MARCIAC10's SparkPeople Blog MARCIAC10's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Friday morning I've been laying a bit low this week on Spark as I know the next weeks will be busy ones as we gear up to start the 5% Challenge. For those who have never led a team setting up the team page, sending out the team invitations when we get the team list and then the first two weeks as we help get everyone "settled in" are the busiest for all of the team leaders! So I'm just relaxing a bit! <BR> <BR> Tuesday was Mah Jong with the Newcomers. I had missed the last few games (we play twice a mon... Fri, 16 Jun 2017 10:38:57 EST Late evening walk/lunch with DH DH and I have been enjoying the nice weather and later daylight hours with evening walks so last night we took off before sunset and decided to walk the river trail. We had tried another night but the mosquitoes were too bad, and then we tried again and I sprayed insect repellant and things were a bit better but we didn't make it through most of the path so last night I really sprayed on (I thought) insect repellant, even putting some in my hair and we tackled the main part of the path along... Fri, 9 Jun 2017 15:52:21 EST Summer 5% Challenge Want to lose 5% of your weight? <BR> Want to make new friends? <BR> Need a reason to exercise regularly? <BR> Need someone to be accountable to in your journey to a healthier lifestyle? <BR> Need motivation and encouragment? <BR> <BR> Are you able to weigh yourself and log your weight each week by a deadline? <BR> Are you able to post your exercise minutes each week, preferably daily as each team is racing against other teams! Daily posting of your exercise helps your team in their race!!! ... Thu, 8 Jun 2017 09:54:03 EST Have you done your Will? We finished signing our wills today! Yea!! <BR> <BR> We did our first will after our son was born in 1986 in South Carolina. After we moved to Louisiana, while our children were still young, we had our will redone there. And that was a long time ago! We moved to Arkansas and I thought about updating it but we ended up leaving there after 2/3 years (2 for me, 3 for DH) and we moved there knowing it wasn't going to be more that a couple of years. <BR> <BR> So now that we got settled back ... Wed, 7 Jun 2017 21:18:53 EST Evening Walks Since DH finally moved here permanently we've settled back into a nice routine. He gets home around 6:30-7:00 from work and we take an evening walk, some days at 7:30, others after 8:00. We have these nice arm bands that flash so we can be seen when cars come by and since we live in a subdivision with little traffic (no sidewalks) it's great to be seen and we don't often encounter cars, thankfully. We enjoy the evening walks with the sound of whippoorwills and the lightning bugs flashing t... Tue, 6 Jun 2017 09:54:02 EST Been busy I've been busy and have just checked in daily to Spark and logged my points to the 5% team and added photos to the Shutterbugs and that's about it for Spark! <BR> <BR> 1. Having DH finally here has changed my schedule. He is working in Charlotte so his hours are the same as when we lived in Baton Rouge but I was used to getting on Spark in the evening and now he's home in the evening so that's no good! <BR> <BR> 2. Dog care: some days are good, some days aren't. Dementia is that way for... Tue, 23 May 2017 21:38:29 EST FitStar, Sworkit, and The Knee I've been doing great, well good, with the exercise lately. Until tonight. But first: FitStar... <BR> <BR> I love the FitStar app. The videos of the exercises are really good and you rate each exercise and it adjusts your program depending on how you rate the exercise, although lately the ones I rate as "brutal" kept showing up in my routine. Huh?? These were high impact ones that I just could not, or would not, figure out an adaptation for. And that's another thing. There just aren't... Wed, 3 May 2017 20:53:22 EST Busy Days I've been MIA except for my daily 5% exercise/LTGL postings this week. It's been a busy week with DH arriving last Sunday evening and the unpacking and then doing my regular activities and putting away things he brought that pertain to me. Most of the things he brought he'll have to deal with!! But I managed to put away most of my/household things and will spend the next weeks reorganizing and culling things to make room for everything. DD will benefit from this! She'll get a ton of clea... Sat, 29 Apr 2017 09:21:21 EST Day 14 of 5% Challenge Worked around the house. <BR> Watched the house finches fix up the nest for their next batch of eggs. <BR> Laundry <BR> Took a walk by myself and then took the dog for a walk. <BR> Hmmm, must have been some other things that I accomplished today but I'm getting tired so can't think of them. Oh, edited the newsletter, calendar, and activity page for Newcomers. I may have one more to do before someone else takes over that job and I move onto another job for the group. <BR> <BR> DH is packin... Fri, 21 Apr 2017 20:34:18 EST Day 13 of 5% Spring Challenge Beautiful day today after two partly rainy overcast chilly days. Temps got up to 80 today. <BR> <BR> I ran an errand and the dog did not