MARGOMCP's SparkPeople Blog MARGOMCP's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Positively affect <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have that I want to "positively affect" my health this year. What does that mean? I am getting older and no matter what I eat, think, or do merrily, the parts are wearing out at their own rate. I just looked up the words to the Kansas song, "Dust In The Wind" and knew there was a reason I never liked it! <BR> <BR> Yesterday I was watching Dr. Oz in passing and he was talking about how "we" use to believe tha... Thu, 21 Nov 2013 11:49:27 EST Spark Activity Tracker Routine <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So, I just received my Activity Tracker in the mail and got it all set up. I quickly adjusted all my "goals" downward :-) did a little thinking and tinkering and went outside and walked once around the parking island to check out the step count. <BR> <BR> Apparently the tracker reads best if it is flat on your shoes; shoes I normally do not wear. New little habits needed! <BR> <BR> I've decided I will get up ... Thu, 17 Oct 2013 13:16:13 EST Organizing versus Doing <img src=""> <BR> <BR> One of the readings I've had to do for my class is about dichotomies and how it is not possible to change and grow, to develop, if you can only see two sides. A book on making decisions says either/or choices are not really choices, they are just on/off switches. <BR> <BR> So, here I have set organizing across from doing. Sometimes organizing can be really helpful. Right now I have 3-4 projects I could be work... Sun, 13 Oct 2013 11:55:54 EST Quarterly check-in <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have been busy with my online class but it is well-started and I have turned in my first paper and have a bit of a break to breathe. I see my doctor for my quarterly checkup Wednesday the 9th so am going to start recording my blood pressure readings (the cuff in a doctor's office is too painful on my arm and sends my BP soaring so I take it for a week or two before I go with my wrist monitor calibrated to his o... Sat, 28 Sep 2013 08:36:14 EST How much have you changed? <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We all get older, gain/lose weight, have various illnesses, etc. but how much have YOU changed? <BR> <BR> I hated sports when I was in my teens, to keep up with a best friend who became a physical education teacher I had to take hockey camp when I was in high school and I hated the running up and down the field. I remember when I came into my ow... Sun, 25 Aug 2013 12:54:18 EST Preliminary Goals <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have a preliminary goal of losing 25 pounds before 2014. I weighed myself yesterday and am already more focused on what I am eating and how much so I'll see if I have lost any weight when I weigh myself next Wednesday and decide then how much of a regimen to put in place to help me further. <BR> <BR> Last night was the first night since being back from vacation (last Sunday morning) that I have slept to my for... Thu, 22 Aug 2013 15:07:25 EST It's All Good <img src=""> <BR> <BR> While I was on vacation the first couple of weeks in August, I learned I had been accepted to an online history program at Oxford. Now I'm back from vacation and have filled out the paperwork and mailed it in, done my vacation laundry and straightened up my house, gotten food, updated my computer software for the course requirements, bought books, and am ready to move forward into fall, school, resuming my life pu... Wed, 21 Aug 2013 08:43:51 EST The pain of growing older <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I went to my quarterly doctor's appointment last week and everything is fine. Today though I got up from my computer and my newly diagnosed arthritic knees hurt. <BR> <BR> I thought about that and instantly thought about how losing weight would make them better, etc. and following that train of thought realized that I have the younger me's notion that I can "fix" things by living right. When I was younger I w... Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:51:44 EST Motivation <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I read the Spark Blog today, about ways to motivate one's self to exercise. The #1 and general consensus was to "just do it". Before I read the article I had been thinking about how there is thinking, planning, and then doing, and of the three, the only one that really matters in the end is the doing. Doing "something" is usually better than doing nothing. <BR> <BR> But talking about motivation and then just sa... