MARIANNMC's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=MARIANNMC MARIANNMC's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Me Time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5831017 My sister has challenged me to 10 minutes of "me time" each day this week. Self-care really is so important...especially at this time of year when STRESS is everywhere. <BR> <BR> So...on Monday I spent some time (more than 10 minutes because I am not tech-savvy, at all!) putting an audio book on my ipod. <BR> <BR> Tuesday I walked for 50 minutes in a mall, enjoying the Christmas lights and decorations and listening to the audio book. <BR> <BR> Wednesday, I realized at 1:15 that it was 1:1... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:32:31 EST A Christmas Story http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5830002 I went to my first holiday party this evening -- our neighborhood association. The gathering was 5-8 and I knew there would be food, but I ate a wholewheat pita and 2 tablespoons of red pepper hummus (I MEASURED!) and a clementine "cutie" before I went. I scoped out all the goodies and made careful selections and put a small turkey sandwich on my SMALL plate and two pieces of homemade fudge. And I thought ENOUGH. But then...you know...we're talking...and everyone is standing in the kitche... Mon, 8 Dec 2014 23:55:21 EST December Sister Challenge http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5825952 My sister MLH148 has challenged me to 1500 fitness minutes for the month of December (and a weekly LTGL challenge). <BR> <BR> God knows I need the motivation and accountability. In the past two years I lost almost 60 pounds, only to gain 20 back. ACKKK!!! <BR> <BR> I remember reading somewhere that obesity is a chronic health problem and that the only successful treatment is LIFESTYLE. So...I need to recommit to the spark lifestyle. <BR> <BR> Here's to December! Mon, 1 Dec 2014 18:15:12 EST The Walk I DidNOT Take http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5822961 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1902363531.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I took a walk today up to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It was a beautiful fall day, cold enough that I needed my coat, gloves and scarf, but not too cold and no snow or ice underfoot. And the sky was blue. I walked up to the museum to walk the labyrinth, a fairly new installation on the grounds. A labyrinth is a "unicursal maze" -- which means there is only one path. One path into the center and the same... Tue, 25 Nov 2014 19:25:18 EST Well...it could be worse. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5817497 I ended the Fall 5% Challenge right where I started it -- at 209 pounds. This is where I have been (with all sorts of ups and downs) since Fall 2013. Down 45 pounds from my start on sparkpeople, but still a longgg way from where I want to be. <BR> <BR> I KNOW there are things I need to do (and not do!) to get the scale moving. <BR> <BR> So -- it begins (again) today. <BR> <BR> I took a long walk in the snow today. That felt good. <BR> <BR> I ate some roasted vegetables for a snack. Th... Sat, 15 Nov 2014 23:09:41 EST Support Group Wisdom http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5814564 I've been going to a support group for caregivers (my husband has a chronic illness). It's been really good. Tonight the leader talked to us about happiness. She said 50% of happiness is determined by genetics and temperament (some people just have a happy heart-or good brain chemicals!). 10% is determined by external circumstances outside of our control. And 40% is determined by our choices and habits. She said there are six things we can do to manage our stress and improve our happine... Mon, 10 Nov 2014 23:09:42 EST Me and The Deer http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5813848 Friday was a bad day. I received a VERY CRITICAL email from someone at work and it really got to me. It was bad -- lots of tears and LOTS Halloween candy bad. I had a bunch of errands to do on Saturday but I ended my day at Happy Rock Park just at dusk. This is usually a very busy park, but with the sun setting there were no cars in the parking area and no one on the playing fields. I started to walk the trail. About halfway round the loop I saw the deer. Two of them. Very close to th... Sun, 9 Nov 2014 21:59:16 EST What I DIDNOT Eat This Week http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5812813 The challenge this week is to give up, swap or cut back on a food or beverage to reduce my daily calorie intake by 100 calories. I know this will make me more mindful of my choices as I go through each day. Here's a record of what I DIDNOT eat: <BR> <BR> Saturday <BR> I was at a conference all day for work. I ate breakfast (Greek yogurt, blueberries and Kashi Go Lean cereal) before leaving the house, so I did NOT eat any of the bagels or pastries laid out at the beginning of the day OR e... Fri, 7 Nov 2014 21:52:25 EST What I Did NOT Eat Saturday-Wednesday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5811479 The challenge this week is to give up, swap or cut back on a food or beverage to reduce my daily calorie intake by 100 calories. I know this will make me more mindful of my choices as I go through each day. Here's a record of what I DIDNOT eat: <BR> <BR> Saturday <BR> I was at a conference all day for work. I ate breakfast (Greek yogurt, blueberries and Kashi Go Lean cereal) before leaving the house, so I did NOT eat any of the bagels or pastries laid out at the beginning of the day OR e... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 17:48:36 EST What I DIDNOT Eat on Saturday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5809016 The challenge this week is to give up, swap or cut back on a food or beverage to reduce my daily calorie intake by 100 calories. I know this will make me more mindful of my choices as I go through each day. Here's a record of what I DIDNOT eat: <BR> <BR> Saturday <BR> I was at a conference all day for work. I ate breakfast (Greek yogurt, blueberries and Kashi Go Lean cereal) before leaving the house, so I did NOT eat any of the bagels or pastries laid out at the beginning of the day OR ev... Sun, 2 Nov 2014 00:10:01 EST What MLH148 Didn't Tell You http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5802417 My sister MLH148 wrote an AWESOME blog about her weekend visit to Kansas City for the Waddell and Reed Marathon: "The Injustice of 'Just.'" If you haven't read it -- go read it now. I'll wait for you to get back. <BR> <BR> And now here's something MLH148 didn't tell you about her weekend. The night before the race she participated in a crazy fun "Murder Mystery" dinner theatre. It was a wild and silly take on The Beatles visit to Kansas City in 1964. MLH148 was chosen to be one of the "... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:47:34 EST Numbers, Numbers, Numbers http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5793080 The Fall 5% Challenge has us tracking all our food and drink AND monitoring our calcium this week. This is good for me...writing it all down...seeing the numbers. YOWZA! On days like yesterday and today -- there are some big numbers (yesterday was Renaissance Festival; today I've just snacked-snacked-snacked since I got home). BUT -- I wrote it all down. Recorded it all in sparkpeople. I've never paid attention to my calcium intake before (it's pretty low!). I know keeping track of all... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 22:54:06 EST Muscles, Moving and Mood http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5787514 I keep reading about how important exercise is for stress management. <BR> <BR> Monday night I was at a support group and the leader said "moving muscles changes mood." I like that. <BR> <BR> Twice this week something UPSETTING has happened at work...something crazy-making, incompetent, not-my-fault, and out of my control. Both times I took a break, left the building and just walked. It really helped me calm down. It helped me not make a bad situation worse. In the past I would hav... Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:57:00 EST NPR Story on Stress and Health http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5784664 Well... Yesterday was a lonnggg day at work -- almost all of it on my feet, standing, walking or climbing up and down stairs. This is all good, right? BUT when I got home I DIDN'T take a walk -- so no exercise minutes yesterday. Sorry Tiger Monarchs! I want the exercise minutes, but I also NEED the stress relief a walk gives. Today will be different. <BR> <BR> I just heard a story on NPR about stress and health and the report said that the stress of "everyday hassles" is just as detr... Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:22:40 EST Summer 5% Challenge archive http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5776199 SUMMER 5% CHALLENGE. <BR> <BR> I am glad to be part of the Summer 5% Challenge. I know that these challenges keep me "on track" toward building a happier, healthier life. <BR> <BR> I am reading a book right now called, "The Diet Fix: Why Diets Don't Work" by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff. The book reinforces what I am learning from sparkpeople. <BR> <BR> One line I like: "The more weight you want to permanently lose, the more of your life you're going to have to permanently change." THIS IS A LIFE... Mon, 8 Sep 2014 23:19:59 EST Failure? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5762574 I just finished my seventh (!) 5% Challenge -- up 10 pounds!!!! <BR> <BR> I am struggling...not making the best choices... BUT I'm not giving up. <BR> <BR> I decided to look back at my "ups and downs" -- because, while I still have a lot to lose, I have lost over 40 pounds. <BR> <BR> I started sparkpeople in January 2013 (OK -- my sister set up an account for me a year or so before, but in January 2013 I REALLY started. I weighed 254. <BR> <BR> Winter into Spring 2013 5% Challenge <BR... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 00:59:34 EST 22 Days http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5759689 I will turn 55 on September 4...three weeks from today...if you include today AND my birthday that's 22 days. I have decided to CHALLENGE myself to not-eat-after supper between now and then. <BR> <BR> The whole eating-eating-eating after supper (especially between 9:00-11:00 pm) is a HUGE problem for me. I know I'm not hungry. It's just a very bad habit. Sit down on the couch and EAT. <BR> <BR> So. 22 days. <BR> <BR> I spent a very brief time in "onederland" and I liked it. I proba... Thu, 14 Aug 2014 14:09:03 EST Summer 5% Happiness Log http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5747413 Saturday <BR> I did many things today that I enjoyed...a class on Centering Prayer in the morning, reading an interesting article while I ate my salad w/ grilled chicken at lunch, getting some things done at work, listening to James Taylor on a re-run of "Prairie Home Companion, supper with my husband, some quiet prayer time at the end of the day. The thing that made me happiest was probably GOING TO BED EARLY. <BR> <BR> Sunday <BR> A hard day. Work was "work." Lots of chores at home. "F... Sun, 27 Jul 2014 09:49:04 EST What one thing...? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5746362 A little more than two years ago (June 21, 2012) I was at an inservice for work. One of the questions for reflection was WHAT ONE THING, THAT YOU AR NOT DOING NOW, IF YOU WOULD DO IT, WOULD HAVE A GREAT IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE? I wrote down "exercise and eat right" -- but I didn't share it with the group. I was too embarrassed. About six months later my sister MLH148 invited me to join sparkpeople. It has been verrrrrryyyyy slowwww and there have been a lot of ups and downs. But I am exerci... Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:09:17 EST Dang! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5742149 I weighed in at 206 this morning. 9 pounds UP since the start of the Summer 5% Challenge. And no -- this isn't a trick of the scale or water weight or "that time of the month." It's an honest reflection of n0t eating right, not exercising enough, not sleeping well, blah, blah, blah. Not sparking. I took the "lost 50 pounds" logo off my sparkpage. <BR> <BR> At least I weighed myself today and posted my weight and I'm writing this blog. Honesty is the place to start, right? <BR> <BR> ... Sat, 19 Jul 2014 14:19:24 EST What a Blessing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5741787 I'm exhausted. Good stuff and bad stuff (like babysitting our adorable nieces and nephews last night -- fun, but WORK) combined to make this a hard week. What a blessing to log on to sparkpeople and see that the challenge for Week 5 of the Summer 5% Challenge is SLEEP. I am always tired. I never go to bed when I should. This is a great "push"' for me to GO TO BED. NOW. Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:41:12 EST Back to the Gym http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5740257 I'm taking a few days "off" -- and went to the Y today for the first time since... Well, it's been too long. I've been taking walks around the neighborhood in the evening and I've been doing my stretches in front of the tv, but... It felt really good to walk on the treadmill and pump up the mph. And then I did the stationary bike. And then went back to the treadmill. All the while watching a Grey's Anatomy episode I'd never seen. It felt good to sweat. I need to figure out how to do t... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 17:26:12 EST Going in the Wrong Direction http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5737233 202 this morning. Dang! Not surprising. I haven't been exercising. Or eating right. Or drinking enough water. And I haven't gotten a good night's sleep in a lonngggg time. Etc., etc., etc. <BR> <BR> Today's a new day. The start of a new weekly challenge. I know what I need to do. <BR> <BR> Turn around and start walking back to onederland! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 10:35:47 EST Personal Goal for Week 4 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5736915 I have really been struggling with the Summer 5% Challenge. I want to do better. I NEED to do better. I WILL DO BETTER. The challenge for this coming week is "healthy snacking." In addition, I WILL LOG IN EVERY DAY to sparkpeople. That's my personal goal for the next seven days! Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:25:49 EST Rest In Peace Mary http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5734832 My friend Mary died on Fourth of July after three years of LIVING with angiosarcoma. I don't like the language of "after a three year battle with cancer" -- like the cancer won the battle. <BR> <BR> Anyway. My friend Mary is dead and I am sad and stressed and not sleeping well. <BR> <BR> Her husband has asked me to speak for 4-5 minutes at the wake tomorrow night. This is what I'm going to say. <BR> <BR> Good evening. My name is Mariann McCormally. I live in Kansas City, Missouri. <B... Tue, 8 Jul 2014 20:31:43 EST New Old Shorts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5730174 Last summer my sister MLH148 sent be a pair of exercise shorts that had become too BIG for her. She's always been smaller than me and very fit and athletic (and adventuresome!). And now after a couple years on sparkpeople she's even smaller, more fit and -- if possible -- more adventuresome! <BR> <BR> I was sure the shorts wouldn't fit, but she told me to try them on and I did, but I just barely got them zipped and snapped. Yes -- they were on, but they didn't fit. Tonight, a little mo... Tue, 1 Jul 2014 23:02:41 EST Journeying in One-derland http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5722703 Today is the start of the Summer 5% Challenge. I weighed in at 197. I've actually been below 200 for a few weeks now. WOW. I know it's only a number and I need to focus on the process and daily choices and NSVs, but... I haven't been below 200 in a long time. <BR> <BR> So...the journey continues. The BMI charts say I "should" weigh 165. I can't imagine that, but we'll see. My goal for this challenge is 187. <BR> <BR> Good luck to everyone on their journey! Sat, 21 Jun 2014 10:55:25 EST Unexpected Pleasure http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5722456 My husband has a debilitating neurological condition and has a lot of bad days. And even more bad nights. Even though we have been saving-saving-saving to take a fabulous vacation trip for our 15th wedding anniversary (Italy? Ireland?), we can't -- because he's just not well enough. Last night he mentioned that he read that our little town has a free outdoor concert series on Friday nights in the summer. Hmmm. Tonight when I got home I asked him if he wanted to go check it out. He did -... Fri, 20 Jun 2014 23:19:29 EST Spring Challenge Info http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5722313 My Goals: <BR> I want to not-go-back to my old ways. I want to eat healthy and exercise regularly. <BR> <BR> My Program: <BR> Diet Plan for the 5% Spring Challenge: <BR> I will eat breakfast, and something healthy every 3-4 hours. <BR> I will mindfully choose my afterwork/tv-viewing snack. I will limit salt-bad fats-and sugars. <BR> <BR> <BR> Fitness Plan for 5% Winter Challenge: <BR> I will GET UP and MOVE every 30-60 minutes at work...walk for at least 20 minutes/day... and stretc... Fri, 20 Jun 2014 18:07:30 EST Spring Challenge PLAN http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5719803 SPRING 5% CHALLENGE. <BR> <BR> Can I "keep on keepin' on," maintain my 50 pound weight loss, and get to Onederland? <BR> <BR> I'm starting this 8 week challenge not-feeling-well physically and feeling STRESSED emotionally and mentally. <BR> <BR> I don't feel "fierce" (sorry Tiger Monarchs). I feel a bit fragile. <BR> <BR> But I do WANT to continue this journey of sparking towards better health and happiness. I want to treat myself with gentleness and encouragement and trust that two s... Tue, 17 Jun 2014 11:04:39 EST A Different Conversation with Myself http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5710893 I went out to eat tonight with my husband and our 19 year old niece who just got back from a 10 day trip to Italy. WOW! She had wonderful stories to tell. <BR> <BR> I ordered the grilled chicken breast, steamed veggies, salad -- no cheese, no croutons, dressing on the side. Our niece ordered the chicken finger with fries. I felt jealous! But when our meals came I kept saying to myself, "this tastes good" (and it did!). I put my fork down between each bite and took a sip of my iced te... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 23:05:45 EST Pajama Saturday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5707746 I was up in the night with my sick husband... The last three weeks have been very bad for him -- lots of pain, little sleep. I couldn't do much last night except to sit with him and make him some herbal tea (and let the pain meds kick in). I slept in this morning and stayed in my pjs all day. I DID watch my sodium...ate a fresh peach for breakfast...measured out my peanut butter at lunch...used no-salt tomatoes and Mrs. Dash to make a pasta sauce for supper... I'm learning. My final wei... Sat, 31 May 2014 22:47:44 EST Being Flexible http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5706864 This weekend is Festa Italiana in Kansas City -- a really fun, family-friendly outdoor event with free entertainment and lots of booths (and FOOD!). We've gone every year -- but I'm not sure we'll make it this year. My husband isn't feeling well. And if we do go, I have to figure out what-I-can-eat on my new low salt diet. <BR> <BR> I'm trying to be flexible...and not hang on to any specific expectation too much. (But OMG Italian "nachos" are good!) <BR> <BR> I just need to see how thin... Fri, 30 May 2014 14:33:19 EST Low Salt Diet -- A New Chapter in the Journey http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5706141 I saw my ENT today about my newly-diagnosed Meniere's Disease. He talked to me about caffeine (NO!) and salt (VERY LIMITED!). I sooo don't want to have another attack of dizziness and vomiting, I am ready to say "yes" to this new chapter in my journey. At one point the doc said, "and DON'T CHEAT on your diet." <BR> <BR> So. I have to learn some stuff. I haven't paid much attention to sodium (although it is in my nutrition tracker, thanks to a LTGL challenge we did on one of 5% Challen... Thu, 29 May 2014 15:12:46 EST What are you having for lunch? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5704576 One thing that has changed since I started sparkpeople is what I order when I go to lunch at the nearby bar and grill. I still get the grilled chicken salad, but I ask for "no cheese, no croutons." I still get the small roll, but I don't put any butter on it. I DON'T get a side order (a big basket, really!) of fries AND I don't eat fries off my co-worker's plate. And I drink water instead of pop. Very small changes. Do-able changes. That add up. YAY! Tue, 27 May 2014 18:10:40 EST What a Great Team: Tiger Monarchs http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5702820 I didn't know what I'd blog about today... I'm still a little "off my game" since a bad spell of dizziness and vomiting on Thursday and a diagnosis of Meniere's Disease. I tired and headachey and still a little dizzy and it's kind of hard to talk because I can't quite understand my own voice (the inner ear is very complicated). <BR> <BR> BUT. I didn't overeat yesterday. And I did take a (slow) mile walk with my husband last night. <BR> <BR> And I got lots of super support from my team... Sun, 25 May 2014 13:19:08 EST Meniere's Disease http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5702230 I've always had trouble with my ears. A zillion ear infections as a kid. Hearing loss due to otosclerosis. I've worn a hearing aid in my left ear since 2000. About a year ago the annual hearing test showed I had a loss of hearing in my right ear. My ENT suspected Meniere's Disease, but I didn't believe it. I went back in six months and there was another dip. I went back a month later -- another loss. I went back six weeks later -- still worse hearing! A week later -- another decline!... Sat, 24 May 2014 15:20:06 EST 10K Miracle http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5700687 Sunday was the Marine Corps Historic Half-Marathon, 10K and 5K race in Fredricksburg, Virginia -- and I finished the 10K! I had never done anything like this (it's only my second race, ever). I was 695 out of 771 -- so pretty far back in the pack. But my time was 1:34:48-- 15.16 minutes per mile. WOW. This is amazing to me. When I started sparkpeople a year and a half ago I was lucky if I could do 20 minutes on the treadmill at the Y set at 2.5 mph. I did six miles at an average of 4 m... Thu, 22 May 2014 10:44:26 EST First Race! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5696983 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/8/l487647693.jpg"> <BR> I just finished my first race: the Hollidaysburg PA Area YMCA Altoona Curve Race. Thanks to my sister MLH148 I entered the 2 mile walk and I finished! 38 out of 87, 10 in my age group(and 4 of my age group were in the top five women overall). My time was. 29:49. I was very nervous - that I would be dead last, that I would get lost on the course, that I would get sick or hurt. But I did OK! I kept my pace and even pushed ... Sat, 17 May 2014 11:17:42 EST Six Miles! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5689903 On January 1 my sister MLH148 asked me to do a 10K (she'll be doing a half-marathon). I said yes...but I haven't felt very confident that I can really walk 6.2 miles in under two hours (you HAVE to FINISH in UNDER two hours). I've been working on it...slowing building up... Last week I walked for 90 minutes. Yesterday I used mapmyrun.com and figured out a 6 mile route around work, up and down hills, and I DID IT. In one hour and forty minutes -- 17 minutes/mile, a 3.5 mph walk! And it w... Wed, 7 May 2014 15:15:02 EST Bad day yesterday, but back on track http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5685799 I got some bad news early yesterday morning. So, I ate breakfast. And then I ate a second breakfast. And then I stopped at the grocery store and bought some junk (chocolate rice krispy treats and some turkey jerky) and ate it ALL in the car on my way to work. <BR> <BR> Ridiculous. <BR> <BR> There was no need for lunch. I certainly wasn't hungry. I DID go to the Y late in the afternoon (and bumped up the speed on the treadmill a bit). I ate a healthy dinner (grilled chicken salad with ... Fri, 2 May 2014 13:14:18 EST Easter Compliments http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5676291 I've lost enough weight that my few nice tops are baggy (I never wear dresses...always pants and tops) , so I decided to look