have an accident! I watched her go out in the yard prior to me leaving the house and checked to make sure the floors were dry when I got home. <BR> <BR> More paperwork being done today. Some for my adult kids, some for us. <BR> <BR> DH sold our washer and dryer, the ones we had in Arkansas! I'm so glad. We bought new ones when I moved into the ho... Thu, 20 Apr 2017 20:52:07 EST Day 12 of 5% Challenge Wednesday was a pretty good day. I worked out with FitStar doing a 30 minute cardio routine. I took the dog for a long walk in the evening and she actually looked like she was enjoying it a bit for the first time since her surgery. We ended up walking with the neighbors so I had a nice chat with them, too. <BR> <BR> Laundry done, bathrooms cleaned, assorted other chores done and of course plenty of time for me during the day. Listened to audiobooks, podcasts, played some games on my iPad... Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:09:25 EST Day 11 of Spring 5% Challenge So glad I'm not leading a team during this challenge! I've been a bit busy and haven't had much "team time" in a few days. <BR> <BR> Today was book club and we met in our neighborhood. I would have loved to have walked to the house but we had some rain and showers so I drove. I came home after two hours to find the dog had an accident on one of the rugs. Two hours!! She had been outside at least three times before I left! And I know about crating dogs but she has never been crated an... Tue, 18 Apr 2017 17:52:07 EST Days 7-10 of Spring 5% Challenge Weight today is 179.3! I have not been in the 170's since Aug of 2015! Now I am aware I could be back to 180 tomorrow as I tend to fluctuate up and down by about a pound depending on what I eat but this is the lowest I've been and I am happy! <BR> <BR> DH was here for a few days and we stayed busy so I was not on Spark except to log my exercise/LTGL points for the team. He left Sunday and is planning on being back this weekend. Hopefully he'll get everything on the U-Haul so he won't ha... Mon, 17 Apr 2017 08:16:15 EST Day 6 of 5% Challenge I had a third night of not quite restful sleep due to achy joints. Tylenol and dramamine helped a bit as did the heating pad. <BR> <BR> It was a gorgeous day here and I sat on the porch midmorning to finish my coffee. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> All was nice and peaceful until the big machinery started up next door as they continued working on the back yard of the new house so I had to abandon the porch. I looked o... Thu, 13 Apr 2017 17:32:16 EST Day 5 of 5% Challenge Had a Newcomer's General Meeting today. The sandwiches were actually good (sometimes catered sandwiches can be okay) and I really like mine which was a chicken Mediterranean wrap. But I admit I indulged in some cookies. <BR> <BR> We had a guest speaker who wrote a book about the murder of his aunt who he never knew as she was murdered when she was a child. It was interesting to hear about and I have the book on my kindle but haven't read it yet: <link> Wed, 12 Apr 2017 20:39:57 EST Day 4 of 5% Challenge Mah Jong was today. We have lunch first at Town Tavern where we play. Personally I'd prefer to play at people's houses and skip the lunch, but I admit the lunch is time to chat and get to know each other before we divide into our different tables to play. I was playing with two other ladies and they each won two games and I won one. We play Chinese so no gambling. I did get there early due to running some errands so I walked around the strip shopping center as it was such a nice day, th... Tue, 11 Apr 2017 20:44:11 EST Day 3 of 5% Challenge Just got back from a 30 minute walk. My knees have been iffy all day. Buying those 35lb containers of cat litter on Sunday and hefting them in to the cart, into the car and then into the house was not the best thing to do to arthritic knees! And I had been doing so well lately. <BR> <BR> Took my dog to get her stitches out today. She lost another pound since the surgery due to not eating for several days. At least she has started eating again. <BR> <BR> My doctor appt went well. Bloo... Mon, 10 Apr 2017 19:35:58 EST Day 2 of 5% Challenge FitStar was the exercise choice today: Cardio workout with some other exercises thrown in the mix. I adapt the ones I can't do, like jumping jacks and just do my arms a bit more and step from side to side. I have to stay with low impact or my knees and back complain loudly! <BR> <BR> I've noticed after 22 sessions that the sessions are getting longer. For example the run in place used to be for about 10-20 seconds at the start (I think, it was pretty short) and now is over a minute. I li... Sun, 9 Apr 2017 18:58:08 EST Day 1 of 5% Spring Challenge I'm so glad my dog can go down the steps by herself now as it was very chilly outside this morning! <BR> <BR> <BR> Quiet day here today. I took a walk in the afternoon then took the dog for a walk later. The dog walk was a slow walk as she is still not quite back to her normal self after her surgery last Friday. She is finally eating though! <BR> <BR> I had hip pain and knee pain today so I made the mistake of taking an