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 11:26:32 EST Limits <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've mentioned this before; I eat well, choose healthy foods, amounts, etc. but then I have to have more, after I get to the end of what I've planned, what I've put in my food tracker for the day. <BR> <BR> Or, I have to go outside my choices, have different (you can't tell me what to eat!). Or, the amount thing gets in there if it is something I like (meat and beer come to mind but number of pieces of candy is ... Thu, 20 Jun 2013 11:36:25 EST Sleep <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've been reading about how TV, computers, lamps, etc. emit blue light which wrecks your melatonin production <link> </link> and otherwise damages your sleep rhythms. Candle light, fire light, gas light, etc. didn't do that. If you have to use light at night, dim red is best :-) <BR> <BR> I'm going to cut back on my computer use and definitely on my TV watching for a couple w... Tue, 18 Jun 2013 14:37:43 EST Baloney <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I mean it, literally. I bought a bunch of lunch meat for Wednesday, when my husband had a business partner over for the day to work and I've been eating more than my share of the meat and cheese ever since, finished off by pieces of Hershey's chocolate to "clean" my palette <em>10</em> <BR> <BR> Our business partner went home without eating anything the whole day. I finished off the Swiss cheese and baloney... Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:57:41 EST Midnight musings <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm trying to get into an advanced college course with a lot of requirements that are hard to meet. I've gotten stubborn about it now and am determined to get in, whether I want to or not :-) <BR> <BR> I got another of the textbooks I'd ordered yesterday in the mail and it's a research methods/statistics course text and the page I opened at random dragged me back to 1971 and being marched out of my classroom to... Thu, 13 Jun 2013 09:02:49 EST Choices <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I use to write computer software to teach and test various application programs such as word processing and spreadsheet use. <BR> <BR> In most such applications, there's often several ways to activate some of the features, such as underline, bold, or italics; one can highlight the part one wants to apply the feature to and then hit a button or one can "turn on" the feature, type and then "turn off" the feature. W... Sat, 8 Jun 2013 15:56:35 EST Lying Fallow Found this great essay: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>21%20Poetry%20n%20pondering.pdf </link> <BR> <BR> I'm doing a lot of thinking and studying lately, coasting with a purpose :-) Fri, 7 Jun 2013 09:45:23 EST Starting new sleep trial <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I just read the SparkArticle about exercise helping sleep so I'm going to do a week-long study with my new restorator and increased work around the house and garden and see what I see. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=373 </link> Sun, 26 May 2013 13:29:19 EST Grab a Quote <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Re-energize yourself today; grab a quote (or a laugh)! <BR> <BR> To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions. ~William James <BR> <BR> If it weren't for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn't get any exercise at all. ~Joey Adams <BR> <BR> The word aerobics came about when the gym instructors got together and said, "If we're going to... Fri, 24 May 2013 09:24:14 EST On Being Naughty <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It occurred to me this morning as I was thinking about how I ate more than was on my plan/tracker yesterday, yet again, that it isn't a surprise. It isn't something that tracking can help me with. I know what to eat and do eat that. Sometimes I eat bigger portions, but again, I know they are bigger, just like I know eating additional pieces of candy or drinking another beer is not on my daily plan. <BR> <BR> ... Tue, 21 May 2013 12:39:32 EST Weight and food tracking (a new perception (for me)) <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I like to play around with the Mayo Clinic's Calorie Calculator: <link><BR>lculator/NU00598 </link> <BR> <BR> I put in various weights I'd like to weigh and a "pleasant" :-) activity level for me and see how many calories come up to maintain that weight. It is usually surprising but exciting for me to see just how much one can eat and still lose weight (albeit very slowly... Sun, 19 May 2013 10:54:48 EST It's really the little things <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I derailed my calorie tracking yesterday with a few pieces of butterscotch candy. Well, that and an ice cream sandwich :-) <BR> <BR> I track quite a few nutrients; saturated fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, fiber, Vitamin C; along with the usual protein, carbs, fats, calories. I'm pretty good at planning my meals and making them come out the way I want too. I love trying to up X and Y while keep Z the same :-)... Thu, 16 May 2013 13:03:16 EST Senior exercise and weight loss <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I was reading another story where a youngish person (mid-40's or younger) lost a whole lot of weight and is in wonderful shape and wondered again about being in my 60's past menopause and losing estrogen and other compounds/hormones like there's no tomorrow. Not only would I look ridiculous losing the 140 pounds I've gained since my mid-20's (skin wouldn't shrink back and a cosmetic/skin removal operation would ... Sun, 12 May 2013 11:09:45 EST Favorites and Groupings <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Do you keep a list of favorites and/or groupings in your nutrition tracker? When was the last time you edited it/them? I just went through mine this morning, getting ready for the Spark Solution challenge and was surprised at what I found. <BR> <BR> I deleted the half-and-half :-) I don't think Baileys Irish Liquor should be in one's favorites, either, LOL. It is surprising how much I have changed even in the ... Sat, 11 May 2013 10:41:15 EST Three strikes, I'm out! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So, I did my 3rd week weigh-in and gained a bit (and I had to weigh myself twice to only gain "a bit" :-) As a result, I bought the new Spark Book and will be going through the challenge program starting Monday: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st=the_spark_solution_challenge_starts<BR>_may_13 </link> Fri, 10 May 2013 09:51:11 EST Old People Strength Training Idea <img src=""> <BR> <BR> There's a couple new shows on the National Geographic TV channel I'm really enjoying, "Brain Games" and "The Numbers Game": <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>el/the-numbers-game/ </link> <BR> <BR> I think it was the Numbers Game doing a episode about "How Long Will You Live" and they talked about older people falling and how ... Sun, 5 May 2013 11:54:36 EST The odd anxieties <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I was awakened at 5:00 this morning by a fox screaming. I knew it was a fox because it was so high pitched and there was no "barking" in between like I think a dog would make, just a cry. It was starting to rain; today is going to be a dreary day. <BR> <BR> I live on a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water, we're at the end of our development and "out" front and to the right is a major, wild, state park... Mon, 29 Apr 2013 07:13:54 EST Coffee-flavored Milk <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After reading an article a couple days ago about how women should have only 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day and finding my beloved Hershey Kisses have 1 teaspoon per 2 Kisses and a single 12 oz. cola has 8 teaspoons, I'm working on giving up the candy bowl next to me :-) <BR> <BR> I enjoy sugar in my coffee but drink larger cups of coffee and can easily take 4 teaspoons with my coffee so decided to replace the s... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 11:17:52 EST Starting 6th SparkYear <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm kicking off my 6th SparkYear with a new plan. I want to go on a trip the last week of October and my birthday is that week too and I noticed that's exactly six months from this Friday. <BR> <BR> I recently started weighing myself, using a consecutive button on my 5 button scale so I could keep track of my weekly loss and a vague monthly loss (by the time I get back to that same number) and decided I would co... Wed, 24 Apr 2013 13:53:40 EST What's working <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm getting better, or at least more, sleep. I don't remember the last night I had to get up for a couple hours. My shoulders still hurt and sometimes I sit up in bed for relief (and fall asleep slumped in an upright position so when I wake myself up enough to lay down again or decide to do something else, the slump has made other things hurt) but I'm generally getting better sleep out of the new mattress and am c... Sun, 21 Apr 2013 16:13:23 EST Running out of Excuses <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have been working on getting better sleep. Last week I bought a new, expensive pillow to see if that would help and yesterday we finally bought a new mattress. <BR> <BR> It's not a fancy/name-brand mattress and I didn't get a good trial on it because I had too many beers last night (ate well though, Greek salad w/salmon) but I think it might be too "hot", keep one's body heat instead of disbursing it. I'll w... Wed, 10 Apr 2013 09:41:17 EST Reverse Psychology Work Out <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So, I'm trying to get "out and about" each day, getting my "exercise" while I do so. Normally I am sitting in front of the computer 5-6 hours a day and then watching TV before going to bed, getting up the next day and starting over. I want to break that up some, not as much "straight" computer and not as much time in the afternoon for TV. <BR> <BR> I started my new plan yesterday, going out and buying a pair of... Sat, 6 Apr 2013 11:43:06 EST Revisiting SparkCoach <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So, I've been pretty consistent in going to SparkCoach immediately after logging in here daily and spinning the wheel for my initial points. I wish I could say I had been consistent in doing the Fast Break tasks I've set myself but, not so much. Sure, I check them off and intend to do them but. . . <BR> <BR> Surprisingly, that is one of the ways SparkCoach is helping me most. You have to know your problem well... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 09:14:04 EST Making it up as I go along <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have a new ticker that tracks a "bad" habit I've given up. I decided I wanted to give up excusing myself from exercising. I've handed in my "get out of gym free" card. <BR> <BR> I'm not going to go join a gym; been there, tried that multiple times. But I am going to take breaks from this computer, show up for other classes. You know how you had your "favorite" subjects and your least favorite? But you still... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 10:54:14 EST From a Different Angle <img src=""> <BR> Yesterday I went out to brunch, all-you-can-eat <em>4</em> <BR> <BR> I surprised myself by eating one plate, well balanced/good choices and decided I do well enough choosing what to eat, just not portions anymore. <BR> <BR> I use to leave food behind when served too much in a restaurant, eat 3-4 ounces of the meat and leave the rest (I don't take food home as I'd just eat it the next day AND whatever else was on ... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 12:23:20 EST 3 Week Stay of Execution <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Went to the dentist yesterday, was supposed to get a crown worked on and replaced but was not in the mood :-) I managed to talk my dentist into just doing full mouth x-rays, cleaning my teeth (it's been 7 months) and us making a plan. <BR> <BR> I did not sleep the night before last; got up around quarter to three and didn't try going back to bed until six thirty, only to doze. All the way driving to the dentist... Fri, 22 Mar 2013 10:11:56 EST Forced into action <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My cleaning lady is coming again, first time since before Christmas. I am scurrying around straightening up stuff to make it easier. I only have her vacuum, clean bathrooms, and clean the kitchen floor. They (which one of the crew it is who comes changes sometimes) always try to do more, like dust. That's a pretty hopeless task in this house :-) <BR> <BR> But now I have cardboard boxes and blankets around for... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 09:03:57 EST Do what you love, the rest will follow <img src=""> <BR> <BR> How often have you heard something along those lines or, "Just follow your bliss"? I've been thinking about this for a couple days now, how I have so much difficulty getting away from my computer and the work (and play) I do relative to it. <BR> <BR> My head/brain is controlling my life. My physical body doesn't stand a chance usually; if I realize I'm hungry but doing something else, I grab whatever is easy. Us... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 14:33:43 EST My favorite motivational trick of the moment <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm using the SparkPeople Planner (on the MyTracker dropdown) to journal every day and then I'm using my Windows "Snipping Tool" to cut it out, save it as a .jpg picture, and then I put it on my Desktop as its background (on the desktop, right click and choose "personalize"). <BR> <BR> In my journal entry I list the more important or elusive of the things I want to accomplish that day and new thoughts, ideas, o... Sun, 10 Mar 2013 09:39:24 EST It seems to work! <img src=""> <BR> I set out yesterday to be as physically active as I could be to see if it would help my sleep. I changed the bed (king) did 2-3 loads of laundry, including the heavy king-sized quilt, put all the clothes and suitcases away from vacation, went out to the grocery store with DH and my list was only 4-5 items and I managed to forget the main one, eggs, and had to go back in and get those :-) and various other up and down t... Fri, 8 Mar 2013 09:39:08 EST Clearing the Cobwebs <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Last night was horrible. I was awake in the middle of the night for several hours having those depressing, I can't do it, it isn't going to ever get better, thoughts. <BR> <BR> I've decided to take it like a bad dream and do everything I can today to make things "normal"/better. <BR> <BR> For example, I haven't even unpacked my suitcases from vacation yet! And I have all sorts of little things like that scurryi... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 08:39:06 EST SparkCoaching Update <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I had all these great plans for using SparkCoach on my vacation, while I was away and didn't log in even once. <BR> <BR> Since I've been back, I've checked in to see what my situation was, how much longer I had left and was surprised to see I had chosen the option to automatically renew every 3 months but that that does not happen until some time in April. So, I decided I'd try again, and see if I could get somet... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 08:30:10 EST Small experiment Just for fun, last night as I was getting ready for bed, I got on the scale. This morning I'm going to get on again, 12 hours later (9:40) and see what the difference is. Maybe I'll start weighing myself before I go to bed each evening, knowing that when I go to the doctor's and get weighed, there will be a couple pound difference boost instead of "surprise" (his scale rarely reads as low or lower than mine and I often feel let down that I don't show him I've lost as much as I think I have)... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 05:12:39 EST The difference a month makes <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Lovely view from the left and right of my balcony (respectively) in the Caribbean but it was not all bliss, despite the "fantasy pool"; there was a six story, hundreds of step climb to get one's coffee first thing in the morning! <BR> <BR> I guess that was the biggest thing I learned; there are always tradeoffs, always exciting new discoveri... Tue, 26 Feb 2013 12:04:59 EST Ready for vacation <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My avatar soon, instead of the abominable snow person <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> I'm at peace with what I've gotten done and what else I'll be doing today and in the morning. The cleaning crew was here yesterday, and last night I got a last food delivery to make sure there'd be enough cat and other supplies (snacks) for our friend who's house sitting the month we're away. I put flea meds on the cats and our frie... Wed, 23 Jan 2013 12:43:52 EST Portability <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I just joined the Spark Coaching program to give it a 3 month try. I'm looking for ways to get consistent and ways to take some good habits with me on vacation. I'll be doing a lot of travelling; car, plane, unscheduled days and will be eating out a lot and want to get some good habits going now, that I can use no matter where I am or what the circumstances are. <BR> <BR> The "fast break" choices seem ideal; th... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 07:51:11 EST Of Hair Cuts and To-Do Lists <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I was upset yesterday; I kept thinking of the million things I have to get done before I go on vacation in two weeks. When that happens, I start shutting down and playing too much Solitaire and putting things off until "tomorrow". It is an easy problem for me to fix though; I just make a list of all that has to be done and assign it to a day and get the whole mess out of my head and onto a piece of paper. Roadm... Wed, 9 Jan 2013 10:06:23 EST Time may be money but so is food! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm making the connection between eating and money :-) My husband has been uncomfortable lately, saying we're spending too much money. When that happens and I cannot reassure him or get him to see things the way I do, I work to cut back without hurting myself so he can be more comfortable. <BR> <BR> It's obvious that one can lose weight by not eating as much, just as it is obvious that if I don't spend as much ... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 09:32:25 EST KISS, Keep it Simple -- <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So, I created a "Common Sense" team for myself, <link> </link> to remind myself of ways that just thinking a bit about a problem or situation can help keep things sane and the last couple days I have been thinking about all I have to get done before I go on vacation and during vacation (with my genealogy research), etc. <BR> <BR> I decided this year I'm going to fall back and re... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 09:09:52 EST E-mail accounts <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So, I was just cleaning out a "good" email account that is one of my oldest and most used so now gets full of advertising from all the businesses I've given it as my address to, all my charities and restaurants offering me opportunities and discounts, etc. and I was deleting about 200 emails that I don't want but which aren't really spam (if you do business with a company they can email you "deals" and you can only... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 09:59:32 EST Amused or frustrated? So, I was feeling sorry for myself because of this dry air; the nasal congestion and itchiness is killing me. I look up nasal congestion at the Mayo Clinic site and got this list (sorry it is too small to read, if you're interested, it can be found here <link><BR>estion/MY00178/DSECTION=causes </link> ): <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It's not that it is long, it is more that about 10-15+ things ... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 07:01:40 EST Thinking About Inflammation <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have been thinking about my "new" arthritis, not quite believing in it :-) and I idly think about food and health almost daily what with my energy levels/thyroid and asthma and the couple of vitamins my doctor has suggested I take, etc. and I note how much better/worse I feel after eating too much candy (usually milk chocolate, I'm lactose sensitive and candy is full of added milk solids and stuff (lots of foods ... Wed, 26 Dec 2012 08:26:37 EST