first I was skeptical but it did truly relax me as well as clear out any bad energy from the de-cluttering and dusting. I will certainly make smudging sage a habit in my home for a cleaner, brighter, and happier living space. <BR> <BR> Wishing everyone a terrific Thursday. <em>414</em> Thu, 11 Apr 2013 17:25:03 EST Friday night salsa... Friday night salsa went great! I got all gussied up in one of my favorite dresses (because it flares beautifully when twirled)... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I was pleasantly surprised to see my younger brother at the salsa class :) I mentioned in passing to him over the phone that I would be going and he was welcome to join. Didn't think he would show up! We are 8 years apart in age and he's still a college student, so it was nice to spend ... Sat, 6 Apr 2013 20:24:50 EST Venting: calorie-free way to soothe raw emotions... Thank goodness for Sparkpeople! I needed to vent again. You know how I wanted to maximize my day? Well, I told my mother I would drop her car off at the mechanic's shop. She had her car earlier serviced this week for check engine light issues. I needed my car's timing belt replaced on Wednesday, so she was going to lend me her car in the meantime. <BR> <BR> The registration on this car had expired so I offered to take it down for emissions testing once I switched cars on Wednesday, and afte... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 20:46:00 EST Free day, clean day... Today I have the day off but I want to maximize it -- I already did 1 hour at the gym and want to do heavy-duty cleaning at my house. My procrastination and poor housekeeping habits have let my living conditions turn into a mess. There's no time like the present to make a positive change! :) <BR> <BR> My gym workout was decent, although I had to bow out on the Zumba class I initially started. I showed up a few minutes late to the packed class so had to pick a spot in the back corner. I alway... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 15:28:50 EST Awkward situation: rejecting someone gently... You know how I've blogged about socializing with my friend and her crowd of friends? Well, one of them is this nice, older man R. He's pushing 50 years old but we always have good conversation. I've ran into him three times, the last was at the salsa venue I attended the other night. Now, keep in mind I'm not a flirtatious person. Nor have I consciously given him any signals that I am romantically interested in him (which I am NOT!). But R. seems to now have this notion for us to "get to know... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 23:32:45 EST Salsa dancing... Last night I went to a salsa venue, and also found a route in which I only have to spend 40 minutes roundtrip :) I'm glad I decided to go! I ran into friends from the Easter potluck I went to as well as a few from swing dancing. It was a bit unfortunate that another friend couldn't make it...he is by far the best salsa dancer in the group. In contrast, my friends from the potluck are newbies. I actually enjoy showing beginners the basics, but of course like to balance it out with more interme... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 09:22:51 EST More zumba... Yesterday I went to Zumba. It was amazing like usual! :D My favorite Zumba instructor, R., only teaches one class at the gym I go to. I need to look into attending the other nearby gym (which is part of the same chain), so that I can take at least take two of his classes each week. <BR> <BR> Speaking of dance, tonight is the free salsa class in a nearby city but I may have to skip it. I need to buckle down on a writing assignment. I heard from the other salsa dancers last week that there's a... Wed, 3 Apr 2013 05:23:02 EST Improving outlook and social skills... Yesterday I was invited to a last-minute get together for a friend of friend's birthday party. I managed to complete most of my tasks yesterday, so decided I should head out and mingle. I got there around 10 pm but stayed A LOT longer than intended. I finally left at 3 am but meant to leave after about 2 or 3 hours... <BR> <BR> I did, though, get a chance to meet new friends and exchanged phone numbers with three of the party guests who I talked to last time this same group met up. All thre... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 17:37:29 EST Spring cleaning... This morning I went for a 40-minute walk with my dogs. It was a shorter walk than usual because I was pet sitting my sister's chihuahua who came with us and therefore the limiting factor, if you will. I love little dogs but it made me that much more appreciate of my Weimaraners! Even though my Weimies are 8 and 10 years old, respectively, they can still walk for miles every day without getting overtired <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> I am hoping to get all my daily tasks done in a timely fashion... Sat, 30 Mar 2013 18:04:15 EST Appetite back under control... Yeah! Today has gone smoothly in terms of my food intake. <BR> <BR> Food consumed: <BR> <BR> -4 servings of brocolli with garlic, vinegar, and olive oil dressing <BR> -3 grapefruit <BR> -3 servings of canned anchovies in water <BR> -1 serving of raw cacao with almond milk and stevia <BR> -64 ounces of filtered water <BR> -1 kombucha (60 calories, 4 grams of sugar) <BR> <BR> My calories are on the low side today because the last two days I've been averaging over 2300 calories...binging on... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 19:20:16 EST Trying to control appetite while increasing exercise time and intensity... My appetite is shooting through the roof, and I overate by A LOT of calories yesterday. However, there are some no-brainer decisions I can make to prevent such a recurrence in the future. Yesterday on Monday I arrived at the gym a little after 5:00 pm. I had a check to deposit at the bank, so made plans to do the 5:30 pm Zumba class that day at the gym. I stretched for about 15 minutes while waiting for the class to start. Unfortunately, I got the times wrong! The 5:30 pm Zumba class is on Tu... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 10:34:18 EST Busy weekend and baby shower... This weekend was definitely a lot more busy for me than usual! At 5:30 am I took a 2-hour road trip to Tucson for a badminton tournament. I used to play badminton frequently when studying for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. But since moving to the Phoenix area I haven't taken the effort to find a venue and compatible times. The other week I received an email notice from the president of my old college badminton club about a tournament that was being held. I figured this would be a good... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 17:14:24 EST Friend just busy or giving you the cold shoulder... Question posed: Is your friend just busy or giving you the cold shoulder? <BR> <BR> <BR> My last blog post about utilizing the serenity prayer with my mother got me thinking about another relationship (or lack thereof) which is frustrating me. I think the good ol' prayer should be applied for my current situation. <BR> <BR> Here are the facts: For the past couple of months I've been making genuine efforts to re-connect with a male friend, N., from graduate school. Actually, I originally co... Fri, 22 Mar 2013 12:22:43 EST Serenity prayer... Last night I went to my favorite swing dance venue in Tempe. This time, however, I time managed so that I would get back home for an early wake up. This entailed that I danced only from 9:00 - 10:00 pm and arrived home at 10:30 pm. I got up at 6:00 am and plan to do an hour walk with my dogs before starting my school and work tasks for the day. <BR> <BR> My mother is coming back in town from her timeshare in Cancun, Mexico. It was her birthday a few days ago so I plan to buy her a small gif... Fri, 22 Mar 2013 10:38:06 EST Salsa dancing... Last night from 8 pm - 12 am I danced salsa at a local venue. I met up with some friends and befriended some new ones. It was a beautiful night! The dance floor was on the second story of the restaurant out on the patio. The Phoenix temperature was perfect and the atmosphere lively. It also helped that there was a steady crowd of about 200 people dancing, all of them very good dancers. I could tell, though, I didn't burn as many calories as usual because I was taking the time to show the thre... Thu, 21 Mar 2013 12:57:49 EST Dance, dance, dance! Yesterday was a super cardio day for me! I finished up my daily school/work tasks for the day and managed to make the 5:30 pm Zumba class at the gym. I had only been to 2 cycling classes at this gym before, so this was my first Zumba class in a long time (nearly 3 years ago since I used to live in another city). It was AMAZING...not only was I have lots of fun but was sweating buckets. The same instructor offered a Zumba Toning class afterwards, so I did that class as well. <BR> <BR> I got h... Wed, 20 Mar 2013 12:37:31 EST