ibuprofen which has led to hours of intestinal pain and having to... Sat, 8 Apr 2017 21:07:26 EST Thursday: Birds, my dog, and the wind Due to not working out on Wednesday other than a short walk with the dog I decided to make sure I got a workout in today. FitStar is my workout of choice, with Sworkit coming in second. So I did a session with Fitstar and I'll try to do a short Sworkit one later, which will be a stretching routine. <BR> <BR> Lots of wind here today. I was out chatting with the neighbors and the wind gusted and almost blew me away. <BR> <BR> And poor pitiful dog that is recovering from surgery and can't m... Thu, 6 Apr 2017 17:02:14 EST Wed. Evening The dog is doing a bit better. She ate some food today. I only gave her half of the recovery formula this morning. I took her for a short walk this evening, too. She still doesn't have a lot of "pep" in her yet but does walk around outside and sniff the ground (that's the beagle part of her, she's a mixed breed). I'm looking forward to her getting back to her normal self but since they didn't want her running until her incision was healed and she gets her stitches out Monday, it's just a... Wed, 5 Apr 2017 21:44:54 EST Updates on me and the 5% Challenge After being CL for the Firecrackers during the Winter Challenge I decided to step back and be just a regular team member during the Spring Challenge. The main reason was the amount of time it took to be CL and the possibility of some changes coming up this Spring that were going to limit my time. More on that in a bit. <BR> <BR> My former team members may wonder why I chose not to stay as a Firecracker for the Spring Challenge. Basically it was to let the new CL lead the team without me... Tue, 4 Apr 2017 12:30:00 EST Working out, Arthritis, Sworkit, Fitstar Getting back on track with the eating! I gained a couple of pounds last week due to bad eating choices. So it was time to stop and get myself back in control before those two pounds turned into 10 pounds! <BR> <BR> I'm still exercising despite a lot of aches and pains! I have lower back arthritis and arthritis in both knees with the right one being the worst. I seem to go in cycles with pain in my joints and after having about 6 months of pain in the right knee that started around Octobe... Sun, 26 Mar 2017 13:43:44 EST Organizing Kitchen I started using Blue Apron when I lived in a small town in Arkansas and got frustrated with the limited grocery stores and ability to buy good food (fresh fish anyone?). I continued with it off and on after moving here last year, even though we have all kinds of great stores, just for the convenience. But I finally decided to stop and go it on my own. <BR> <BR> So I'm working on meal planning, which has been a weakness of mine. I've saved my favorite Blue Apron recipes and I really enjoye... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:35:03 EST Hair Cut Day Glad to get a hair cut today! In January I blogged about my hairdresser not showing up for my appointment and really liking the one who did my hair instead and what to do about that. Follow up: I called the next month and scheduled with Dana and was worried that my former hairdresser (who I'd been going to for only a few months since the move) would be there but she wasn't. So today was my second time there and once again, former hairdresser wasn't there. So now I've had 3 cuts with my ne... Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:02:51 EST Tuesday odds and ends DH is coming this weekend. It will be another quick trip as he's driving so he can bring an SUV load of stuff. I don't think he's doing a U-Haul this time, just packing his SUV to the brim. <BR> <BR> I picked up my cholesterol meds and start them tonight. I was so happy to have very good blood pressure at my checkup Monday. I used to take blood pressure meds, even had to increase them at one time, then was able to get off of them and have been off for a few years. <BR> <BR> Glucose was... Tue, 24 Jan 2017 20:32:11 EST Vet visit today Took one of the cat's for her annual check up today. Had bloodwork done as she's a senior cat. I had my 12 year old cat's done in November and they did it in office and had results back in 15 minutes. So today they said they'd have the results back in 15 minutes then came back and said they were sending it out to get more thorough testing done. That worries me. I think they found something they want more data on. I'll find out tomorrow. <BR> For those who don't know I lost two pets in 20... Mon, 16 Jan 2017 16:23:07 EST Thursday: This and That Day after hair cut: I really like the way the new woman cut my hair. Usually the day after a hair c ut, when I wash my hair it looks yucky. I admit I am not all that great at fixing my hair: no patience! But today after washing and drying it, it looked good and later in the day, after doing things and going outside and my natural wave taking over, it still looked pretty good. I could see the cut was good. <BR> <BR> So I'll take the advice and go to the new woman next time. And yes, th... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 20:44:32 EST Hair Dresser and what to do I moved in March and found a hair dresser, which is always a pain! I had a long time one in Baton Rouge who I loved and then found a great one in Magnolia, AR, both experienced and really good and professional. <BR> <BR> So this young woman was really sweet and cuts hair very well, except she never shaved my neck (I have short hair and I asked her once but she said my hair hung over my neck which it does a bit but still the hairs on my the nape of my neck sometimes annoy me!). I noticed ov... Wed, 11 Jan 2017 16:39:58 EST Fitbit Charge 2: Virtual Race & 250 an Hour You know those Virtual Walks? Well I found I can do them on my Fitbit now. I hadn't looked at the challenge tab on my app in awhile but they have those and I started one today. I'm traveling to Vernal Falls! <BR> <BR> Another feature I was excited about was how the Charge will notify me to move every hour if I haven't walked 250 steps in that hour. Note: you can turn this off and maybe edit it, but I want it like it is. <BR> The goal is 12 hours and here is how I did last week: <BR> Monda... Sun, 8 Jan 2017 07:45:49 EST Health Insurance After a year on government health insurance, due to DH's mistake, I'm finally back on his insurance and it feels good! Yes, last year he made a mistake and left me off of his health insurance. I was on the dental/vision insurance but he evidently didn't click the button for the health coverage and by the time we discovered this it was too late to get me back on, even though we tried. So that mistake cost us about $800 a month! <BR> <BR> So it feels good to be back on the work insurance. ... Wed, 4 Jan 2017 11:03:54 EST Tuesday: back to normal So far I've taken 4493 steps. My goal is to get at least 5k a day so I'm going to make that one! I used to aim for 10k but I'm having issues with my foot right now so I had to "downsize" my goal. <BR> <BR> I spent a lot of time sitting at the computer today, doing Spark things and doing Quicken, fighting with Roboform, which stores my passwords and was acting up on my phone, and doing other computer tasks like figuring out why my new iMac wasn't syncing with my laptop, so my Fitbit shows ... Tue, 3 Jan 2017 18:21:39 EST Fitbit Charge 2 I've had a Fitbit since the very first ones came out. And I've been through quite a few of them for various reasons: defective, running them through the laundry, etc. <BR> <BR> So DH came home for a 2 week vacation and I looked at my app on my phone to see my steps (I had the Fitbit One and wore it on my bra) and it wasn't syncing and there were no steps for the day at all. Turns out my Fitbit had died! So DH got me a new one for Christmas after I looked over the ones available and chos... Mon, 2 Jan 2017 20:38:04 EST 5% Challenges: Can you really lose 5% of Your Weight. Yes, you can. But there is no guarantee!! If you think just by joining the 5% Challenge that you are guaranteed that you will lose 5% of your weight, then I have to tell you that you are wrong. Like anything else worth doing in life, you must work for it. <BR> <BR> And even when working for it you might not achieve the 5% weight loss during the 8 weeks. Sometimes things don't work out: maybe your diet needs to be reassessed, maybe you really need to track your food intake better to get a... Wed, 16 Nov 2016 20:55:48 EST LTGL's on the 5% Challenge One part of the 5% Challenge is the LTGL. Living the Good Life. <BR> <BR> Each day, in addition to logging our exercise "miles" we log our LTGL and those change each week. The first week we have one LTGL, then the second week we keep that one and add a new one. After that we drop the one that was carried over the previous week, and keep the most current one, always adding a new one. <BR> <BR> Some LTGL's we've had over the years (they can change with each Challenge as our Leaders don't l... Tue, 15 Nov 2016 06:58:17 EST The In- Between Challenge (5%) We have a long wait between the Fall 5% Challenge and the Winter 5% Challenge. Most teams participate in an In-Between Challenge for those members who want to keep reporting in to the team during the time between challenges and with the long wait between these challenges and the major holiday season on us, I think now more than ever the In-Between Challenge is going to really help me!! <BR> <BR> The In-Between Challenge is less structured than the regular 5% Challenge. You can post as many... Mon, 14 Nov 2016 16:41:41 EST 5% Challenge: My Many Teams I stumbled onto the 5% Challenge quite a few years ago, maybe in 2006, be reading about it on some Spark Friend's blog possibly. I decided to join and I think I was a Starfish that time around. I did okay, didn't lose 5% of my weight, didn't participate on the team thread, but I posted my exercise/LTGL minutes daily. For me, that was enough as it kept me motivated to do my daily workouts. <BR> <BR> Over the next 8 or so years I've been a Starfish, a Spirited Underdog (back when they were ... Sun, 13 Nov 2016 13:43:28 EST 5% Challenge Question 1 How did the 5% Challenge help me develop a healthier lifestyle? <BR> <BR> I've done 5% Challenges off and on for quite a few years. Here's how the challenges have helped me: <BR> <BR> 