for a nice top for Easter. I work at a church and we have a service both on Saturday night and two on Sunday morning. So ideally -- I hoped to find two tops. <BR> <BR> The first couple of stores I went to, I had no luck. Am I a 2x? A 1x? Can anything really look good when I'm still 200+ pounds? And everything is so expensive! I HATE CLOTHES SHOPPING!!! It is ... Sun, 20 Apr 2014 10:51:59 EST Me Time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5675918 Saturday -- phone call to my friend Mary Green <BR> Sunday -- early evening walk around Penguin Park <BR> Monday -- wrote in my journal <BR> Tuesday -- visit with Thomas, wrote in journal, walk in park <BR> Wednesday -- a long, demanding day at work...no time for exercise or "me time...went to bed! <BR> Thursday -- stargazing while walking the dog <BR> Friday -- lunch (grilled chicken salad, no cheese, no croutons) with my friend MA Sat, 19 Apr 2014 20:17:55 EST Absolutely Beautiful Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5675419 I took a walk today at Happy Rock Park near my home. It was an absolutely beautiful day -- bright sun, comfortable temps, cool breeze, birds singing, yellow dandelions and purple violets dotting the super-green grass. It felt good to walk. I'm grateful. <BR> <BR> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 23:51:43 EST Habla-ing Espanol http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5674541 It's a busy week for ministers...but I had a really fun experience Tuesday evening. We have a thirteen year old boy who will receive his First Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil service Saturday night. Both of his grandmothers are here from Mexico for this special occasion. One of the grandmothers came to the practice Tuesday night. I approached her and said, "Me llamo Mariana." She said, "Me llamo Maria Elena, pero no habla ingles." I began speaking Spanish to her and it was great fun.... Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:55:27 EST A Rough Couple of Weeks http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5670778 Today I weighed in 10 pounds heavier than two weeks ago. Of course, two weeks ago I was just finished with a nasty stomach bug -- so I knew that "199" was the diarrhea and vomiting talking. Unfortunately, the bug kept me on the couch and tired and achey and I've been slow getting back "into it." All my muscles are sore -- especially my back and legs. TIGHT! BUT. I'm back to my PT stretches and I took 2 10-minute walks today and I'm re-committing. I DID track all I ate today (and it was... Sat, 12 Apr 2014 22:22:09 EST Winter Challenge PLAN http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5664473 Diet Plan for the 5% Winter Challenge: <BR> I will eat breakfast, and something healthy every 3-4 hours. <BR> I will not mindlessly eat while watching tv when I get home late from work. <BR> I will stay within my calorie range and limit salt-bad fats-and sugars. <BR> I will track and log everything I eat. <BR> <BR> Fitness Plan for 5% Winter Challenge: <BR> I will GET UP and MOVE every 30-60 minutes at work...walk for at least 20 minutes/day... and stretch for 30-minutes each evening... Fri, 4 Apr 2014 16:52:11 EST Winter Challenge Goals http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5664470 It is winter and I NEED the 5% Winter Challenge. <BR> <BR> I want to SPARK! I want to be MINDFUL and STRONG in all my choices -- body, mind, spirit and relationships. <BR> <BR> Goals for the next 8 weeks: <BR> <BR> I will be mindful. <BR> I will sit and breathe for 14 minutes twice a day. <BR> I will log in to sparkpeople.com every day. <BR> I will do the weekly challenges to the best of my ability. <BR> I will measure, log and track my food. <BR> I will have healthy food available... Fri, 4 Apr 2014 16:48:26 EST A Helluva Way to Get to Onederland! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5659176 I weighed in at 199.4 today -- seven pounds down from last Saturday. Of course, I've had a terrible stomach bug since Tuesday night. Vomiting, diarrhea, gut pain, headache, TIRED. I know when I'm able to put more in my stomach than sips of water and chamomile tea the number on the scale will go back up. (I've also been trying tiny bits of the BRAT diet -- bananas-rice-applesauce-toast). It is VERY WEIRD for me to not-be-hungry. In fact, food commercials on tv make feel more sick! <BR>... Sat, 29 Mar 2014 09:07:23 EST Week One of 10k Walk Training http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5644100 Today I finished week one of training for the 10K walk in May. The program is set up to build endurance, stamina and speed -- but very slowly. This week I had to walk 15 minutes, five days out of seven. Most days I walked longer, but having the training commitment MADE me do it today after a long, hard, not-super fun day at work. <BR> <BR> Monday is my "distance" day. Week two begins with a 30 minute walk. No problem. And then 20 minute walks for four days out of the next six. <BR> <... Mon, 10 Mar 2014 01:11:03 EST