1. Consistent Exercise: Being on a team and working to race against other teams by reporting our daily exercise miles makes me feel like I need to go exercise instead of putting it of for "another day!" No matter how many minutes I do, I aim to get my exercise in for the team. <BR> <BR> 2. LTGL: Living t... Sat, 12 Nov 2016 10:44:27 EST The "Chirp" Okay: my dumb thing for the day. I just changed out all my smoke detector batteries this summer. So I started cooking lunch and heard that familiar "chirp." What?? I mean it's only been two months and they were brand new batteries (woke me up at 3 or 4 am and no place is open 24 hours here that sells batteries, at least within a 15-20 minute drive, so it was quite an expedition to get those dang batteries). So anyway I go look at the detector in the kitchen and don't see the green light o... Wed, 28 Sep 2016 12:58:42 EST Scale Saga We bought a scale years ago and used it, a plain digital scale. Then we joined WW and found our scale at home wasn't that accurate so we bought a Jenny Craig digital that was more accurate (we'd weigh on it at home and go to WW and the weights were the same or extremely close). <BR> Then we bought our Aria scale at some point, to sync with our Fitbits. Loved the Aria scale! Have had it for quite a few years. <BR> <BR> In March I moved to SC and DH stayed in AR. The plan was he'd join m... Tue, 20 Sep 2016 08:47:52 EST Allergies I moved from Louisiana to Arkansas in 2014 and my doctor warned me that I would have a problem with allergies due to the move. Didn't happen. <BR> <BR> I moved to SC in April of this year and now I'm having a bad time with allergies. Fall has been my bad time in the past. I grew up in SC and moved away in 1988. I had allergy shots for years but stopped them in 2012. Now I'm trying my best to keep up with this so I don't have it develop into a persistent cough/bronchitis, which is what a... Sat, 17 Sep 2016 13:24:05 EST NY Times Article: Why Low Fat Diets Were Recommended <link> </link> In a nutshell: "internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, ....suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today's dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry." <BR> <BR> Read the article for more information. <BR> <BR> I knew that the low fat diet never did a thing for me. I followed it year... Mon, 12 Sep 2016 19:11:18 EST A Rant against my Doctor but also to Myself! I'm rebelling against my doctor. My glucose levels were a bit high, not enough to go on medications and my cholesterol levels are high. He wants me to go on a low fat diet (for cholesterol and a diet for my glucose levels. I did the heart healthy diet years ago, religiously, and it never did a thing for my cholesterol or for my weight. More current research even shows that it's not necessarily the best option. I get best results from increasing my exercise (cardio) and eating healthier ... Thu, 8 Sep 2016 18:19:55 EST Fall 5% Challenge: You Know You Need To!! I've been a long time 5% Challenge member. I've taken a few challenges off when I needed to take a break mentally and physically but I always come back. I just took a complete Spark break due to a move. I knew life would be very busy and I also had a knee flare-up (arthritis) that made even doing basic chores difficult, so I took a break until life settled down after the 700+mile move. <BR> <BR> After the move, I got settled and focused on getting my knee into better shape so I could get ... Thu, 8 Sep 2016 09:09:36 EST My Sister's Visit I hadn't seen my sister in a year. We used to live 700 miles apart and kept in tough by email (she's not very tech savvy so doesn't text or Skype/facetime). Now that I've moved we're only 2 hours apart so she came to town yesterday to spend the day with me. <BR> <BR> I picked her up at her hotel (she has allergies to cats and dogs and I have both so she can't stay at my house) and we had lunch at The Pump House. It was my first time going there as it is a new restaurant on the Catawba Riv... Sun, 26 Jun 2016 12:03:11 EST Cat Litter and Sister Visiting The next few days are busy, after the last week that seemed to drag! <BR> <BR> DH is finishing up packing up his junk, I mean things, from the detached apartment at our house in Arkansas so he can store them in a closet/bedroom neatly and then put the house on the market. He's had some of those things (old science fiction books, etc) so long that the boxed deteriorated. Let's say he doesn't like to get rid of things, which can be good as that means he won't get rid of me! <BR> <BR> Meanwh... Thu, 23 Jun 2016 08:25:01 EST Since I've Been Gone I took a Spark Break and it's been good. But I've had a lot of changes in that time. <BR> <BR> I finished the 5% Winter 2015 Challenge and took a break as I knew a lot of changes were getting ready to happen. <BR> <BR> We started house hunting in November of 2015 and I looked in two locations until finally choosing to live in South Carolina in the city where I grew up and still have family. In the midst of this my daughter, age 27, decided to buy her first house so I was doing a bit of ho... Wed, 15 Jun 2016 11:20:08 EST